“Take me.” She said.
“Take me now.” She was so weak it was barely a whisper but he could hear. Even as he could hear her fragile heart within her broken chest beating irregularly.
He didn’t have to speak to her but he said, “Wait, your time is not up. Only a little time left.” He didn’t need a watch to know just how many milliseconds she had left. It would run into a few days by the way humans calculated time. But what was time to him? He could reap a billion souls from their bodies in the blink of an eye. That’s what he’d been made to do anyway. He knew whose turn it was and when. He travelled faster than light or sound. The humans would never understand. They knew nothing, with their technology and tall buildings and all their science. They knew nothing.
“Why are you here if my time is not up? Don’t you have other souls to take?”
Her voice was no longer a whisper. Good. “I’ve gone 21 times since you last spoke. You didn’t notice.”
“Oh. I don’t notice a lot of things. Why hide your face under that hood though? Have you a face?”
She was unconscious now. This was when the true nature of a person’s spirit became manifest. He replied her, “I believe I do. Your body might not awake again.”
“Pfft. I don’t mind. It was too painful anyway. Do you feel pain?”
He wasn’t sure what to say as he realized he couldn’t remember ever feeling pain. He knew it like he knew himself. His very existence was entwined with pain but he’d never felt it. He asked instead, “You don’t mind dying?”
She was silent for a while then she replied, “I don’t know. What is death like?”
He didn’t know exactly what to tell her. He wished he could find colourful words and beautiful metaphors with which to describe death but he couldn’t. She’d been through so much already. Staring in her eyes, he realized this was the first time he would contemplate not doing his job. He’d felt reluctant several times before when he’d think of the pain he’d have to inflict on a pure soul but he’d known he would do his job no matter what. This though. He was sure he did not want to do it. He felt rebellion swelling in his heart. He didn’t like it. Perhaps he could ask HIM to spare this girl.
He shook himself from his thoughts when he heard her soft moans dripping pain. If only he’d kept the conversation going, perhaps she wouldn’t have woken. He couldn’t talk to her now she was conscious. Her hour was very close now. He wasn’t sure if he had it in him to not do what was required of him. He hoped some sort of miracle would save this girl but who would find a poor servant girl like her 100 feet below Iti’s cliff in Uma’s evil forest. She’d been running from her master for days, hounds on her trail. She’d suffered. He didnt want to dish out the pain of death to her. He wanted her to live and be strong and fight the monsters that had led her here.
Sensing a presence, Onwu turned around. “Aja.”
“HE has heard you Onwu. HE knows what stirs in your heart. The girl will live. I am to give her the warrior’s kiss.”
Onwu knew it was true. He could see that she had a long life now. HE had heard him. He would meet her again when she was wrinkled and mottled all over. “Thank you.” He muttered.