HoD - A promise is a promise

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A promise is a promise
by Harbinger of Death

The Harbinger had a specific mission in mind. He swooped down the halls of the dorm, invoking his invisibility so that no one would see him, and swept into Bluetopaz’s room. She sat at her desk looking over some papers. How to kill her? He’d promised her a painless death, but since nobody else seemed concerned about keeping any semblance of order when they dealt with him, why should he bother either?

She lifted her head. “I can tell you’re there,” she said, sensing his presence. “Come on out.”

He became visible and gripped his scythe, standing wordlessly before her. “It’s your turn,” he said in a low, flat voice.

Bt watched him for a moment. She was almost afraid of him, too. But something had to be said, and nobody but her would have the nerve to say it. “Sit down,” she said. “I need to speak with you.”

He paused at the request, but complied. “Make it quick. I have a schedule.”

“I heard about the girls at the picnic.”

“So what?”

“That was rather unlike you.”

“I killed them. How is that unlike me?” he scoffed.

“You usually use some kind of creative method in your killings, almost as if it were a form of art. This time you just slashed them to ribbons. I want to know why.”

“Why? You want to know why? It’s nobody’s damn business why!” His eyes blazed red again.

“Yes, it is.” Bt was calm, but firm. “You know, there’s something you should be aware of. Underneath all that, I know you’re a real person, just like me, just like everybody else. I know that one of the ghosts in the cell, if you’ve killed yourself already, is a holographic projection, so nobody misses you. But let me tell you something.” She leaned forward. “You remember when Cupid was so jealous about Psyche that he turned into a monster?”

“Of course I do.”

“And you remember that if he kept letting it overtake him, it would have changed him permanently.”

“Yes, of course. So what?”

“That’s what could happen to you.”

“You’re lying.”

“I’m not lying!” Bt was starting to get angry. “Zeus told me about it. You’re letting the rage get to you, and it’s transforming you. Stand up and look in the mirror.”

HoD frowned, but did so, just to prove her wrong. “Look,” she said. “See how much taller you are now. See how much wider in the shoulders. I know you can tell. I know you can feel your strength increasing. But listen to me. You’ve got to stop it, or else it’ll change you forever and you’ll never get to be you again. You’ll always be the Harbinger of Death, every single day of the year, and you’ll always feel that burning anger and hatred and bloodlust. Don’t let it happen. We would miss you too much.” Blue looked at him and reached forth to touch his hood. He flinched, but did not move. She pushed the hood back to show the face of the person inside the Harbinger. “I would miss you too much,” she said, and patted the cheek, which was now human and tear-stained.

HoD shrank, just a little, back to the former deathly size and strength. “I didn’t mean to let it get away with me...I have so much on me right now. Pressure. Work. When things started coming at me, I overreacted, although the sentiment was genuine and still is. I can’t have anything messing up my plans, that’s all. I just wanted a little time to do it my way.”

“I know. And I understand. You have the right to feel however you want to feel about it. Just remember that this is all in fun, which is how you intended it from the very beginning, when you first killed me three years ago and everybody was ready to thump you, not understanding your intentions.” Bluetopaz laughed at the memory, and so did HoD.

“I appreciate it. But I do need to get back to work.” A human hand put the hood back on, and then the bony deathmeister returned. “And I really do have to kill you now.”


“I need you to keep order down there. They’re really getting out of hand. Maybe if you were in there with them....”

“All right, all right,” Bt sighed. “But remember your promise. Quick and painless.”

“Hm, that’s right. Let me think a minute. Ah, I have an idea! Okay, sit down, and listen very carefully. Close your eyes....picture the place that you consider to be paradise. The sun is warm on your face, you can hear the birds singing, and you can smell the flowers in the air. You’re looking at it through a window....but now you’re walking through a door to step into it. It’s so delightful there. You hear someone call your name. You see the man you love most in the world holding out his arms to you. Walk toward him...touch his hands...his arms...feel them come around you, and walk into his embrace. You feel warm. You feel loved. You feel safe.”

Bt was leaned forward in her chair, a content look on her face as she pictured the lovely scene inside her mind, and it was then that the Harbinger of Death reached forth and ever so gently pulled her spirit from her body, and hugged it.

When she opened her eyes, she looked down to see her body in the chair. She looked at HoD and smiled. “Thanks,” she said. “Let’s go.”

Reposted on Oct 22 1999, 12:32 PM

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last updated: March 12, 2009
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