Death Speaks

Contributor: Caitlin Brodie

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They tell you to worship the sun. Worship him for his light and fire and heat. Worship his brightness, even as it claws at your eyes and you beg to look away. They give him ten thousand gods, and as an afterthought they give a name to the darkness, call him Death, and tell you to never speak his name.
Speak my name. Don’t be afraid.
God of darkness, God of disease, God of blindness, God of night. I existed long before you. I will exist long after you. I remember with my hollow eyes the beginning of it all. I walked this rock you call home, embraced it all, loved it all, fell asleep with the sun on my back and when I woke, I was named Evil.
You people blame me for shadows, blame me for the bad things that live in my heart. But you can’t have shadows without light. Show me a good man, a kind man, and I will show you the shadows inside him. Light and Dark. These things were created equal. I am no murderer. He is no god. These things I know, yet here I am. Alone.
You see me coming, you run for cover. Head towards the light, find that pretty brightness at the end of the tunnel, hear the voices of your family on the other side. That is death, friends. I am the darkness, I am rest, and yet you run from me and into his sick, bright arms and I am not to be trusted.
At the end of all things, your precious sun will burn. Unable to control his rage, he will release himself, and all his light and fire and heat will destroy everything you’ve ever known until all that’s left is silence. Until all that’s left is me. And yet I am the one you fear.
I am the cold hand on your fevered forehead. I am the warm embrace of clouds on every black winter night. I am relief, I am sleep, I am that which gives all your light and brightness meaning.
In the end, your sun will burn apart and fall into my embrace, just as everything does. I will be there at the end, holding you as everything I love is turned to dust, and as always I will be alone.
My name is not Death, or Satan, or Stranger. My name is not Black or Night or Evil.
My name is End, and I will never die.

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Caitlin Brodie recently graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Fiction Writing. She is currently working on her first novel.
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