The bars rattled in an otherwise still night. The guard walked past, a sharp click marking each of his steps on the stone. A pink dawn snuck its way through the tiny hole in the wall. For months, this had been my only window to the world, and I looked down across the walls towards humanity as it bustled by, unknowingly forming a part of my last few memories.
A key rustled in the lock and my eyes met the guard’s. A stiff nod was all it took for me to realize that it was time.
I was to follow him to my death.
I fell in step behind the man with the umbrella. Grey suit, polished shoes. Wealthy, I presumed, by the clinical cuts on his suit – made to fit while an admiring wife and daughter looked on. A family man with a small, happy family.
But tonight, he was going to die.
I turned a corner onto a side street. The clouds obscured light as the breeze turned into a howling cacophony, almost as if the heavens were preparing.
I moved a step forward, and tapped him on the shoulder. He turned.
The knife was an extension of me as I thrust it forward.
Plunge. Insert. Push. Twist. Withdraw.
A bright red flower bloomed on his spotless cream shirt, expanding as his blood found freedom from the shackles of his body. As I held him to me, I felt a soul flow by, a final breath expunged. A not so strange sense of déjà vu struck me, as if my whole life had been preparing for this one moment.
I withdrew the knife and extricated myself from the man in the grey suit, laying him on a moth eaten armchair on the street. The man with the umbrella had found his final resting place.
It looked like the climax of a movie, with the weather and the street and the costumes all perfectly set up in some sort of karmic colossus. I smiled to myself.
The wind howled one final time.
It was done.
As I followed the guard to my decidedly gruesome fate, my mind slipped back to that windy night. In retrospect, I could have done a better job. Getting caught was not part of the plan, but I had become careless. The trial had been brief; the jury had sentenced me to the chair. I had quietly chuckled at the irony of fate, two dead men in chairs. The wry smile had, of course, not gone down well with the press, quick to label me a remorseless murderer.
We arrived at a large metal door. Another key turned, and I was faced with the end. A void filled me, and I wondered if another smile would be out of place.
I sat down on the chair and closed my eyes.
“Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”