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Content Warning.


Death is shy. He avoids me.

I think of him every second I breathe, but nothing tingles his hearing. I wonder if he sneezes. Unlikely; he would have the flu all the time. Poor ill Death! I call him as I live. He doesn't attend to my demands and yet, it is something intimate to him. He remains indifferent. I don't expect him to express his emotions the way a man can. He is an angel after all. An outlier. A loner of need, but with a purpose. The Angel of Death. He expresses, but with a catastrophic explosion - the hungry soul taker. I often ask him for it. Exactly the "it". I hit the bed wishing to die in slumber.

Anxiety induced a throbbing headache that made me feel weak in the stomach, and I clutched it. After missing and calling him for the nth time, he got annoyed and finally listened.

I fell asleep, but could see the darkness of the room. My chest felt constricted on the ribs. I realized I was having a heart attack. It was the first time I felt a tangible force on me - something was pushing down on my chest with stem like fingers. I gasped, woke up and sat up on the bed, eyes wide open. I looked over before collapsing again on the pillow. There he was!

A dark silhouette. Curtains moved.

This was not a dream, I saw him!

He looked dark, and grim. He had thousand wings, and infinite shadows for eyes that penetrated in me. And with that, he knew what I was.

He had a thin partition where the human mouth is, and innumerable tongues imprinted on his structure that were impossible to discern. The cosmic being was full of miniature art but if looked close, the art element expunged. He brought another dimension of the world inside my bedroom. The Archangel wielded a frightening power. He was of light, but with a dark side. The Angel of destruction. The force began to daunt me.

One has to be crazy to call for Death!

He was kneeled with his hand chafing inside my chest, and curled up on my heart. His hands were of splintering tree stem, and coarse stone. I broke in sweat. I tried to breath with the nose that never breathed for me. My heart was struggling to keep up when it barely ever pumped blood in my body. A feather broke from his wing, and fell on my skin. Slimy. It clung where the splinters opened the wound. Active at first, my finger tips, skin, nails, and tongue went numb. I coiled and twisted in pain, moaning. But my life kept getting stretched and timed by this magnificent monstrosity—

Is it human to wish to die when in pain? What is greater than pain? Some say, there is no life without pain. While other advocates say, there are far worse things than pain. To this one, I don't agree. I think pain encompasses all aspects of life - physical, mental, emotional. Pain takes seven stages: (1) tears, (2) anxiety/depression, (3) bed ridden illness, and (4) death. If death does not occur, an ill life or, (5) hollowness, or the void. If nurtured, hollowness can be eliminated, but (6) the person changes - becoming unrecognizable from the past. If unnurtured, one lives (7) a life of mute, inscrutable, benumbing weight and suffering.

I was in severe anguish, and every breath was a torture. My temples were going to explode. I tensed up.


I lost all defense in suffocation, and my body was shutting down. I gave up. He pushed down hard on my chest that I formed a crater of a fallen star on the bed. That moment again. I couldn't bear it any longer.

God, end it already!

But it was taking forever. I concluded he didn't want me dead in seconds. He wanted me to experience the painstaking journey to death, as opposed to the living dead I already was. Unless, he wanted me to suffer more from the pain of living? My senses were slowing down, paralyzing. My heartbeat and breath were failing from pain and suffocation. I started praying for my family. No matter what you go through, praying remains ironically doable. That bladed Arch kept pushing me slowly to stillness. I shut down.

I was dying.

My senses awakened. Water trickled in the sink bowl. My soul started to rise. The membranous spectral silhouette disembodied partially, edges still intact inside the rigid limp morsel that I was, I became the spirit.

Everything turned bright white, and I entered the other side of the world where air, ceiling, and the floor were composed of mist. It was the middle zone between the earth, the heavens, and the ablaze hell. I was anticipating seeing darkness of the many deaths, or cloudiness of the spirits as my own. How long I have been in that space I do not know. I kept floating forward into blankness, waiting for the force to decide my fate between heaven and hell.

There was no one there beyond the thick mist.

I kept drifting until the mist and I united to become one. Together, we were unknowing of anyone else's presence in that place. Just when I thought I reached the edge of the mist and could see beyond, the force wrenched me back, and withdrew me in blackness. I fell.

I panicked.

Fear took over. I looked around, and raised arms to grab onto any support. "Help!" I yelled. No voice came out. Blackness became impregnable. I stopped falling and with a sickening thud, entered vacuum. Afloat, I heaved a few times through my mouth, trying to make sense of what was going on. And I saw the skies - blues and greys, rock shaped stars. The haze. I felt light-headed, and lost consciousness to an engulfing black drop.

I am among those who would be made to wait!

Pressure on my heart lifted slightly, and then with an impactful release! I gasped, breathing in at full force as I sat on the bed. I started choking.

My heart pounded heavily and hurt. I kept holding tightly onto my chest. My eyes welled up, mute. I looked around. There was no more of the smoked darkness in the room. Curtains were still.

Death was gone.

I blinked a few times. Jaded. Water trickled down my face. I raised my hand to wipe it away. In a subdued surprise, I realized they were tears. I looked at the wet sparkle on my fingers, and rubbed my hands in relief. I breathed deeply. I could feel again.

"I'm alive."

Am I sad he didn't take me with him? Do I still miss him after all the pain and suffocation he made me endure? Unless another darkness falls, I do not know.

For now.

I reached for the side table to drink some water. Clock ticked 4 A.M., the dawn. I pushed the curtain aside to look out the window. The tree outside my room revealed the peeking sun. The Sun was rising, and he had already begun gold plating the tree trunk. Smiling faintly, I left the room for breakfast. I had decided to live with the Sun.


Flash Fiction on Lifestyle Prism.

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