Christian awoke without knowing how he got where he was. The last thing he remembered was Death laughing at him. He sat up and began thinking about what Death had told him. As an Eternal, he was obligated to perform duties, like Death had said, but he hadn’t done any for centuries. When did everything become so complicated, he asked himself. They’ve always been that way.
“Oh, you’re up,” he heard his daughter say.
He looked at her. It hurt him to see the concern on her face. Why did she suddenly care? “How’s Bethany,” he asked her.
“She’s fine. Just a few cuts and bruises.”
“That’s good. How’s DS?”
“Scared and confused. Whoever that man was, he’s got him rattled.”
“That’s his job. It’s what he does.”
“Who was that man and why did he call you Life?”
“He is Death, what you mortals call the Grim Reaper. He is an eternal, like me. He‘s the reason I can‘t die.”
“Why won’t he let you die? If he’s Death, then why wouldn’t he want you to pass on?”
“It is a long story. In the beginning, when we were made, there had to be a balance. We represented that balance. If he dies, then nothing else will die, for he will take that ability with him. If I were to die, then everything would die with me. You, Bethany, and the world, would all be gone.”
“Let me get this straight. If you die, everything is gone?”
“Yes. That is the way of things.”
“Then I won’t let you do this. I will not let you kill yourself and take everything away from me.”
“Don’t lecture me child! I have suffered for more years than you could ever imagine. If I have to take everyone with me to go, then I will. I don’t care anymore. This life is nothing more than a burden and I would be doing everyone a favor by taking it away.”
“Think about what you’re saying. It is madness. I can’t let you do this.”
“How do you plan on stopping me, child? If your boyfriend, the best on the planet, can’t do it, then how do you plan on accomplishing that feat?”
Samantha began to cry. It pained him to see her do that, but, in this case, he didn’t care. Walking past his daughter, he wanted to say something comforting. Instead, he just kept walking. When he reached the front door, he looked at DS sitting on the couch. “Come with me,” he instructed. Christian got into his car, followed by DS a few moments later. They began driving towards the high noon sun. “How long have I been out,” he asked the assassin.
“About a week and a half,” DS responded, followed by a long period of silence. “What do you want from me,” he finally asked the eternal, hating the quiet.
“Same as I always want, to die.”
“I can’t do it.”
“First of all, I already tried. Second of all, that guy threatened to kill me if I tried again and I believe him.”
“And you don’t think I will?”
“Fuck you! One way or the other I’m going to die. Either by you or him. I’d rather go out for doing the right thing. Besides, he scares me more than you do.”
Christian immediately pulled over. He got out of the car and walked over to the passenger side. Opening up the door, he pulled DS out and threw him on the ground. The eternal jumped on top of him and began punching him in the face. “I will teach you fear,” he promised the assassin as he continued to beat the helpless man.
Behind them, a patrol car pulled up. Two uniformed officers stepped out after calling in a report. They both pulled out their guns as they walked towards the fighting men. “Get off of him,” they yelled in unison. Christian smiled as he turned his head towards them. This made them uneasy, he saw. Jumping up, he made a mad dash at them. Guns fired. He felt their sting as he got closer. When he reached them, the eternal saw fear in their eyes. His smile grew.
A quick twist sent one officer down with a broken neck. The other one he toyed with as an example to DS. Kick after kick; punch after punch all landed on the public servant. Experiencing pain he never knew possible, the officer was soon overwhelmed and passed out. Christian turned around to see DS standing, looking at him with pure hatred. “Those men didn’t deserve that,” he scolded. “They were just doing their job.”
Christian felt a tingling sensation throughout his body. Adrenaline was pumping. DS was going to fight him this time. At least that’s what he thought. DS stepped back, suddenly afraid. Seeing the sudden change in his opponent, Christian knew what had happened. Death had returned. Without turning his head, he delivered a powerful spinning kick to Death’s chin. The kick sent the eternal back a few feet. Death got up, irritated. “I tire of this, Life,” he stated. “Get out of my way. I have business with the death-bringer.”
“Anything you have to say to him, say to me.”
“Stay out of this. I told him what would happen if he tried to kill you again. He did it anyways.”
“What are you talking about? He didn’t try to kill me.”
“He does not know, does he,” he asked the assassin. DS shook his head in reply. “Show him,” Death commanded. “That officer over there still breathes. Use him.”
“No,” DS refused. “That man has done nothing wrong. I’m not killing him.”
“Your daughter is still on my list, death-bringer. I might change my mind about sparing her.”
Knowing he had to protect Bethany, DS complied. Looking down at the officer laying there, he felt sorry for the man. DS focused his mind on the dying patrolman. Christian watched with interest. What were these two keeping from him? He saw Death gesture at the cop lying on the ground. The man’s body began to shake. Two seconds later, he started having convulsions. After another two seconds, the man’s body exploded, turning into a fine mist. The patrolman was gone. Christian looked at DS in wonder. No wonder they never found any bodies, he thought.