Dressed in black robes from head to toe with a hood that obscured the beings face and head only revealing a pair of bright red eyes Aisleen greeted an old acquaintance. Although others wouldn’t have treated, him as such for his purpose was one that was terrifying. Still when he had come to take Aisleen’s sisters, she had remembered that he too was a creature of the Goddess’s and deserved love and respect.
“Hello old one. Are you here for me?” She asked.
“Yes and no.” Death responded. His voice was dreadful and deep. The first time she had heard it fear had gripped her almost consuming her common sense. The feeling still came only tempered by her compassion for his plight. He had not asked to be this being. Why he was, she had never asked. But knew no one would desire his position.
“I don’t understand.” She expressed her confusion.
“I have roamed between realms taking the spirits that die from one world to another for longer than anyone can count. Only magical beings can see me other than those souls. During that time, only one has paid me a kindness. Even in her greatest grief, she thought of me and not of herself.” Aisleen mused again how it was odd she could feel tears as a spirit. Memories of her sisters deaths assaulted her, for each time she had saw him it was with their demise.
“I have waited to pay that thoughtfulness. So here I am kind Aisleen, the last Familial Witch, at your service.” He bowed.
“What service can you provide me?”
“I can give you power to enter a man’s dreams, but be advised you must choose only one.” The dark voice warned. Aisleen didn’t have to think to know which man in her tiny cottage she desired to know more, if only to take stronger memoires of what could have been with her to the other side. But before she accepted his offer she had a request of her own, looking into the dark face and frightening red eyes she asked.
“What is your name?”
“Why do you ask things you already know?” he responded, his voice still deep but husky. The change fueled her courage.
“I know for a fact that our Mother did not name you Death. That is but a title that describes your duties. You must have a name.”
He looked away when he answered, “Long ago I was once called Damascus.” He whispered.
“Damascus is a fine name. Now let’s have a look at what I am sure is a fine face as well.” She insisted reaching toward him.
Death took a step away from her and gasped. She appeared before him with the mere thought, touching the top of his robe at the wrist, she bid him to calm down.
“Why do you ask so much?” he demanded.
“I can’t properly thank you if I can’t look upon your face and know your name.” She explained.
“What if what you see is frightening?” He responded calmer.
“You forget sir that I have felt the darkness that can hide behind even the fairest of faces.” She reminded him thinking of the loss of her unborn child and the handsomeness of her former husband. While she had not seen him that day, her grief left her between sanity and madness, she had felt Death’s presence.
Finally, he looked up, raised his arms revealing two flesh covered hands and pulled his hood back.
Aisleen gasped for his beauty was like nothing she had ever seen. Thick golden hair fell just above his shoulders, eyes as blue as the sky and not the red she knew so well surveyed her reaction. A square jaw was set below the frown that stained his lips.
“I warned you. Now you are afraid of me.” He stated moving to pull his hood back up. Aisleen lunged forward and stopped him.
“I am unafraid Damascus.” He paused and arched a brow.
“Truly I am not. I don’t understand why you thought I would be. You are perhaps the fairest man I have ever beheld with eyes as blue as the sky and hair as golden as a flowers core.”
Damascus looked at his hands turning them over then moved forward grabbing her by her shoulders, “I entreat your pardon, but I must see through your eyes. Will you give me leave?” He asked with a desperation she could feel. She nodded. Then it was as if she was invaded. Only the force was not suffocating, just a joining of space. With that connection, she could also tap into him as he had her.
As he saw himself through her eyes, memories of his past flooded her mind, memories so ancient and painful it caused her to scream. He withdrew immediately.
“Aisleen are you well? ”
“I’m fine. What was…it was all so much.” She muttered. Damascus seemed to not hear her looking away and mumbling.
“Until the one who sees the beauty within…will you be free…” He whispered.
“What do you mean Damascus?” She asked. His blue eyes met hers.
“Have you made your choice Aisleen?” He asked instead of answering becoming oddly formal again.
“Yes…but what” She was cut off by a wave of his hand. Then appeared inside the room of a place she didn’t recognize."
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