The Reaper

As I lay upon my bed
in the darkest hour of the night,
gripped by fever and madness
I saw a dark form, like a spirit
red eyes smoldering
in a black void.
Was this a vision?
I know not, a demon perhaps
or some other being
I can not say
this fever confuses me.

Who are you? said I
Why have you come?

I am myself. said he
Here for my own purpose.

Why have you come at this late hour
into my home, my very chamber?

It is for you that I have come,
you are my purpose.

Your purpose, what have I to do with you?

The fever has taken you,
I have come for your soul!

My soul, what does this mean?
My soul is my own, none may claim it!

As you say, your soul is your own,
though your body can no longer contain it,
and so here am I, come for you.

This sickness betrays my mind
be gone from me!
I must rest that I may regain my senses.

Turn now and look upon your bed.
There your body lies, you are a spirit
like myself, a shade only.
Come, I will take you to a better place.

This is madness! I cried
Say you that I have passed?
Departed my own flesh?
Died?

It is as you say mortal,
and so you must come.
Quickly now, the hour is late,
else you shall wander
between the worlds,
between the dark and light
alone and unbound.

Never! said I
You are a dream
born of sickness, a nightmare,
I will not go, I will not leave!

Come now! he cried
his voice like the crashing of waves.
My time is short!
I can not stay long in this realm!

As he spoke he spread his wings
terrible black things
like that of a dragon.
Arms outstretched, reaching for me
his hands like talons, black and twisted.

No! I cried and turned for the door.
I ran as fast and as hard as my heart would allow,
his voice filled my head like thunder.

No! I must take you now!

Through the darkness I ran,
as fast and far as I was able.
Through the woods I ran,
guided by moonlight and memory.
Suddenly, before me a chasm appeared
deep and dark, smoke rising from it’s depths.
The earth itself opened to receive me.
Unable to stop myself I fell
headlong into the darkness.
I remember falling, it seemed forever
a silent black void, forever expanding
I remember nothing else, just the darkness.

falling…

darkness…

silence…

falling…

I awoke to bright sunlight,
a soft sweet breeze gently kissing me,
rustling the curtains in my window.
I lay in my own bed, the fever now broken
my head still in the fog of sleep.
In the distance, I heard the sound of rolling thunder
and I wondered…

Almost three hundred years have passed since that night.
I never grow older, I just remain as I was.
I dream of him sometimes, red eyes smoldering in the darkness,
I wonder if he will come for me at last, and yet,
I think not.

19 thoughts on “The Reaper

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