Hues Of Death

Reads: 210  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
Hue is made an offer by death after he dies.

Submitted: December 18, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: December 18, 2018

A A A

A A A


Hue was sitting in a chair that faced a large window overlooking his driveway. The house was on an old country road in the northland of Ontario. The dirt driveway was long and lined with trees. Hue had moved here many years ago for on reason, the quietness. He had no neighbors and that is how he liked it. The peace and serenity of the woods soothed his once tormented soul. Hue had spent most of his days working around the yard and in the woods. The echo of the axe splitting the wood was the loudest sound he ever heard with the exception of the thunder during rainy days. At night he would sit in his chair reading a good book and sipping coffee. Tonight things were much the same with one exception. Hue wasn't reading or sipping coffee, he was waiting for death to show up.

 

"within the darkness there's a darkness,

tracing the outline of a human figure,

it brushes your hair like a breeze,

and whispers nightmares in your ear"

 

Hue had known for some time that death was coming for him. He saw it in the woods hiding in the shadows between the trees staring at him. A dark human figure studying him. Sometimes death was a shadow crossing the ground like a cloud on a summer's day. Ever so closely yet never touching him. Other times death moved like a trickling stream of water on a rainy day eventually seeping into the ground by his feet. He had no fear for Hue understood that on those days death wasn't there for him. It was just reminding him how close it was. He'd just turn around and continued doing what he loved to do.

 

"It's in your bones as you sleep,

it says, I'm here for you now,

and as you wake from slumber,

you will know today you die"

 

Hue had spent the day stacking wood in the backyard. For an old man it was laboring but good work. It kept him physically fit and mentally connected to nature. When lunch time came around Hue went into the house and made himself a Ham sandwich with Swiss Cheese. For dessert he ate a sweet juicy Macintosh apple. When lunch was over he headed back outside to continue his work. The afternoon would be long and strenuous work for him. Hue had started to dig a hole in the back of the yard months ago. It was suppose to be a new well for water. This well was going to be deeper which would give him a larger supply of ground water. Whenever Hue went into the hole to dig he would be chest deep in water. By the end of the afternoon he had removed enough soil from the well to see the waterline at his shoulders. He climbed back out and into the warmth of the sun. It was another job completed he thought. Hue cleaned up the mess from digging and himself then headed into the house to fix dinner. Once dinner was over Hue sat in front of the house smoking a pipe full of tobacco and listening to the chirping of birds and watching the sun go down. This was Hue's favorite part of the day. A moment to stop and enjoy the day in peace.

Now sitting in his chair Hue waited for Death to arrive. Staring out the window he sees the shadow of a human figure off in the driveway. Slowly growing in size the dark figure approaches the house. The chill in the air is noticeable and Hue pulls the blanket closer to him. In the darkness it is difficult to define what death looks like. From Hue's viewpoint death appears tall, and cloaked. Like a hooded mock in the darkness of night. Death glides towards the entrance of the house and the front door opens. In silence death glides towards Hue who appears to be fearless.

 

"Have a seat, I've been awaiting for you", Hue offers.

"You know why I'm here"

"I do", Hue replied.

Death stood a moment looking down at the old man wrapped in a blanket. Death had been curiously studying him for some time. The old man head an interest for him.

"Please, have a seat", insisted Hue.

Death sat next to the old man and peered out the window into the night. The two sat in silence for awhile before Hue finally spoke.

"Why have you been studying me?", he finally asked.

"When I arrive to take life it's mostly the same. A person who has lived a long time yet never understood what life is suppose to be. Missed opportunities and regrets. Sometimes it's a child who's sickness will never be cured. A mercy death if you like. A pregnant woman addicted to heroin has a healthy child while a wholesome woman carrying a child dies in a car accident. It leads to the same thing, why God? The answer is always right in front of you yet you do not see it. These acts always bring you back to God.

"You take life to bring people back to God?", asked Hue. "Is God so Egotistical that he will take life just to please Himself? Are we that insignificant to Him?"

"No", replied death, "In fact God see you as too significant. Almost all humans can't see that. They've become blind to this fact. The child who's mother was addicted to heroin lives life to its' fullest potential. I took her life in a back alleyway in the city dirt as her son was being tended by another couple. That child now walks the streets helping other people who suffer. He sees the significance of what other people are missing".

"and what about the child who was taken in a car accident? What about the life they were suppose to have?", asked Hue.

"That's the misconception of humans", replied death. "You believe that child was suppose to have a life just because they were conceived".

"But don't they have a right to a life?", asked Hue.

"Again, your misconception of life", replied Death.

"That's not right", said Hue.

"That's the thing about you humans, you want to play God unrestrictedly".

Hue sat a moment contemplating what Death had said. He looked back on moments in his own life that had a significant impact upon him. He contemplated them in the darkness of the night as death waited. The time he argued with his own parents and left their home never to return. The meeting of his wife to be and how their relationship ended. The children they had who never came to visit. How for many years he spent his time here away from society convincing himself that both he and society were better off this way. He was totally convinced of that.

"What is it about me that interests you Death?", Hue finally asked.

"Ahhh, that's the final question", replied Death.

"Look at the window", he said to Hue.

Hue looked at the window directly in front of him. The darkness outside slowly dissipated and the window became a blank screen. Swirling white smoke appeared then dissipated away to a scene from his childhood. Hue started to remember it. He was about 9 years old at the time and was in the woods. Looking at the screen Hue thought how small he looked back then. His messy brown hair and that dirty stripped shirt he always wore made him look like a ragamuffin.

"Even back then you preferred to be alone", said Death.

"I just never had any use for friends", Hue replied.

"Do you remember this day?", asked Death.

"I remember", said Hue.

 

The image on the window showed a child retrieving a snared rabbit. The animal was still kicking it's feet as Hue held it by its' ears. He walked a short distance to a stump where he held the rabbit down. A short swing of a hatchet and the rabbit was dead. It's head discarded to the ground Hue nailed the limbs to the stump. He then removed a pocket knife and dissected the remains. With the animal still warm Hue viewed the organs as he removed them.

"That was the first day you invited me into your life", said Death.

"I was interested in the workings of an animal", said Hue.

"Yes, but you invoked me in the process", replied Death.

"You always show up, even in the death of an animal?", asked Hue.

"In a natural death I'm not needed. That's nature, yet when humans invoke me I become a part of them forever".

"You've been with me since that day?", asked Hue.

"Of course"

"My marriage died. That was you?"

"That was us"

"My relationship with my children?"

"That was us"

"Everything that has ceased in my life?"

 

Death looked at Hue and smiled.

 

"A functioning dysfunctional individual is one that has acquired death within itself".

"Nothing is permanent", said Hue.

"Not even me", said Death.

Hue sat a moment contemplating. Everything in life seemed to be a challenge. His relationship with parents disintegrated as he matured. Love for his wife was just an emotionally charged illusion that fizzled away to nothing once it was unplugged. People were annoying and useless. They took up time and space. Then it dawned on Hue why Death was here.

"You're looking for a replacement", stated Hue.

"Like you said, nothing is permanent", said Death.

"Not even you", retorted Hue.

The prospects of becoming death intrigued Hue. Passing through the world removing life from people, removing humans from the planet was appealing to Hue.

"You said nature takes care of its' own"

"It does, a natural death incurs without my assistance"

"So where do you fit in?"

"My presences is invoked to those whom fall outside of nature, such as it is with you"

"And how will I die?"

"You're already dead Hue"

Hue now sat confused about everything. Death says he's dead yet he doesn't remember dying. Hue frantically searched his memories seeking to discover when he died, how he died. The memories of the day fast forwarded through his mind. He just couldn't see it.

"You died this afternoon Hue", said Death.

"How? I don't remember?"

"The well you were digging collapsed, or so it would seem so"

"What do you mean, or so it seems so?"

"I actually collapsed the well on you"

"You killed me?"

"I did"

"Why?"

"Because it was time to die"

"But I climbed out of that well. I made lunch, cut wood", exclaimed Hue.

"No, you just thought you did. Memories of the recent past construed to accommodate reality. Right now your body is rotting away in a hole full of dirt".

The window changed to this afternoon when Hue could see he was in the well. The black and white images flashing upon the window looked like an old movies from the 50's. There was no sound and Hue saw himself digging away. From behind him he saw a darkness rise from the ground. It started to form into a human figure. The dark figure raised it's arms to the side then brought them together in front of himself. The walls collapsed and everything went dark. The window returned back to it's original condition.

"Shit", said Hue.

"Did you really want to stay alive Hue?", asked Death.

"Well, not forever, but..."

"You wanted to choose the day and time you died?"

"I wanted to see death coming"

"Very few people do, and those that do spend their last moments in fear"

Hue waited a moment while the fact that he was dead seeped into his mind. Was it better not knowing that you were dead Hue questioned himself? Or was it better seeing death coming? The idea of spending your last moments alive in fear didn't sound appealing to Hue either.

"I guess not knowing is the easier way of dying", said Hue.

"I was merciful with you", said Death.

"Is there an option?"

"Of becoming death or not?"

"Yes",

"Of course there's an option Hue"

"If I choose not to become death what happens then?"

"Like the image on the screen you fade away into oblivion with no memory"

"But if I become death I keep my memories?"

"Yes, for 1000 years"

"Then what?"

"Then you'll find another to replace you"

 

The prospect of becoming nothing in oblivion wasn't appealing to Hue. By becoming death he would at least exist for 1000 years. Maybe just enough time to figure another way to stay out of oblivion. Collapsing mines on workers, the taking of mass lives at a time would be required from time to time. These thoughts came into Hue's mind as well. Seeing many people spending their last moments alive in a state of fear could take it's toll on an individual. Hue didn't think that even death could become immune to it.

 

"What about the taking of many people at once?", Hue asked.

"You're still thinking as a human", replied Death. "The act of death is impartial", he added.

"Even on a large scale?"

"Even so"

"How do you know when to take a life?", asked Hue.

"The taking is invoked by the individual", said Death.

"As it was with me?"

"Yes".

"But you said I invoked death back when I was a child", said Hue.

"You did"

"But you left me?"

"I did"

"You left me for death?"

"You didn't have much of a life since, did you?"

 

Hue had made his decision to become death. He invoked death as a child, lived with death throughout his existence and now was dead. The last step was to become death itself. The voice of death entered Hue's mind. "I knew you would accept to become death", it said. "and now you'll receive the conscious of death".

In the transition of becoming death Hue's own existence vanished. His past became nothing. His parents, his wife and children didn't exist in his conscious. Becoming death meant existing in the moment and nothing else, not the past or concerns of what might happen in the future entered into Death's mind. The next thing Death has to do was to exist in a small town called Thunder Bay where four lives were about to be extinct. That's all Death knew and understood. Death stood on the Highway of 61 where it met Highway 17. A vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed was about to become airborne. When it landed another vehicle would be struck. Both vehicles would become a mess of twisted metal. Locals would wonder how anyone could be alive after a wreck like that. In total 4 humans would lose their lives. Once extinct Death would move on to another town where he was invoked.


© Copyright 2020 Michael Plante. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:

More Thrillers Short Stories