A Dance with Death

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Chapter 5

I learnt of the true nature of Mors' job, not even three weeks after the date he left me by myself after being called to work. It wasn't by accident, Mors did actually open up to me about his past.

We were having a quiet night at my house, as he usually did, he turned up at seven on the dot, pulled into my driveway and rang the doorbell.

We sat together on the chair, the black leather crinkling under our weight. No touching of course, a nice little gap between us.

"Roku, tonight I want to tell you of my past."

Mors had a certain look on his face, his blue eyes still pierced through me like icicles.

I nodded, relieved that he was finally trusting me. I motioned for him to start.

He took in a deep breath,

" I don't remember much of my childhood. I don't even remember my parent's names, faces, or even if I had siblings.

I get flashes of images which I assume to be memories. I know we lived on a small farm, which backed onto a beautiful dense Forest. We had a horse, chickens, and a cow. We had to get our water from a well and we grew our own vegetables.

One memory I find very strange was that we didn't have a car and my Father (his face always covered in a dark shadow) would hook up a horse to a cart and go where we needed to go, such as into town.

Do you know what is even stranger I don't remember ever seeing a car when we went into town, everyone else had carriages and carts. Not one car. Don't you find that strange? "

I did find that very strange, he wasn't that much older than myself and cars were not a new thing when we were children. Cars had definitely overtaken the need for horses and carriages and had been for quite some time even before we were born.

Then, I had a random thought,

"Mors, Could you have been raised in a Amish community?"

That was the only logical explanation for his memories,

He nodded slowly,

"You could be right Roku, but my memories feel older."

"Anyway," he said before continuing.

"My teen years were nothing more than a blur. The only thing I remember was that in my teen years I realised I was gay. I also remember the school, it was a boarding school. It was built of stone, and was huge. It was surrounded by a stone wall with Iron gates. Just remembering the sight of it sends shivers down my spine and fills my heart with dread. I know bad things happened there Roku, I just wish I could remember."

I was very intrigued by the the story Mors was sharing with me.

" So what happened to your parents Mors? " I asked, curiously.

" They died in a house fire. I was home on holidays from school and we were all inside about to enjoy dinner.

Smoke started to flood the house, the smell of burning filled my nostrils. We tried to get out, but someone had blocked the door, the windows were also blocked off.

Firstly, my Dad's clothes caught fire as he tried frantically to break down the door. The heat was so intense, I was screaming my skin felt like it was melting away from my muscles. I passed out, with the panicked, frantic, and pained screams of my parents surrounding me.

The smell of burnt hair and flesh was the last thing I remember of that night.

Surprisingly I survived the fire, thanks to the actions of a good Samaritan, a passing stranger, he saved me. The trauma of witnessing my parents death and lack of oxygen has made me forget a lot of things about that night. To this day I don't know who tried to kill my parents nor who saved me, I can't even remember my recovery."

My heart hurt for Mors, all I wanted to do was hold him close, kiss his forehead and let him cry into my shoulder.

Mors took in a deep breath and continued on.

"I was offered my current job while in hospital. My burns were not too bad, but my mental health, memory, and lungs kept me in hospital. The man who offered me my current job was my saving grace but also the cause of my demise. He gave me purpose and the determination to recover and live the life I live today, but he also handed me the power of morbid responsibility.

He read of my parent's death in the paper and wanted to help me. Little did I know what I was agreeing to. I found out soon enough, though and that the injuries I had sustained were worse than I thought...my lungs, they didn't recover from the fire and the smoke."

I was frozen, confused.

"But how are you dead, when you're sitting beside me. I can see you, hear you?"

"I died when I accepted the job offer. I'm death Roku. I make the decision on who dies and who gets a second chance. I keep the balance of nature, without me, the word will descend into chaos. I am a reaper, I reap the souls of the dead, I see their deeds, I help their souls cross over and I hear their reward or punishment and help them understand.

Ever hear of the kiss of death, brush with death, dance with death, and the touch of death. They aren't just figures of speech Roku...They are the reasons why I can not do the things you ask. I cannot kiss you, I cannot hold your hand or do 'normal couple things with you, Roku, for I could kill you."

Mors started to continue but I cut him off,

"How do you know? Have you ever tried?"

"No Roku, I have not tried, mainly as a precaution. I'm not given an instruction booklet on how to be a reaper and let alone how to be death in love. The beings who make these rules have never been human, so they don't understand feelings and emotions. Being in love would never have crossed their minds, Roku."

"So, what if I touch you, Mors? What would you do if I was to hold your hand right now?"

I asked, inching closer to him.

"Please don't Roku. I would never forgive myself if you died just by touching me."

His eyes shone, his once piercing cold blue eyes softened. He was scared. I did not stop. I reached for his hand and encased it in my own. His hand trembled, but just as I expected, nothing happened.

Mors let out a shaky but relieved sigh. I wanted to push a bit more.

"What if I was to lean in and kiss you Mors? What do you think will happen?" I whispered, as his hair was teased by my breath.

Mors yanked his hand from mine, stood up and his eyes turned cold.

"If you can't respect the boundaries I set and when I say No. I can't stay Roku. You're lucky your actions tonight didn't kill you. I would never, I mean never forgive myself if you died at my hands Roku. Goodnight."

He left in a flurry of air and with a loud bang of the door, he was gone.

He was angry. All I wanted to do was prove to him that we could do the things that couples do and that his reluctance to do those things was nothing more than an unfounded fear. Tonight was proof of that. I touched him and didn't die. This was good news.

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