Death wore roses
in her hair.
Death also had
Lightly curled cascading hair.
<exactly like her own>
The whitest of white faces.
<eerily familiar, but not quite…>
A black nose.
<or was it hollow?>
Spiderwebs covering the third eye
<slightly above the bridge of her nose>
And eyesockets hollowed–
“Death?” asked the woman.
“Is it true you are going to kill me?”
The beautiful creature nodded.
“Yes.” She said.
“Yes it is.
This is my job….yes?
When a mortal is given life, they are also given death?
The woman with dark hair began to cry.
“That’s not fair!!” said the woman.
“I don’t want to die.
Death…..please…..I don’t want to die.
Please….tell me….is there something I can do….please….to stop this from happening?
you know I will do anything….
anything at all….just please… don’t let me die.”
The figure named death looked at the dark-haired woman pleading for her life, and watched as mortal tears fell on hallowed ground, causing newborn blooms to flourish.
She paused and considered the life the woman could bring <a life that she could not> and decided to indulge her a little longer.
“You ask for a great deal....” began death, “and offer me anything I ask of in exchange…..is this true?”
The woman shedding tears nodded.
“Yes.” she replied. “Anything death… please…..just please let me live.”
Death watched as the womans’ tears watered the barren earth,
and then offered her
“I will give you what you asked for” she said.
“However it shall come at a cost.
It is not of my doing, but it is the way of the world.
Some things….” she drawled…..”they are in motion….
and even though I have the power to alter things which I can control…I have no power to control that which belongs to others….”
The woman flooding the earth nodded.
“I understand” she said.
What is it you need from me in exchange?”
Death reached for the rose as it blossomed under duress, and with fingernails turned to scythes, she cut the life swiftly and presented it without thought.
“Here” she said, handing it to the weeping woman.
and a reminder….
we call a rose
By any other name
would smell as sweet….”Shakespeare
The woman sniffled and death smiled sweetly.
“Now…” spoke death.
“This is what I require and this is what I will give you in return.
For you to escape death, I ask of you only one thing…..”
The woman with the flower was crushing it in excitement…”yes….” she said…”do ask…. I told you…..that I shall give it freely.”
Death took another flower and gave it to the woman.
“For you to have your wish…” spoke death….
“There are things I need you to give up….
for your own safety of course.
These are things which humanity calls freedom….but what I call temptation.
Each time as a mortal you explore your “freedom” you are tempting death to come for you.
Should you wish for me to stay away, then you will need to give this freedom up…..othwewise I can not give you that which you ask for.
Do you think that is fair?
The woman crushing roses nodded.
“Yes.” she said. “Of course.
That makes sense.
If I am tempting fate by going outdoors then I could get sick.
Or something else could happen to me.
Maybe I would get hit by a car.
Or a plane could crash.
Or someone may come and hurt me….”
The woman nodded.
“Yes death. I perfectly understand and I believe this to be a fair trade off.”
I will not partake in risky activities which could comprimise my life, and in return you shall not be tempted to come knock at my door.”
The deal was done.
And the magic was spun.
And the woman couldn’t believe how lucky she was.
The woman on the other end of the phone was exasperated.
I love you.
But this is getting ridiculous.
You can’t keep living like this.
This is not life…
This is not living….
This is full blown madness.”
The woman on the other end was crying and didn’t understand why people couldn’t see her point of view.
She tried to be diplomatic once again.
“Hun.” she said.
I know a first birthday is a special occasion, and I really would love to be there, but I’m sorry.
I just can’t.
Don’t you understand?
If I leave the house…..something could happen to me…I could get sick.
Maybe I would get hit by a car.
Heck. I could even get gastro…..food poisoning….I could be allergic to something…..
no I’m sorry.
It’s just too risky.
I can’t afford to tempt death like that,
I need to stay home.
This is where I’m safest.
“BUT IT’S A FIRST BIRTHDAY!!!!” screamed her friend.
“YOU’RE MISSING MY BABIES FIRST BIRTHDAY FOR FUCKS SAKE!!”
The woman on the other end of the phone kept her composure.
“I understand that.” she said.
“But don’t you see how selfish you are….expecting me to come when I could die?
Look at the harm you are selfishly and deliberately wanting to put myself in.”
“IT’S LIFE!!!” screamed her friend.
“HAVE YOU GONE CRAZY?
WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?
“EVERY PERSON WHO IS BORN, IS ALSO GOING TO DIE!!
HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN THAT?
BECAUSE SINCE YOUR CONVERSATION WITH DEATH, AND YOUR DECISION TO ESCAPE DEATH, YOU HAVE LOCKED YOURSELF IN A PRISON…..” the woman stopped shouting at her friend, realised this was not what she wanted,
took a breath, and then tried again.
I love you.
So very…..very……very much.
But since your conversation with death and the decision to preserve your life, you have stopped living….don’t you see?
You won’t go for dinner with friends in case you get sick.
You won’t catch up for coffee in case you bump into someone and get burnt.
You won’t go on holiday in case the plane drops out of the sky.
You won’t swim in the ocean in case you drown.
You wount drive a car unless you crash.
You wont walk down the street in case you get hit.
You haven’t left the house for 247 days…and during that time, you missed a funeral, a wedding, the birth of a baby, a first birthday, seeing the kids school awards and volunteering with the local kids who you have worked with forever.
I’ll say it again.
I love you.
But living like this?
Locking yourself away like this…..all in the hopes of not dying….not tempting death to knock at your door….babe…..it’s just not living.”
The woman on the other end of the phone wanted her friend to understand so badly, but she could see it was not going to happen.
“You wouldn’t understand” she said.
“You don’t know what it’s like to live with death waiting for you around every corner, if only you ever make one wrong move.
This is serious!!” she said.
“It’s life and death!!” Do you understand? People could DIE!!
They could die if they go outside of their homes.
They could die if they travel.
They could die if they have weddings and funerals…
Can’t you see how selfish you are being?
Expecting everyone to be as carefree as you….simply because you hold no regards for your own life?
It’s selfish I’m telling you.
And I’m not talking to you another minute longer.
You go and tempt death and have a birthday party….and you see what happens….
but I won’t be there….
I’m staying here.
And as far away from death as possible.
It’s not much to ask….
it’s for my own well being….
you go….out there….engaging in risky activities where you could kill someone or they could kill you….
but don’t come crying to me when something happens….
no no no.
I’m not coming tonight.
And I’m not coming ever again.
My life is way to important to risk it on living.
Do me a favour.
Don’t call me again.
Don’t call me ever.
Unless you want to apologise for your selfish, harmful behaviour…I don’t want to hear from you ever again.
Maybe you should go and have a conversation with death, and then see if you would be so quick to keep on living huh?
And the woman on the other end realised what her friend had said was true.
If she continued to live,
then it was true
that she was destined