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Death Takes A Holiday (assignment)

Updated: Feb 18

What I submitted for my Creative Writing assignment on plot ©Rosalie Thorne

Just as the true opposite of love is indifference, the opposite of God is Death. Death is creation’s shadow, Death can neither be created nor destroyed. Death is the one true constant of existence, a never ending eternal force… Death can never leave. But just because Death must stay, doesn’t mean it’s all work and no play.

In the beginning there was only God and Death, but soon after light shined through the darkness. Perhaps this is why Death has a soft spot for the longest day of the year, perhaps this is why Death is set on visiting the Midsommar Festival. A festival so full of light and love and life… a festival so full of things he never can experience himself, things he can admire but never touch.

They say it’s darkest before the dawn, so this is when Death arrives. Dewdrops twinkle as he drifts through the forest and by the time he reaches the festival grounds, he is completely corporeal. As human as he can possibly make himself, this will ensure that today is an exception to the rule. (Today wasn’t supposed to have any deaths in the vicinity, anyway, which is why he chose this location.)

Today’s festival is to celebrate Midsommar, also known as the Summer Solstice, and is one of the very few days of the year that everything – not just the Earth – is balanced. Perhaps another reason why Death is drawn in… just like anyone else on vacation, wanting a sense of serenity. And as he takes long strides, his boots only slightly sinking into the earth under the weight of him, he tilts his head side to side, curious at all that is happening.

Silently watching, as is his nature, there are plenty of people setting up their booths – booths for food and drink, clothing and jewelry, home goods, and other artistically decorative things. For a moment he wishes he had a home to fill with all these things… things only the human mind could conjure. That is one thing he and God have in common: they both admire, are sometimes impressed by, and are fond of the human race.

Which might be part of the reason he’s depressed; he is simply the end. Never getting to take part in anything, never getting to have influence or connections… only able to watch from the outside. Watch the magnificent birth, watch all the triumphs, watch all the creativity, watch all the love… watch all that is life until it is no longer. See the beauty of the fire, feel the warmth of the flame, but never able to touch it, to hold it – utterly shapeless until it is no longer. Then, the last ember dies in his hands, and he accepts all that is left into his care.

Why do you think there are stars in the night sky? Death paints the darkness with all that he finds beautiful. Tonight will be no exception, inspiration from the day overwhelming him. … that’s how it’s always been, so that’s how it always shall be.

No one seems to notice him as he continues around the festival grounds, one of his many gifts. He gets particularly fascinated by a booth that seems to come together as some sort of game… the sign reading Skee Ball and the test runs seem to be rolling a ball up the ramp and hoping to get it into several different holes, surrounded by hoops labeled with different points. How funny! Rolling a ball up hill? Oh, how precious humans are….

“Would you like to play?”

Death automatically steps back, out of the way of the new player. … only to find there’s no one else. Only him and the female across the game.

His brows furrow, the smile slips from his lips. She had singled him out, she had noticed him and wanted to talk to him? But how?

Her little smile is soft, and she tosses the ball from one hand to another, “I can show you, if you like; it’s quite fun.”

… how do people talk? Has he ever spoken before? No, he supposed he hadn’t.

He eases his face, suddenly aware that he might look frightening or angry or unpleasant, and she doesn’t deserve that. He smiles a little a first, taking a single step closer, the curiosity sort of piloting him now. She seems to respond… positively, so he concentrates. Deep breath and he tries to simply make a sound first. A soft, “Hm,” managing to escape him.

A single word next, right? A greeting maybe? But his mind is only circling around the last word she said. “… fun?”

Oh, doesn’t his voice sound… weird! Well, not weird by voice standards, but weird for him! Low, gruff, not at all ethereal like his thoughts. Maybe – “I have never played before,” but it still came out in a perfectly normal (for a human) way.

She perks up and waves him over to stand by her at the base. “It’s super easy! Look!” and then she rolls the ball softly, a little like miniature bowling, he thinks. And the ball eases and skips and lands right in the corner – a hole he hadn’t noticed before but labeled with the most amount of points.

She has to clear her throat for him to realize she’s holding another ball in front of him. He is ever so careful not to touch her, absolutely stricken that he wouldn’t be able to stop his… ability. Almost knowingly, she holds the ball flat in her palm, fingers overextended down. Passing of the object successful, he gives it ago. Landing in the most center option. “Hm…” and he doesn’t even think before taking the second ball she offers.

Better, the highest option. But how does she get it in the corner? Trying again and he goes right off the game platform. “Oh! I am so sorry!”

But she’s giggling as she’s crouching down to get it. Dusting the dirt off of it, she smiles up at him, “It’s tricky… I’ve had years of practice.”

Death wants to keep playing because noticed that the festival has officially started and there’s already a huge crowd moving through the game street and even a young child trying to peak around him. He closes his hand that had been over the ball, retracting his arm slowly, “It seems my time is up.”

She shrugs and puts the ball at the base of the game, “Mine, too.”

Death does not notice she follows until her slender arm points out between them, “What about that game?”

Shocked to his very void core, he stumbles before halting in the middle of the path. Her hand reaches out for his arm, “Oh! Are you okay?”

Cold. As the deepest, darkest reaches of space…. And still, still as every corpse of every living thing…. Death eyes look down at her hand, the warm palm soft against his skin, the fingers spread for stability. She had been so nice…, this isn’t fair.

“… you okay?”

Shaking his head frantically, he’s looking around the festival grounds. People are surely going to run over to the dropped body. A body in the middle of the path… he needs to leave. He needs to get her to leave with him, now!

“What’s wrong?”

Oh… oh how is he going to tell her? Death cannot bare to look into the eyes of this wonderful kind woman. The blue eyes that he has to be careful not to look into for two long, lease he dive into her soul. But the blue, he determines, would make for a most miraculous nebula. “I am so sorry.”

She smiles though and winks the same moment she squeezes his arm. “I’m not dead yet,” and she starts pulling him down the street.

Pulling him, forcing him away, even though he’s staring where her body should have been. He feels a slight thudding in his chest, a thudding that can be felt across more of his body that just his left breast. A heart beat?

What in Heaven – Hell – God’s – his name is going on!

“Who are you?”

Her laugh is carefree, and she stops to offer her hand, “Evelyn.”

Eve? Surely not… no, he looks into her eyes. A new soul, a young one at that, full of life. “Evelyn?”

She smirks, tilts her head a little, her finger pointing up and down, “… and you’re Death.”

What the fuck is happening? What the actual fuck is happening? She grabs his hand and starts pulling him along happily. Talking over her shoulder, she’s full of smiles, “You’ve got your Reapers, God has her Gardeners.”

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