Death Lives Here: Prologue: What about Danielle?
Death has the memory of an elephant, one would say. He never forgets, able to recall every life he ever took. This may seem implausible, because the mind pushes out old information in order to make room for the new. But Death is an exception, because technically he doesn't have brain to store his memories in.
He doesn't like the burden of memory. It makes some things painful for him. Well, as painful as they can get. Death hasn't any real emotions as humans do, because he's, well, dead.
But his memory and lack of emotions is what provides us with the premise of our story. A story of discovery, naivety, and a bond that unites us all.
Death sat in a large chair, surrounded by his vast library. All the books were bound in black leather, embossed with silver letters and binding.
You may be thinking: What kind of books would Death be reading? Doesn't he have more important things to do than read? The answer is simple.
These aren't books aren't novels. They are the stories of everyone who has ever lived, or is living at the present time. Every few seconds, another book would appear on the shelf, representing the birth of a human child.
Death never really touched these books, unless he needed them for reference. Never did he pick one up for entertainment or the sake of reading.
A list of names sat in front of Death, new names being added every few seconds. Only a certain number of names appeared everyday, because it is even impossible for Death to be in more than one place at once. In other words, he only makes a personal appearance at deaths for a certain number of people. Noticing these new names, Death sighed and stood up from his chair. As he did so, his ancient knees cracked under the weight of the rest of his skeleton.
He grabbed his scythe from the wall, holding it gingerly in his phalanges. His bones could not feel the grooves of the handle, but he knew they were there. He could feel them.... subconsciously, just knowing they were there.
Death glanced down at the first name on his list. Stephen Knight. Upon seeing the name, he knew exactly where he had to go. He "erupted" into a pillar of black smoke. The smoke remained after he had gone, slowly dissolving into the air.
He soon appeared on what appeared to be a rural area in either Scotland or England. The exact location mattered not to Death.
He was on the doorstep of a large home that seemed a bit out of place to him. It was on top of a hill, and over looked a small town, its small lights glinting in the distance. Even in the dark it looked as though this home used to be a part of a small farm. It was rather cold out, but Death couldn't feel it.
He knew the door was locked, but it wouldn't stop him from doing his job. Instead, he walked right through the wall, as if it wasn't even there.
Mr. Knight was upstairs on his death bed, extremely sick. His time would soon come to an end tonight. As Death approached the room, he found a heart wrenching scene.
A woman and a child, who were probably Mr. Knight's wife and daughter, were standing over his bed. There was a doctor in the room with them, a stethoscope in hand. Death inched closer into the room, only to see the doctor shake his head in despair.
"I'm sorry, that's it. He's gone."
The late Stephen Knight's wife began to weep softly, dropping to her knees. The little girl seemed too young to understand what was going on. She tilted her head in confusion.
"Daddy?" she asked, expecting him to answer.
Suddenly, a spirit appeared next to Death. It was Mr. Knight's ghost, who looked much paler than the man on the bed.
He studied Death carefully, taking in the long, black robe and scythe. He seemed scared, afraid to leave his wife and children behind.
"I'm dead?" he asked, as if afraid to find out the answer.
"Regrettably, yes," Death answered, is voice indifferent to the situation.
Mr. Knight's spirit eyes welled up with tears at the sight of his wife and daughter, who was still calling to him as if he was just asleep.
"What about my wife? What about Danielle??" he asked frantically.
Death ignored Mr. Knight's inquiries about his family, and proceeded to say, "You have led a good life and were a good man. You shall be rewarded."
With that, Death snapped his fingers, and Mr. Knight's ghost disappeared. The skeletal figured turned briskly and headed out of the room, leaving the sobbing wife and confused daughter behind.
A few years passed, and while Death did not forget Mr. Knight and his family, Death's head was not occupied with thoughts about them.
It was time again for his daily rounds, in which he made a personal appearance at a few people's deaths. After a few people had been taken care of, he looked at the next name on his list. Stephanie Harper. Death erupted once more into his pillar of black smoke to take Ms. Harper to the after life.
He arrived in the middle of a dirt road. It was crowded, everyone looking at three figures. A cute, blonde teenager was kneeling over her friend, who was lying on the ground and leaking blood from a knife wound in her chest. The blonde seemed beside herself, whispering, "No... No, no, no. Not Stephanie...."
The third figure, turned to Death as he approached her.
"Why?" she asked in a weak voice, obviously bewildered by the traumatic event that was her death.
"It was your time."
"B-but, I'm too young!! I'm only sixteen!" she exclaimed.
"I am sorry," Death replied. He didn't sound sorry at all.
"Wh...What about my family?! What about Danielle, she's my best friend!" she said, motioning to the blonde girl. Ms. Harper's ghost was desperate for another shot at life, but Death could do nothing.
"I am sorry," he said again before snapping his ebony fingers and watching her disappear.
More time passed, and it was time yet again for Death to make a trip to another one of Ms. Danielle Knight's loved ones. Or rather, Mrs. Eric Webb.
Death found himself at the same house that had belonged to Mr. Knight those many years ago. Now, it was owned by Danielle and Eric Webb.
Walked up the familiar stairs, and was greeted by a familiar scene.
A wife and her four children, standing over the bed of their dead husband and father. An elderly doctor stood over the bed. Death recognized him immediately.
"I'm sorry, that's it. He's gone."
The same words were spoken when Danielle Webb's father died. Death found the similarities between the two events nauseating. He knew what Eric Webb's ghost was going to say before he said it.
"What about Danielle? What about my kids?" Death quoted as the ghost appeared.
"How did you know?" he ghost asked curiously.
Death shrugged his bony shoulders. Mr. Webb nodded slowly before asking, "So... what about them?"
"Losing you will hurt them greatly, but their hearts will mend in time."
Mr. Webb's eyes averted to his weeping family. Death followed his gaze.
"Are you ready for the after life?" he asked bluntly.
Mr. Webb looked reluctant. "I suppose so."
"You believe in reincarnation, Mr. Webb?"
"Enjoy your next life," knowing that his well wishes would not be remembered. And with that, the ghost of Eric Webb disappeared, leaving behind his family.
What about Danielle?
Death had heard this question more than a few times, not knowing, or caring really, what the answer would be.
But he would find out. A few more years would pass, but the question of Danielle's loved ones would soon be answered.
A few more years.
- Title: Death Lives Here
- Artist: de oaid
Death decided to find out the meaning of life.
Please note: Death's office is LOOSELY based off of Death's office in Terry Pratchet's Discworld series. There are differences though, as you'll find when we get further into the story. The Prologue is also to provide background to the story, so you understand where everything is coming from and who Danielle is.
- Date: 08/16/2009
- Tags: death lives here