~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~When Death met Hope~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sunday. The day when Hope Steele usually spent her day buying her monthly groceries in the local Floor Mart. Ever since her father passed away 10 years ago, she lived alone in a cheap rented flat downtown after having run away from her home, at an early age, while her mother lived in the upstates. Though she still grudgingly, received the calls of her mother now and then but she could hardly tolerate speaking with her more than two minutes.
Finally, after having finished her shopping with both her hands full of bags, she decided to walk back home in the cool summer night. Having walked a distance, suddenly out of blue, there was a burst of lightening and it started raining cats and dogs. Cursing her rotten luck, Claire began running down the lonely, deserted road in search of shelter.
A cold wind howled up behind her and some of its icy wisps caught a crack between her neck and jacket collar, and shot down her back. “Ah!” she piped, then turned around to witness the wind slapping around the trees, shrubs, telephone lines and a huge black-hooded figure in the darkness of night.
What?’”She thought in horror and stared straight up in shock.
Standing directly behind her was the epitome of Death itself in all its cloaked blackness, an enormous sickle grasped tightly between dirty and gnarled oversized bones that must have been its fingers.
She screamed shrilly in sheer terror!
“Shut-up!” the Grim Reapers deep, gravely voice boomed, from beyond the blackness deep within the huge bulbous hood of its massive cloak.
“This is not happening . . . I am in my bed and this is all a sick dream . . .” she thought.
“This is not a dream!” roared the voice and she cringed.
Hope scurried on the road this way and that like a trapped squirrel, trying to find an escape, but Death was too large.
It’s time for you to die!!!” screamed Death and grasping the sickle tight with both hands raised it like a baseball bat.
“No wait!” she screamed desperately.
To her amazement, the sickle stopped on the downswing in mid air.
“Wait for what?” Death asked.
“Why are you going to kill me?” she asked, her voice a desperate, shrill squeak.
Death paused and lowered the sickle, then moved even closer in a gliding motion as if it were floating on air.
“I’ll show you why, you pathetic little twit!” Death yelled and she winced at the volume of his voice.
Suddenly, Death shoved her hard with the solid bones in his knuckles and flew towards her home and reaching it, flew directly through her front door, exploding the entry down her hallway and into her bedroom with a boom and then placed her in the chair in front of her computer.
She looked at her computer nervously and thought.”Is this it? I’m dying because I bought this second handed computer?”
“Log on to your account,” Death commanded behind her.
She jumped and her hands slammed onto the keyboard.She had no idea why he was asking her to do that. After hitting 23 wrong keys in sheer terror, she finally managed to log on to the internet and access her email account.
“I’m . . . I’m logged on now,” she said.
“Compose mail!” commanded Death.
“Okay I got it” she cringed in terror and clicked the pencil-on-paper logo at the top of the screen and then, waited for Death to tell her who to write to.
“Your mother,” he finally said.
“My mom?” she asked, confused. “You want me to write my mother an e-mail?” Instantly she shut her mouth and hoped Death didn’t hear her.
“Yes, your mother. Write her.”
“It’s your Mother’s birthday, isn’t it?”
With a jolt, she realised” Oh yeah, it was her Mother’s birthday! How could I forget that? “And suddenly she saw flashes of memories of all the good old days when she and her dad would get up early on this day to wish her mom and help her through all her chores. Then, at the end of the day, dad would treat them all to dinner in the local diner.
Her mother, her dear, dear mother who was alone without a husband and now also without her only child, now probably lying in her bed feeling cold, thinking about her daughter Hope and missing her, all the while singing that old country song of hers. Ahhh….yes that song…she could almost hear it. It brought back so many happy memories of her childhood. Her mother would sing her that lullaby every night in bed and her dad would sit in the other side of her bed holding her hand. She used to feel so protected with them! She could almost feel that now also and tears welled up in her eyes. She missed her dad terribly.
But she also remembered that her family was not always perfect and there were a lot of fights between her mom and dad. When her mom was unable to handle it anymore she had filed for divorce and this was too much for Mr. Jackson Steele as Hope being a minor had to stay with her mom and this hurt him more than anything. Though he tried talking and negotiating but Mrs. Bella Steele was adamant as she had had enough with him. After a few years of their separation her dad had died alone peacefully one night while holding his daughter’s photograph in his hand. She remembered how on the day of her dad’s funeral she had finally decided to run away because she could not bear to be with her mom who she felt was responsible for her dad’s demise.
But now she felt sorry for her mom, now the only living creature in the planet who cared for her, for her dad who had passed away while his last thoughts dwelled on his daughter and most of all she was sorry for herself for having not realised her mistake earlier. And now she could almost see the countless number of times she had hurt her mom again and again and again! How could she do this to her? How could she let her mom live by herself? How could Hope blame her for all this when her mom herself had suffered so much when dad died? She deserved to be punished for this. She deserved to die!
And then suddenly remembering Death, all thoughts left her mind, her eyes widened and she turned to look at Death but the brute had disappeared. As she stared out into the emptiness, she realized that she had indeed escaped his wrath . . . this time!!!