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Death Becomes Us (Completed - Short Story)
Death Becomes Us (Completed - Short Story)
Author: Ryoshi

The Cursed Ticking and The March of Time

11:30pm

There had never been such a time like this time, not for me. At the time I could not sleep, step by step the old wood moaned of pressure on the floor. The stairs they creaked and sank with every step of my aching feet so worn from days gone by. The sigh of the house's failing frame in the midnight wind was a maddening sound which blistered in my ears. Still, there was no sound more ominous, more cunning, more insistent, more maddening than the ticking clock as its hands moved slowly forward. So, I wandered into the living room where I had sat myself a thousand times and lived a thousand lives through reminiscing stories of the ages, and there I checked the time. 11:30.

11:45pm

Minutes past, if not a life, and the wind howled at my door. It rattled the locks and started my heart with the grim symphony of death it created. The conductor himself was bloodless, I think, as he shook the boughs of the trees, and trembled the leaves when he passed them. Cold, cruel fate. And here, I had a date, I think with destiny. My core went cool. The fire dwindled and my heart draining, I nearly lost my nerve. Again, it went on... tick, tock, tick, tock, the ticking of the clock. 11:45.

11:55pm

Again, I waited. For what, I did not know. The wind blew stronger. The floor spoke louder. And, still, the time moved on by the clock and its ticking before me. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. The sound of its ticking pierced the air. It echoed around me, like a ringing in my ears. Inescapable. All throughout that barren room. My nerve, my nerve, I lost my nerve all by the ticking of that infernal clock. 11:55.

11:59pm

At that time there came a knocking at my door I knew that which I feared had come upon me. Robbed of rest and void of hope, I passed the frames of my life's memoriam I had hung on the walls of my home. Too long were the years of my wanderings, and now there came the knocking, surely to call me to task. 

A drop fell on my aching head from the ceiling cracked with disrepair, and I cursed it with my fading breath while still the floorboards squeaked as I trod once last upon them. 

Again came the knocking.

"Alright, alright. I'm coming," said I, grumbling in my displeasure. 

What, after all, was the appeal of a midnight intruder, especially one such ill mannered. He rattled the locks. He bent the boughs. He put out my fire and chilled my bones all while the ticking came. Now knocking. 11:59.

12:00am

The midnight air fell crisp and cool against my weary, waning soul as closer crept the sound of ticking in my ears, and the clock struck twelve as I grasped the door to let my visitor in. 

His darkest cloak and blackest skin all dry and withered gripped my soul with fright. Perhaps, if I had feared before I had been spared from such a sight. 

Not now, not now.

"Not now," I pled, requesting a second's delay. 

Perhaps if I survived the night then I could see the day. The punishment for things I'd done with the torment that I knew would wait, as a hundred million wrongs I had echoed in my quiet state. My heart was filled with terror and fear. My mind drove me insane. I would have escaped it. I would have escaped, but I knew I knew a little too late. 

Had it been for yesteryear or only a moment before, but now was the time of my reckoning. I had myself opened my own door to Death.

Hereafter:

Death, so uncaring and cold. Death, as clear as daylight but darker than the moon. Death sang its sweet melody, quite enticing but so cruel. Death came and asked for me to take me to Sheol. He dragged me down, he locked me up, he called me by his name. 

To think, I could have lived. To think, I could have breathed. If only I had called upon the God of all my needs! 

But here I find myself in death, a death come a little too soon. I sit here in the fires of Hell, listing to the time as it passes. It goes not out but ever hotter it kindles and melts my bones. The pain, the pain, that sin does gain is not but for a minute. Wrong, how wrong I was in life and left forever longer. Now, what I would not give for a drip of water!

The End.

All this in memoriam for any man with a hardened heart and unrepentant soul.

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