Using A Prompt From Here.
I lay at the foot of this tree. This tree that had cleaved my truck in two nearly straight through bumper to bumper.
I could not for the life of me remember what happened, how I had ended up here. I smelled the fire, smoke floating away from me. Thick meaty blood coated my mouth, dribbling seemingly from … every and any place it could exit my broken body.
I heard Death calling, singing out to me. Her voice came to me soft, sultry, husky. A terrifying lounge singer serenading me in a most electrifying manner.
I knew. My time to depart neared. My heart tripped over the beats, stumbling and skipping as it slowed. The pain ebbed away, not returning, as if the tide called it away. It was time for me to go. To say I was grateful for the reprieve would have been such an understatement at that moment.
And then, Death arrived.
She, robed in crimson, staff in hand, Herself a Scythe, ready to reap me and gather me away. Such edible beauty. Such child-like cunning in those gleaming emerald eyes. I noticed the spray of freckles splattered across both Her cheeks and Her nose. I smiled to myself, prepared to sink into Her darkness, to float away, or walk, or whatever it was She demanded of me.
She snatched at my shattered arm, like a mother grabbing up a child in mid-tantrum, hard grip, ruthless, and every single drop of pain shot through me anew.
I screamed, a motion that caused my throat to implode with the ferocity of an erupting volcano. Tears spilled. Blood spilled. Death dragged me from my sodden spot and thrust me forcibly against the trunk of the great oak tree.
“You.” Lips curled back, spitting in my face as She growled at me. I leaned precariously into the tree, Her will pinning me in place, daring my body to collapse. “I’ve been waiting for you.”
And then, more terrifying than anything else this night, She smiled at me. A compassionate winning oh-so-terrible grin. As if this random meeting of ours had indeed become the highlight of Her previously boring night.
My soul, poor dear, trembled, because my body shut down, unable to continue to force life from one bit to the next. I could not speak. I dare not try. I waited. This was Death Herself. What else could I do?
“I have a deal for you.” She gave me a shake. Maybe She wanted to see if my head would literally fall off my neck as She did it. The blistering agony convinced me that that would be the best thing to happen. Alas…it was not to be…Her gaze drilled into mine, past mine, through my addled brain, out the other side where the hole was that used to be my skull.
“Work for me,” She shook me once more–how did I not vomit on Her dainty bare feet is beyond me, “and I shall take away all this hurt…and give you the life that one such as you deserves.
“Uh-oh. ‘One such as me.’ Did Death wish me to embrace those powers that traveled century past century, through one ancestor to the next, whether buried deep in the soul or exploited to the fullest, to do Her bidding? I, as I had no real choice in the matter, remained silent. Yet the small bird of my soul fluttered where my beating heart once pumped…a subtle fleeting gesture…a bid for…life…I knew.
As did Death, apparently. Her beatific smile turned to ice in victory. She spat some dark-colored substance into her free hand. This She smeared into my eyes. I could not see, thankfully, however, the pain again swam away from me.
Her lips touched mine, so soft, so gentle, She kissed me, injecting something thick, gelatinous, vile into my mouth, down my throat. I swayed under the weight of the pressure as this substance drooled into me.
I heard a *SNAP*…and it was over. Death let me stand, allowed me to support myself. I took one tentative step towards Her. Still, I had no words to speak. She knew I now belonged to Her, belonged in Her world and no other.
I refrained from looking back, knowing what battered bits of my body remained behind. One life ended. A new life begun. It was time for me to remember the old songs my grandmother had sung to me.
Despite everything, especially everything I had been told by family and foe alike, I felt myself relax. My heart gladdened. This is truly what I had been born to do. No one told me I would have to die first to embrace it
.But…here I am. I love it.