Annie had been left alone for the night. They said there was going to be a storm, so they ran away while she was sleeping. That is what must’ve happened, because they were all gone. And when she woke up, she found that the entire house was empty, as if nobody had ever been there in the first place. Everyone and everything had just disappeared like it was nothing more than a bad dream. Annie had never been alone before. It felt secretive and empowering.
But something didn’t feel quite… right. There was a deep rooted sense of some sort of violation, like being watched or filmed. Maybe, she thought wistfully, maybe this is like one of those times when I had thought I’d woken up, but it was nothing more than a dream. Maybe I’m still sleeping.
Annie walked quietly downstairs, met with the same sinister silence and feeling of being violated. Every single clock face had frozen at 3:07 am. Maybe, I overslept. Maybe I’m late. But the view outside the window suggested deep, dark night.
The sky was starless and suffocating, as if she was looking up at an over turned bowl of tinted glass. Everything about this moment spelled disaster. She closed the windows as carefully and quietly as possible, as if afraid to wake a sleeping toddler, and headed obliviously up to bed.
The feeling of being stalked followed her relentlessly up the staircase, as if it had taken over from her shadow, and slinked into her room like an invisible fog. She sensed it settling on all possible surfaces, as if familiarising itself. Marking it’s territory. Then, it materialised into something a little more substantial on the armchair near her bed.
Annie watched as the fog became black. As black as the night sky outside, maybe even darker. It spilled out and filled up the chair, growing taller and taller. The outline slowly became familiar, then, the process ended abruptly as a scythe materialised in its robed claws.
Annie watched calmly as Death made himself comfortable in her bedroom.
“Would you like something to drink?” she asked, as if talking to nobody of particular importance.
“Sure, if you can manage to bring me an ice cold cup of souls this time of night,” said Death.
“I’ll see what I can do.”
She padded off quietly towards the direction of the kitchen.