Don't Fear the Reaper

What would you do if you met death? What would you say? Would you be scared?
What would you do if you fell in love?


1. The boy in black

Do you fear death? I don't. I embrace it. I long for the day I can let go of everything and sink into nothingness. When everything that you ever worried about, every anxiety, every superficial decision against you has no relevance at all. It doesn't mean a thing.

I met death once. A long time ago, back when he was just a boy and I was just a girl.

It was winter, one of those cold bitter winters where the snow is powder but every road has a sheet of ice like skin. There were lots of deaths that winter. I lived in a small town called Black Valley where the cemetery was bigger than the village itself and the stone church on the edge of town was the only place you felt at ease, protected and yet it was home to the most feared.
This was the town where Death lived, in the form of a young boy called Nicolas Grimm, also known as 'The Reaper'. There was no recollection of him being born; he was just there it seemed. He had no mother, no father, no record of birth. He was spotted one day by the primary school headteacher as a baby in the arms of the present Reverend  his eyes piercing blue and innocent. The teacher grew suspicious of this child, it didn't seem right somehow.

The Reverend only carried him whilst wearing gloves and long sleeves and he never spoke to the child nor made eye contact. The teacher decided one day to wait for the Reverend to come out of the church door and confront him and so he waited in the garden. For hours he waited but the Reverend did not come out. In fact, he never came out of the church again. He was never seen after that, he just seemed to have disappeared. Five years later, the teacher was walking his dog by the church gardens as he often did and noticed a small boy in the yard. He was sitting under a sycamore tree wearing a black shirt and black trousers. His hair was thick, dark and swept over his eyes. The teacher tried to get a better look at what the child was doing and stood on a bench to peer over the gate. The boy was looking at a small plant intently. He reached his hand out slowly and touched a leaf. The plant suddenly began to shrivel, its leaves recoiled and turned black before the whole thing turned to dust.

The teacher gasped in shock, giving away his position; the boy turned his head sharply in surprise and his eyes locked with the teacher. The teacher looked deep into the boy's eyes for he couldn't look away. Suddenly he felt a sharp pain and clutched his chest as his soul began to freeze. The last thing he ever thought was how the boy in black had the bluest eyes he had ever seen and that no human on earth could be that beautiful; he was either an angel or a demon and he was definitely not an angel. Then the teacher turned to dust.

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