A Visit from Death

Girls when they went out to swim, once dressed like Mother Hubbard, now they have a bolder whim: they dress more like her cupboard.

 

“Augustus was my good friend,” I sadly thought of Augustus. “We were friends since childhood. It was not his time to go. He was not supposed to be there, but he one day came home and found three men waiting for him. They bludgeoned him to death.”

“I believe you were present,” Death said.

“I saw them,” I admitted. “I was there. I could not stop them”

“You fled before you saw him die,” Death said.

“What was I supposed to do?” I shouted. “It was three of them.”

“You recognized them, didn’t you?” Death knew.

“I did,” I said. “I recognized them. They were brothers of his wife. They were divorcing. She wanted his house. It had belonged to his mother who had left it to her six children. They all fought for that house.”

“You never told a soul,” Death whispered.

“I could not,” I wonder if I resented Death.

“You must resent me,” Death perceived my displeasure.

“You also took my brother,” I said. “He was shot as he walked down the street, never knowing his murderer… My father died when I was only eight… You followed my family closely.”

“I am never fair,” Death agreed. “In the end your fate is in my hands.

A Visit from Death

If a man who turnip cries

Cry not when his father dies, ’tis a proof that he would rather have a turnip than a father.

Samuel Johnson

 

 

“So many do not get to choose,” Death said, “I take them away swiftly like a thief in the night, before they ever realize it is me. I will take you the same way as I took your dear friend, Augustus… Do you not recall him or have you forgotten him so easily?”

“How dare you speak his name!” I felt my anger rising.

“Ah,” exclaimed Death, “I see you remember him… Have you forgotten that day?”

“I do not want to speak of it!” I shouted at him. “Leave me alone! I have nothing more to say to you. Leave, leave!”

“You do not summon me away,” Death said. “I came here for you, and you, I will take when your heart ceases beating. I came for you as I came for Augustus. Do not fight me.”

“I do not want to hear any more!” I covered my ears.

“You fool,” Death said. “Augustus, didn’t beg for his life as you do now.”

I turned away from Death and cried.

“No, no,” was all I could repeat. “He was my friend.”

“Ah, yes, poor Augustus,” Death said quietly.

“Did he feel anything?” I weakly asked.

“His death was swift,” Death replied.