The morning was cold but warm. Her eyes fluttered open to the small beams of sun that peered through the window. With a groan, she sat up from her bed; golden hair and grey eyes that shined like the moon scanned the bedroom. It was another day for her.
Her routine began the normal way. Waking up, brushing her teeth, showering, and playing music for the dead. Each morning and night, she would go to the cemetery and play for the graves. This morning was special because it was the Day of the Dead. The time of year when all spirits would roam the earth. Her job was to use her powers to soothe the spirits.
She rubbed her beige skin with soap after entering the shower. Freckles decorated her face making her eyes pop. Once she was finished, she dressed in a pair of jeans and sandals with a white tank top and a blue buttoned shirt. Around her neck, she placed a choker with a small mirror dangling in the center. Her shoes tapped as she walked down the hall of her home to the kitchen. Cabinets clamored along with pots and pans as she made herself some porridge. While the food began to bubble, she heard something.
“Elizabeth,” a voice called out faintly.
Her eyes darted to the dining room. There, a man with grey hair and black eyes appeared. He was sitting in one of the chairs with his arms and legs crossed. A small smile came across his face.
“How have you been?” he asked, gently.
“I’ve been well,” she replied. “Would you like some breakfast?”
The man raised his brow. “You know, I do not eat, my child.”
“It’s called being polite, dad,” she grinned.
The man’s smile grew larger. He accepted his child’s request. Elizabeth took out another bowl and poured the porridge into it. She quickly placed it on the table accompanying it with a spoon. “Enjoy,” she smiled.
“Any food you make, I will enjoy,” he thanked.
After getting another bowl of porridge, Elizabeth sat in the chair next to her father. The two ate in silence until one broke the silence. “Why are you here?” she asked.
Her father looked a bit offended but understood what she meant. Even then, he decided to tease her a little.
“Do you not enjoy my company?” he frowned.
Elizabeth giggled. “I always enjoy your company, but it is off to see you on such a busy day.”
“What you say is correct, but why are you still here, child?” he queried. “Shouldn’t you be at the cemeteries by now?”
A small smirk came across her face. “Although I am the reaper’s daughter, I am still subject to mortal things such as food and rest.”
“Yes, one of the many traits you inherited from your mother.”
“Firstly, it is not a trait, it is how my body is,” she began. “Second, how is she?”
The reaper rubbed his fingers on a silver ring around his neck. “She is asleep,” he whispered.
“Happily,” he smiled.
Elizabeth and her father talked for an hour more before he had to get to work. He reminded his daughter of the promise she made. The promise to never remove the choker around her neck.
“I have and always will wear it,” Elizabeth chuckled. “Oh, also! Are you going to the party tonight?”
He smiled. “Why wouldn’t I?”
With that, he disappeared. Elizabeth shook her head. He always had a thing for dramatic exits. After putting away the dishes, she quickly up to her room to get the guitar. There, on her bed, she saw a large, white box with a silver bow in the center. Caution and curiosity got the better of her as she made her way towards the box. On the top, she saw a piece of paper. She smiled.
I hope you like the gift. Your mother wore it the night I met her. Maybe it will bring you luck as well.
Excitedly, Elizabeth opened the box. Her eyes widened and her mouth formed a perfect ‘o’. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing. Elizabeth quickly changed. When she looked in the mirror, she became misty-eyed. The plunging v neck showed just enough, but not too much cleavage. The color was white with golden vines painted around the fabric. The silky dress reached her knees. She was in awe.
“I look like mom,” she whispered.
Wiping her tears, she changed out of the dress into her casual clothes. She didn’t want to spoil such a beautiful dress.
After grabbing the guitar, she left her home in the woods. Her country was near the ocean and filled with forest. The main reason was due to all the magical creatures that lived within. Nymphs, elves, dwarves, wolves, the list goes on. Elizabeth lived in the capital of all wolf kind. There, the Alpha King reigned. It is said that he holds a cold heart because of a curse placed on him in the past. Unfortunately, the rumor has not been made clear due to the fact that he rarely shows himself in public.
However, on special occasions like today, he will make an appearance. The Day of the Dead was a holiday to celebrate the lives of those who have moved on. For Elizabeth’s father, it was the busiest time of year. Typically, all dead souls are tied to their graves because that is where their body is. Unless there is a special day. The Day of the Dead is an example of when the spirits break free from their graves and wander the earth freely.
The reapers have the job of not only watching the spirits in the mortal world but escorting them back to their proper graves. As for Elizabeth, she had to make sure no demons were among the wandering spirits. Since she played music for them, it was easy to tell who was good and bad. The normal spirits would enjoy the music and even assist her in return, while the ghouls would feel immense pain and Elizabeth would collect the souls through the mirror on her choker.
This morning, she wanted to play a solemn song for them. A song that would brighten their day as they were about to see their families again. With the guitar strapped around her back, Elizabeth exited the forest and began walking in the street. Since the road was abandoned, she was expecting no cars.
After about 15 minutes, she came upon the local cemetery. The graves varied in size but were all the same in her eyes. Each of them housed a soul. A soul that…
Elizabeth wiped away her growing tears. She has been doing this for years, but the pain is always there. Taking a seat on the ground in front of the graves, Elizabeth crossed her legs and laid her guitar in her lap.
“Any requests?” she asked.
Silence washed through the air until…
“Um,” a voice squeaked. “could you do the happy song, please?”
Elizabeth looked down at the small spirit that peeked out of the grave. “Of course,” she smiled.
With a few strums of her guitar, she tuned it to match the spirit’s request. She played a few more before beginning her song.
Our happiness shines in the dark
Through our pains, we see the shining star
In our lives, we set a course untold
The journey is there, but hidden in stone
Each day we walk, each day we run, each day we look toward the sun
Our journey has just begun, our journey has just begun
The moon and stars chart the way we run
We walk to in the sun
Our tears they mark a new way to smile
No matter where we are, we see it all the while
Within our sight, we see the end
But our journey has just…begun.
At the final strum of her guitar, she could feel the spirits beginning to settle and could hear them ask for more. She was happy to give them more. After all, she enjoyed it. She adjusted her strings once more, then started again. This time her song was quick-paced and upbeat.
However, unbeknownst to her, someone was watching her from afar. Their eyes were glued onto her, but they kept their presence hidden. Elizabeth continued to play for the spirits while the figure listened to her performance.