The Apprentice | A Work in Progress

{ 404 words so far }

“I am Death,” he tells me as he hands me the scythe.  He had personally forged the blade out of stainless steel himself.  I can’t help but be amazed at his resourcefulness, and the meticulousness of his craft, his attention to detail and his drive to be the best he is at what he does.  “If you join me, Callie, you will be Death’s apprentice.  That is, if you agree to be my assistant.”

He presents even more weapons of horror to me from a briefcase that lay on the table in his basement.  I could not begin to describe most of them with words.

“And provided that you were not just telling me what I wanted to hear when I saved you from the empty life of a rudderless street urchin you were living.”

That stings.  I hate his throwing my recent status as a homeless person out at me as some kind of grand judgment of my worth.  I start to think that in his deep-seeded misanthropy that maybe his opinion of women is right on par with his hatred of men.

“What will it be, Calliope?”

How can I not accept his offer for this great opportunity?  A few weeks ago I was a nobody runaway living hand-to-mouth on the streets, squatting in rundown abandoned houses with creepy bums, pick-pocketing unsuspecting yuppies on the subway and finding, to my dismay, that they only carried plastic.  I didn’t care if I lived or died.

“Remember that pack of wolves I rescued you from?”

Boy, do I remember.  Again, he is picking at healing scabs.  The night Death saved me I had been sold out by a squat-mate who had tipped-off the local boys in the ‘hood that if they looked past my short-cropped hair cut, flat chest, baggy clothes and outward androgyny that they would find a virgin teen-aged girl who was ripe for the picking.  That asshole squatter traded my virginity for a meth fix.

“Once you finish your studies in self-defense, and once I teach you the fine art of killing and the ways of death, then no man—or men, will ever be able to do what those gangbanging cowards did to you.”

I give it some serious thought and consider heavily what he says. No man includes him as well, right?

“Yeah, I’ll be your apprentice.”

And in the end I will become Death.

“When do I start?”

Written: December 22, 2009.

Copyright © 2009-2016 by Brandon L. Rucker. All Rights Reserved.

Image courtesy of Wallpaper | RuckerWrites | @RuckerWrites

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