Toying with some ideas on Death for an FB Group Flash Fiction comp. Hope you enjoy. It will be a longer story next year.
The girl who lived (or at least that’s what he called me) the only girl to live through the kiss of Death, possibly the only girl who ever would. How did I meet Death I hear you ask? Well, it certainly wasn’t by dying. Or even by being close to death. I met him through a man, a man that at times I would love.
You, see. I am a witch. Born into a family who has always had the gift. There was a man, one who I was sent to save, but back then. I was still bound. I didn’t know how to use my powers, although now and then they would leak out. The man, he was hurt. I barely knew him, but I couldn’t let him die. He had been attacked, trying to help me. I was being chased by something, he had rescued me. In doing so, he had been wounded. Mortally so.
I had taken him home to my mother, who had given me a lecture over being more careful. Well, I could be if you unbound me. Blasted woman. I felt guilty, even though it wasn’t really my fault. I put out to the cosmos that I was willing to trade, my years for his. Whatever I had to, just let him live. I felt an agreement, to an open ended bargain that I would later pay the price for. Whatever it was, I was grateful as moments later life flowed back into the man. I had done my part, as I watched my mother brag of her skills.
After that day, a mysterious tutor came to me. Dressed in dark clothes, looking timeless yet still young at the same time. It took me months of sitting cross legged on my bed as the man helped to unpeel the bindings on my body. As he gave me advice on basic spells, literally the 101 of protection charms. Sometimes he would ask me to do him favours. Small things, pass a message, do a crystal charm, go somewhere and wait for him.
Over time, we became friendly. One day, I suddenly realised I had never asked his name. Nor had he ever given me one. He noticed my distraction, asked me what I thought of. I asked his name, and he smiled like he had been waiting for it. He rattled off a number of names, He who walks forever, He who is ever living, the master of eternity among others. I didn’t really understand, although there was something about one of them that caught at me. I could feel the cogs turning in my head as I looked straight into his eyes and asked the question that would change my life. “Are you trying to tell me that you are the Grim Reaper?”
I felt him sigh. “Yes, that is one of my names certainly.” His grip on my hands tightened as I processed this, “Please, try not to have a heart attack my dear. It is most troublesome to have to keep bringing people back.”
“Heart attack?!” I screamed, “Heart attack? This is frigging amazing! I am holding hands with the Grim Reaper!!! This is so cool!!”
He stared at me, seemingly at a loss for words. Long moments later he did eventually manage to speak. “That is an answer I have never had before. In an existence as long as mine, it is hard to find a reaction that is a surprise to me.”
We became friends, I used to call him Joe after that romance film. I even asked him once if he had anything to do with the movie. He didn’t deny it exactly, just made comments a few people had longer candle lives then they had before the film had been made.
The day he gave me the kiss was the most surprising of them all. The man I had once saved and my mother were bartering for the life of a soul. One who had done wrong, but it wasn’t his fault. Joe was the judge over if the soul would live or die. The others knew nothing of our ‘friendship’. He looked over at me and asked me what I thought of the matter. I gave a speech, long winded perhaps. I pointed out that the lack of obedience of the soul was due to the fact the upper powers had allowed it to bond with a human, giving it that little hint of questioning everything. If that allowed bond had made it the way it now was, then surely that was the mistake of the upper beings to allow it to happen in the first place. Therefore the creature could not be blamed for something that was now in its nature because of that. Which means, he should live and be allowed to fully explore who and what he now was.
I waited while the verdict was given. In the favour of the soul to live, due to my testimony alone. A moment after this was when the kiss happened. It wasn’t much, just a brush of lips against my forehead. “My lady, no one survives my kiss. However, tonight, you deserve to.”