sound and fury

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
this a story about death, and the girl who became him.

Submitted: March 29, 2016

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Submitted: March 29, 2016

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Sound and Fury

By: Savannah Shimkus

It was something in his eyes. The way they stared, like he was stripping me. Not in a perverted way, but like he was stripping away my skin, taking away the firewall in my brain and seeing what made me a person, like he could see all of the stars and constellations in my head just with a single glance. I shivered. He looked down and I almost, almost missed it. That stripped to the bone feeling. I mean the guy wasn't bad looking, if not a little average. Average height, average build, wearing an average red flannel under an average tan coat with average blue jeans. But the eyes. They were anything but average. They seemed to change, shift and switch and I couldn't tell if it was the light or his clothes or what. I looked now and caught him looking at me through his lashes. Even now, staring at his eyes, I couldn't tell what color they were for more than a moment. The metro voice called for my stop and my head snapped away from his face. I headed towards the door and felt his eyes on me the whole way out. I pulled my coat tighter around me as I shivered again, telling myself it was because of the cold.

 

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He was there again. The next day, on my way home, he was there. Sitting across from my metro seat, this time in a dark grey button down shirt and dress pants which was a stark contrast from his average getup from yesterday. But even with the more noticeable outfit, still no one seemed to notice the intense stare he was giving me. This time a stared right back, looking into his weird eyes as if I knew what I was looking for. He seemed to know that I didn’t though, when he just smirked and pulled out his laptop, breaking our insane-crazy-weird staring contest.

 

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The third day I had to say something. When I got on the metro and he was there, yet again, I resolved myself to do something about this guy. So, like the naive idiot I am, I stayed on the train until it was just the two of us and an old woman who seemed to be sleeping in the far corner, her soft snores the only sound on the otherwise silent train. I looked at him staring at me and opened my mouth to say something, but the guy only put his finger to his lips and got up to walk towards the back of the train. He stood over the old woman and muttered a few words before placing his fingers on her forehead. I watched as they both glowed faintly and the woman’s body rose up before slumping back, no longer snoring. I stayed in my seat. Just roll with it. The man came back over to me, eyes piercing my skin like tiny daggers. I wondered if I was next. The man sat down, this time in the seat next to me. He cleared his throat before speaking.

“Hi,” his voice was gravelly and rough but his tone was nervous. “That was crazy right?” The guy laughed nervously, the high pitched giggle that didn't fit his body. I shrugged like I was trying to play it off. I read somewhere that if someone kidnaps you, you're supposed to do what they say and act like you're into it and theres a bigger chance that they'll let you live. but that was insane, this guy hadn't kidnapped me...yet?

“Um, as you may have guessed, that  lady back there is no longer with us.” his voice stuck on the last part, and glanced up at me, as if asking my permission to go on, which was odd to see as he was much larger than I was, and, had just killed someone.

“Okay” I intoned. His kaleidoscope eyes clung to mine as he said the next thing.

“I mean its not like i just killed her in cold blood, it was her time to die-- ”

“ Who are you to decide that?’ I interrupted.

“Um, Death?” he didn’t seem to be so sure. He looked at a spot over my shoulder, “Death, the Grim Reaper, Charon, you get the picture.” He paused and cleared his throat. “But i'm actually here for something else.” He looked up at me  and his eyes flashed about 10 different shades of blue.

“ It seems I am in love with you.” he said “I've uh, kinda been watching you for a while and um theres just something about you and  i just…” he trailed off and rubbed the back of his neck. suddenly his head snapped up and he looked me in the eyes and I saw it all, every waking moment of every living soul all at once and I understood. i knew what had to be done. Death smiled. “Come with me.” Just roll with it.

“Okay.” I said. And I was no more.

 

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Days, weeks, months, years, seconds. Time was irrelevant. The next thing I knew I was awake on what seemed to be a couch in what seemed to be an apartment. Death seemed to be pacing above me talking to himself. Death was a twitchy little thing. I sat up on my elbows and cleared my throat. Death snapped his head my way, his eyes flashing gold.

“You’re awake.” Death looked slightly nervous. “so I know this is all so sudden, and I mean it’s a lot to take in all at once and you might not even like me I mean you don’t even know who I am, and I tried to get your type right but I only know your life not your preferences, should I change? Would you like me better like this?” Death started changing his form, he changed into a stunningly beautiful woman to a tall robust body builder to a small girl with pink hair. I put my hand on his shoulder.

“You were fine before” he changed back. Truth was, I didn’t really care. I sure as hell wasn’t in this for the romance, so Death could be comfortable in his own skin for a bit.

“Okay” Death looked visibly relaxed. “Well would you like to- I don’t know, learn? How to, you know, uh do what I do?” I smiled and nodded.

“Two questions: I read somewhere that a person dies every 90 seconds, which means shouldn’t you have taken hundreds of souls already? Like shouldn’t you be reaping right now?” I asked him.

“Well time is a bit relative here, I can manipulate it however I like, and everyone dies when they need to.” Death replied. I nodded. He smiled, and it seemed genuine this time. “What's the second question?”

“Why me?” I asked him. the color in his eyes seemed to swirl around his pupil and he sighed.

“ I was taking a soul, just this routine reaping and you were there and this woman just fell down dead right in front of you and the rest of the crowd of people rushed around to see what was wrong and you just stood there. Not like you were frozen but you just had this look of awe on your face and you weren't scared or shocked or anything and thats when I knew. I knew that we were supposed to be together for eternity. So I’ll admit I did a little digging into your life and that just reinforced it, I just knew it Abby, I just knew it. and I knew that you knew it too” he took my face in his hand and kissed me. I fought the urge to pull away and vomit into the nearest trashcan. I remembered that day. not him of course, but that lady. We were in coffee shop and I was like  a dollar short and she had paid for my whole order. She said she had just gotten a promotion and I was about to congratulate and thank her and then she just fell, dead. Death was wrong. I was frozen in fear. she had been so nice to a total stranger, why did she have to die? who was Death to say that she had to? Death let my face go and leaned his forehead against mine.

“Now we can start” he took my hand and led me over to a bay window, overlooking what seemed to be the bustling streets and tall buildings of the national mall. He waved his hand and the window seemed to zoom in, focusing on a seemingly unaware man in his late forties, staring up at the capitol building, sipping what looked like a coffee.

“He’s next.” Death told me and I nodded. Death took my hand and we were walking down the sidewalk, the figure of the man getting nearer every second.

“Now he can’t see us, so you’re just going to go up to him and put your fingers on his forehead, and just let his life flow through you.” I approached the man, hands shaking only slightly as I lifted them to his forehead. Just go with it. I pressed my fingers to his forehead and closed my eyes. It was the strangest thing I had ever felt. I felt a tingling from under my fingers, surging up through my arms like I had just dunked them in ice water and a blast of color exploded behind my eyelids. His whole life, every breath, every heartbeat, I saw it all and it rushed through me, filling me with a sense of power, of strength that I breathed in like oxygen. I realized that the memories were leaving me, slipping through my head like water through cupped fingers and I desperately tried to hold on to them and the sense of power that came with them. I was shocked back to reality when death let his hands off of my shoulders and I opened my eyes. I looked back at him.

“Who’s next?”

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124. that was  how many lives I had taken. I hated myself, but I couldn't stop now. It was like a drug, taking lives, the rush of power, the inexplicable feeling of comfort found in that feeling of having someones entire being slip through your mind. I couldn't help but wonder how much better it would be if I could hold on to these souls, to hold on to this feeling. I wondered if death could do that. Just add that fact to the eternally growing list of reasons to hate Death. I felt his cold hands on my bare shoulder and repressed a shudder, turning to smile brightly at my captor.

“Where to next my love?” I asked him. his eyes turned a warm brown color and he led me to the bay window.

“Lets go to the future” he said and suddenly we were in what looked like a nuclear wasteland. bodies, everywhere, the ground, cracked and covered in shrapnel and other forms of what looked like broken fighter planes. i stepped lightly over the crunching whatever it was under my feet and followed death to a writhing man a few feet away. he stepped aside and motioned for me to take over. I went willingly, an addict to my fix. This needs to stop. I knelt next to the screaming man and put my fingers on his temples, draining his life. this time, I focused all my energy on closing my mind, gripping this man’s life like a vice. instead of rushing out, the life I had just taken seemed to absorb into my mind, into my entire being and I opened my eyes with a gasp, as if  emerging from water after holding my breath for almost too long. I looked over at Death, who was taking another life that was writhing on the battlefield. I got up and I felt it, the power, the high, it stayed. It coursed through me like an electrical current in my veins. I could do this. I knew what had to be done.


 

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“Hey Death? Can I do this one?” I asked him. it was soul number 1,246,780, and it was time, finally. He looked at me and smiled, eyes flashing a brilliant green, so trusting, so glad that he had found someone that loved what he did as much as he did. I almost felt bad. Almost. He took my hand and squeezed it, and we were in medieval England on a farm in the countryside. I knew how to manipulate time now, but I let him do it, one last time. We started for the barn where shouts broke the calm atmosphere and raised the head of a grazing cow. We arrived at the scene right as the broken off leg of something wooden was being shoved into the young girl’s chest, the weapon dripping dark red blood as the old man who held it stumbled back, chest heaving. the girl was no older than I was, but there was a certain innocence in her eyes, a trust in the man who had turned out to be her murderer. It was time.  Death let go of my hand and I stepped forward, skirts making no noise they dragged on the ground of the barn. I knelt down and placed my fingers on the girl, the familiar rush of power as I drained her life and took her memories. I opened my eyes this time, eyes pouring out that unearthly light, watching the glow from our bodies in the faint light of the barn and then I turned to Death, heaving the body up with me like a shield.

“Abby, what?” Death looked shocked and slightly appalled, his eyes turning stormy and the man with the stake tripped backwards in an attempt to escape. They could see us now. I focused all the life energy of the girl, this girl killed by murder, innocent of any crime and used her as my middle ground. Then I started pouring them out. All the memories of the lives I had taken, stolen lifelines of the people I ‘killed’ flowing out and towards Death. The light consumed him, and behind me I could feel the deep rumbling of the ground opening up beneath me. I looked at Death, his eyes wide and his body encased in the glowing white light. I shrugged at him.

“Just go with it” I deadpanned. I began to take him back, absorb his energy and his power through the girl, feeling the trillions of lives surge through me and fill me, until there was nothing left of Death, only the girl who I used and the man who had killed her. She shuddered and took a heaving breath, and turned to me with horrified eyes.

“What are you?” she almost yelled. “ And what in seven hells is wrong with your eyes?” Huh. I guess Death’s kaleidoscope eyes were mine now. I smirked and turned around at the growing crack on the barn floor.

“Let’s find out” I said and raised my hands, breaking the floor apart and releasing, what seemed to be the deepest filth of the underworld. Humans in various states of decay, all whose memories I took, things that were neither human nor beast rose as well, along with some questionable firework type shapes that shot out as soon as the floor opened up. I turned to the girl next to me.

“You can stay here, and try and fight for yourself, and probably end up like him” I pointed to her murderer who seemed to be getting devoured by some sort of dog/tiger hybrid,

“Option two, I can drop you off wherever and whenever you like, past present or future, but warning: I am going to be using my new powers so do with that information as you will.”

“And the third option?” she asked me, slowly inching away from her murderer’s splattering entrails and towards me.

“You can come with me and, I don't know,” I smirked. “How about rule by my side?”  I held out my hand.

She took it.


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