The important one

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He walks tirelessly alone through the cobble stone alleyway. Bricks are pasted shoulder to shoulder to mark his way out. Windows stand weak above any man's reach. He is considering his options, who shall he take tonight. Shall it be one filled with youth, innocence  and virtue? Or shall it be one that could be compared to himself? He wonders should I stop one day. Then he snaps out of it, he remembers. He quickly brushes the thoughts away, he must remind himself 'who would keep the balance.' The thing he always says to stop the guilt getting to him.

Even if he did stop, what good would it do? No good, no good at all. He would only be replaced soon enough, no lives would be saved and he would not benefit. He is not ready to join the ones he left behind just yet. He realises his work could be misunderstood, not could is. Misunderstood on a daily basis, it isn't a nice existence. He sometimes reads the headlines in the newspaper and,  he knows he is right, but constant disapproval can damage ones mindset.

He has decided, it will be the closest house today. He will be predictable and follow the schedule. Today, a woman in her mid-thirties shall die of unknown causes. Unknown to all but him. He knows all too well how she will die, how she will choke on the one thing that is a constant part of life, a vital part, air. How she will reach for the life that is no longer hers, he power taken by him.

He starts to stretch up to her window. The bones in his leg are pulled tight like a rubber band but, if he wanted he could stretch further. He stands beside the window, his cloak fidgeting frantically in the violent wind, yet somehow silent as it is important not to wake the victim. He opens the window  and a mighty creak is silenced under his hand, he stretches his head inside, neck bones contorting to keep him there.

The woman lies so peacefully sleeping, the rise and fall of her chest like music. He can hear her heart beat with his impossibly sharp ears, it pounds through the thick air towards him steady and slow. He may almost regret this, then he forces himself to remember his reasoning, he takes a deep breath and a silent rattle passes through him and like a parent he plants a single wavering kiss upon her forehead. Then he pulls away and waits outside the window; he must make sure his work is complete.

For a moment he thinks that it didn't work and he can spare one soul from his conscience but then he sees it. Her eyes open wide and she gasps for breath, she tries to scream but cannot muster a single word, she gasps for breath, reaches for the life that has already been taken. He almost feels sorry for her.

He shrinks down to the ground and steadies himself. He continues walking down the cobblestone alley. The constant quiet tapping of his bare bones on the stone reminds him of what he is, reminds him why he shouldn't have a conscience. He, the balancer of life, the giver of death, continues walking alone once more.
 

THE END






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