Hello, potentially non-existent readers! *waves enthusiastically* I am here again to shock and awe with the brilliance of my writing! …Or, I dunno. Give you something to read while you’re bored at work. Whichever. Please enjoy!
…Into the Darkness…
Darkness is soothing.
When Penelope Stephens opened her eyes to darkness, she felt content and at peace. Her husband’s quiet snoring and the cool night breeze had nearly lulled her back into a deep and pleasant sleep… Then she felt the solid bump of a foot colliding against the bed frame.
“Ouch! Geez, damn it to hell!”
Penelope jerked back into wakefulness and sat up with a squeak of fear. Beside her, Tom snorted and stirred, but did not wake, leaving Penny to face the stranger alone.
He perfectly embodied the stereotype of ‘tall, dark and handsome’, despite his unwelcome presence. He stared at her silently; his eyes were wide and shadowed, and his expression sheepish. His body was hunched over awkwardly as he held his (now bruised) foot. The tense stillness stretched on for several long seconds before he cleared his throat self-consciously and straightened his posture.
“Please,” Penelope rasped in a strangled voice, finally acknowledging the potential danger she and her husband were in. “Take what you want and go.”
To her surprise and trepidation, the man lowered his gaze and chuckled; his laugh rumbled deeply in his chest like thunder. When he lifted his face, she was strangely captivated by the intensity of his eyes; they were like liquid midnight, mysterious and soulful.
“I’m not a robber,” he told her calmly, but Penny was far from pacified.
“Then what are you?”
He grinned then, like he’d been waiting for her to ask exactly that question. “Why, Penelope,” he crooned, and she shuddered at his unanticipated knowledge of her name. “I’m the one who emerges from the shadows to end the pain of suffering, stop a heart from beating and take a finished life.” His smirk widened across his face like a Cheshire cat. “… I am Death.”
She blinked once, twice, retracing his words in her head. Despite herself, she snorted. “Death? Like the Grim Reaper? Yeah, right.”
Disgruntled, he folded his arms. “I’m sorry, am I not clichéd enough for you? Would you prefer to see me sporting a black robe and scythe? Perhaps I should have entered upon a pale horse, hmm?”
Penny shook her head slightly and drew the blankets protectively around her shoulders. “You’re insane.”
“Yes, maybe a little,” the man conceded. “But nevertheless, I have a job to do.” He turned his shadowy eyes to Tom, who slept on, oblivious. “Poor bastard.”
Penelope, too, looked at Tom for a moment; then she absorbed the meaning behind the stranger’s words. “No!” she cried, leaping out from the covers. “You can’t take him!” She no longer knew, nor cared, if she was speaking to a mad-man or the Angel of Death himself; her words were meant for both.
She made it to the sinister man’s side and gripped his arm to stop him, but he had not moved. For the first time since his foreboding arrival, his eyes eddied with grim sympathy.
“S’okay, Penn,” he whispered. “I’m not here for him.”
Penelope turned to the bed and caught a glimpse of her own body, frail and cold, unmoving beneath the covers.
Then Death took her hand, and there was darkness once more.
- Love The Bad Guy