Standing atop the world’s highest peak, I look down, hungrily contemplating my next victim. The living fear me and the dead determined to avenge me. I live an isolated life, for my job is one that must be done alone. Faraway in the distance, I hear a cry - it must be time. I lick my lips and with a swoosh of my black cloak soar down to oblige my call.
Over valleys and seas, I arrive at a wooden front door in a small suburb that had a strong air of neglect about it. Through to the darkest room of the decrepit house, inhabited by a pitiful creature driven to his last resort. Cries of pain and anguish pierce the cold, night air. The young man’s tear stained face contorted with suppression. His eyes sunken, his skin sallow – he already resembled the corpse he was to become. Huddled in the corner of the desolate room, the young man contemplates his dilemma. Torn apart by his quandary – like in a game of tug-or-war. I hear his thoughts as clearly as if they were my own.
‘There’s nothing more to live for. No purpose that I can fulfil. I can’t take it any more; I’ve had enough of this cruel world!’
Yet there’s something inside him that tries to cling on - determined to resist.
‘But it may not be too late to change things… maybe things will get better…
‘Countless times I’ve tried to belong in this world…maybe some things are just not meant to be…I’m just a waste of breath…
Helplessly he tries to come to some sort of conclusion but fear and doubt cloud his mind. The paranoia and insecurities that drove him to this secluded way of life intensifying with every heart beat.
I stand unnoticed, in silent anticipation, awaiting the right moment for my revelation. Fingers flexed by my sides, I slowly inch closer and closer, keen to ease the man’s suffering.
Delicately nudging and prodding thoughts into place. Persuasion is an art, which, when done properly has people begging at my feet for me to bestow upon them the ultimate escape.
Memories of his trauma filled past race through his mind. He’s five and his parents are fighting again as he lays in bed trying to drown out their voices. The front door slams and he never sees his father again. He’s nine and he’s sobbing in the middle of a group of school kids as they all point and laugh at him. He’s sixteen when he too finally abandons the mother that never wanted him; never loved nor cared for him. He’s twenty-one as he watches the only person who’s ever loved him get snatched so savagely from his arms.
Burying his face in his hands, he breaks into fresh sobs at the vividness of this last memory. All the hurt and grief he’d tried to contain burst out in a torrent of tears and howls.
I relish the memory of that day in June when I had the opportunity to take a life as well as destroy another all in one go. And now I’m here to finish the job I started exactly two years ago.
The uncontrollable shaking of the man comes to a halt as he lifts up his head and comes to the cold realisation of what he must do. And for the first time in years the voices in his head quiet down so that he finally remembers what the solace of silence feels like.
I stand poised, inches away from the man, ready to attack.
Then, a moment of hesitation, a last intake of breath, a flash of silver, an out pour of red. I swoop down upon the man to drain the sorrows that were his life. Darkness engulfs the man for the last time as all pain and feeling fade away into nothing; until he is in a state of such peace and tranquil that he’s never felt before. As my young victim’s tortured soul leaves his body and flows into mine, I get the familiar feeling of rejuvenation. His heart beat slows down, his thoughts turn into a blur, and his muscles slacken as I savour the last drops of life until there is nothing left to drain. The man falls limply to the ground as if he were nothing more than a rag doll lying in a puddle of red cordial. I get up and without a backward glance at my victim’s mangled body – leave- satisfied.
Standing atop the world’s highest peak, I look down, awaiting my next call.