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Per Basium

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I met Death on a grey and snowy day. Every gust of cold wind was like a melancholy sigh
caressing my cheek. He looked so graceful as he stood alone; a black smudge on a white canvas.
The snow danced around him while the air playfully tugged at his long, black coat like they were
old friends. He pulled a cigarette out of his pocket and lit it with an archaic silver lighter. He
savored a long drag, plucked the cigarette from his lips, and exhaled the smoke. The grey cloud
joined the snow in it's weary, mournful dance.

I was awe-struck by this beautiful man and for a moment I forgot to breathe. Each wispy
breath I did take melted into the scenery before me. Mindlessly, I took a step toward him and my
boot crunched it's imprint into the pristine snow. Slowly, he turned his head to face me. He
exhaled another drag as he studied me with mild curiosity. His eyes were black, cold, and
somber. The many years of wisdom were apparent behind his hardened shell.

His skin was smooth and bone white and his black hair elegantly framed his face as it
swayed with the wind. Death bore no smile nor frown but stayed perfectly emotionless as he
finished off his cigarette and stamped it out on the ground. He walk toward me with soft steps
and I felt frozen. He stopped abruptly exactly one foot away ans cocked his head to the side like
a confused dog. Suddenly, I felt my heart shatter; I felt my heart break for him. The closer he
walked the more I could feel his pain.

He extended an arm and brushed his fingertips along my cheek. I gasped and stepped
back at his touch. He was so cold that even a graze by him could leave your flesh frost bitten.
Touching my cheek, I looked up at him and he looked back with pain-filled eyes. Oh, no. I had
hurt him. I stole a careful step forward and held out my hand invitingly. He eyed it skeptically
but reached out a hand in return. We grasped each other and, as my eyes rolled back into my
head, I thought all I'd even feel again was cold.

He let go and I looked down to see a blue hand that sparkled from the ice crystals that
consumed it. A small smirk twitched on his lips as he grabbed me by the waist, pulled me
closer, and rested his cheek against mine. He whispered one sentance that chilled me to the
bone, just as his skin did, then he sealed it with a kiss. It was cold, soft, and passionate and it
was draining the life out of me. The snow swirled around the both of us, rejoicing, and he pulled
away just before I fainted.

When I awoke he was gone but I felt strangely warm. I felt something smooth and
rectangular in my palm and opened it to find he had left me his lighter. It glowed with life as it
melted away the ice on my hand. I noticed that there was an inscription on the side and as my
eyes absorbed the latin I heard in my head the words he spoke. He'd given me the translation.

Per basium, Nex addo vos ut tunc vita; With a kiss, may Death escort you to the afterlife.

I smiled and watched the snow continue to dance in Death's honor in hopes of his return.
I pulled myself to my feet and danced as well.





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