This time, I’ll let this story speak for itself without any preface. But don’t forget to leave your comments below!
We’ve been through so much. It pains me to see you this way now… After all these years. You’re gray. Your skin is ashen. Once you were young and vibrant! I remember it. The Great War took some light from your eyes, but they still glowed. Lucille restored you to yourself like nothing else ever did. I think… I think her death set you on this road. It’s been six hard years for you. For us both.
I hold myself back now. I’m forced to. Your body is shutting down, and I’ve been told it’s your time. I think it’s out of our hands, Lucas. But I’m distraught. This room. Dark, musty, lit only by a rainy sky splashing against the tiny window. Your bed is small, cold, and stiff. You deserve better, Lucas. You deserved so much more than what you got in life. And now in death.
The day you were born, the day I was assigned to you, was the happiest I thought I’d ever be. Brown eyes, beautiful amber skin. Your mother would have been so proud of you the year you made it to first grade. Well, she was proud, watching from above. She still is, even today. You always handled yourself well, making my guidance easier, and I know your father appreciated it. You always overcame obstacles, even your young adversary in high school. He used to force you into the trash can. I think he stole your towel once, and then he made you chase him outside. What was his name? I guess it doesn’t much matter now… You were friends before the end.
Oh, the nurse is here. She looks concerned, Lucas, but don’t worry. If you can see right now, just ignore it. I’ll settle on the bed next to you, if you don’t mind. Just…try to wake up.
No. I can’t ask you to do that. It’s not my place. It’s just that I remember so well how things used to be. The trenches were a trying time, I’ll admit. When your plane went down, I was with you. I ensured you came out alive, a few burns in, and yet you immediately took to the ground-level warfare. It’s who you are. You’ve never given up, Lucas. You’ve never backed down. I only wish that you could go on until you got just one more chance. But, I shouldn’t dwell. They’ll be here for you soon.
Should I fight for you, Lucas? Should I fend them off? I’d be willing to. It’s not my place, but I’d do it.
“Everything looks fine,” the nurse says. Hmm… We can appreciate the kind words. She doesn’t understand. How could she? The human eye is blind to my hand, Lucas. Even your eyes, shine as they might, cannot see our work beyond the veil. Lucille could peer through on occasion, but you never took to her beliefs. You may not realize it, but the prayers she sent up every day are what carried you through the Great War, what gave me the strength to pull you from that plane crash. And when we came back to London, it was Lucille’s prayers that brought you your only child. You often blame yourself for her illness. I’d hear you when you’d weep for her, unable to extend the invitation you needed to. But it wasn’t your fault… It wasn’t. She had others praying, but it was her time.
I suppose it’s too late for all this, Lucas. As I’ve been speaking the shadows have crept through the walls, the passage has been formed. Your reaper will be here soon.
Tell me now, Lucas! I know I’m not supposed to, I know you can’t feel me squeeze your shoulders, but please tell me if you’d like me to fight. Please wake up, Lucas! For only a moment more. Wake up just long enough to answer me. I’m mournful, scared — I’m trembling, Lucas — can’t you tell?
Of course not… Of course you can’t. I’ll pull back.
I think I’ll request a different post after this, if Michael will hear me. Do you think I should? I’m not sure I could handle another life, Lucas. I’m so…so weak.
They’re here. They’ve only sent one reaper for you, because you’re a timid harvest. You’re a fading soul. I’m not supposed to cry, but–
I can’t let it happen, Lucas. I must fight.
The reaper is rising from the shadow now, like smoke from a fire. His cloak is all encompassing, and his scythe is larger than myself. I draw my sword. Its light is giving the reaper pause, but the shadowy being is closing in on you anyway, Lucas.
“Step aside, Aviram,” the reaper says to me.
“I can’t, Koresh” I answer. Lucas, I act only for you. The reaper approaches with force, but I drive him back with my sword against his scythe. We’ve hit the wall, Lucas, momentarily breaking the barrier between us and your world. The nurse is entering again to check on the disturbance…
Hold on, Lucas. Hold on. Your soul senses the reaper’s presence. Your body is trying to let go.
“That’s enough,” Koresh says to me, shoving me back with his scythe. I won’t give up, Lucas. I won’t give up. I attack again, but the reaper has read my advance. He’s pinned me, Lucas. The nurse is calling for the doctor.
“Please, Koresh,” I plea.
“It’s not my choice,” he answers, and he releases me.
He’s right. I’ve allowed him passed me, Lucas… I’m sorry. The room is full of doctors and nurses now, and Koresh hovers over you. He extends his scythe into your chest. “It’s not personal,” he says to me. Your soul releases in a flash of light that knocks the reaper’s hood off to reveal his skeletal appearance, and you’re gone.
When he lifts his scythe again, your soul is on it, Lucas. He takes it in his hand, and our world falls silent.
“Clear,” the doctor calls, pressing the defibrillator onto your body’s chest.
“I wish I didn’t care so much,” I cry.
“You’re supposed to, Aviram. You’re a guardian angel,” Koresh says to me.
“He deserved more. He deserved more time.”
“He was out of chances. You knew that. But, maybe your next life will end differently.”
“No… I don’t think it will…” I whisper.
“You’re requesting a different position?” Koresh doesn’t look at me. He can’t. But I can tell there’s concern on his face. Concern for me, but not for you, Lucas.
“Clear,” the doctor calls again.
“All of them do after their first soul,” Koresh adds. “I’ve heard the choir is nice. Ask Michael about that instead, hm?” I place my sword back on my back, but I remain quiet. The reaper nods. “I can’t bless you, Aviram…but I hope all goes well.” He pulls his hood back over his pale head and disintegrates into dust.
“Clear,” the doctor says once more.
I sink to the cold ground, holding my arms around my chest. You’re gone, Lucas.
“Time of death is 3:40am,” the doctor announces.
Today, January 21st, is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I want to take a minute and voice my adoration for this wonderful man. MLK was, and continues to be, an inspiration to mankind. He put God, the people, and the love of others above all else, and gave his life to the cause. A while ago I wrote a story called The Ultimate Measure, named for one of King’s speeches, about how racism effects young people and how young people can affect change. Give it a read if you want to, but either way, stay in a state of appreciation today as we celebrate the life of a man who was willing to fight for what was right.
If you want to read some more stories and poetry, head over to the Quick Reads page to find them. Last week I posted a poem called Always For You, and the week before that was Ağrı Dağı, a short story about a man coming face to face with God.
Comment, like, and share to spread the reads, and have a great week!
There was a small portal there, behind the old desk, and Jonah was about to find it.
(Don’t forget that you can send your prompt results in for a chance to get them shared on this blog!)