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Gunshots in the Night

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     I never know what to expect really. You do the job you're given, you don't ask questions. If a soul needs to be collected at the nursing home, I collect it. If I have to scrape a mass of souls from the fields of battle, I do it. Some jobs are worse than others. Some jobs are a living hell.

     But excuse me for not introducing myself, you have to realize that I've never been one for introductions. Most people don't like to think about me, and to be completely truthful, I've never liked having to think about most people. To be honest, you confuse me and that scares me. You always have, and I bet you always will. It's a tad bit ironic isn't it, you fear death, and yet here I am, Death, admitting that I fear you. 

     I've gotten distracted again haven't I? Force of habit, I guess; can you forgive Death for taking his time and getting a bit distracted?

     Like I was saying, I don't know what to expect when I'm out on a job. Maybe that's what scares me, not knowing what to expect from you. I try to block it all out. Ignore the battlefield, ignore the cancer ward, and ignore the scene of the crime. Find the soul, and ferry it away; take care of the soul and ignore the circumstances and especially ignore the past. Sometimes, i can concentrate on this and everything goes smoothly. Other times...well, let's just say curiosity killed the cat, and that it's constantly driving me insane.

     There are times, though, when I can't help it. Someone stands out, someone dies to save another's life, or someone dies for a cause. What confuses me, what makes me long for the distractions is the why. Why, why, why do some of them leave this life so gracefully, and others leave kicking and screaming. Why are some diamonds, and the rest dark as coal. Why do some people die for their friends and others die for their vanity. You can see my problem, people are a paradox. You always have been, from the moment a brother killed his brother, to the moment a stranger dove back into the fire to save a stranger. I'm disgusted and in love with humanity. 

      Most days, I succeed. I stay distracted. Other days, I can't help but delve deeper. He had a diary, and for some reason I just had to keep it. I had to know about his life. Some people say love exists at first sight. I say that intrigue exists at first sight. Sometimes, the barriers fall, I get distracted, and I get intrigued. But, it's rare that I fall in love. I certainly did not love him or his story, but I was enraptured by it. I was intrigued. 

     He was a rich man living in Canada. The mansion was ornate and stank of wealth. It's hard to distract myself when the setting is as greedy as the character. That was my first mistake, I paid attention to the setting. I looked at this mausoleum he lived in and had judged him. See, I can be a great judge of character. The best way to judge a man is to see what happens when he's waiting for me. I shouldn't judge though, I've been wrong once or twice, but more importantly, it attaches me to them. I have to know, i have to dig deeper and see if I'm right. 

     I had judged him. I had judged him and I was right. But, I don't want to influence you. You get to meet him and judge him in the same way I did. When I saw him that last time, he was ancient with white hair and money flowing through his veins. Yet, I recognized him. There was something in his eyes and I knew I had seen him before. I had seen him back when his hair was jet black and there was nothing but determination in his veins.

     He faced me with disgust. If he could have spit upon me, he would have. I shook my head at him. He disgusted me. The memory was fuzzy but I knew that I had met him before. He was there for three deaths, all within the span of an hour and when I saw him that time, he intrigued me. Like I said, sometimes there is an intrigue that surrounds certain people. The people who stand out are the best and the worst of you. I forced myself to ignore it, to drive the thought from my head, to forget. This time around I couldn't help myself. I had to relive that story.

      First, though, I grabbed what I had come for in the first place. His soul was small, and shifty. He tried to struggle and escape my grip. I've been doing this for longer than I remember and my grip never fails me. His squirming stopped after a second. Then I began my quick search. I looked about the room. Ignoring the priceless piece of art with the safe hidden behind it or the cabinet filled with liquors, I headed straight to the bedside table. There was a small book lying on top. It was the only thing there besides a lamp. 

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