To See Death- Part 1: Visitation
Darius woke to voices in his head. Tired, he rubbed his face with one hand and looked around the room: nothing but a dresser, a single window, and a closet door. Then music began to play, and he remembered the Bluetooth earbuds in his ears. He took them out and yawned. “Oh yeah,” he mumbled, “must of fallen asleep studying.” He would have crawled back under his comforter when the thought hit him like a wrecking ball; He had a class today at eleven-thirty.
A glance at his smartphone, plugged into its charger, told him it was eleven-fifteen. A look down told him he still had on yesterday’s work clothes. “Shit!” Darius screamed and leaped from his bed and rushed the three steps it took to get to his dresser. In his haste, he had forgotten his five hundred dollar laptop which laid on the bed next to him. With a thud, it fell to the floor. Darius cursed loudly, threw off his work shirt and struggled into a white v-neck, and walked back to his bed. The laptop lay next to it on the floor, its screen displaying a large spider web crack.
Darius bent over to pick it up. When he straightened, goosebumps appeared on his skin, and his breath came out in a white fog. Ice began to spread across his only window. His lights flickered- one, twice, three times before flaring to their maximum brightness for a split second, after which they settled to their normal levels. With a sigh, Darius turned to see Death standing with his back to the bedroom door.
“I don’t suppose you’re here for the laptop?” Darius asked. He set the broken computer- which had cost him almost six months worth of paychecks- back on his bed.
Death was silent; it’s body still. It didn’t even breath.
“What’s the assignment this time?” Darius inquired, impatient. His smartphone displayed 11:20 am in bright red.
Death said nothing. It gestured to his bed, to the broken PC.
“Are you here for the laptop? Because honestly, it’d save me a lot of time calling in the warranty. I mean, yeah, I’d have to save money- again- for a new one. But not like I can’t use the library’s.” Darius lifted the fifteen inch, five-pound piece of hardware and handed it to the all-important figure before him. Death merely opened it and pressed a button; Darius assumed it was the power because an instant later, the laptop began to glow.
Then the laptop began to smoke.
Then it caught on fire.
“What the hell?” Darius shouted as the laptop turned to dust. “Hey! You have no idea how hard I worked for that!”
Death said nothing.
Then it mumbled a single, incoherent word. Smoke consumed the ashes. Death vanished as his the room’s light flared yet again. Darius squeezed his eyes. The three light bulbs shattered. When Darius opened his eyes, the room was darker, warmer, and the ice on his window had melted.
A single laptop sat in the spot death had occupied.
Opened on the laptop was a word document with a single name typed on it. Darius gasped and picked up the computer- his computer which had turned to dust a second ago- and read the names.
His smartphone dinged.
It was eleven-thirty — time for class. Darius fumbled in the dark for his keys, for his backpack, for his wallet. When he found them, he raced out the door.