The Poison Cloak

I feel the cold hand of Time clasping my arm, chilling my soul.

It’s comforting in a melancholy and gray way. And terrifying all at once.

A dark cloak awaits me – do you see? Just down the hall. Just off to the left.

Somewhere behind me I hear cautious whispers. Somebody telling me not to go. But oh! That cloak! Look at it!! So soft and inviting!

And on I walk.

I feel a dull ache in my bones now. My legs have grown heavy and the light has grown dim. And yet I’m not struggling to press on – the cloak is closer now. Almost in my grasp! Just a little further…

The air has suddenly become damp. Cold mist that turns my skin to goose flesh.

The lights have grown dim behind me now and the voices have faded with them. There it is… that long black cloak! At last! I can touch it…

As my fingers caress the material there is a moment of elation! Every moment of heartache, every joy, every experience, every right and every wrong blends into one perfect fraction of euphoria.

My hands close around the cloak and I pull it towards myself… but wait… something lurks inside!

Out from the sleeve comes fingers of bone and my euphoria turns to horror. I try to pull back but the bony hand has clasped my wrist. I struggle and scream but nobody is left to hear me… my friends have vanished into the darkness behind me.

The comforting grasp of Time has turned into the icy grip of Death. And my heart has stopped beating in my chest. I’m certain of it.

Death pulls me closer to his grotesque smile… he embraces me. Dances with me. Brings me into the ballroom of the underworld. And we dance until my soul has warmed again.

He spins me under his arm. And suddenly I’m entangled in his cloak, and he is gone.

I’m there alone now. In this soft black cloak. I reach out for the rose Death left at my feet.

And I stop.

My fingers, once plump with the flesh of life are now gleaming white bones.

The trick of it all! Time has turned me into Death.

And now I stand at the end of a long hallway waiting for the next soul – the next Life – to free me from this poison cloak.

Originally written April 16, 2017

by Erin de Blois

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