Read Online Books/Novels:
Terrible Lovely Thing
Author/Writer of Book/Novel:
Death can’t love, can it? MM – Dark Romance – Fantasy/Paranormal (short story)
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And so this story begins…
Deliverer of Death.
The Grim Reaper.
Whichever way you spin it, my job sounds much harsher than it truly is. As though I’m some villain everyone fears. Truth is, I’m boring. Quiet. A loner. It’s my path and one I follow without argument. Retrieve those who are meant to die and take them where they’re supposed to go. The only spark in my dull life is when I hold the person’s hand in mine as we travel. Their emotions and warmth surge through me for only a moment, but it’s enough to chase away the aching loneliness.
Until the next one.
The repetition is wearing on me, though. I always wonder if there’s more out there in life for Death. Like something’s definitely missing. Sometimes, I wonder if I’m even allowed these thoughts. Will the powers that be yank my scythe away and toss me in with the other broken souls bound by eternity in a fiery pit? Or will they grant me mercy and send me with the good ones? Above the clouds and into the warmth?
Neither interests me.
What tugs at the loose threads inside my mind are where the people come from. Before Death. During life. In those few moments as I guide them to their new home, they gift me their thoughts and dreams and overwhelming emotions, all of which I’m grateful for. Even as Death, I live all of their lives for a blink of time. I love it, and yet it’s still not enough.
“It’s time,” I say aloud to the shadows, though they never speak back.
My heart aches and thunders inside my chest, showing me to my next soul I am to retrieve. I’m about to head toward it, my purpose driving me, when I hear it. Him. Across the planes of reality. Penetrating my muted existence. Tossing color in my black, dark world.
So much red.
His laughter sounds like chaos and destruction.
Evil. Maniacal. Beautiful.
I turn my back on the darkness and ignore the light. Instead, I follow the sounds to him. Toward the terrible, terrible lovely thing.
I stare at this Cupid with his pouty pink lips and half-cocked grin. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything more beautiful. Anything so perfect. Dark, messy hair hangs over his brows and his bright blue eyes carve holes inside my withering soul, exposing every hidden part of me. His body is lean but toned, the top half bare of clothing. A leather strap crosses over his chest, settling between his muscular pectorals, holding a quiver of arrows on his back. Golden skin that glistens with sweat and is speckled crimson draws me closer as I am eager to inspect every part of him.
“Cupid?” I repeat, my own voice a husky whisper.
I cock my head, pondering his obvious irritation. “You give love?”
“You take it away,” he bites back, rolling his neck on his shoulders. “Don’t you?”
My scythe feels too heavy to carry. A burden I don’t particularly want anymore. Clarity finds me after who only knows how many eons I’ve endured. Everything is suddenly clear.
“I never take love,” I explain. “I move it.”
“You divide,” he accuses.
I’m not ashamed of my calling. It’s a job. A duty. So why do I feel guilty? Why does this man with dark hair and blue eyes make me feel bad for doing what is necessary?
“Let me see your face, Death,” Cupid demands, his pink lips twisted in a cruel slash across his face. “Let me see who undoes everything I do. A wicked beast. The end of all beginnings.”
I drop my scythe to my feet and tug at my black hood. Shame heats my flesh for reasons I can’t begin to ponder. I chance a look at him from beneath my lashes. Am I a monster to Cupid? A horrifying creature who hurts and destroys what he creates?
His blue eyes aren’t narrowed in anger, no, they’re shining with tears.
“What is it?” I bite on my bottom lip, my brows furrowing.
He steps closer and lifts a hand, caressing my cheek with his thumb. Tendrils of excitement flitter through me. Something familiar niggles at me. My flesh heats and I tremble.
“No, Death,” he murmurs in a soft voice that speaks to every part of me. “Not terrible at all.”
“Not what I was expecting.”
“What were you expecting?”
“To be disgusted.” He sighs. “And I’m not.”
“What are you then?”
“Delighted. Even after all this time.”
I grin and it’s in this moment I wonder if I’ve ever smiled before now. It’s invigorating. Enlightening. “Delighted? Over seeing me?”
Finally. The word hits me hard enough in the chest I gasp.
“Someone has to clean up this mess. You’re Death after all.” His eyes narrow as though he’s daring me to argue. “Right?”
My gaze drifts to the pile of bodies behind him. A bloody massacre. Confusion washes over me. This isn’t part of my job. Something is wrong.