Last Rites

Avatar Author: HSAR Master of the Armory and Chief Nibmaker of Our Strange and Wonderful House. It's a pleasure to meet you. Like many others in this community, I have no qualifications for writing except a head full of ideas and a passio... Read Bio

It was not a particularly interesting soul, no. Like many others I have collected over the years. A clean white bed, monitors beeping sadly. A strong, healthy body weeping over the fragile husk of a dying one.

He looked up at me, the shadow I didn’t cast draping itself over her form. Wasn’t surprised, wasn’t fearful, not even at the scythe I wield as a matter of tradition. Just nodded at me respectfully. It’s rare to see that kind of recognition these days.

Out of understanding, and some measure of care, I let the sounds drop away. Let him have a few moments of peace and quiet.

“You loved her very much.”
“I didn’t have many opportunities to tell her so.”

I didn’t have any answer to that. Life is life, and death is death. I lifted the scythe gently, causing her spirit to sit up, and stopped at his pleading gaze.

“Can I have… a moment, before you take her?”

I turned away briefly. I rarely make such concessions, but a little respect goes a long way.

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Comments (4 so far!)

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  1. Ahfl_icon THX 0477

    Nice twist at the end there. I don’t often see you write outside the Airships saga; I like it. The beginning hovers between choppy and poetic, but I think it works.

  2. Ahfl_icon THX 0477

    Or maybe it wasn’t a twist, just me misreading. Either way, lovely.

  3. Avatar JonB

    Death (with a capital D) seems to be a popular character around here at the moment (eg Zen Brau’s story). I like this a lot – it has an appropriate atmosphere of serene resignation, particularly the feeling of detachment as the sounds drop away. As for the potential twist at the end, I shall read on to see whether or not that is just a product of THX’s fevered imagination.

  4. Avatar HSAR

    If you check the publication date, this was published a bit further back.

    But a personification of Death is usually fun to explore, a la Terry Pratchett.