I sat quietly and invisible under Death's icy cloak. My teeth were clattering and my hands were trembling.
After tonight everything would change. The act I was about to commit would change my life indefinitely . My innocence would be lost forever. What other choice did I have? It was a question I pondered over and over in my head for the last week, since my first meeting with Death.
I observed my surroundings. I was in an overly sanitized room that smelled of bleach. The walls were bare and void of any personal touches. Bars, prevented the solitary window that overlooked a busy intersection, from being opened. We were up thirteen stories. It was dark outside and the only light illuminating the room came from street lamps.
In a single bed, hooked up to various machines lay my fate. An elder woman who slept, while taking shallow breaths. Her skin was grey and hair wispy and white. She was oblivious to my presence.
I hated myself for what I was about to do and in that moment I hated the old woman too.
To calm my nerves I hummed a lullaby my mother sang to me when I was younger. Singing only the last line out loud as I placed my palm upon the ageing ladies cheek. "So hush now go to sleep."
Just like that. It rendered me breathless for a long minute.
The monitors began to beep. No longer soothing, my Mother's song was now creepy and associated with death.
Sure that I was still under Death's invisibility charm, I didn't feel the need to scram when the nurses busted through the door, tending to the old lady.
Even if I wanted to move, I couldn't. I was fixated at this woman whose life I had so mercilessly stolen.
On the side of the patient's bed was a pair of long needles, thread into a ball of baby blue colored yarn.
Last week, the image of needles and yarn had come to me in what Death referred to as a premonition. It hit me with a mixture of nausea and vertigo as my mind traced it back to me repeatedly over the last week.
I glanced back at the needles and yarn. A week ago they meant nothing to me, other than a headache and nostalgia, and Death hadn't bothered explaining. But here and now possibilities flooded my mind. This woman was knitting a hat or a blanket. Perhaps for a loved one.
A tear streamed down my cheek. What had I done? That was someone's mother, someone's Grandmother. This life was new and unfamiliar to me. No time to adjust. No way in hell I could.
I felt cold boney fingers dig into the exposed flesh on my shoulder. Although it was only the beginning of September, the hospital room was cold and frigid. I regretted wearing a tank top. A freezing sensation chilled my bones and nearly froze my blood. It was the first time Death had touched me. I wish it were the last. The gesture had been purely possessive. He owned me now.The moment he removed his hand warmth seeped back into my body. My breathing returned to normal.
I took a couple steps back and stole a glance at him, though it was futile. He often appeared in different forms. Today he was handsome and young. Ironically he looked like a wholesome, God- fearing Boy Scout. I stifled a cry.
"It's not as if the blood is on your hands Elanore." Death's voice whispered into my head, despite his proximity.
"No, only on my conscience." I replied out loud.
"You were wise to obey me Child. You remember our bargain, I take it."
I grimaced at his rhetoric remark sent telepathically. How could I forget?
Death ignored my discomfort and continued conversing with me."This is a quaint little neighborhood. I think you'll like Red High."
Yeah, right... So much for my fresh start. I wish my stepfather had turned down the promotion. I was a dark cloud over this. I avoided the first day of school completely By feining illness. I think my mother saw through my facade and chalked it up to nerves. There was no way she'd let me stay home tomorrow. I narrowed my eyes at Death. "Will you be there?"
Death stepped closer and tapped his finger against my temple. " I'll always be here."
I glared. "Don't you have a Boy Scout badge to earn?"
He laughed out loud. "I believe I just did."