Death comes to me in the form of a teenage boy...
Death comes in the form of a teenage boy, with hair as brown as chestnuts roasting over an open fire, and eyes as purple as dusk on a winter’s evening. I stand on the ledge with arms wide open, the thought of my imminent demise sending adrenaline rushing through me like an electric surge. It’s enough to have me shivering in the biting cold that threatens to freeze my bones.
He appears out of nowhere and squats beside me, dressed all in black with a grin like that of a Cheshire cat. He watches me from the corner of his eye, then looks down and gives a whistle of appreciation. It’s clear he is mocking me, but I can do nothing. My fate is sealed.
“Who are you?” I ask, although I know the answer. He shrugs and then laughs, a bottomless sound filled with darkness. I can smell the hopelessness that surrounds him, a pungent scent that has me doubting my somewhat rash decision.
“Why bother with the preliminaries?” he replies with a wink, nods his head and points towards the earth. “Fall and break your skull, my dear. Your soul is mine to keep.”
A sudden waft of a strong breeze and my precious hold on life teeters dangerously. I cling to the steel fence, his taunting laughter swallowing me whole. His teeth, so white against the black, seem to grow longer with feral intensity, but I must be seeing things for he’s back to normal again. As normal as he can be.
He pulls out a notepad and flicks out a pen with a flourish. He licks the tip and opens its pages, mouthing out names that mean nothing to me.
“Ah, here we go,” he mutters and frowns. “Samantha Miles. You should have fallen five minutes ago. Perhaps I shouldn’t have appeared to you in person, for my presence seems to leave you in doubt. Damn it all to hell and back.”
He lifts his gaze to glare at me, angry depths of dark purple almost turning black. He sighs and gets to his feet, his long hair trailing behind him like a sadistic master’s whip. “Or perhaps I should push you and end it myself.”
“No!” The word is wrenched from my throat, which feels dry and parched as a desert in summer. He glances at me over his shoulder, a smirk of cunning filling his countenance.
“What’s this?” he mocks and takes a step towards me. “What happened to the woman who wanted to end her life? What is life but a mockery of what awaits you on the other side? Don’t you want to see the glorious riches of the after life?”
“In hell,” I whisper and gladly suffer his derision. He throws an arm across my shoulders, leaning toward me like we’re the best of friends.
“Yes, in hell,” he replies with a wink. “Where I stay, my delectable young friend. Come with me and experience pleasures you’ve only dreamed of.”
“I don’t think–"
“But that’s the thing!” he bellows and pulls away, waving his hands about like a pastor in the throes of his sermon. “You humans don’t think much, do you? Do you know how many souls I’ve taken today alone? And there sits Life, the fat blubbering slob! She can’t even put up a good fight! Each time we place a bet, she always loses, and you want to know why? It’s because she’s too dull to see what’s right before her. That these humans really need her, and yet she’s barely able to hang on. Ah, such foolhardy behavior.”
“But what?” he snaps impatiently.
“I’m still alive, which means that Life must be somewhere near.”
He smirks and takes another step closer. My breathing becomes constricted, my feet barely hanging on. My palms are slick with sweat, my vision becoming blurry. He seems to loom over me, a dark figure sucking the very air that I now long to breathe. Was I a fool to come this far? To throw my life away for someone else? I prayed for death a million times while trapped beneath the burnt remains of the small plane; flirted, courted and wooed it to consume me. I longed for its redemption, to rescue me from the empty void that my life had now become. How could I go on living, knowing I was the one responsible for the death of so many? How could I look another in the eye, knowing that my blood-stained hands would never be washed of my sins? How could I justify my role in this war, my need to comply with the choking noose of leaders who claim they fight for peace?
“Doubts and fears cloud your mind,” Death whispers into my ear. I shiver in response, but not from the cold. He’s temptation itself and I’m powerless to his strength. “Just close your eyes and let me take what is mine.”
My lashes grow heavy, his lips moving closer. There’s a smell of sweet nectar, fresh air and false happiness. I moan and hold on tightly to something akin to sanity, but his low husky chuckle is nearly my undoing, as he eagerly longs to give me that final kiss.
With all my might I try to fight it, this seductive spell he weaves over me. A full lower lip, moist as he licks it, slowly teasing, captured between his teeth. I long to do that, to have a taste, but I remember this inner battle of mine, the unwillingness to compromise. He seems to sense this and his brows furrow with impatience. A growl and his fingers sink into my hair, tugging it backwards to reveal my throat to his gaze. A breathless gasp escapes my lips as he grazes sharp canines against my flesh, cold sweat breaking out on my brow as we continue this precarious dance of his.
“Not long now,” he murmurs and sucks hard enough to elicit a scream at the pleasure, oh sweet torture he inflicts upon me.
“You will belong to me.”
“Oh, yes,” he breathes, his tongue settling in the hollow of my neck. He licks, I whimper. Mind hazy, growing lust.
Please save me, I plead, desperation eventually creeping in, and yet my blood-stained hands rise of their own accord to sink into his thick tresses, pulling him tighter to me. His laughter rumbles against my flesh, for he knows he has won. There was really no doubt about that from the beginning. I was stalling for time.
My clothes flutter in the wind like gossamer wings and fall to the earth below. And as our feet lift off the ground, I moan in complete surrender, losing myself in this moment of self-sacrifice. He is merciless, ruthless, and unforgiving. His hands rough and demanding, taking all of me. I am wanton and helpless, listening to his low grunts of pleasure as he fills me completely. Our coupling is frantic, surreal, a mixture of hunger and unquestionable lust…and yet, there is an inexplicable warmth I cannot comprehend. It flows from my chest, deep within my heart, my hands holding on tightly to his strong arms for fear I will fall from its intensity. I hear his surprised gasp at the sudden turn of events and watch as those dark eyes flicker with uncertainty.
“You cannot do this to me,” he whispers as I cup his cheeks within my palms. I can see worlds floating within his depths. How beautiful. How simply breathtaking he is. “You cannot do this to me! Damn you!”
His roar is filled with need, a raw emotion torn from his throat which sends my insides quivering with wonder and awe. I seem to be floating away from him, a lightness and freedom I have always longed for overwhelming this body of mine. I watch him make another desperate attempt for me, but his figure grows smaller by the second. I feel bereft, at loss, and long for his touch again. My morbid fascination with this creature threatens to overwhelm all rational thinking. However, I am soon enveloped within a tender warmth as Life breathes into me and whispers in my ear.
“Live,” she whispers. “You must live. For there is someone waiting for you, Samantha. Someone waits for you…”
Her voice fades away like the wind, but it’s soon replaced by a much stronger voice that seems to creep from the shadows. My name is called over and over again.
It’s a gentle nudge on my shoulder that gets bolder and more incessant. With a jerk, I’m wide awake and staring into the bemused and yet wary countenance of my companion, the nuzzle of my gun pointed squarely at his nose. He slowly holds up his hands in surrender, eyes as purple as the dusk of a winter’s day, wide at my rude greeting.
“We have to suit up,” he finally says with a trace of a smile on his lips. “You were sleeping like the dead. Took some time to…but seriously, must you sleep with that gun under your pillow? You might end up blowing your brains out one of these days.”
And you would like that, wouldn’t you? I muse ruefully. Any opportunity to claim me, Mikey.
I lower my weapon slowly, glad to hide the trembling of my hands. He cannot see how much his presence affects me. To know that my dreams are filled with his image. He cannot see that I know what he really is, and what his company in the real world means to me. I know it is impossible to escape Death’s lure, for he is everywhere with me. My comrade. My partner. My nemesis. My passion. Our lonesome tango for all eternity.
“You coming?” he asks as he slips on his gloves. There’s a light smirk on his face, a knowing look in his eyes.
With a small smile, I rise to my feet, knowing it’s useless to ignore the inevitable. For although Life might have won the first battle waged within me, Death is patient and will wait…
(You belong to me)
…for as long as it takes.