I, Death 3

This is the third installment of I, Death, and the fourth part of the story. To read the previous installment be sure to click here. Part 4 Ella turned back to face the Jenson household.

This is the third installment of I, Death, and the fourth part of the story. To read the previous installment be sure to click here.

Part 4

Ella turned back to face the Jenson household. There was an emptiness to it, the place was like a second home to her before it all came crashing down. In hindsight, her last visit was her way of saying farewell to a kindred spirit. A tight sensation formed in her chest, a tingle went down her arms and legs.

She let out a scream that demons might call music, and which would surely grate on the ears of angels. Her knees gave way, and she grasped at the grass below her.

“I can’t do this anymore.”

And yet you must.

“Why? I’m not in Hell, so why?”

Why, indeed. I wonder what’s holding you here.

The surge stopped. Clarity came to her, as if a hangover had just run its course.

“Anger. I’m still so pissed off.”

Why does the anger persist?

“Because I’m weak, and I wasn’t strong enough.”

You had your limits. His cruelty doesn’t appear to have reached its limit.

“How do you know?”

I know all living things. I know their frailty, their cruelty, their potential for all things creative and destructive. I merely wait.

“Wait for what?”

I wait to understand what each does with life.

“Even those who take their own?”

Yes.

“I don’t get it. Isn’t there some sort of grand scheme?”

There is no grand scheme, as you call it. There is only existence and the numerous paths each choose.

“Forget I asked. I never get a straight answer, just more vague bullshit.”

I did answer your question. You just do not understand it at this time. I have a task for you.

“Fine.”

Go south. A you spirit needs guidance.

“Okay.”

They would have to wait.

The distant city lights blurred into orbs, the trees, and ground blurred. Out of the dust, Dad appeared as he rested on his recliner. The wall of photos appeared. There were fewer than before, and those the remained didn’t contain Brandon. He held her baby book to his chest. The flesh around his eyes was bright red.

A violent rapping came to the door.

“Let me in,” Brandon’s voice came through the door.

Ella guessed Dad changed the locks.

“Come on. It’s cold.”

“I don’t care. I can tell you’re higher than a space station. Find somewhere else to shoot your heroine.”

“I’m not high, Dad. Look, I’m trying.”

She knew he was lying through the thick oak door. It was his stock and trade. Brandon was likely there to sleep a while or steal more of their father’s money for his habit. The handle jostled but didn’t give.

“Dad, for God’s sake I’m freezing. Please?”

“No. Go away. You’ve done enough damage. If I could trade you for your sister, I’d do it right here and now.”

A thick silence befell the room.

Dad’s stifled sobs and the ticking clock broke it.

Ella walked to the door and reached for the handle but hesitated. She wondered if it would work.

The metal was warm to the touch. There was a slight draft coming through the crack in the wood. She pressed the lever. It went down.

I can do this. I can do this. I need to do this.

She wrapped her hand around the polished metal, twisted her wrist, and opened the door. Brandon fumbled inside, landing on his face.

Ella laughed.

“Get out,” Dad screamed. Then looked around the room.

He couldn’t see her.

Brandon rolled over onto his back. He looked around the room, his eyes appeared to be focusing. His eyes widened; his jaw went slack. Then, he stood up.

Their gazes met.

Heat coursed through her veins; she felt her brow furrow. Everything shook.

“Ella?” Brandon asked.

He saw her.

“How dare you.”

The sound of glass breaking made Brandon and Dad wince. Her vision focused on Brandon. He went down to the floor, just having dodged a picture frame, which broke the glass and splintered the wood. The lights flickered on and off. Dad screamed.

The room went dark, yet her focus remained on Brandon. He stood, frozen.

In a symphony of shattering glass, splintering wood, and other objects jostling and breaking, she only heard silence.

“Fuck you!”

She pushed Brandon through the doorway onto the porch. He scurried across the wooden boards onto the lawn, where he tried to regain his balance, but he ended up running on his hands and knees. She watched him until he vanished behind the trees that lined the street. A sense of deep satisfaction came to her when she closed the door.

Ella turned to her Dad. He held onto the book with one eye closed. Then he opened both of them. He looked around the room. The pictures that adorned the walls were broken and scattered across the room; shards of glass littered nearly every surface.

Silence.

Dad quivered in his chair. Ella stretched out her shaking hand, touched his hand, and met his gaze.

His jaw went slack, and his eyes widened. He could see her now.

“Ella?”

“It’s me, Daddy.” She hadn’t called him ‘daddy’ in years.

Her dad reached up with a quivering hand and touched her. She felt the warmth of his touch. A tear went down his cheek.

“My sweet girl. I’m so sorry.”

She wanted the right words to come out, but none did; the words died before they left her mind. She touched the hand he had on her cheek.

The warmth vanished and his hand passed through her.

“Daddy?”

Ella reached for his hand, but her hand passed through his. Dad looked around.

“Ella? Where’d you go? Ella?”

“I’m sorry, Daddy,” she said and rushed out of the door and down the street.

To Be Continued…

 

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