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A Forgotten Tale

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Rain.

 

It had always been a sound you found most comforting, thunderstorms especially, had the amazing ability to calm you. Yet, as you lay in bed, listening to the rain drumming against your window you could not help but feel a pang of sorrow.

 

“It sounds like souls crying…”

 

You remembered a tale that you had heard when you were younger. Years had flown by, yet that tale always stuck with you, like a cherished memory you would never want to let go.

 

It had been a tale of seven reapers, living in a mansion. Forever fated to live for eternity, and watch as many the many lives of others come and go. They looked human, and spoke the same tongue and yet they were so different. The tales told many different perspectives, but the one that always stood out to you, was a story of the master. The master, who always put up a strong front, and fooled his friends into thinking he was ruthless. How he fell in love with a pure soul, wishing to die in a field of lillies, who showed him nothing but kindness and understanding.

 

You closed your eyes, smiling at the memory. You almost wished you could hear the tale again, hear it one last time before you moved on.

 

Death didn’t scare you. No, you’d had plenty of friends in the many years of your life, and though you never found your one true love, there was not a moment of regret.

 

Bang!

 

Your eyes snapped open at the sound of your window violently opening itself. The sound of the rain and thunder now clearer than ever. You turned to face the window, your eyes slowly re-adjusting to the darkness. You’d have to close it, but your withered body would not be strong to allow you to do so.

 

The window you could see, was now wide open, the curtains dancing wildly in the wind, as if wanting to give you a final performance. As the curtains fluttered away,  you couldn’t help but notice a small silhouette perched on your windowsill behind them. It seemed to be a bird, a crow looking by the size of it.

 

You’d always been fascinated by crows and ravens. The birds were very intelligent, yet also playful. They were shrouded in a haze of mystery, often being called bad omens, yet they were always elegant and never changed pace.

 

As the curtains parted you finally caught a good glimpse of the bird taking shelter in your room. It lazily plucked at it’s feathers, but the red ribbon tied around its neck was unmistakable. You’d only seen one crow pictured like that in all your years, and you couldn’t help but be wishful that its owner was perhaps the master from its tale.

 

As if finally satisfied with it’s appearance, the crow turned in your direction, catching your gaze and holding it. It felt silly to have a stare-down with a crow, but you could not help but be drawn to it. Thoughts of the tale you’d heard so long ago flashing in your mind as you silently wished that you what you saw was no illusion and that it would not leave.

 

Your bed shifted, the soft creaking breaking you out of your trance. Your mind stuttered to a halt, confusion and fear taking over as you couldn’t possibly phantom anyone else being in this room with you. Though you’d had many friends in your years of life, you had not had a lover to grow old with, nor any children to tell your story.

 

The sound of blood rushing through your eyes drowned out the overbearing melody of the thunderstorm outside. You turned to face the intruder. If you were going to die by the hands of another, you would at least make sure to face them and remember their face. Yet, as you came face to face with the intruder, your breath caught in your throat.

 

Sitting on the edge of your bed, with a small but ever-present smirk, sat a young man looking no older than his mid-20’s. Black hair framed his pale face, his two-toned eyes sharp, his stare never leaving your face. In disbelief you quickly traced the rest of his features, your eyes flitting over the red ribbon tied around his neck and the purple jacket falling over his shoulders. His slender hands were resting on his knees, and on one hand you found the tell tale sign of a tattoo in the form of an eye.

 

Tears threatened to spill from your eyes like the rain outside, your mind trying to fit together the pieces and figure out how a man you’d heard of only in stories could suddenly be standing in front of you. He wasn’t supposed to be real, he wasn’t supposed to be here, yet he was. You choked out his name –“Kanade…”- the sound of it mingling with a sob.

 

Whatever reaction he was expecting, it had not been for you to call his name. Shock danced across his features shortly, before the smile on his face grew, his features softening.

 

“Good evening…”

 

His voice was as smooth as you remembered it, and all at once the tears came rushing out. Had you lost your sanity in your last moments of life? How could he be standing here, a man you knew only from stories, never once considering it to be real.

 

Kanade did not say much more, only gently resting his hands gently upon yours. He watched in silence, the smile on his face never once leaving as he patiently waited for your sobs to die down. As you quieted down, you noticed the room was now filled with a calming silence.

 

A quick peek at the window confirmed your thoughts: The storm had blown over and the dark of the night was now illuminated by the faint glow of a full moon. The light filtered into your room, as if to give you a better view of your unexpected visitors.

 

You gripped Kanade’s hand softly, not being able to help the smile that quickly painted your features. Years ago you’d always felt a faint attraction to the character, but as he was nothing more than fictional you had to play it off as something that could never happen – would never happen. Yet, all those thoughts years before vanished as if they had never even happened, and your heart nearly threatened to burst as the feelings you’d hid away reappeared in tenfold.

 

His smile mirrored yours, yet it seemed filled with sorrow. You’d only just actually met the man, but the words of he once told rang in your mind.

 

“I have continuously judged all souls to this day. Without a single exception. Without mercy to even my fellow reapers.”

“I will continue to do that from now on. And certainly, forever. That’s why…Soon I need you to die.”

 

Tears once again pricked at your eyes, as his words rang in your mind. The stories always had one clear rule. Reapers could only show themselves to those that were fated to die.

 

Suddenly the tears spilled forward once more. You’d only just met this man, yet at that very moment you felt as if you’d known him before. A sense of déjavu covered your mind, as suddenly you felt the tale of the Master reaper was not just a tale. No- That tale was not something you’d only heard or read. No—In that moment you knew. All the things your mind had forgotten, your heart never once had. The pain you felt whenever you heard his tale, the way his song would resonate in your mind.

 

When had he found you? Was it only recently, or had he managed to find you long before. You could only imagine the pain he’d gone through, having found the person who once changed everything for him, never once being able to show himself. Yet as you looked at his face you felt he did not regret a single moment of it. He’d been happy to see you live your life, and he’d been even happier to find you in this moment and bring you to rest once again.

 

Kanade gripped your hand tighter, and you squeezed back in an attempt to convey your feelings. You knew what was to come, all seven tales ended the same way. The full moon would hang overhead, as the reaper would sing his song, helping the soul feel at ease and pass on in peace.

 

You nodded, and soon the room was bathed in a blue light as your soul slowly found its way out of your chest. You squeezed Kanade’s hands once more, scanning his face to omit every shape and color to your memory. You made it your mission to not forget his face in another lifetime. You would vow to not have him feel that pain once again. As you closed your eyes, you felt him place a kiss against your fingers, his lips soft yet cold. Soon after a soft melody filled the room, the words of his song mingling with the sound of the wind and resonating within you as you felt yourself drifting away.

 

As the room once again filled with silence, Kanade could not help but keep his hand wrapped around yours. His time with you had once again been brief, but much like many years ago, you had left a lasting impression. He did not think he could ever forget you and he once more hoped to find you in another life. Perhaps if fate was willing, there would be a time where you both could live your life together. With a final squeeze he released your hand, as he moved to stand in front of the window. He glanced at the window, as his familiar flew across the sky, cawing loudly as if wishing the soul a final goodbye.

 

As the crow vanished from sight, the curtains in the room once again fluttered softly, dancing freely as moonlight filtered into the now empty room.