Yeah, alright, so I am pushing it, but I filed this under "R" for "RELATIONSHIP." Well, it's MY filing system! :)
Death was heartbroken. His girlfriend had died. He rode hell-bent for leather to collect her. After all, it was his job.
When he arrived at her home, where he had spent many happy evenings, he found her sitting outside of her body.
"What's up with this?" he asked. "Why didn't you wait for me?"
"I remembered what you said, D, and I just stepped outside my body." She looked at him coquettishly. "Now, I can be your partner."
"Uh, no, darling," he replied gently. "You would go mad. You're only human."
"I'm not passing on, and that's that."
Death sighed deeply. She had no clue that her form would mirror the decay of her body in the grave. But he knew when he was beaten.
"Well, c'mon," he said. "I have work to do."
They drove through the nights, in a horse-drawn cart, collecting the souls of the recently departed. Death's girlfriend refused to rest in the back with the others, though she admitted she was getting tired.
Time went on. Death didn't have the heart to tell his beloved that her appearance was not as she remembered. Kindly he awaited her acceptance. Kindly he treated her. As much as he loved her, he was committed to delivering her to the final destination.
When she was ready, that is.
There were many "last things" she wanted to do. Politely, he escorted her to all the places of her fancy. But she was dead and could not connect to the living energies around her. She became bored. She became cranky. In the end, she just became tired.
One night they were walking along their favorite beach during a full moon. Death's girlfriend gave a great sigh at the beauty of the night. Finally, turning to him, she told him she was ready to pass on. Death was relieved.
They journeyed to the River Styx, where he assisted his lady onto his friend Charon's boat for her last journey. Charon's eyes widened as he watched the last tender exchange between the lovers. He couldn't understand the attraction Death had for the rotting corpse he assisted into the boat. He accepted gratefully the silver coins pressed into his hand, and poled away from the bank. Charon shook his head.
Beauty really was in the eye of the Beholder.
--by Shayla Kwiatkowski