Flash Fiction – When He Died

This is a little flash fiction story I wrote with my character Death.  It’s about the events that transpired on Good Friday.  Please enjoy.

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I was told this day was going to come, but I never imagined just how terrible it would really be. I’ve seen a lot of suffering in the world, but it was nothing compared to what he endured. From the moment he was betrayed with a kiss, to the moment his body gave out and he took his final breath. I could hardly bear to watch it. But I did. I watched the entire ordeal from beginning to end.

They stripped him naked. They beat him over and over until his body was bloody and scarred beyond recognition. A huge crowd had gathered to watch and was shouting and jeering at him the entire time. Not even the worst criminal deserved such treatment, and he wasn’t even a criminal. His only crime was existing, as far as the world was concerned.

Torture, humiliation, and finally he was put to death. But it was a slow, agonizing death. It was the most horrible death that man had ever conceived, making sure it took as long as possible, hanging the man in such a way that he would eventually drown in his own blood. Nails were driven through the palms and feet to keep him hanging on two pieces of wood. That alone wasn’t enough, of course. They also put a crown of thorns on his brow, just to make his suffering even greater.

I stood by and watched this entire gruesome scene. He cried. He screamed. He begged his god and demanded to know why he had been forsaken. Such a strange sight. Why would God ask such a thing of himself? A strange sight indeed. It was only when I knew his body was giving out at last that I stepped up to him. I looked him straight in the eyes and said the words that I said to everyone else I appear to. “It’s time.”

His body writhed, and with the last ounce of his strength, he let out a hoarse whisper and said, “It is finished.” I laid my hand upon his chest and he drew his final breath. I uprooted his soul from his body, and then something happened that I had never seen before. The earth trembled and quaked all around us. All of nature was in protest for what had just transpired.

And I, too, began to shake and tremble as I held his soul in my arms. This was no simple human soul I held, after all. This was a piece of the Maker of All. The fact that he was allowing me – me, of all people – to touch him like this, was such a strange and terrible thing. I cradled that soul close to me, like a parent cradling a precious newborn. I walked from that place where his broken body lay, and the mortals continued to stare at it in awe of what had just happened. They saw a strange thing, but they didn’t understand it, and it certainly didn’t resonate with them nearly as much as the rest of nature.

I carried that soul to the edge of eternity, and then I looked at him. He stepped out of my arms and looked over the edge into the Abyss. I watched him and decided not to interfere. He was the one who told me this day was coming. He told me what role I would play, and so I did my duty. Then he looked at me and said, “So, you do this every day, do you not?”

“I do,” I said to him. The question struck me as odd. He knew this to be a fact, why should he ask it of me?

“One day, all of this is going to go away for you,” he told me. “And it’s because of this day.”

“Yes, I know. You told me all of this before.”

“Today is your day, my friend. However, in a few days I’ll come back out of this place.”

“It’s not as if I would attempt to keep you down there,” I told him. “It’s not my place to do so. I am merely the soul’s guide. The final destination of the soul is ultimately your decision, after all.”

And he turned to me, and there was a smile on his face. “Well, not really. It’s their decision now.”

I watched him descend, then. I don’t know what the Abyss is like, and I don’t really wish to know. But he’s going down there to see, and then he’ll come back out. No one has ever escaped the Abyss before. Obviously, if anyone can do it, he can. But for now, he’s staying down there.

I went back home then. I sighed and gazed at my own reflection in the mirror. That was too much for me. I’ve seen the deaths of angels, demons, and even other gods. But never before would I dream of seeing his death. Luckily I’ll never have to again. He’s coming back. And eventually, I’ll see him again. But what will happen then?

Will we do this whole thing all over again with our roles reversed? Perhaps. That day is a long way off, but then again, Time has never been particularly fond of me.

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