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  • Writer's pictureIrene Chun

Succumb to the Darkness

They could feel their heart start to race as they stared into the mirror’s reflection… Because lurking in the back, they spotted out the darkness, swirling around, circling around their feet. They had always felt as if someone—no, something—was always there, present yet unseen to the eye. However, standing in the mirror, they couldn’t take their eyes off the growing darkness, the irregular, spine-tingling movement as the pools of emptiness seemed to grow larger, taller, forming into a shape which resembled a human. Unable, unwilling to turn, they could only stare with wide eyes at the ongrowing silhouette. It seemed to have finished its state of growing, now unmoving however the more they tried to make it its face, the more blurred the mirror seemed to reflect. They couldn’t help it anymore, they spun around, rendered breathless as the thing… this creature… continued to stare at them with such lifeless, dull eyes. They felt drenched in cold sweat, limbs unresponsive, nothing moving, yet the person in front of them caught their attention, drew in their curiosity. Without a thought, slowly, raising their hand they caressed the darkness, transfixed by the tendrils of smoke that dispersed at the contact. The feeling as if they were touching something translucent yet something that made them feel so grounded. They mustered the courage to ask one question, one which was bound to change their fate. Forever.

“Who are you?”

I am Death.

For those who are wondering, was it their time? Did Death come to take them to the other side, whatever lay on the beyond? The what-if so many humans asked? No…

Death loved them. Loved them so much that Death never let them die.

Death cherished them so much that he wasn’t willing to let them go. Was going to defy every moral he stood for just to see them smile, laugh, anything they did was so mesmerising. And so Death embellished the world just to see them smile more. And so time flew, whether it be decades, centuries or even millennia, it was unseen to either of them. Time was not a concern and if anything they loved the idea of being able to stay alive, a beautiful gift as they would tell Death. It wasn’t a lie when it said love could overcome anything, even death. The memories shared together was all that they needed. If only it could last a lifetime. As the saying goes, when death comes, darkness always follows. Always.

- - -

“Get away from me!” They screamed, knocking a vase away. Death didn’t move as the pottery hit the ground before breaking into a million pieces, scattering across the cold tile floor. Death stared, gaze unmoving as he kept his eyes trained on them, who huddled under the desk, too afraid to even look into the soulless eyes of Death. “How could you? All this time… You’re a monster!” They screamed and finally Death spoke up. “Please, it’s not what you think.” Death took a step closer however they weren’t about to give up. “I said go! Leave me alone! I never want to see you again! How long were you going to keep this all a secret? Were you ever going to tell me?!” They couldn’t handle it anymore. The pain. The betrayal. “Please, fight this-” Death tried begging again but their emotions were all out of control, spiralling and unwinding further and further. “I NEVER WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN SO JUST LEAVE!” Their words echoed in the dark room, Death frozen, almost as if he was in shock. Slowly, he dropped the foggy hand that was outstretched. Without a single word, Death continued staring. Abruptly, he turned around, a dark robe falling back onto his shoulders as he paused for a moment. A small splat of water dropped onto the ground. A singular tear. “I'm sorry. I promise you won’t see me again.” And just like that, Death was gone, as if he had never existed. Kneeling on the cold floor, they could only breath heavily before curling in on themselves, rocking slowly in time with their sobs.

Outside, Death stood on top of the building, staring at them through the window from afar. It seemed no matter how many millenia went by, the curse was forever unbroken. Unlike his heart. For once he thought the curse was broken, that they would be able to fight the darkness, however it seemed he was too hopeful.

Once again, the same event has played out

Death didn’t even bother as he turned away. “Leave me alone.” He muttered as a phantom hand reached out and softly touched his face. He flinched away from the touch. “I said leave.” He rasped out as there was a soft laugh in the air. “I told you. When Death comes, darkness will always follow. Darkness will consume them always. It is nothing but fate. Destiny. No matter what, no matter how many times you meet them, they will always succumb to the darkness.” Death couldn’t bear to listen longer as they waved their hand, “If all you’re here to do is torment me, then leave.” Another soft giggle escaped into the cold sun-kissed air as the strange voice disappeared, leaving Death a feeling of emptiness, pain, betrayal… Hatred. And so Death steeled himself and stared back into the window to stare at the broken, sobbing form of their lover, and didn’t even blink. Three words, 8 letters, so easy to guess, yet so hard. I hate you.

- - -

The cold tile floor was the first sensation they felt when waking up. Their eyes were sore and overworked from the extra tears they had shed. Slowly and carefully, they got up from the bone-chilling ground, staggering a few steps towards the exit. However, within the first few steps, they caught a hint of their reflection through the broken mirror. Except something about it wasn’t them, it wasn’t the person they saw yesterday staring back at them. Raising trembling hands, they couldn’t take their eyes off the shattered glass pieces, they could only stare in absolute horror as the brush of their fingertips on their face was not of the face they were familiar with, but rather a wrinkled, old, tired, hagged face. “W-What… How could this…” They started, clammy hands tracing down the foreign face. “How-” They started again but it clicked. I'm sorry. I promise you won’t see me again. The last words of death. They tasted bile climb into their throat, staring through the shattered mirror, they screamed in absolute pain, heartache and agony. The soul-crushing truth was too hard to bear. Death never lied, never broke his promises when he said that he would leave the other alone, never interact with them ever again. To even imagine that their youth was to be taken away. However, that was not the worst of all. They would be immortal. Forever immortal in this broken, beaten body of their decayed self…

“And so I begged, begged a hundred times, till my throat was sore and broken from the screaming and still, he didn’t wish to see me. So this shall be my prison, thus I will remain alone until the end of time.” …Beyond that even.

Death hated them so much that he would never let them die.


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