The night fell silent and she could finally hear the cricket’s chirping, her favorite sound. Her final performance was tonight and the whole audience was made up of hands clapping. She played the violin with such grace and emotion that it even moved me and reached those outside the small venue. The whole night was in a better mood after her performance, which made my job even harder. The streets are always filled with loud people buzzing around like a swarm of bees, and tonight was no different. It is not until right now in the late night, when the streets are bare, the businesses turn their lights off, the adults are pondering their worries, and the children are innocently sound asleep dreaming of a hopeful and fake world, that she can finally close her eyes and listen to the night’s true sound.
Chirr. Chirr. Chirr. Chirr. Chirr. The crickets chirp one by one to showcase their symphony that they wait until the late night to perform. For a girl whose life is a bunch of sounds rambled together making no sense, this is the one moment where she experiences a synchronized harmony. She is able to forget her inner sadness of being old with the regret of not pursuing her dream and working harder when she was younger. The crickets’ chirping is the only continuous sound that prevents the whole nights from being mute. No other sound nor action is occurring other than the wings of crickets rubbing together. This peace and quiet is what she looks forward to every night.
Chirr. Chirr. Chirr. Chirr. She lies down on her bed listening to the music while the thoughts of her regrets fade away onto the streets where all the other lost thoughts are traveling. Not talking. Not moving. Just listening as if right now she is only capable of doing such a thing. Her body is present in the world, but her mind no longer is. It escapes into the world of the cricket’s music.
Chirr. Chirr. Chirr. She begins to breathe faintly, but it can hardly be heard like a cry for help that is softly shushed. I watch her as she slowly falls asleep for it is easier and less painful to steal her away when she no longer has control of reality. As she lies there so beautifully, I lose more control of my selfish desire to take her marvelous soul. I become impatient, yet I have watched for a long enough time to know she deserves a gentle death so I do not get ahead of myself and let her sleep.
Chirr. Chirr. It is time. Her soul is now dreaming. I calmly put my hand on her mouth as she lies there. She suddenly awakes with her eyes unfocused and her pupils as small as a mustard seed filled with fear. The whites of her eyes expanding and her skin becoming paler by the second. Blood rushing through her veins and into her heart, which is the only reason why she is still alive. I planned for her to feel nothing, but I made a mistake and she woke up. I watch her there losing her soul as she experiences pain; the crickets sing louder and quicker. And for a split second she is able to see me and with her begging eyes asks me to stop. Unfortunately, there is no going back now and a tear rolls down my face as I stare into her eyes which express a tremendous amount of agony. I slowly take away her senses by disabling her mouth, her fingers, her eyes, and her nose, but I pity her so I let her keep her ears so she can listen to the crickets as her soul is being drained from her body. I hear her take her last breath and with that her last listen of the symphony she loves so much.
Chirr. Dead. The crickets continue to have a party with their own made music while she is on her bed lifeless. Her name was Rue, meaning regret, and her life made justice to her name. So much talent wasted and now she no longer has time to fix it. This is when I realized I felt emotion toward her. I do not allow myself to feel for my victims because it makes the process of watching them in pain even harder. However, during that last recital, Rue’s playing made me feel something for her, the same something which made me not want her to experience pain and yet, I cannot help that everything I touch will feel some agony one way or another. My name is Death and every night, while taking one soul at a time, I listen to the cricket’s music.