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It's Time

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I awoke from sleep with a startle.  It stared at me from the end of the bed, the translucent figure of a woman bobbing up and down as it hovered.  My breathing quickened, I couldn't believe what I was looking at; a cool breeze brushed past my face as it approached.

"It's time," the ethereal being whispered; her lips didn't move, the voice emanating from inside my own head.

It stopped by my side, freezing air flowed out from it like dry ice.  I looked into her face, her features dissipated, as if skittish of direct eye contact.

"It's time, he's waiting for you downstairs," she said, her hand slowly raised and pointed a tendril like finger out of the room.

The woman vanished.

I felt compelled to go.

"Who's waiting for me?" I asked, but she was long gone.

I walked across the landing and down the stairs, I stopped before the open door of the living room, slowly peeking my head around the door-frame.

"What the fuck is that?" I exclaimed, scared for my life by what I saw.

A chill touched my shoulder as the ethereal whispered in my ear, "Deeeaattthhhh."

No, no, no! I said to myself as I turned to run up the stairs.

It felt as if I was wading through treacle, being pulled downstairs towards that thing.

The woman tracked me, "You can't fight it, it's your time."

I held the banister to pull myself up, resisting the urge to give up.  Looking back over my shoulder, I saw it, gliding effortlessly towards me.

With all my might I made it to the top of the stairs, crawling on my hands and knees I approached my bedroom.

The ethereal angered, her voice raised, "What do you think you are going to do?  You cannot outrun Death!"

Watch me, I thought as I sweated and panted my way back to the room.  I forced myself to stand, uneasy on my feet, hundreds of unseen fingers tugging at me to return to my destiny.  I rolled myself over my wife and fell backwards onto the bed.

I scrunched my eyes tight, my body began to numb.

I chanted, I'll give anything not to die, I'll give anything not to die.

"That can be arranged," its deep bass voice announced.

And I woke.

I flung back the covers, revealing my clammy body to the world. The sudden surge of air cooled my body.  My pulse raced.  I'd never been so glad to be awake.

I looked over to my wife, her naked body lay motionless.  My heart dropped.

That can be arranged.

Those words at the forefront of my mind, as I reached forward and touched her ice cold skin, I accepted it, but it surprised me all the same.  I collapsed on top of her and cried.

Her body was so stiff, I didn't except her elbow to thrust into my side and for her to grumble, "Get off and give me some covers, I am freezing!"

"You're alive!" I said shocked, pushing myself up.

"Of course I'm fucking alive.  Can you check on Sophie, I'm too cold."

My daughter.

I knew before I left the room.

I knew before I saw her bedroom door ajar.

I knew before I saw her empty cot.

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