[WP] “Humans are warmongering, cruel and evil beings.” “That’s not fair! There are good people out there!” “…They aren’t humans.”
The reaper bowed her head to mine and looked down her nose at me. She was pale, as elegant as I thought she might’ve been, and she was staring at the stab wound glistening in my chest
“There are good people out there,” I repeated, dumbly. “There are good people.”
“They’re not humans,” the death repeated, shaking her head. “No human’s coming to save you in this alley, you understand.”
I swallowed. It hurt to swallow, and I didn’t like that it hurt to swallow, and my lungs gasped for air, burning.
“What… what happens next then?”
The death looked down at her watch, then eyes the brightness of the sun overhead. “We wait to see if a human shows up to save you,” The death said. “You’re not dead yet, after all. I arrived early.”
“Why?” I asked, tilting my head towards the lip of the alley way. “Why would you arrive early?”
“It’s a pretty time of year,” The death said, sitting down. She crossed her legs (spindly and long) “And I’ve often been called too allowing of a person, and you were a particularly nice human, even if you were never given an opportunity to be anything else.”
I watched the mouth of the alley. Someone walked by and didn’t even pause to look at me. I reached out for them and they were already gone, back on their previous path.
I groaned and tasted blood. My eyes flicked back to my death, watching me from the other side. “What happens… if nobody shows up?”
“Deaths have to come from somewhere, you know. There’s a great cosmic cycle out there, and humans are just the very start of it.”
“That’s cruel,” I said.
“It’s life,” my death replied. “That’s how it is.”
“And man isn’t horrible,” I repeated. Another person passed by the mouth of the alley way and ignored me. Did they even see me?
“You were stabbed to death over a wallet,” my death volunteered. “A pitiful sum of eight dollars and forty seven cents, along with your id and three credit cards that’ll be shut off within hours.”
“We’re still not horrible,” I repeated. I managed to cross my arms, which just exposed to stab wound to the air further. I didn’t want to look down at it, because I knew something had broken inside of me.
After all, my death had arrived early to gawk at the sight.
“At your funeral, all of your best friends will arrive there. One will nearly bankrupt themselves to get a plane ticket, only to stare blankly at your coffin,” my death continued.
“That’s… that’s not horrible,” I pointed out. “That’s caring.”
“They’ll forget almost all about you in a decade,” she continued, looking up. She had lovely eyes, like dark set pearls inside of her head. “That’s how it is.”
“That’s biology,” I countered.
“And you are not your biology?” My death answered. “Are you going to pretend to be something greater than what you are?”
“What about souls and minds?”
“Useless,” my death declared. “Except to further the universe.”
I shook my head. “That’s not my fault.”
“Oh?” my death asked. “Then what are you declaring?”
“Humans aren’t the cruel ones,” I said. “You are, over there, sitting there and watching me die.”
“And on your death, a brother of mine will be born. Prized out of your corpse and fashioned into the next stage of evolution. Your insights and transgressions and solutions will be used to keep the universe going. Your failures will be vivisected and understood and presented to the grand machines that run the cosmos.”
“And what’ll be left of me?”
“It’s hard to say. How much of you is your pitiful biology? Your forced cooperation, your evolutionary kindness, and how much of you is real?”
“So I’m supposed to be divorced from my body now?”
“Humanity is good,” the death offered. “Humans are cruel and evil; you are slaves to the structure of your mind and the very set up of your evolution. You are a philosophical conundrum entombed inside of muscles and squishy chemicals.”
“Well, yeah,” I said.
“That’s horrible,” the death said. “You have no real understanding of the world around you, and you kill people over it. You assume that the group is right-“
I protested and she shook her head. “It’s how your brains work, you have heuristic short cuts to determine the way things work; an evolutionary shortcut from when the world was brutish and cruel instead of sophisticated and evil.”
“And you’re the one watching me bleed out in an alley.”
“Really, this is better for you than anything else.” Death shook her head.
I inhaled, felt the pressure and burn on my lungs that had made every word into a breathy whisper, and glared at my death.
“What are you doing?” my death asked.
“Spiting you,” I said, and then, with the air that was still burning in my lungs, I screamed. It was a sharp keen little cry, the sort of thing that a wounded animal might make.
“Nobody’s going to come,” my death said. “They’re not scheduled to.”
“And that would make the schedule cruel instead of humanity,” I muttered back.
And then I screamed again until I felt the blood bubble up the back of my throat and tasted it rolling across my throat.
“No human’s going to save you,” my death said. “Because I’m saving you.”
“I’m dying.” I said.
“There are more things than just humans in this world. I think you’ll do good among their number.”
“Why’d you let it get this far?”
“We’re not in the business of saving our children from their mistakes,” the death offered. But she stood up and walked towards me. She knelt down. Our eyes met.
“Time’s up?” I guessed. At the mouth of the alleyway, someone was looking in. His or her face, I couldn’t tell my the narrow of the light in my eyes looked on with something like concern, spray painted across a wide expanse of flesh.
My death bobbed her head and planted a quiet chaste kiss to my lips. “See you on the other side.”
“I’m to be a death?”
“We have need of people to talk to the dying,” she replied. “They have many questions, and the deaths are always the best of us.”
Then I became paler, and spindly and died in the alley, and became death as well.