Affectionate One

by Breanna Kettles

Death heaved a sigh. One that rattled his body of bones and killed a kindergarten class’ pet rabbit somewhere in Wawa. She had brought him another soul. He’d long-since lost count of how many this made. She killed without bias, knowing that Death would have to return to her to collect the victim. Then She could see him again. It’s out of love, She declared. He thought it was madness. “You know this has to stop.”

She said nothing, but waved coyly. She was always on her best behaviour when he arrived after the storm of Her rage.

“You can’t keep dragging me back like this. I have other work to do.” He knew that speaking to Her only encouraged Her deranged affection, but something had to give eventually. How long had it been since She first viewed him with a burning obsession that drove Her to slaughter en masse? How many more would She drag below before She was satisfied?

This one came to me. Her voice was barely a whisper, caught in the wind. When Death took the soul in both hands, he knew She wasn’t lying. The young man, whose fragile soul poured the last of its warmth into his bones, had wanted to die in Her embrace. She had a haunting magnetism like that. Poets, artists, songwriters, romantics; all had been drawn to Her love of Death, and unwillingness to give up “Her” dead to anyone save for the immortal servant to Her whims.

Death tucked the soul away, job done, wanting desperately to leave Her side. “I hope this will be the last one, Superior.”

Her playful waves told him it wouldn’t be.