Do you ever get the feeling that you are being watched? Like there is something there just a little away from the corner of your eye. You could turn at any moment, but you can no longer do it. You have gone accustomed to the fear, and turning would mean having to face an unknown monster or even death. And no one wants to see death coming.
Maggie was sure someone was watching her. Well, as sure as you can be with no actual proof. She was not the paranoid type. This wasn’t all in her head. No. The hairs n the back of her head would stand from time to time, and she would feel her heartbeat quicken. The first few months, she would turn to look for the source of her fear but as the fear grew and time passed, she had stopped. Now she grew increasingly afraid to look behind. She got the feeling that whoever it was, whatever it was, that was watching her was not something she wanted to see.
It wasn’t like she was a skittish woman. Until the feeling of being watched had started, Maggie lived a pretty normal life even watching horror movies from time to time for fun. Those days were long gone though. Now she could not stand to watch a horror movie. She felt them a misrepresentation of real fear. Fear was slow and maddening. It was the feeling of being watched for an entire month with no actual evidence. It was being too scared to look behind and being unable to tell your friends what you were going through. It was hating shadows, hating corners, and slowly sinking into a world that was worse than any horror movie.
However, even fear had an expiry date. Three months into her own version of a horror movie, Maggie had gotten used to the eyes she felt watching her. She had stopped caring. She had stopped fearing.
Until one Friday Evening, when she met her, the owner of her nightmares.
Death was beautiful, but not even that could make her less scary. Maggie shivered. If it wasn’t for the fact that her whole body suddenly felt a cold shiver like never before, she would not have believed that this was the thing she had feared all this month. But she knew. She knew to be scared, and her body agreed with her. “You are Death.” The words left her mouth before she could make sense of them. “Yes.” Death answered, tilting her head a little to the side. It appeared Death was amused. “Maggie felt her whole body calling for her to run. She looked to the sides, everyone went on walking, seemingly oblivious of her predicament. “You are here for me.” She spoke again. Her mouth had a mind of its own. “No. Not in that way.” Death answered. For the first time since the beginning of this crazy meeting, Maggie felt something other than fear. “I’m confused.” “I expected that.” Death replied stepping back a little finally letting go of her shoulder. Maggie felt a burning there but had little time to think about it before the explanation she had been hoping for came. “The world is dying,” Death began. “Life as we know it is ending. I am overwhelmed and I need you to stop it.”
“Me?” Maggie asked. “Why me? I am a nobody why would I be able to stop the end of the world?” “Precisely because you are a nobody, and also because anyone else who has tried has had to well… die.”
Maggie could not hold it anymore. She felt a laugh escape her lips. She laughed and laughed until her ribs ached. Finally, the laugh subsided and was instantly replaced by pure and utter panic. She was sure her heart would leave her body. No. Not that. She was sure she was going insane. That’s right. She was losing her mind. Yes, there was no other explanation. She had gone totally and absolutely crazy. She had finally snapped. She was sure of it. Absolutely batshit looney… “You are not crazy. Not any more than anybody else. You are also my last hope of saving the world.” Somehow Maggie heard the words of Death above her own noisy head.
Fine, if she was going insane then she was sure she had to follow through to the end. “What do you want me to do?” She asked now looking Death in the eye for the first time. “I need you to kill me.” Death answered as a matter of fact. “The fight is not very complicated. You will be expected to kill me. Only, I can’t die. So, you have to find a way.
A Nuclear Bomb
Maggie could only remember she was supposed to show up at the football arena behind the University. Nobody was going to be there. She was also sure she was going to be fighting Death but she was not jumping at the opportunity to tell anyone that part. She had a plan, the way she figured, Death was somehow like a cockroach, they could survive a nuclear bomb but also, you could thwack them with a flipflop and they would die. So, she wore her toughest flipflops and was now praying for the best. She had also made sure to carry a backpack full of Death killing essentials.
Death stood at the center of the field when she arrived. Maggie was at least 30% sure she was going to die. The number would have been a lot higher if she actually believed any of what was happening was actually real.
The fight began with a whistle from a strange man in the stands. Maggie had stopped questioning any of what she saw. She walked slowly towards Death taking one of her flipflops off as she walked. She held it firmly in had hoping her fear didn’t show. Then when she got right in front of Death, she hit her right on the head. Death’s shock was palpable, but Maggie did not have time to register it, she hit her eighteen times more before finally stopping. Then she quickly turned her backpack to her front, unzipped it and took out a pyrethrum-based insect killer. This one she aimed at Death’s eyes. She pressed the nozzle and felt Death cough and jerk back. She did not relent though, she sprayed until the can was empty before taking out a rock from her backpack, she hit Death with it until Death fell to the ground. Then she bent her knees and beat Death to… Death. The irony was not lost on her. When she was done, she took off her backpack, dropped it to the ground, and then lay on the grass next to a dead Death.
She would see if this was real tomorrow.
And she hoped that she had saved the world.
And not just killed an innocent woman, as she suddenly feared.