Her heart: half withered, slowing to a stop. Her mind: hazy at best. It denoted to ninety-seven years on this planet that now found their last seconds beeped out by a heart monitor. Monica never thought she'd felt love, not truly. The scraps you get from laying belly up on the sofa, perhaps, but that wasn't genuine feeling, it was the result of having too much booze at a party. However while her grandmother lie there, dying within the comfortless, unforgiving hospital walls, she began to get a pretty good idea of what it felt like.

And it hurt.

More seconds. The twitching of clock hands. The unforgiving growls of her stomach from eating nothing but the stale peanut butter crackers in the dashboard. She hadn't bothered to wipe the crumbs off her face when she heard her phone vibrate with a text message. Her grandmother always said that thing would give her a brain tumor one day, she'd read about it in the gazette or some such nonsense. Now the phone had but one thing displayed on it's screen, glaring in bold, pixalized letters:

She's at the hospital. Come.

She didn't even think as she slammed the gas pedal down, fumbling with the keys in the ignition.

"Have you ever thought about dying?" the voice was a smooth, chilling texture. The silk sheets strung on a clothesline, battered by an unexpected hail.

"Well I am, aren't I?"

"Yes," How blunt of him. Although blunt words are always the sharpest. More so than the sickle in his hands, or the bones protruding from his body. Jesus, you could put an eye out with those. "But I don't like people to be afraid during their passing."

So he was charitable. Or he was looking for a good reference when she slapped a sticky note on God's office door. The old woman laughed for a moment, Monica looking at her strangely, having heard no one utter anything the least bit funny. In fact her expression was the stark opposite, tears slipping from her eyelashes like a bubbling spring.

"Well, take me then. I'm not the least bit afraid."

The wraith nodded, only shown by his loose fitting black hood giving the slightest of rustles, his hand extending. Hospitals always reeked of death, and tonight – a summer night, none the less! – was especially busy. There are no vacations when you're work is in constant demand, and the pay was nonexistent. And you thought you're job sucked…

… Then she looked at him. Chin length, black hair. Young. Beautiful. Horrified.

He stopped in mid air, frozen like the flow of speech in a defunct poem. The numbers above her head continued to tick onward, how many days, how many hours… Down to the last second of life left before the grains in the hour glass ran out. The elderly maid was down to fifteen, and counting. This was the way it had to be. This was how it had to be done.

She caught the way he looked at her grandchild, her eyes filled with fright that had just been denied. "No, not her…" she whimpered, begging for her baby of twenty three years old to be spared. "Please, not her."

Yet the young woman continued to stare, as if she could see the ghoul that only the dying were able to view. But how was this possible? She wasn't about to die. He wasn't going to touch her. No, that was breaking the rules. ESP. It had to be. Extra Sensory Perception, like one of those psychics he'd taken over so many times. Oh, he'd had a laugh when they tried to coax their way out of dying, their smugness about death and the other side beginning to fade.

However, not this time.

He touched the senior citizen's hand, jerking himself from whatever emotion that ailed him as he guided her to the other side, permitting her death. A small scream escaped Monica's lips. So small, so helpless, so very terrified and sad. God, he would do anything to quiet that noise – well, save for the one thing that he was best at.

But why is this old bat so worried? He thought, the sound of a flatline blaring away in the background as nurses shuffled into the room, passed a sobbing Monica and the ever so swarming feeling of loss. After all… His thoughts were suddenly grim as those dry teeth clanked together, back and forth. That girl has at least three days left. Give or take a minute.

A/N: Like is so far? Leave me a review and I'll post more. )