Monday, April 18, 2011

Death and Arthur Webster

When Arthur awoke, he found himself on a dark Plane of infinite magnitude and darkness. He was neither standing nor sitting, he simply was. His eyes were lost, desperately searching for a reference point of some sort in the endless blackness. They found none. He could feel his heart throbbing like a sore thumb, and felt the Universe pulse in rhythm with it. He was constantly fighting to stay level, and not tumble over some unseen razor-blade of darkness to the other side. The side he was on frightened him enough; he did not want to see the other one. Swirling about in the darkness, he suddenly became aware of an entity's presence other than his own. Turning to gaze behind him, he saw the most horrible sight a pair of human eyes can see, and immediately wished to un-see it. The figure was swimming in the infinite folds of his black cloak, made of a type of blackness different from that of the Plane. It was a living, moving, hungry blackness, wanting to devour all who looked at it. His face was pale and sunken, with milky-white bone jutting against his tight skin. A skeleton in a robe would have been predictable, even comical. A human skeleton was unspeakably haunting. He held not a scythe, for that would be overkill, but a deck of cards. If you would have gotten close enough, you would have seen the pattern on their backs was row upon row of grinning skulls. Had you gotten much closer than you would've ever wanted to get, you would've seen the deck was composed of a single 13 card and 52 jokers. As for Arthur, he was close enough as he was.

His white bones shone through his skin, and seemed to sickly radiate. Suddenly Arthur's pulse slowed down, and adjusted to the throbbing of the Universe and the pulsing of the bones, those hideous bones, and all was in sync. Before he knew it, Arthur was on his knees in front of the creature. He gazed sadistically at Arthur, black pupils lurking in his sunken eye sockets. A pair of horn-rimmed spectacles adorned his features. With a bony finger, he gestured for Arthur to come closer. Arthur did so reluctantly. Grinning grotesquely, the specter turned to him and spat out, "Arthur Webster, your time has come." "Who are you?" Arthur whispered. "Many identify me as 'Death.' And while I do act as Death, in which form you see me now, it is only a small shred of the spectrum that is me. I am Death, I am Disease. I am Pain, I am War. I am Beginning and I am End. I am nothing you can hope to ever see in its true form. My true form, you could never hope to comprehend. But that is not what is important. What you should be worrying about is your life, not mine. As I said, your time has come. But I thought I'd have some... fun, first. You are lucky, my friend. You have received a stroke of luck, which can either be a blessing or a curse, depending on how you choose." His voice was shrill and biting. "I have with me a box." With a twist of his hand, the card deck became a macabre-decorated box. The top of the box had two little levers on it. He held the contraption out to Arthur, grinning. "One of these levers represents Life, the other Death. Your Life, and your Death. It is up to you to pick the correct one. Of course, there is no correct one, only the one you chose." He held the box out expectantly. His cold blue eyes sadistically hungered as Arthur squirmed, trying to make a decision. Then, he arrived at one.

The throb of the Universe slowed and became louder in his ears as Arthur raised his hand. He eyed both levers, and then slammed down hard on the box, knocking it out of Death's Hand.

When he looked up, he saw a look of surprise and shock on Death's face. Of the many times he had conducted this test, no one had ever reacted like Arthur did. The shock only lasted a second, before it turned to anger, then rage. Death looked furiously at Arthur, though Arthur did not fear him. The worst thing he could do was kill him. The fury of the flames of Hell was in Death's icy blue eyes, and magnified tenfold by his spectacles. His lips were pulled back from his teeth in a grisly sneer. Never had someone in such an inferior position had the nerve to do such a thing! Arthur simply smiled at him, and said laconically, "I'm terribly sorry mister Death sir, but you see, I've never been one for decisions."

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