Written on 8/13/10 , typed up and published 10/7/10
Just to clarify things, I was not that crazy lady on Night of the Living Dead who danced around in a graveyard. I was more fascinated in the way Death acted, and not death itself.
I didn't want to die, I just wanted to fall in love, marry, have a few little zombie children. What was wrong with that? Apparently a lot. My mom had found the small Grim Reaper plushie I had made and became worried. She asked me about it and I replied simply. The conversation went something like this:
"What is this?"
" A doll."
She called a psychiatrist immediately after. I suppose she thought I meant a voodoo doll. I didn't protest as she came into my room and told me I'd be attending therapy with Dr. Hector Burns starting the day after next. I just agreed and sat on my bed. She left, my doll with her, and I imagined had herself a drink.
Unfortunately for my mom, she didn't know she had taken the duplicate of my doll, just in cased I lost one. I had the original under my bed in a box along with another little doll that kind of looked like me.
The wind rustled along the window that night, pushing leaves across the ground. I sat in bed, unable to sleep. I wasn't tired, but I wasn't energetic. I stared into the black room, not thinking, not speaking. Just staring.
I heard a scraping against the window. I turned without surprised to the wall. A very pale face stared back at me, peering into my room. Thought it was past midnight, I could see the outline of a black hood over his head. The dark, hollow sockets in his skull had no eyes, so it was hard t tell where he was looking, but I knew it was at me. I stood up and left the room, down the hall and made it to the living room without any lights on. I unlocked the front door and pulled it open. A large gust of wind pushed it open all the way. It stopped short just before hitting the wall, as if some invisible hand had grabbed it. My hair flipped around and goosebumps rose on my arms. I squinted into the dark not. Another strong gust rushed into the house; leaves scattered in a circular motion like a twister. It quickly died off and the leaves dispersed.
Death stood on the porch in silence. Taller, broader than I, he loomed over me as if I were some toddler, and perhaps I was to him. His face was shadowed again. I supposed I had seen his 'dead face' in the window.
"Did you come to take my mom away too?"
Death stared at me in silence. Was that a yes or a no?
"Or is this visit for me?"
Once again he said nothing. Why was that? I knew he could speak. We stared at each other for a few minutes. I then heard a deep, rasping breath as he inhaled. The Reaper stepped forward, his cloak brushing along the ground, and stretched out his arm. At first I thought it was for me to take, to join him in the Undead Clique, but he parted his fingers, his hand out like to shake mine, and I noticed a silver line over his skin. A shiny pendant fell from his palm and dangled in mid-air, suspended from an almost-invisible chain.
The oval twirled in the air, catching the little light from the moon on its smooth surface. It mesmerized me. It was beautiful.
My breath caught in my throat and I found myself reaching out to the chain. I wanted it. The sudden chortling noise that rose from the back of Grim's throat shook me to reality. I pulled my hand back and tore my gaze from the necklace to look at his face.
I smirked and he let out a confused chirping sound.
"So I'm NOT getting the silent treatment?"
Another chirp. I supposed he didn't know what "the silent treatment" was. Death tilted his head to the side like a curious child would do and stared for a long time. His hand was still stretched out, the pendant waiting for me to grab it. I wasn't tempted by it anymore. I smiled, he cooed.
"Nice try," I said, "but you can't barter for a life."
My mom was sitting on the couch when I came downstairs that morning. She had her hands on her lap, her fingers laced over the side of her coffee cup. It seemed like she was in a trance, the way that she was staring at the television.
I came up behind her and touched her shoulder. She jumped and turned around quickly. Her face was pale, like she was dying. Her eyes were sunken into her head, dark bags very visible. She looked at me but I had the feeling she didn't SEE me.
Suddenly she snapped from her trance-like state and turned back to face the television, which was showing white noise, oddly enough.
"Ariane," her voice was crackling, as if she'd been crying, "I have something to tell you."
I knew it was bad news.
"What is it, Mama?"
She sniffled and looked down at her coffee cup.
"Maybe you should sit down."
I walked around the plush couch and took a seat on the left side of her. "What? What's wrong?"
Mom inhaled shakily, trying not to get too overly emotional.
"Your Uncle, he, ah … "
"Yes. He …" Mom wiped her nose with the side of her wrist and shook her head. Her loose hair bounced over her bony shoulders and draped along her back. "You know he loved you."
"Your … Your Uncle died, sweetie."
"He loved swimming … "
" … he drowned."