Choices

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A series of unfortunate events leads to the death of Michal O'Donnel and he faces a dilemma with death.

Submitted: June 24, 2017

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Submitted: June 24, 2017

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Choices

Giving all my strenght to my legs, I kick the door. I succeeded. First time I tried and I managed to kick the door open. But I can’t be here for long. They are right behind me. I can hear their footsteps as they run towards me. I ran out of the building and turn right, I think that’s where the main street is located. The chilling night air withers my throat and skin, but I need to keep going. In front of me a fence. I look around to see if there is an other way, but nothing. I have to climb over. Halfway I feel a twinge in my right shoulder, I can feel that something it bedding in. I let out a cry, but keep going. When I got down the fence, I ran with all my strenght, but it was too late. I heard a gunshot and in the next moment I found myself on the ground.

The next thing I notice is that I’m standing. I don’t know how, but was just lying on the ground and now I’m standing. The two men who were chasing me caught up and with each passing moment they got closer. Seeing that I could no longer run from them, I tried slowly backing away, but they just passed me, like I wasn’t there. They walked up to a body. It was mine. I couldn’t even comprehend it how this is possible for a second, then I remembered being shot in the back and falling to the ground. Blood stained my shirt and the rain that just began falling started to was it down the street. The men who were chasing me turned the my body over to see, if they shot the right person. They searched my pockets and took all my money, then walked away.

I just stood there, next to my ever so slowly, cold growing body. I was thinking what was going to happen next. What will happen to me? Then I thought of my wife and two beautiful children. My heart almost broke, when I thought about what will happen to them now.
Hours passed and I just morned over things, that I couldn’t do in my life. I morned my unachieved dreams and the feelings I never had the courage to show. Maybe I just realized now, when all was calm, when it was all over, how to live life.

Suddenly I hear a cacophony. The earth began shaking and the skies were shoning. The night sky lit up because of the many thunders and I was captivated by a dark feeling. As if all the love and life had vanished around me. A black, dust-like matter covered the ground and a deep, rough voice spoke to me:

- Let’s see. Michael O’Donnel. Thirty-five years old, married, father. At the same time, drug addict, smuggler and a dealer. Throughout his life he cheated, blackmailed, stole and killed.

- You seem to know a lot about me. –I answered to the mysterious voice in a brokenly tone.- May I know who you are?

Right after my question, the dust gathered from the ground into a solid, hooded figure. By that time, I already knew who he is.

- I’ve come by many name in this life. Death, The Grim Reapoer, Angel of Death, The Herald of Doom. Choose one. –said the same, rough voice.

- So this is the end? Will you wipe me out for good?

- No. Before I send you over, first we have a tour ahead of us.

Knowing I’m already a dead man, I asked in confidence:

- A tour? To where?

Death leaned in close to my face, but the hood still perfectly covered his face in shadows. Like nobody was there.

- To the show of your life.

He grabbed my shoulder and suddenly we spinned as if we were in a spin-dryer and arrived at a small room.

- What is this place? –I asked blankly.

- Don’t you recognize it? You’ve spent a lot of time here.

His voice still sent chills down my spines, but it seemed like I have to bear with it for the time being. At least, I don’t have to go to the unceartanty that await me yet. Suddenly a woman around thirty years entered the room. She was in a house coat and as she got closer I could see a baby in her arms. A little brown-haired boy. He put him into the child bed, kissed her on the forehead and as the boy began playing, she left the room. As she went out, I recognized her. She was the one that raised me, she was my mother. Death’s voice broke the quite, idyllic atmosphere, the love-filled memories, that everybody would live through even a hundred times.

- I see you finally got it. As a young boy, still so innocent. You could have been anything in this life.

He grabbed my shoulder again and the familiar spin-dryer feeling shook me. A new place opened op before my eyes. We were in a school hallway. Not just any school. This was my high school. The blue lockers and crowded hallway gave a familiar feeling. Both good and sad feelings at the same time. Screams could be heard by the crowd in the hallway. Two voices were arguing, then a circle formed. Two boys started a fight. The crowd cheered for one of them, then it cheered to the other, until the short brown-haired boy knocked out the other. The flames of victory could be seen in his brown eyes. At this moment, the teachers got there. They restrained the boy.

- Perhaps all the deterioration started here? –asked Death curiously.

- Why are you showing me these memories? –I asked incomprehensibly.

- They all ask the same. Why is this so important to everyone? This way they could at least get a little sedation, before they are judged one last time.

- So you do this to everybody?

With a sudden, twitching move he turned his head towards me. Although I couldn’t see his eyes, I felt, that he was staring at me. Not just simply, but deep into my soul, like he was looking for something. These were eerie moments.

- Of course! Did you think you were special?! Do you think somebody as powerful and important as me, would spend his time solely with you?! –he burst out in anger.

Once again he grabbed my shoulder and we flew to a new place. This time we were in an underground bar. I wasn’t too far from my university campus. Looking back at it, not the most demanding figures attended. Although, by that I classify myself too.  A bald, tattooed man entered the room. He sat in front of my young self and he looked at two other man who were already there before him. The two of them held a gun against my head. I reached into my coat pocket. I took out my wallet and from that around five hundred dollars and gave it to the bald man. Then my young self took another five hundred dollars from the wallet and one of the gun wielding man took a bag of white powder and tossed it to my lap. I went up to the ground floor of the bar and as soon as I had the chance I sucked it all up through my nose.

- Ah, the lowest point. – said Death, almost laughing. – Here, you use, distribute and smuggle the “stuff”.

He came closer and we switched to another location. This time, we were in a delivery room. My not so old self was holding the hands of my beautiful wife, in whose eyes both pain and joy could be seen. Finishing the last pushes, the baby was born. My little girl, whom I’ve loved more than anything ever since.

- You managed to climb back from great depths. You pulled yourself together and like phoenix from the ashes you were reborn. Almost unbelievable. – Death interrupts the scene.

We once again travelled to another place and time and I found myself not too further in the past. We were in a restaurant. The two men who chased and killed me were there. Originally I was supposed to bring them some cocaine. This was supposed to be my last gig, but destiny has chosen another path for me. As I traded the cocaine along with my old friend Jacob, they saw the gun that he always carries with himself. They thought, that we want to attack them, so they took matters into their own hands and struck while we were not expecting.

- You made yourself clarified yourself, but when an old friend asked, you were quick to run to his aid. Pushing everything aside. Your wife, your daughter, whom you just told you love more than anything.

This was the point where I realized, that Death could read in my mind. Everything I thought throughout the tour he could hear.

- How do you feel, that because of one person you should’ve let go of a long time ago, you lost everything? – he asked scornfully.

Maybe it was the sudden realization, but pain filled me. I felt broken. I prostrate on the ground and began crying. My tears were flowing in streams as I thought about my wife and daughter.

- How could I have been so idiotic? –I thought to myself.

When I said yes to the meeting, I already knew Jacob was going to get me in some kind of trouble, but I never thought that it would be something this bad. I was naïve and lost everything.

Gathering all my strength I stopped crying and got up from the ground. I looked at Death, with complete calmness, whom I could feel it took by surprise.

- Where will I go next? If there is something after this life. –I asked.

- I don’t know that. I just deliver all the souls to the big guy. Hope that you get where you want to.

Death snapped his fingers together and a gold ornate, oval portal appeared. White light radiated from it. Although he didn’t say, I knew where this portal leads. This is where it’s decided where I go. I headed for the portal, but before I could enter, Death asked something.

- Do you regret the thing you had done?

His voice was a little compassionate now. I didn’t think it could happen, but it seemed like the mighty Death, Herald of Doom was touched. As an effect of his question, everything he just showed me rolled down in front of my eyes.

- No. – I answered.- Maybe they weren’t the best choices, but at least they were mine and I made them according to my best insight. Of course I have some that I regret, but who doesn’t?

- You made your choices, but in the end, your choices define you. Good luck at the tribunal, Michael O’Donnel. – said Death in his old, deep, rough and emotionless voice.


© Copyright 2017 Henry Tailor. All rights reserved.

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