Friday, February 6, 2015

Seasonality and the Pale Horse

Death was always naught but a concept before her. A powerful, omnipotent concept, but a concept none-the-less. Death came into being when the very first rift in God’s Plan occurred. A simple bite of an apple was all it took to shift the balance and give wings to this darkness. It wasn’t until the first deviation from Death’s own Plan that the thin red line between the pulsating energy of life and the all encompassing totality of death that Death could cross over, relinquishing its hold on the loneliness and despair of nothingness to bring a shadow into the light. When he, the one with the forked tongue, came to that house and painted the walls of the family’s living room the color of the setting sun, Death robbed him of his final victory.

A little girl.

The little girl.

Death welcomed her into its gentle embrace.

Death brought her across that thin red line that had so long kept Death from joining humanity.

And then Death took her soul and purged it in the fires of Asphodel and the waters of the Styx.

And thus, Death conquered Death itself.

Death had entered the fires and waters.

And Catherine crossed back into the light.

The Plan would continue.

It always has.

It always will.

But even Death seeks comfort and reassurance in the presence of old acquaintances.

Catherine rode her pale mare across the the backdrop of meadows, tranquil and ordinary but for the three men on horseback cantering towards her. The magnificent beasts leaving great rends in the ground, crushing any flower and clover that dared to stand in their way.

She stood on a rise, surveying the scene with a strange mixture of the peace brought by the late evening oranges and reds and the apprehension of knowing what she had to do next.

Spurring her own mount, Catherine moved forward to meet the men: the charismatic man astride his noble white steed, beautiful blonde hair flowing in the evening breeze. The scarred, brutish man in uniform, muscles stretching the coarse fabric across his broad chest and shoulders, sitting astride his mount as red as blood. The gaunt, thin faced man, looking for all the world like a man in need of a good meal, astride his mount as black as the coming night.

The first man, the one who could conquer the hearts of mortals with a wink and a smile, hailed Catherine as she approached.

“Good sister, why have you summoned us here?”

The brutish man in the uniform grunted his agreement.

“I have business elsewhere. Get on with it.”

The third man, the man with lifeless eyes and skin stretched tight over bones, simply stared.

Catherine addressed them:

“I don’t know how I may appear to the world, but as for myself I seem to have been only like a girl playing on the seashore and diverting myself now and then in finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than the ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me. For some time of I have walking against humanity, going through the motions of dead and living alike. For my part I have found this to be gratifying, almost thrilling. Like a child, face plastered to the window of their favorite candy store, dreaming of the joy and delight that await within. This living Death has given me the chance to play, the chance to laugh, the chance to play at love and emotion. A little girl died for me, and a little girl has lived for me. But now, this man has...interrupted my grace period. This beast has reminded me of the harsh reality all of us in this immortal life face. This man threatens The Plan, an institution that transcends any one of us, that may even transcend Him. I seek your council. I seek the wisdom you carry.”

The man with the winning smile and wavy hair fixed her gaze upon her.

“Death. Or Catherine if you prefer. For some time now, the divine have been… watching you. You have become very involved with these humans. Some argue that you have been neglecting your duties. The three of us are all that remain. The last three to stand by you.

You have a duty. Your distractions have caused you to lose sight of your place in the The Plan. He has made significant ground. We have done our best to curb Satan's efforts while you have decided to play pretend.”

The brutish man with the mean face pointed at her.

“Fix this, wench.”

The three men turned their steeds around and rode off, leaving Catherine alone on her hilltop. The wind caressed her hair as the profound loneliness of her hilltop drifted down upon her shoulders like a fresh blanket of snow upon the Earth.

Her pale horse snorted as she turned it around and slowly trotted towards the setting sun.

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