To an uninformed observer, it would have seemed that Death’s walk along the lakeshore was lazy, that his approach to the lady on the beach was almost casual.
“Good morning, 34,” Death greeted her.
“Good morning. You can call me Liana.”
“34, names are useless.” His tone was flat. Bored, even.
The lady formerly known as Liana gave Death a look that was about ten percent surprise and ninety percent disappointment. Then she sighed. “For a moment, I thought you were going to be nice.”
The other rolled his eyes. “I am Death,” he intoned. “When is that ever nice?”
“Point taken.” 34 dropped into a seated position on the beach, burrowing into the sand with her bare toes. “My stupid neighbor left his fishing line out. I couldn’t see it, and wound up caught in it. Tangled, really.”
Death’s tone remained detached. “You don’t say.”
Number 34 gave him a look that left no doubt of her mood. I am pissed off, her expression telegraphed. When the other didn’t bother to respond, she chose not to dwell on her mood. She looked back at the water. It had been still before, calm, but now a small johnboat was on the lake, moving toward the fishing line. “Looks like he’s going to reel in that line, now.”
“Looks like,” Death agreed. “He’ll find a nice surprise waiting.”
They both chuckled at his statement.
34 knew that her neighbor was about to fish her physical form out of the water, but if Death had no use for names, she had no use for the activity off shore. Instead, she looked to the sky, and asked, “What are those bright white lights?”
Death followed her skyward gaze. “Those?” he responded in a dry tone. “They’re souls about to be born.”
She accepted his answer. After a moment, she said. “I was a light once.” It wasn’t a question.
Death confirmed it with a nod.
“What about you?” she asked. “Were you ever one of those lights, Death?”
He was taken aback, but he didn’t bother to answer. Instead he redirected her attention to the water. “Looks like he has found you, 34.”
34 pulled her feet from the sand and stood up, standing almost shoulder to shoulder with Death as they both watched the scene unfold.
The fisherman’s apparently silent agitation irked her. “This would be so much more satisfying if I could at least hear him scream.” She paused. “He is screaming, right?”
Death smirked. “Oh. He’s definitely screaming.” He watched for a few seconds longer. “If it’s worth anything,” he told her, “it’s a high-pitched shrieking sort of scream.”
The lady now known as 34 cracked a smile. “Yeah,” she said. “It is.”
They turned around.
About the author, Selena Taylor
Selena Taylor is a wife, a mother, and a woman who strives to tell the many stories that occupy her mind. She is active in the Rhett & Link fandomand appreciates dark humor. She and her family live in Illinois, where she takes every opportunity to lose herself under the stars and let her imagination run wild. For more from Selena, check her out on Tumblr or follow her on Twitter.