Death tells of his experiences
I stand. Rain falls. Clouds swirl overhead, a thousand different shades of grey. The world surrounds me, constantly shifting and changing, dancing to a beat which it has taken me a thousand years to fully comprehend. Small droplets hit my hat, slowly dripping to its very rim and falling, a graceful shadow of the ocean, running down my black suit, caressing my black boots before touching the ground lightly, carefully taking its first steps on a journey.
There are tears. They also fall like rain. But I understand rain. Tears though, are as alien to me as the concept of time as something straight. They do not fall like rain; instead, they run like rivers, freely flowing, not held by their hesitance to touch the ground, happy to make their descent at a steady pace.
Black shadows of former selves, wearing black, with black shoes and black hats. They stand, uncaring of the rain. Not willing to simply observe. Not willing to see the thousand shades of gray that inhabit this world that fill it with - well. I don’t know. The tears are theirs. Always are the they the tears of shadows, of simple musings of happiness that had once been.
The grass sways gently, allowing the wind to hold it in a gentle embrace. Allowing a zephyr to blow freely through fields of grey. Zephyr. A good word, one that is as soft as what it represents, a word that fits its meaning. I have always had a taste for words. Even when I did not truly understand their use or meaning.
I look up, witnessing the blanketed sky in all its glory. A particularly beautiful grey. The grey of the morning just before dawn, when the word realises that a new day has started. There is a snuffling and a rare, blinding array of white is lifted from a pocket. The holder’s hands are creased and worn, the hands of something that has lived.
The shadow hands it to another shadow, one that leans its head on the pocket shadows shoulder, their outlines mixing like the rain. Far, far away, on the edge of the green a forest leaf ruffles and water touches it, filling the leaf with new life, changing its shade of grey. An ant fights with an aphid, its strength and brethren soon overpowering the creature.
I lift my hand, feeling the minute brush of my cuff on my jacket pocket. I draw back the sleeve, hearing the ruffle and stare at my watch. A long sigh escapes me, one that contains the worry of a thousand years of thought. With a brief, sunless smile I start to walk forward. Black shoes make black sounds on grey grass. Rain is crushed into the earth and stalks and stems and beaten into the dirt.
Creatures aware of my passing stalk away. I do not walk. I do not have the proper bearing to walk. I stride, case held in one hand as if I truly have a purpose other than to wander and to observe. To think of colourful days and reminisce. Only then do I notice the dog. It, unlike its masters is not a shadow.
Dogs have always been my friends. They share the same ailment as me. They cannot see colour. Only a thousand shades of grey. Its fur is pressed back by the rain and innocent eyes that have seen many guilty things stare at me. I again force a lacklustre smile and reach forward. Feeling the brush of cloth against my age old skin.
A coffin passes in front of me, too many memories to count stored in a strange wooden box. Time stops as I open it, the rain perches on the brim of my hat and hangs still in the air. A strange hope builds up inside me. A hope that has been beaten down more times than worthy of remembering. A hope that won’t let go.
I smile a bitter smile, one that should have been cured by the caresses of fine liquor long ago. Sadly, I cannot embrace my old friend anymore. Should I have call for a strong spirit, then I won’t have call for anything at all.
I unclasp the coffin. My hope dies like a flower after spring, content to wither in the knowledge that it will bloom again. Sadly, not today. There is no colour suddenly thrown into the world. No vermilions or crimsons. Just a grey body, filled with memories. There is a small glowing light in the middle of the dead shadows chest. I reach down, my hand passing as if it was the wind through his body and clasping the light.
I bring it out and open up my briefcase. There is the soft mutter of metal as it slides open, revealing an innumerable amount of brilliant, blindingly white feathers. I open my hand and it clutches a new feather. I place it lightly into the case, hearing the blissful nothing, the silence of it as it touches its friends.
I close the lid. Another bittersweet smile graces my features. I sit. It has been far too long since the colour left this world, far too long have I ruminated, slowly drowning, wallowing like a pig in my own self pity. You ask of me a thousand things but I ask of you but one. Humour me. Allow me to remember, to tell my stories of the times when the world had colour, as the world was losing it.
Over time, they have called me many, many things. My names have changed, at least to my eyes, as quickly as one second falls to the next. They have called me a time keeper, a reaper, the collector, the harbinger. But, only one name has truly stuck with me through these many, many years. A name, a word that I have particular fondness for. Death.
Sit down. Close your mind of other, attractions. Block out the sound of the of the bird, its wings flapping so faintly in the background. Forget even, the wind. And listen; observe me for an hour as I have observed you for a thousand, million years.