I remember my first as if it were yesterday. That sense of satisfaction, that feeling of pure ecstasy, that sensation of power as you watch your victims life slip away, eyes wide with fear as they see Death staring down at them with his black, featureless face, an unanswered question on their lips.
Death laughs, as he brings down his mighty scythe. A grating sound that is the cries of every mournful soul that he has taken. Quiet at first, almost a whisper, but quickly rises to a crescendo of wailing, shrieking voices, desperate for a taste of the living.
My father was my first. He was a wretched being full of terrible, cold malice. Mother had died years ago to suspicious circumstances. She was such a strong swimmer, yet I found her one day, floating in the pool in our backyard. I knew that father had done it, but the police would do nothing. Which left me all alone; to face the full brunt of his alcohol fuelled rage. It was get him before he got me, simple as that.
I was at the cemetery, visiting my mothers’ grave when I first saw Death. He came to me, sensing something primal deep within. I wasn’t scared, no, I was exhilarated. Here I was standing two feet away from the Reaper of Souls and he… was… afraid… of… me.
It was the darkness that drew him in, like a moth to the flame. It was so rich, so pure, so… Me. He didn’t talk, he didn’t need to – everything that was me was plain to see through my bright green eyes. He would come. When I needed him, he would come.
So I laid a trap for my miserable father. I stole the one thing he valued over anything else, his high school MVP trophy. He would spend whole days staring at it, while drinking a dozen beers and reminiscing about his glory days.
Down in the basement I lay in wait, confident that he would come – his intoxicated state demanded it, the open door to the basement, and the flickering candlelight would be too much for him to resist.
True to his despicable nature, he came. I could smell the alcohol on his breath as he descended the stairs, leaning against the wall for support. It was dimly lit in that stairwell; enough to see a few steps ahead of you, but that was all. I’d made sure of that by smashing out the light-bulbs. As he reached the bottom, he paused. In front of him, was his precious trophy, surrounded by candles and my old stuffed toy. It was dark, and he couldn’t see me crouching behind the boxes in the corners through his beer-blurred vision.
He lurched forward, unsteady on his feet as he tried to grab his trophy from my makeshift altar with the foul hands of his. One step, two steps, three steps. On the fourth step he fell through the hole that I had created in the wood flooring.
It was then that I used my magic. I stepped out of the shadows, revealing myself to my inebriated father and water filled the hole. As my father struggled, trying to get out I gestured with my hand and a barrier was placed around the hole, the water rising quickly now as my father flailed for his life.
Death came. He materialized beside me and rested a bony hand on my shoulder. I did not flinch, only looked my father in the eyes and smiled.
“I have a new father now.” I said to him coldly as I turned to Death and nodded, stepping back to allow him to do his thing.
He raised his scythe and laughed. It was the first time I heard that sound, and I was addicted to it. I needed to hear it again. When he was finished with his task and my father was reduced to ash, Death turned to me and nodded. I was to follow him, to live with him, to be his apprentice.
I remember my first as if it were yesterday. That is because it was yesterday, and it won’t be my last either.