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Life, behind the scenes.
Death calls himself a judge, but everyone knows his judgment is flawed. The only thing that keeps Death in the courthouse is his indifference of age, race, and any other features. Some argue he would be a good lawyer; his voice can soften the hardest jurors’ hearts, so they lean forward in their seats, but it can drop resonating and cold, so it never leaves you.
Death is a puzzle master. He can always find an unexpected answer. Most people don’t understand why he and life trade puzzles.
Doubt is great with math. She just takes her time. Her brothers complain she takes too long painting her nails; after all, she’s never satisfied. Although she is youthful, her forehead is wrinkled from the many times she’s used Uncertainty cream. Her nails are bit to the quick and her shoes worn with pacing.
She used to work for an optometrist, but her glasses always fogged up someone’s judgment. Doubt has a soft voice, but it is both haunting and alluring. Once one hears her whisper, it is hard to ignore her.
She whirls through the crowd, her dress of energies fanning out behind her. The air around her shimmers with clarity, and her laugh rings a distant bell in my ear. The party is for her, but she wants nothing. She can create everything she needs.
Everyone seeks a dance from her, but, despite her vividity, she is hard to find. When one catches a glimpse of her, they would be wise to move swiftly; Inspiration is more fleeting than a firefly.
Youth is a rising politician. He is both powerful and attractive. His only drawback is that no one is willing to support him. They believe Youth is flighty and gets his power from Violence. At home, where he feels safe, you would never recognize him as that iron-willed, invulnerable young man. His face softens, his laugh brightens, and he has a charming naiveté that no one else could capture.
Youth used to be a wrestler, but he was too vulnerable to succeed. Now he hardens himself every generation, so he can be like his role model, Maturity.
Silence is a great artist. He is so great a visionary, he can fill anything with his expression. He can make a canvas full of hidden meaning, peace, mourning, or even suspense.
When he fills with violence, his sister, Apprehension, tries to hold him down, but ultimately it’s his friend, Fear, that keeps him from fighting. When Silence is in a good mood, there’s no one better to be around. He walks with me through the woods, helps me with my work, and even sings me to sleep. However, before he leaves he usually leaves surprising gifts, such as a box of Insight.
No one is sure which side of the family Time is from, but she is at all of our gatherings. She sits in the corner with her rocker that murmurs “tick tock, tick tock,” as it rocks back and forth. Everyone tries to forget she’s there, but her rocker will not be silent… “tick tock, tick tock…”
Although her nonstop motion is unnerving, she is the life of the party; everyone gathers around when she brings out her old, battered puppets, Life and Death. Her show is so enthralling that Joy and Misery can’t sit still when one of the puppets stumbles off stage.
Death is gravely misunderstood. He dresses in black, not to frighten us, but to do his work discreetly. He doesn’t steal a person’s life; he takes the burden of it. When Death embraces someone, we can’t glimpse past his broad shoulders, so he is thought to smother them, like a breeze snuffling out a candle, but he is welcoming them to sleep in his cloaked arms.
Death doesn’t like wisping people away. He does so only to alleviate their pain. Death feels burdened by what he does, so he spends time nurturing Life’s gardens.