This is just a crazy middle of the night, strange short story that wouldn't let me sleep, so I got up and wrote it out. Yeah, I know, it's really out there, lol. Just thought I'd let you guys see what goes through my head sometimes. So without further ado, please try and enjoy my weirdness and let me know what you think. As always, the ending is a cliffy so beware, hehe. If it's crap, that's fine, just tell me. I put this up for fun, so criticize as you like. No editing done to it. Now maybe I can get some sleep, lol. Delilah
You might consider me suicidal, but I am not. Nor am I mad. I am simply, empty of emotions and tired of my beating heart, pounding, always pounding louder in my own chest. Slowly, it ticks away, reminding me of my lingering doom on a day much later than this one. Why must it prolong the inevitable? Why must everyone pretend that it is not in their future as well? It’s coming for all of us one day. The dark shadow of which they call the Grimm Reaper will appear whether we like it or not, so again, I ask, why prolong it?
I have been scathed where as my darling wife and innocent children are unscathed by the most dangerous morbid monster; death. I beg of you Reaper to allow me the chance to go out with my dignity intact and without your help. I do not require your business in my home or anywhere else, for what I have planned will only take a moment.
Heavily, it beats again as I ponder on what I have left my family. A regal home, fancying themselves with what I acquired for money. I have done my duties as a husband and father. I cannot regret that I leave them behind. I can only regret that they fancied me mad for my beliefs in death itself. I tried, oh how I tried to release them of their notion that they need not worry about death until their golden age. Its presence had surrounded us all since birth, how could they not realize such a burden had been put upon us from our very conception, I had not a clue.
Life comes at a premium price; death will always follow.
The dark calm waters of the lake, nestled in the center of few cabins, I stood alone on the dock. Knowing full well that that dark shadow that constantly lurked over my shoulder, lingering and waiting to take something from me that was truly never mine to begin with would try his hand at getting me before I could do the sick deed myself. He would not win; I would make sure of that.
I whispered to the shadow in the chilled night air.
“I know you’re out there waiting, but you cannot have me, for this body is mine and I will rightfully dispose of it to how I see fit. I will not allow you to make such a decision for me.”
My beating heart grew stronger with each passing like that of a ticking of a clock. The bell tower beat of it rang in my ears, close to causing a deafness that I did not know existed. Tick, tock it wanted to remind me. I screamed for relief that never came. My voice thwarting words that I was not aware of,
“Please, make it stop. Stop this beating heart. It aches in my chest. Why give me life, only to take it away? I have not gone mad as they all say I have. I see truth where they do not. I see only one purpose to a person’s life and that is death. We’re allowed to experience things in-between that we cherish only to realize later on that we cannot keep them for eternity. The in-between has no purpose if not allowed to keep it forever, so I ask you once, now that I stand here close to my own death; show yourself to me and answer one question, but leave me be to die of my own free will once you have answered.
By all accounts, I should have been afraid, very afraid when I heard the black shadows voice so melancholy not far from me in one direction, but in every all at once,
“You seek an answer from me, do you not?”
My shoulders slumped and my knees became weak. The powdery substance I ingested earlier was finally taking effect. I couldn’t see the lake clearly now, which told me that my eyes had become hazy. With both hands, I reached lower and lower until I could firmly touch the decrepit wooden boards beneath my very body and quietly sat on the edge, allowing my lethargic legs to carelessly hang above the still water. I readied myself for the answer I had been searching for, for so long now as I had been given the chance to ask the question that had been eating away at me from the inside out,
“Yes Shadow, I do seek an answer from you. Will you allow me to ask of it first? I know you must bore of the question by so many like me, but please let me ask it of you anyway.”
His movements were silent, but I could hear them, one solid step to another as he came closer. I dared not look up in any direction in fear that I would see him in every part of my eye sight. The beat of my heart still lingered with a pounding like a drum, but the tone had become muffled, no doubt a product of what I had taken had slowly begun to befall me.
I could hear the faint tapping of the Shadows forefinger on his chin as he weighed in my request and then, finally, he spoke,
“I will grant your request on one condition my lost friend, will you oblige?”
My thoughts rendered me useless at guessing the Shadows motive behind this, but I did want an answer to my question and my life was fading fast, so,
“Allow me to ask my question first, will you?”
“I will, but pleasantries are not needed, so hurry with your question, so I do not run out of time to ask of mine, please.”
In both ears, I could feel his breath whisper to me, “What was it about your life that saddened you enough to poison the very blood that runs through your veins?”
I had to admit the Shadows question was surprising at the very least, but my answer was short, “It wasn’t my life that saddened me at all, I loved life for everything it had given me and shown me throughout. It was death that saddened me. I do not want to die. I want to live…I want to experience everything there is about life. I want to live forever. I have answered your question in full honesty Shadow. Is it not fair for you to answer mine now?”
“Of course lost one... Before you take your last breath which is well on its way sooner than you think, ask your question.”
I heaved deeply, feeling no pain as I thought I would by now and asked of it before my heart stopped beating,
“Being born comes with the inevitable of death, why is it so?”
Motion was hard to acquire now in my slow death-like state, but I caught a glimpse of movement to my left and I slowly turned my head with what strength I had left only to see-a man. “I say, who are you?” This was no distortion of any kind. It was a man. Where was the Shadow?
“I have come to like the nickname you have given me, so I will use it, I am Shadow.”
“No, Shadow is not a mere man as I. Again, I say, who are you?”
“I am the Shadow you have longed feared that would take your life without your consent. Do you wish for me to answer your question before death succumbs you?”
Without the conscious thought of it, I assume I fabricated Shadow to resemble a man, so without further ado and death coming on fast, I said yes.
“I’m afraid my answer will not please you lost one. I am not the one that gives life a beating heart nor do I wish to be the one to take it away to those who wish to keep it within them. I am not the Reaper to all souls that perish. I am, however, without a beating heart. I am dead. I am alive. This may confuse you lost one. However, I’m afraid I do not have enough time to explain it all in detail. You must feel death coming to you. Your heartbeat is but a beat of a bird’s heart. You have only moments left lost one. Do you feel it?”
Shadow was right. I could hardly feel my limbs and I suddenly became peaceful although his answer did nothing to ease me. No longer could I hold my body upright. I began to fall, but had not a clue in which direction I was going. I closed my eyes knowing that this was it. I was going out my way and no one else’s. Shadow’s voice appeared in my ear once more. His velvety tone erected my eyes to open and what I saw was his face only an inch from mine,
“I cradle you lost one to ask a final question if you’re able to give an answer.”
I could do no more than to nod my yes. I had nothing left.
“Life without a heartbeat is possible; death could be nothing more than an illusion. A life with no end, no death could happen if you choose to accept the gift. If you were given the choice lost one, would you choose real death or a death that allows you to live forever?”
He was talking in riddles, I swear it. It was a cruel joke to play on someone so close to death. I detested his arrogance, but there was nothing now that I could do or say that would last longer than my life. I quickly tried to make sense of his outlandish ramblings and wondered if it was possible of the latter, would I want that and I found that yes, I would. Why you may ask, the answer is simple; I’ve always loved life and I wanted to enjoy it to its fullest, but I’d always known that one day, death would become me and take it all away. That was my greatest fear and still is. So while his question may have been odd in its entirety, it would be a nice way to leave this plain and start a new even if it was only a dream, a last dream that I would gladly want.
I was no longer able to keep my eyelids open when I whispered my last words to Shadow and I felt everything of whom I once was, let go all at once, peacefulness swept through me when I said,
Well done! This edited version is very poetic and it draws you into the mind of "the lost one". This story leaves you with many questions and possibilities, which is exactly what makes it such a great piece of writing! You are a talented writing and should keep on writing!
Very Faustian. I like the first one. Thanks for sharing.