3.13 On the Record


I was being followed by an immortal stalker, it seemed. Everywhere I went, everywhere I turned I would see a fleeting black robe fading into the air. Several times I ran after him to find him gone, or that I had followed a complete stranger. It was enough to make me begin questioning my sanity.

It was sheer coincidence I was on the way home from a patient’s house call when the man collapsed. Everyone surrounded the man but my gaze was fixed on the drifting black figure smoothly approaching him.

“Alchemist,” said the Reaper. “We meet again. But this is not the time for a chat.”

I deliberately placed myself between him and the collapsed man.

He glared at me, the expected response. “You are infuriatingly like your mother.”

“Tell me why you’ve been following me.”

“Step aside.”

“I will when you tell me.”

An irritated sigh. “You took a potion of youth. I’m watching you, as it is my job to watch those that try to escape death. Did your parents never warn you?”

Yet another thing they should have told me but did not. Though this one I should have known.

“It’s nothing personal,” he continued, in a way that suggested otherwise. “As for your family, I merely mill around them because their deaths are on my record.”

“On the record?”

“Well, deaths are not set in stone. But for you…” He broke off to smirk.

“What is it?” His words sent a cold shiver down my spine.

“You’re that type, the curious type that needs to know.” His voice flew up in a mocking tone for the last three words. “But will you be able to live with it?” At my nonresponse, he sneered, “If I tell you, will you really step aside, doctor? His condition is reversible. If I don’t reap him now, you could save that man.”

I couldn’t reply. The inside of my mouth was too dry.

“It doesn’t matter. I’ll tell you what is in your future,” he said. “Two children. The second one will kill the other, your wife, and eventually, you.”

And how nonchalantly he said that, as if he weren’t telling me anything but the weather. Like an insensitive joke. But those words turned my mind white, paralyzed me to the spot.

I barely noticed the Reaper stepping around me.

A second later, from an impossible distance away came the sound of keening.

I didn’t turn around. I walked away on numb legs, heavy with knowledge and the weight of a life, and it seemed that the shadows pooling under the newly lit lamps were dragging me down.


I’m not sure how long it took for me to reach home but when I did, the sky was fully dark. I barely had time to take off my hat before she rushed forward and threw her arms around me.

“Taurus,” she said with giddy euphoria, “We’re going to have a baby.”

As I looked into her face, long enough for it to change from excitement to worry, I could almost see the Reaper’s foretold ending written in her eyes.

It was already starting.


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5 thoughts on “3.13 On the Record

  1. Oh wow… man I love your writing…Such tragedy. But is the Reaper really telling the truth? Sometimes making a prediction forces it to come true in my mind. I guess I will have to wait and see. Oh Taurus! ….

    Liked by 1 person

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