Malek Allari | Editor-In-Chief
I was standing in the middle of destroyed streets and building debris. I was holding my scythe on my left shoulder, and in my right hand, I was holding the hands of a three years old boy. I could feel the warmth of his tiny hand against my cold, bony skeletal fingers. I was covering my face with the hood of my black cloak. “Say, mister, where am I?” the boy asked. He looked around and started sobbing. I did not want to answer. “Where are my mom and dad?” the boy continued. “Please stop,” I said with a heavy throat. You were born at the wrong time and place, I thought. Tears starting forming in my empty sockets. “Let’s go,” I said and pulled the boy by the hand. “I am sorry, kid. I wish I could do something,” I said without thinking.
I heard a scream from behind, and when I turned, I heard the boy yell, “Mama, Baba! I am here!” the boy ran to his parents, but they were holding his lifeless body in their arms. The mom was breaking apart, and I could see her heart shattering over and over. I brought down my face to hide it, not that they could see me. The boy pushed at his mother, crying that he was here. “Stop it, kid. Please…just stop,” I said without breaking up. These humans, they only know how to kill. What kind of creatures, huh? Creatures that kill, destroy, bring on chaos in the name of justice and humanity. I am tired of this.
I took the boy’s hand, “It’s time to go, boy. You will see them again, I promise.” We walked down the street. There were many rubbles and debris from destroyed buildings all around us. Suddenly, I heard a deafening sound followed by a whistle. I saw something falling from the sky. It was burning down its way on a little girl. Stop, I thought. “Stop!” I screamed. I felt my throat cut before the rocket hit the girl on the head and exploding, killing and destroying what was around. I dropped my hand, knowing that I was powerless.
I took the little girl’s hand. She was wearing a red coat, while the boy had a white shirt and blue jeans. I took the kids and walked away. On our way, the little girl picked a little rabbit plushie. “Where are we going?” the kids asked. I gave out a sigh, and I could see some steam coming out from my hood. “We are going to Uncle Azrael. He will take care of you,” I responded. The kids were quiet for a while. On the way to meet Azrael, I picked up more kids and adult souls. They walked behind me, following in the path to their judgment.
After hours of walking around, I walked by the doorway to the other world. I gave the souls to Azrael. “They are in your care now, master Azrael,” I said as I gave him the souls. The little girl in red refused to go, and Azrael was persistent. I held out my hand, “I will bring her next time; let me have her longer.” Azrael nodded. I went back to the rubble city with the girl.
As we were walking around, the girl tightened her grip on my index finger. I had only tears streaming down my skeletal face. It’s hard, you know? Even for me. It is really hard. “I am dirty. I think I need a bath before I return to my parents,” the girl said. I felt pain in my chest and took hold of my ribcage. “Do I look dirty?” she asked. She was covered with rubble dust and burns from the rocket. I kneeled down on one knee and patted her head. “All I see is an angel,” I replied and forced a smile. She smiled back. What a sweet, innocent smile. Her smile faded as the sky broke into the rain, and thunder rumbled ahead. I heard cries. Baby cries came from a distance, hidden behind the sound of thunder. I took the little girl into my arms and started following the baby’s cries.
I found the baby under a massive rock. It was crushed by the falling building. I lifted the baby into my arms, and she started to laugh. She tried to suck on my fingers. As I stood there, I cried under the rainy sky, feeling the emptiness like always. A baby was murdered in cold blood. I screamed as I cried. I felt a tug on my cloak. I turned with all my rage on the little girl in red. She was scared. I kneeled down and hugged her. She cried on my shoulder, “I want Mama and Baba.”
The parents of the baby came and found the crushed body of their baby daughter. I, once again, had witnessed the breaking sight of a shattering heart. “It’s all your fault,” I started at the parents. It was futile. They could not hear me. “You had to bring a life into this world at times like these! It’s all your fault! All you had to do was wait and get yourselves better lives. Then, you would have fun and bring children into this life.” I held my scythe higher and tried to slash their heads. A hand stopped me. I turned my flaming eyes around. “Tha’s enough,” Azrael said with his shining white body and golden wings spread.
“Don’t stop me, Azrael. They deserve to die as much as the ones that are killing them,” I said. Azrael took the baby into his arms. He took the little girl in red. Then, he pointed to the distance and nodded. I felt my rage answered. I held my scythe in my hand and smiled for the first time in a while. “Where are you going, mister?” the little girl asked.
“I have a job to do,” I replied blankly.
“Are you coming back?” she asked. All I did was shake my head. “What’s your name?” I looked at the girl; nobody ever asked for my name. “Call me Shinigami,” I replied. She smiled her sweet smile, “Maya!”
After Azrael left with the baby and the little girl, I walked to where he pointed. I saw tanks, men with guns and weapons, and the dead bodies of innocent people. Both young and old people lay around, lifeless. “Go Berserk,” I heard a voice in my head. As I swung my scythe around and the sound of splashing blood came to life, I killed everyone around me. The sky was still raining when I finished the job. A pool of blood and lifeless bodies lay around me. In the midst of all this, I stood tall and angry.
All that humans know is war. They killed each other in the name of trivial matters. Race, nationality, religions, political standings, or even diet plans. Who cares? Nobody. Why? Why can’t humans coexist without measures? Don’t you think it’s hard on me? Taking lives away from family and friends. Innocent people are massacred, and the guilty stand atop the bodies. The worst part is that they laugh. When was life ever a joke? When was life just a game to dispose of after getting bored? After all this, humans say that death is cruel and unfair. When was I ever unfair? I am the fairest of creatures. I put you to rest when all you had experienced was pain. How can humans say that I am cruel when they push others to the brink of mental breakdowns? When someone is in need, people turn a blind eye. When they are attacked, they will have the loudest voice in the room. It is depressing to know that these humans think they are the victims of all problems when they have created these problems by their own hands. I am glad that I had discarded my own humanity when I chose to serve as an angel of death. If it means killing and turning a blind eye is what makes a human, then I will discard it with the brightest smile on my face.
A green lady appeared in front of me. She had tears streaming down her face. “I am Life,” she said with a sweet voice. “I want to thank you for putting them to rest. They will be in your care, yes?” I shooked my head. I looked at the ground and said, “I will leave them be. They shall suffer for eternity. I might come back in a couple thousand years to take them to Azrael.” She started sobbing and shaking her head. “I am so cruel. I wish I could do things differently, but I was only ordered to let them have free will. I could do nothing to help them,” she said. Life came to me and gave me a hug. “Please let me stay like this for a while.” I kept holding my scythe in my hand and let her do whatever she wanted. When Life let go, I saw a glimpse of her relaxed face. She turned and vanished away just as she appeared.
I heard a clap behind me. I turned and saw the Devil in the flesh. “You put quite a show here, Shinigami,” he said. I cleaned the blade of my scythe with my cloak. “Now I know why you never wanted to be human,” I said. I turned and walked away. “They are all yours.”