I breathe in.
I breath out.
Moisture sticks to my esophagus as air slithers down into my lungs. I can see the air but cannot see more than a few feet ahead of me. The hair on my arms gathers water as I pump them faster and faster. I run with smoke in my eyes and death at my back, but death is always at my back. Most of the time I am so far ahead. He feels so far away. Over time though, my legs have grown heavy and my muscles scream in protest. I cannot run for much longer.
I turn sharply and hide behind a moss covered tree. My heart pounds so hard it hurts. Something wet rolls down my face and I can't decide if it is sweat or a tear.
Leaves crunch and twigs snap.
I have never seen Death's face before. The shadow searching for me is nothing like I imagined him to be. He so beautiful it makes me sick, sick to think that the thing taking my soul from me has the face of a guardian angel.
Through the branches black eyes meet my gaze.
Death marches towards me.
"Why are you chasing me?" I shout. I want to move but a warm pulse moves through my veins, relaxing my tired legs.
He does not answer me, he just continues to walk in my direction. The closer he get's I find an odd sense of peace in his presence. I try to fight it, but I cannot help but embrace this sensation that I have never felt before.
"I am not chasing you, I have been following you. Just like I do to everyone till one day, like today we can finally meet. Hello old friend." He says with a smile.
I cannot say anything, I keep telling my brain to tell my mouth to speak but nothing will come out.
"You humans truly amaze me." He says, taking a seat on a rock. My legs finally collapse and I plop on the ground beside him, trying hard not to welcome too much of the warmth.
"Everyday I draw closer and closer to you humans, but you don't notice or seem to care until I am nearly breathing down your necks." He whispers in my ear. "You lived a great life, more fuller than most. I find it an honor to take a soul such as yours. One so vibrant and colorful, full of so many experiences. I am happy you are not a life that was not lived, but that you lived like you knew I was always there."
I nod my head in understanding. I have to admit I never lived my life thinking that death was just inching closer with every passing moment. But I did live knowing that once it was over it was over. I wanted to do and see everything. Which regrettably I don't think I did.
"I promise this won't hurt a bit, I will make it easy."
My mind is foggy, I stare deep into death's eyes trying to find the warmth he emanated, but instead I found coldness that you could only find if you search long enough.
"Just take a deep breathe." He says and my eyes close. A weight is lifted from me and I feel like I am floating. He places his hand on my head.
I breathe in.
I breath out.