Death, I Thought He Was a Fool
The smell was the most offensive, most horrible thing that anyone had assaulted me with. Before me, on the asphalt, lay the man spread-eagled. The smell was emanating from him.
It was the smell of death.
His breathing came in short, spastic breaths, his chest heaving as if the simple act were killing him too. Tears were streaming down his face, rivulets that cut away at the dirt and grime. A tangled grey nest was his hair, and his clothes were nothing more than rags on a stick-man.
As I leaned in closer the man opened his eyes–they were still no more than slits.
“You. Miss. Come. Closer”
I did as he asked. How did you deny the requests of a dying stranger?
“Please!” he coughed.
“What happened to you?” I asked him. I felt a sickening mixture of pity and disgust within me. I didn’t need to look at myself to know that I was crying.
He closed his eyes again. There was silence, his shallow breathing barely heard.
“What happened to you?” I asked again.
“Please?” he coughed once more. I realized that he was not addressing me, but someone else, someone unseen. As far as I knew, we were alone. I shivered.
The man managed to look at me once more. “I was just like you once. I had a home. My health. Death came to me one day . . . I was to die . . . But I struck a bargain with him.” He swallowed. “I could live–If I accepted a gift of foresight!” The man spasmed, and I jumped back–he ignored me, and continued.
“I thought that I had cheated Death–Death, I thought he was fool! But the gift . . . Was a curse. I. Could. Not. Control it. Each time . . . It came to me . . . And a day of my life was taken away.
“But he did more than that. He. Took. Away. All the things–all the things I loved! I would see them die . . . And then he would take them. I died inside each time, while my days were taken from me. When they were all gone . . . My family . . . My friends . . . He took away my things . . . My job . . . My house. Until there was nothing.
“Until I was nothing.”
The mans breathing became more shallow, more erratic–until it stopped. His eyes opened wide in terror.
And then he died.
Regardless of what I believed, Death had finally taken this man–a man who had taken the gift of foresight to prolong his own life.
This short story has been brought to you by Team Monster, inspired by The Daily Post.
Team Monster likes to eat an apple a day, because that keeps away more than just the doctor! Keep it monstrous!