I can remember it like it was yesterday. It was early morn, the sun had just risen, piercing through what used to be a nights sky and I woke up feeling light headed so I went down stairs to get a drink. I was just nineteen. The kitchen felt different – not a good a different, or a bad different. I wasn’t sure if it was just me but I’m sure I saw fog, then it … it started to choke me, wrapping itself around my neck like it wanted to take all the breath I had. When it cleared I saw him there, just casually sitting in the corner of my kitchen. Just then the fog released its grip and I fell against the wall. He shook his head, laughed and spoke:
“As you know I am Death and I am here to give you the gift and sight of death.”
I replied “But what…” I gulped, and took in my breath, “…what do you mean by giving me the sight of death?”
As he rose his long black robe lifted above his ankles, revealing the rusty bones that used to be feet.
“You, my great madman, are going to see all deaths of those living and those who have already passed, and even when they are going to die!”
“But why me? I’m nothing but a man?” I cried.
“You are not a man, you are madman, a man who can’t look at his reflection because he’s afraid he’ll die . You are a man who doesn’t t go outside in the light because he believes the clouds are out to kill him. You are a man who is afraid to look others in the eye because you think they’ll drop down dead in front of you. If these are not the thoughts of a mad man I don’t know what are.”
I sat down beside him, my hand shaking like my own body was having an earthquake of its own.
He continued “You will hear all heart beats of those around you; the loudest though will be the ones you must deal with on your own …”
Then it went dark pitch black, the kind of darkness that stops children from going down to the attic, the kind of darkness you’re afraid to go into after watching a scary movie. No figure could be identified – no , no object could be seen except the one floating in the air, its sparkling blade spreading the only light that place had to offer. Then it started moving closer and faster and faster and faster and faster –
I woke up…. I woke up… I don’t know how. At first I was in my kitchen then … then in complete darkness I was back, back in my bed, under my covers at the exact same time I was there before.
Somehow this time it wasn’t a headache that woke me up, it was the sound of a heavy thumping noise. I stepped out of my bed and out into the corridor. The noise got louder and faster. I started running around, eager to find out what the beating was, and where it came from. I was losing breath, my chest tightening but I … I wouldn’t give up. The sound got louder and even louder and I stopped – and it did too. It became a relaxing beat it, and it led me into my mother’s room. There she lay sleeping with her heart thumping.
She awoke, staring at me in confusion. Couldn’t she hear it? It couldn’t just be me! I knew she can hear it too, and that she was ignoring it .Then I remembered what I had assumed was just another dream, I remembered death saying “You will hear all heart beats of those around you the loudest; those will the ones you must deal with on your own…”
What did he mean deal with it myself?
I couldn’t take it any longer, I had deal with it, I had to… I had to stop the noise! It was too much, it made my head thump with every beat! I took the pillow and I did it… I wrapped it around her face. As I did this she screamed, trying to take in as much breath as she possibly could. She screamed and punched and kicked but I wouldn’t stop. I tried too but my muscles wouldn’t allow me to move my hands away, as if I was paralysed and couldn’t stop myself.
As she screamed for me to stop, I cried out that I was sorry and that I couldn’t release my hands. That’s when he appeared again!
There in the corner of my mother’s room, sitting in her chair and laughing like he was enjoying the spectacle! Was he mad? How could he laugh and smile, watching me suffocate my mother – my own mother? Then I realized that it was him… he was the reason why I couldn’t move, why I was stuck on top of my mother, why I was killing her. This was all his doing. He wanted me to do this. but why? I was nothing but a man…
My mother’s body went limp, her pulse had gone and within her chest her heart wasn’t thumping a single beat. She just lay there, her body stretched out, her face pale like it hadn’t seen the sun in years. She was gone…my own mother.