A Quick Death
This is the only thing I wrote this weekend. Add it to the list of things I didn’t want to post. I don’t know why!
“I don’t want to,” he said.
“Do it,” she said. “You’ve got to get over your fears.”
He was trembling.
“Cast it at that woman over there.”
“But she hasn’t–”
“Do it! Prove you’re a man.”
The woman was reading a book in an isolated section of the great library. She was well dressed, wore glasses, had her hair pinned back in a clean bun. She had gotten caught up in a book and was standing up reading it. She looked nice.
The boy pointed his finger lamely in her direction. A gust of wind blew past her and she leaned into it, unconsciously enjoying the breeze.
Teacher glared down at him. “I am disappointed in you,” she said. “Now you’re going to have to watch her receive a worse death at my hands. This is your punishment.”
“Oh, please no,” the boy said.
She opened a chasm beneath the woman’s feet, and the woman dropped. She was too surprised to even scream. Nobody saw it happen. The chasm closed up just as quickly as it had appeared. Had she broken a leg in the drop?
“Come on,” his teacher said. “We’ve got work to do down there.”
Her own warm hand took his, gently. They phased to the dungeon at the bottom of the chasm.
“I’ll give you one more chance to try it yourself,” she said.
The girl was panting, sitting up on the floor in an uneventful position, one leg drawn up toward herself. She couldn’t see in the dark, but she could hear voices. She had been hurt in the drop after all, though the boy couldn’t tell where.
He had to do it. He had to be quick and merciful. Or else Teacher… who knows what she would do to the girl to prove her point and punish him.
A quick, merciful death. He took a deep breath. Sharp and quick, like a band aid. He moved his whole hand in a crisp motion, with assurance.
The girl’s head detached cleanly. It fell to her side. The body fell forward onto her knees and remained propped upright.
“Good,” Teacher said. “This is what it means to be a Reaper. Do you understand?”
The boy nodded, tears in his eyes.
“You gave her a good death,” Teacher said. “You’ve got to be proud. This is the best we can do for them.”