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Death and Death's Medicine: Part two of Death
Death softly held the soul in his hand, a pained, sad expression on his gentle features. The soul glowed and ebbed with that soft, warm, iridescent light that was quite particular to the souls of the young. Death sighed softly, stroked the soul, and continued writing its report.
“Andy Pearson, Age: 17, Cause of Death: Self, Destination: Lake of Eternal Despair.”
Death let a small tear roll down his cheek. He absolutely hated sending souls to The Lake but, it had to be done. He gently filed the report and vanished the young Andy to his destination. He took a deep steadying breath and placed the ever familiar cold, business like demeanor back into his face, his shoulders, and the hard line of his mouth. He tugged on his all black suit to rid it of its wrinkles and stood. He had work to do in the mortal world. In his head, a soft, sweet voice echoed throughout his thoughts.
“You don’t have work to do, you just want to see HER again,” Life giggled, “she’s really pretty, huh?” “Shut it.” Snarled Death as a soft blush crept into his pale cheeks. He didn’t need Life’s shenanigans at the moment. “Death and random mortal girl, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G …” Life burst into bell-like laughter as Death’s cheeks grew even more warm and red. Death smacked his own head. “Shut up, before I remove you like the tumor you are!!” Immediately, Life was silent and Death breathed a sigh of relief.
Death strolled down the streets of New York, taking great caution to avoid the sludge puddles and hobos who had pick pocketed him more than once. Death may have been immortal, but he was not all-knowing. The scents of the city almost overwhelmed him even though he’d been here before. The scent of churros, gasoline, mud, garbage cans, and pollution filled his nostrils. He coughed as he breathed in some second-hand smoke from a couple of office women on a cigarette break and glared coldly at them. The women started at him, in a half awed, half stunned way … but then, so did almost everyone else near him. He tended to draw attention. His mom, Mother Nature, had always praised his looks. As an adult, he neither flaunted nor cared for them but was aware he was in possession of them. His raven black hair was always in a very windswept style and his eyes were a pale blue, framed with gorgeous dark lashes. He nodded discreetly to the young women, causing their lifelines to appear above their heads. ‘Hm … about 40 years left for each of them’ he thought, ‘they’ll only live to about 60.’ This information made his head bow in agony, back in his youth; people had lived to nice, ripe old ages. Death growled faintly and continued on his way, pushing past the crowds, trying to reach the side of town where the suburbs were located. Suburbs were what he loved most about the mortal world. He loved watching the happy, loving families in their homes by the fireplace or listening to the neighborhood dogs communicate and snuffle to each other through the wooden fences. He loved the smell of the sun baked cement, the feel of the crunchy leaves underfoot in fall, and the soft chill of winter that set in right before snow was to blanket the lovely homes. He smiled as he turned into Marley Street … feeling like a child as he avoided the cracks in the sidewalk by what felt like difficult aerial jumps, twists, and turns.
“You’re SO much better when there is no one around.” Life whispered cautiously, causing a faint ringing in Death’s mind. He stopped his childish play at the comment and grit his teeth, continuing on his way. Life, sensing Death’s frustration, withdrew into the confines of his mind yet again. Death’s shoulders were yet again stiff, his face unreadable. Children sensed the business like demeanor of the stranger and were quiet as he strode by, their innocent wide eyes reflecting fear and awe.
He swept onto the small court that was his destination. The court consisted of a few, small homes that looked as if they belonged to low wage employees or college students. Death trod a well worn path that weaved and kept him out of sight. This path led to a soft red brick dwelling with a shingled roof, an old chimney that streamed a small line of smoke, and a beautiful well kept garden. Death snuck through this very garden careful not to step on any tulips or gardenias, they were his favorites; and softly peered through the back window. He was careful that he could not be seen as he searched the house for HER. Then, with a soft blush of remembrance, he spotted her. His heart beat a steady rhythm that sent a lump to his throat and made his cheeks as red as her roses. She was doing dishes, smiling and talking on the phone to someone who obviously made her very happy, perhaps her mother. His gaze admired her shiny, beautiful strawberry blonde hair that at that moment was pulled into a ponytail. Her eyes practically made his heart stop when they met his (which they had done a few times). At first glance her eyes appeared brown but Death knew better, he saw the soft caramel lines through the brown, the amber circle closer to her pupils and knew that when she peered into the sun, they almost appeared golden. He watched her pretty, soft pink lips that were pulled into a beautiful smile at most times but when she was upset, they pulled into a pucker and her lower lip trembled … nearly breaking Death’s heart at the sight. Everything about her was beautiful, from head to toe. Death’s loud, happy sigh made her blink in confusion and turn around, searching for the source of the sound. Caught unexpected, Death blushed and yelled in surprise, stumbling backward then falling right on his behind; ruining his favorite suit with the dirt. His eyes closed in pain and fear, heart beating to a different rhythm now, the rhythm of the song “You’re screwed.” This wasn’t allowed, he wasn’t supposed to fall in love with mortals … it was against the Immortal Code. It was the worst digression he could make in the Fate Sister’s eyes. If she fell in love back and they were found out, she’d be killed and then he’d be forced to destroy her soul himself. He couldn’t bear that … he couldn’t bear that; he couldn’t bear that, he cou-
His thoughts and heart stopped at the sound of her melodious voice. He opened his eyes slowly, seeing her beautiful, heart rending face close to his.
“Sir, are you okay?”
He had imagined this moment from the first time he had ever laid eyes on her months ago … had imagined himself saying ‘hi’ and perhaps smiling in a suave way. He had imagined her swooning at his masculinity, his level headed and awesome way of introducing himself. In every situation, Death had been charming and knew exactly what to say. He opened his mouth to say this very masculine and cool thing.
“My butt hurts.”
Her eyes blinked in confusion and Death’s cheeks colored in embarrassment. “Real suave.” Life whispered snarkily in his mind and he hissed in an angry breath. He heard a small giggle and looked at her in astonishment. Her mouth was pulled into a beautiful smile and her dark eyes sparkled in amusement. “We’ll get that fixed up right away; I have some ice packs in my freezer. Would you like to come inside?” she said, trying to control her laughter for the sake of his pride. Death nodded in bemused amazement and she helped him to his feet, leading him carefully back inside and onto the velvety couch. He winced as his sore bottom touched the couch material then sighed in relief as the pain left him. The woman busied herself in the kitchen, preparing the ice pack then wrapping it neatly in a cute pink kitchen towel. She walked over and handed him the pack which he promptly placed under him, letting out another relieved sigh and a half whispered thank you. “You’re welcome,” she said, smiling, “by the way, my name’s Laura … may I have the pleasure of knowing yours?” Death hesitated a second, nervously weighing his options. He could introduce himself, become her friend and nothing more … or completely erase her memory and run for the hills.
“My name’s Jack.”
Laura smiled. “That’s a lovely name.”
In the next few weeks, Death aka Jack, visited Laura every single day. Every single day he walked that well worn track, he walked through that familiar front door, he had tea with her, and slowly, ever so slowly, fell more and more in love with her. He couldn’t help it. Every day he resolved to go over and erase her memory before he would take his daily visit and every single freaking day … he couldn’t bear to do it. As soon as they would exchange their customary hug and hello, worries of the Fate Sisters and breaking the rules slowly melted away from the warmth of her presence. As they talked about classical music, books, and shared ideas with one another, Death’s frustration about their situation could edge its way into his voice, causing Laura to ask if he was okay. His constant answer of yes, accompanied by a smile, always assuaged her concerns.
One bright sunny Friday morning, they were discussing political and governmental ideas. She was in full swing of a rant about her political beliefs while Death, half listening and half thinking, was interrupted by one of Life’s irritating interludes. “You should ask her out, you know, to dinner.” Life’s soft nudging prompted a sour look on Death’s face. Laura’s bottom lip stuck out, misinterpreting his expression.
“You don’t agree?”
“I’m sorry, what?” Death immediately snapped back to reality and faced the upset look he hated seeing on her face. She folded her arms and pouted. “You don’t agree with my political standing?” She said, slightly testily.
“Oh! No no no! I do!” He immediately diverted the situation and said in a hurry, “I was just thinking about something as you said it. I’m sorry.”
“What were you thinking about?” she questioned disbelievingly, eyebrow raised.
Death fumbled for an answer and immediately one popped into his head, by divine intervention or by Life intervention he didn’t know, but he’d take it. “Laura, would you like to go to dinner tonight?” She blinked in surprise and Death automatically regretted it, he was so stupid. “I-I mean only if you want to … you don’t ha-“
“I’d love to go!”
Death stopped mid sentence, surprised. “R-really?” he asked, stunned. “Of course! She smiled, “eight sound okay?” Death’s heart jumped and did acrobatic tricks as he barely was able to get out his yes. Life, sounding smug and self gratified, popped in his ever so helpful peanut gallery comment.
“Course, you’re going to need to get cleaned up, scruffy.”
Death rang Laura’s doorbell promptly at 7:59. “You’re so OCD.” Life mumbled. “Shut it.” Death hissed and Life grew silent, though murderous rumblings emitted from his mind continuously. He rolled his eyes and waited nervously, messing with his hair and checking his teeth to make sure he looked okay. The door gently creaked open and out stepped Laura, looking radiant in an adorable summer dress, her hair curled. Death forgot how to breathe for a moment and when he finally was able to suck in some oxygen, the first thing that came out of his mouth was an interesting noise between a gasp and “whoa.” She giggled, blushing, “Waaahooo to you too.” She laughed. He gathered his wits, blushing like an idiot and smiled. “What I meant was, you look beautiful tonight.” He smiled in victory as the comment made her smile shyly.
Dinner was an absolute success, jokes were exchanged, wine was sipped, and conversation was easy to come by. Death had never, ever in all his time spent existing, felt this normal. He was just a normal man in love. No depressing job, no annoying split personality, no worry about their imminent doom … just wonderful conversation and two people falling for each other over candlelight. As he dropped her off. He received his first kiss. It was different than he had imagined, warm, easy, inviting, and so natural. He held her close as long as he possibly could then gently pulled away and said his goodbye, promising to be back tomorrow.
Unfortunately, this promise would never be fulfilled.
“DEATH!!!!!!!!!!” A loud shriek pierced through his dark slumber, jolting him up in bed. His heart raced as his eyes adjusted to the smothering blackness and finally took in the image of the three young women at the foot of his bed. Death’s mind didn’t completely register the identity of these beautiful women right away and as soon as it clicked, his heart practically stopped. The Fate Sisters.
Lachius cleared her throat, “You obviously know why we’re here Death.”
Death was silent.
“Under decree of the Immortal Code we hereby …” started Clotho, the redhead.
“No …,” whispered Death, feeling his eyes burning and his heart sinking.
“We hereby state the Death sentence for Laura Johnson …” continued Lachius.
“N-no …,” said Death, slightly louder, wiping at his eyes with the back of his hand … part of him flinching at the realization that there was a slight wetness on the hand.
“and declare her immediate execution and soul destruction.” Finished Clotho, waving her pale hand in the air and causing a sleepy looking Laura to appear. The third mute, Fate sister pulled out Laura’s golden life thread and a pair of scissors with the Sister’s insignia stamped into them.
“NO!” screamed Death, rushing to his feet and towards them, all too late.
The sound of the scissors and the broken thread seemed to echo around the room, Laura falling to the ground. Death gently caught her before she hit the hard wooden floor … his eyes burning with overwhelming tears. He shook her gently, sobs choking her name as he murmured it, begging for her to open her eyes. His body trembled softly in grief, heart suddenly empty … every cell in his body knowing she was dead but yet, not quite wanting to believe it. Her soul gently exited, naturally floating towards Death who caught it with one hand. He couldn’t do it … but he had to.
“You know what to do Death.” Murmured Lachius quietly.
In his own mind, or rather heart, turmoil raged. All his instincts, what he had been created to do screamed for him to just do it. But as he felt the warm, lavender pulse of the beautiful soul in his hand, an alien thought entered his mind, and this time it was not Life. He felt sorrow, remorse, agony. With Laura, these human emotions had entered him. With her in his existence, he had truly and deeply felt, love. A supposedly weak, human emotion.
“No?” Clotho’s eyebrows rose in disbelief, “Death it is your duty.”
Lachius’s eyes narrowed, “Do it NOW Death.”
Death’s eyes burned and his ragged heart thudded faintly, he whispered, “Please … give her more time … oh god please. I’ll do anything.”
This time it was the resounding ‘no’ that echoed from the Fate Sisters.
Lachius sighed, “I don’t want to have to do this Death, but I guess I have to.” Her hand rose, and squeezed into a fist.
Death whimpered faintly as his grip was tightened forcibly on the soul by Lachius. His empty heart raced as his hand tightened and tightened. He tried to ignore the scream of pain that emitted from Laura’s soul as the pressure became unbearable. His eyes squeezed shut tightly, tears leaking and rolling down his cheeks.
And as the soul shattered, so did Death’s heart.
Death’s Medicine: Part 2 of Death
By Breanna Burden
Death sat at his desk … eyes sunken into his head, dark circles ringing them. His desperate fingers gripped at the pencil that he used to write the orders and paperwork for the soul that stood before him. He stopped and stared up at the corner where his scythe lay along with his robes that draped lazily over it. He choked softly at the bilge rising in his throat from the unwelcome sight of it. A year later and he still wasn’t over it, wasn’t over the fact that she was gone. Laura. Her name caused pain throughout his entire body … especially the empty cavity that was his chest. If he had not been immortal, killing her would’ve killed him. He couldn’t think of anything but that moment … the moment when his fingers had wrapped about her precious pulsing soul. When he had heard her screams as she cracked and shattered, when he had collapsed because of the pain in his stilled heart, he swore that he would do whatever it took to bring her back. He was Death, there had to have been a way. But after a long year of searching his books, revisiting history, concocting potions … he knew there was no way she would ever be back in his arms. His long searches had been in vain and he had wept bitterly. But now, he had to own up to the fact that he had been neglecting his duties and the tall stacks of paperwork were testimony to that. Many souls had been waiting in anguish for him to place them in their proper afterlives. His guilt was added to by the cries of the pained souls who had been waiting. He sighed and tossed the soul half heartedly into the air where it vanished with an exclamation of relief and joy. He rubbed his eyes and whimpered softly when he realized how tired he was.
“You really aren’t yourself anymore are you?” Life said sadly.
Death froze; Life hadn’t spoken up since Laura’s death. Death had thought that with her disappearance he had lost all hope, which included the irritatingly happy voice in Death’s subconscious. His other half.
“What the hell are you doing back here?” Death’s voice rumbled with anger and pain. His voice also rang soft with accusation. His fingers dug into the wood of his desk and trembled gently, unwelcome flashbacks making themselves present in his mind’s eye.
“I-I wanted to help … I actually needed to talk to you about something …,” Life said cautiously, “there’s a young immortal you need to help, he’s in the same situation as you were a year ago and he doesn’t want to lose his loved one. Can you help him? H-he’s desperate.” Life’s attitude and snotty demeanor were all gone; he seemed terribly sad and desolate. Death sighed softly, shrugging his shoulders to get the kinks out. “Alright who’s this distraught immortal who is need of my help?”
Suddenly in a soft burst of light, a figure appeared. He was the spitting image of Death, the only differences involving the man having white hair and golden eyes. He was very fair but had an aura about him of one who was lost. The young man opened his mouth and spoke.
“I-I need help.” Life said softly, eyes filled with tears.
Death could hardly believe he was walking down this avenue with the peppy, excitable Life next to him, yapping like a puppy. Sadness temporarily forgotten, Life had taken to being excited about being in the mortal world for the first time. “You know I’ve been here in your head but I’ve never actually gotten to walk down the sidewalk … what’s this sidewalk made of? Concrete? Interesting … what’s that sign for?? Oh, coffee … I’ve never had coffee. Is it good? What does it taste like? I’ve heard it’s the most wonderful substance in the world, like magic. But we’ve already got magic so we don’t really need it. Not really magic, momma said not to call it that …”
“SHUT UP!” Death’s voice echoed down the entire street, causing several people to turn their heads and one child to start crying. Earning a dirty look from its mother, Death grimaced and walked on with the now silent Life. Life led the way, eyes sparkling with happiness but clouded by worry. Death knew the look very well, it was one he’d worn just barely a year ago when going to see his beloved mortal, Laura. The name still burned and brought stinging to his eyes that he had to blink quickly to get rid of.
Life’s steps quickly became skips as they came upon an apartment complex that stood rotting on the street corner. Its sign proclaimed it was ‘Heaven’s Lodge’ but its appearance did all that it could to deny that. The rotting wood decks were probably a safety hazard and the ugly green moss that crept up the sides of the building seemed to stretch their disgusting fingers into the very apartments themselves. A pile of trash lay in the brown grass out front which consisted of dirty diapers, broken glass, and wood panels. Somewhere, a man coughed and a baby cried out weakly. This did not seem to deter the ever optimistic Life who went skipping up to the rusty monitor, pressed the button, and happily sang out, “3C please!” He stepped back and grinned at Death slyly. Death did not catch that however, because he was too busy distrustfully eyeing a few college guys who were swigging beers, their fat bottoms propped up in dirty lawn chairs.
“ANDREW!!!!~” A shrill voice made Death’s head snap back to Life, who was now flat on his back with a giggling girl on top of him and hugging him so tightly, Death thought he heard a few ribs crack. Life, however, did not seem to mind it whatsoever.
“PENNY!!~” He sang and caught the girl in a deep kiss, tucking her straight silver blonde hair behind her ear. “I missed you!!!” He cooed, his eyes soft. “D’awwwwww! I missed you mooore!” This apparent ‘Penny’ gushed. “Noooooooooooooooo,” Life said, smiling. “I missed you mostest!!!” “Nooooooooooooooo …” Penny giggled.
Death thought he was going to be sick. He watched this intimate display and felt like an outsider. Someone who didn’t belong. He was trespassing on this couple’s moment and he backed away slightly, to be camouflaged by the shade of one of the only trees on the property.
Life’s face, after spending a few seconds nuzzled in Penny’s neck, looked confused and flustered. Death wanted to help him, but the love struck idiot was dooming himself and his loved one the more he let himself be taken by the fluttering eyelashes and giggles. Death’s hands shot out of their own accord and yanked Life back by the collar, pulling him from Penny. Penny looked confused but Life gave her a reassuring look as he was dragged towards a spot where they could not be heard.
Death’s face was alarmingly serious as he turned Life to face him, “Break up with her.”
“What??” Life’s face registered a complete shock, “I thought you said you were going to help me!”
“I am, break up with her, before you hurt the both of you.”
Life looked utterly heartbroken, “I can’t …”
“Yes you can.” Death’s hand shook softly as it balled into a fist.
“No I really can’t ...” Life’s voice was now a whisper.
“And why the hell not??” Death’s voice rumbled with anger; pity and sadness tinging it slightly.
Life looked straight into Death’s eyes … his desperation and loneliness rising to the surface, “You know why.”
Death’s heart dropped at the realization that Life was right. He watched as Life went back over to Penny and gathered her in his arms. His fists clenched along with his teeth, he strode out, a particular destination in mind.
Death’s fist knocked hard at the door by which he stood. His rage burned within his chest and his knuckles stung from how hard he had hit them against the wood. Around him the pink lawn shimmered in the immortal dimension’s sun. Bright red and pink rabbits hopped about it, some hiding in their heart shaped hutches. One hopped near, its bright little nose twitching and Death booted it across the lawn, watching the little creature fly with a smidgen of satisfaction. It recovered quickly and went bouncing urgently to its home.
The door slowly opened and Death’s head whipped around to face it.
“Death!” Love’s voice rang with false excitement at seeing him, “what do I owe this great pleasure?”
“Great pleasure this, you sick, twisted little freak!!” Death’s fist was already smashing in Love’s jaw as the words left his mouth. Love staggered softly and held his jaw, eyes registering fear once they took in Death’s anger. “Now … now Death …” he backed up slightly, his free hand outstretched to delay further attacks.
“Don’t you try to calm me!” Death’s voice came out as a near snarl, “Why do you keep pulling this crap, huh??? Making immortals hurt like this! First me, now Life! It’s sick!!” His leg snapped out and made Love collapse, gripping his leg. “Why??? Tell me why, Love!!”
Love whimpered and stood. “I could explain if you’d stop beating on me.” His eyes were wary as he watched Death’s face for any sign of another attack.
Death immediately stopped, his shaky breaths coming less quickly and rage calming.
“You see, I thought you’d understand this as you are the Keeper of Souls and all but … you do know about soul mates correct?”
Death nodded; sitting in the pink armchair he was sinking slowly and kept adjusting himself. He took a sip of his tea.
“Yes well, soul mates are two souls who are only complete with each other … everyone has a soul mate, even you and I. Ours just can’t be removed because we’re immortal.” Love’s hands waved in the air as he talked and ran through his pink hair nervously.
Death sighed and nodded once more, yes, yes he knew all this.
“But sometimes, things get messed up in the process and an immortal’s soul mate can be found among mortals. When this was discovered a great debate was taken up at what problems this could bring. So it was made a law that no immortal could be with a mortal, it would cause too many complications.” Death sighed out the mantra that had been repeated from his youth, finishing the history lesson.
“I only navigate ways for people to find their soul mates,” Love said, smiling, “so technically it’s not me who’s to blame. It’s just the way things are.”
“The way things are??” Death growled, “The way things are is pain? Grief? You know what?? I shouldn’t have come here; it was a waste of time! You just blurted stuff I mostly knew!” Death threw the tea cup at the nearby wall and stood, stalking towards the intricately decorated door.
“Death …” Love’s voice was nearly a whisper, he sounded immensely sad and as if he … as if he was giving up. Death slowly turned to face him.
Love sighed and stood, “There are things that have been kept from you.”
Things kept from him.
The phrase rang through Death’s mind and he looked slightly shocked, “What … things?”
Love smiled, “One … that if an immortal marries a mortal, the mortal becomes immortal as well.”
“Two … that if a person’s soul mate is destroyed, another is created, by me with help from Mother Nature.”
“And lastly … immortals CAN die. But only if they are robbed of their purpose for which they were created in the first place,” Love smiled softly, “I hope that helps.”
Death stood outside the Fate’s castle. His heart pounded in his chest and his ears rang, excited for what he was about to do. He had waited all day for them to fall asleep and now was the time. He climbed slowly over the gates, careful not to set off the sensor that wavered just on the outermost portion of the inner gate. He pulled his robe’s hood over his head so as not to be seen by any cameras that may be present. He nimbly jumped down over the other side and sprinted quietly towards the dark mass of stone and lichen.
He stopped at the huge wooden door, breath coming quickly and eyes searching. His experienced hands pulled out his lock picking kit and decoder. Nimbly undoing the old, rusty lock he turned his attention to the modern pass code lock. He clicked his decoder into place, praying silently that it wouldn’t take too long. He sat for what seemed like ages until it finally dinged and he was in. Luckily, they didn’t seem to have any magical blockades for him to overcome and he quickly found his way in and up the stairs to the 3rd floor. He first searched their rooms, careful not to wake the sleeping mounds that breathed lightly and snored. Finding nothing, he sat in the hallway for a moment, trying to think of where else the scissors may be. Though he racked his brains, he could think of nowhere else and started to become frustrated with himself. He had hardly ever visited the Fate’s castle and should’ve known he was wasting his time coming here.
“The vault’s on the floor below and the pass code is 24 35 6.” The whisper came from the shadows next to an old rusty suit of armor. Death quickly walked over and saw the house keeper, Cleanliness, standing there. “Go,” she whispered, a smile spreading across her face.
Death thanked her and quickly ran downstairs and found the vault hidden away in a corner. He typed in the code and ran inside, ignoring the rest of the baubles found in their treasury. He grabbed a pair of scissors that had the Sister’s insignia stamped into them. He smirked softly and began murmuring a soft spell.
A loud crash echoed from upstairs and shrieks came soon after. Clotho was screaming at Cleanliness and the quick flutter of carpeted feet rushing downstairs reached Death’s ears. He started hurrying the spell, not bothering to keep his voice down any longer. The three sisters burst in, hair frazzled from sleep and pajamas wrinkled. All three looked angry, upset and betrayed but most of all … terrified.
“You’ll never take our powers from us Death! Never!” Lachius screeched, rushing forward, clawed hands outstretched.
Death looked up, the smirk still playing on his lips. “Too late.”
The three sisters looked on in horror as the scissors glow went from blue to black and their insignia fell off, dissolving into dust; to be replaced with Death’s insignia. They looked up at Death with fear and anger making their lips tremble and eyes burn.
Death wiggled his fingers in a goodbye motion, “Tootle doo …~”
The sisters were gone and piles of dust before he could even finish his sentence. The dust spread softly across the floor of the vault, gathering on the sister’s precious treasures.
Death watched Life’s face glow with happiness and watched his hands adjust the white tux he wore as he waited for his beloved.
“You excited?” Death’s soft murmur only carried to Life.
Life nodded and his eyes sparkled with happiness. He excitedly adjusted his tux again. “You got the vows ready?”
Death nodded as well and smiled, waving the small book slightly, “Right here.”
Life nodded then stiffened slightly as the march played, echoing to the guests who were immediately quiet. He watched anxiously for her then let out a soft exclamation of relief and awe as she started walking down the aisle, accompanied by her father. Death had to admit, she really was beautiful at this moment, her cheeks flushed with happiness and eyes huge and sparkly. He patted Life’s arm as she made her way to the altar.
“She’s … she’s …” Life stuttered softly over his whispers.
“Beautiful,” Death finished for him; eyes soft with happiness, “you really are a lucky man.”
Life nodded excitedly and took her hand as she finally made it up there. Death really found it a miracle that even after they had informed her of the immortal situation, she had said yes to Life. He wondered if she would run but here she was, in all her splendor, excited for their life together. Death’s heart softened as he repeated the commonly known vows and watched them squeeze each other’s hands, Life’s eyes filled with tears. Before he knew it, the beautifully woven vows that tied this magical moment together were over.
“I do,” Life sniffled.
I do,” Penny said happily, hand reaching up to wipe at her eyes as well.
“Then by the power vested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife,” Death paused for dramatic effect, earning a few chuckles from the onlookers, “you may kiss the bride.”
As Life leaned in and pressed his lips tenderly to his new wife’s, Death felt complete. His mission had been accomplished, and his breath came easier. He knew that Laura would be so proud of him. With surprise, he realized her name didn’t hurt anymore. He smiled happily and clapped along with the rest of the guests.
As the rest of the guests filed into the hall for the party, Death sat outside in the gilded chairs they had sat in. He watched the sky softly and counted the clouds for a while. Then after this bored him, he closed his eyes, letting the sun soak into him and warm him. He sighed happily.
Death’s eyes softly opened to find Love standing in front of him, dressed in his usual pink and white but in tux form this time. Love looked less tired, less strained and a smile pulled at his mouth. His hands were held out in front of him and clamped about each other like he was holding a bug or something of the sort.
Death smiled softly, “Hey, need something?”
Love’s eyes sparkled faintly with excitement, “There’s someone who would like to meet you.” He bit his lip and opened his hands.
In Love’s outstretched palms, in all its lavender, pulsing glory … floated a soul.
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