Death’s Lost Love
The recently desolated land stunk of fresh smoke, burnt flesh, and faintly of fear; the cold sweating, adrenaline rushing, moments-before-death, kind of fear-scent. The air itself tasted like coal and blood-iron, a flavor of wind usually found near butcheries and blacksmiths. There was no sound. No birds, bugs, or people. Only Death, cloaked in ruby and ebony silks. He stood still, looming over the scorched meadows in which lay the results of the massacre. Twisted bodies, torn and bleeding, were left untouched; they were left for the wolves to dispose of. Lining the meadows were blackened and splintering trees; in the distance, green fire still ate the woods, growing wider and stronger with each branch it consumed.
Death leaned on his scythe, a motion in which he found himself enacting on more often. He was getting old. His life began with the birth of Humanity, and his life would end with it. He was tied to it, and he could feel it dying—he could feel The End approaching. He wasn’t afraid of fading into the Blackness he came from, but of where his Resting Place resided. Was there even such a place for Death? His memory did not extend before the humans’ creation; he couldn’t be sure.
He lived a very long, exhausting existence. When he was first created he fell in love with Humanity and took tender care of his work. But he had watched it grow colder, uglier—he watched with the utmost sorrow as his love broke his heart. And now, after countless centuries, his remorse had darkened into a hatred. He felt as hollow as the husk he once loved.
His bright eyes, like two blue fireflies in the midst of his skull, flickered upwards towards a movement in the meadow. A similarly colored, transparent silhouette sat up from their corresponding corpse. It lacked any distinctive traits—all spirits looked the same. It swiveled its head around and met the eyes of Death. There was an exchange between them, an unspoken acknowledgment. Then, other spirits began to sit up from their bodies, looking around at the land they died on.
Death waited as they stood, gathered themselves, and turned to him. When he had their complete attention, he spoke. He had a speech he’d say, one he said to every spirit since the Beginning, but he didn’t recite it this time. “You do this,” he waved a hand jerkily, motioning to the burning woods and the dead around them, “Why?”
There was a great silence while he awaited a response. His cold eyes rested on each soul individually; they shrunk away from his burning gaze. “I have served you to the best of my ability, cared for you the only way I can, and you tear yourself apart. Why?”
“What else would we do?”
The quiet response came from one of the souls towards the back left of the meadow. Death could only stare. The answer struck him as sharply and painfully as any mortal wound would a human. Yes, The End was near. Humanity’s beauty had faded, its passion for Life died, and now it was left empty. All it could do was destroy itself and simmer out, a direct and dark contrast to its Beginning. He felt a shock of remembrance of his love, his wonder, and his tenderness for his work. With that feeling came the realization of all that he had lost.
Hot, stinging tears fell from his eyes. He stared at the meadows and the line of trees as hundreds more souls began to gather before him. He smelled and tasted the aftermath of fear and wretchedness, listened to the sound of distant fire crackling and destroying.
Death fell to his knees, dropping his scythe, and buried his face into his hands. His cries and choked sobs rang out into the spirit world, shaking every soul to their core. All they could do was watch him, and all he could do was weep; weep for the loss of Humanity’s essence.
About the Creator
I’ve been a storyteller for as long as I can remember. Every chance I could get I was either writing, drawing, or telling anyone who’d listen my stories. Throughout high school I self published three books on Amazon. Enjoy my short stories!
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