GENRE: YA Fantasy
As I lay on my death bed I was sure of only two things. First, that at the young age of eighteen, death was claiming me long before I would ever be ready. And second, that there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. Little did I know, I was only half right.
I knew when it was my time. I could feel it in the ambiance of the night- so still and so perfect. The essence of death hung heavy in the air, an uncomfortable pressure that was heavy against my chest. It felt like the room was slowly closing around me- but more than just the room, it was the building, the sky, the air. The world was slowly closing in around me.
Ten years ago, just a few months shy of my eighth birthday, I learned of the disease that would one day take my life. And ten years wasn't enough time; I was still as unready and unwilling as ever. I didn't want to die. I stared at the ceiling above my bed and cursed the life that had cursed me in return.
A soft clicking of heels suddenly caught my attention- a new sound amid the humming of the medical machinery that was keeping me barely alive. Someone was walking down the hallway toward my room, and it was not a doctor. Doctors had no reason to visit my room; there was nothing more they could do for me.
For a moment I let my hopes get the best of me, and whispered into the darkness. “Mom?”
Rationally, I knew it couldn't be my mother. I had spent the last few nights convincing her that I felt increasingly better, hiding the fact that the opposite was true. Her heart would be broken enough without her having to watch as I choked on my last gasp of life. I was stronger than that. I wouldn't call her to my side to suffer along with me in those final moments. I would do this alone, for her.
But just for a moment weakness overtook me, and the only thing I wanted in the whole wide world was for my mother to hold my hand and tell me beautiful lies about how everything would be alright.
The footsteps became louder then ceased. Whoever it was had stopped right outside my room. I held my breath as the door swung open.
I couldn't see the woman's face right away, but my first instinct was that she had entered the wrong room. The light from the hallway created an almost halo around her head, making her wavy blond hair glow against the darkness. She looked about the same age as me, but that was where the similarities stopped. She was very tall, and she wore black heels and a black satin dress that was so picture perfect it looked like something from a fashion magazine. She looked as though she ought to be attending prom, not visiting terminal patients in the cancer ward.
I was about to tell her that she had the wrong room when she spoke.
My words froze on my lips as questions flooded my mind.
“Hello,” I said slowly. I couldn't seem to organize my thoughts, let alone form coherent questions.
“My name is Glory,” she said, stepping into the room and closing the door behind her. The gentle glow from the monitors lit up her face. Even in the dim light I could see how beautiful she was; her eyes a sparkling blue, standing out against her ivory skin. I could only imagine what I looked like beside her- sickly and sullen with my long black hair clumping and sticking to my forehead and the back of my neck.
“H-how do you know my name?” I finally stammered as she took a seat in the chair next to my bed.
“I know lots of stuff about you,” she explained. Her voice was light and bubbly, and paired with the outfit I assumed her to be nothing more than a ditzy prom queen. “I know you were diagnosed with leukemia when you were seven years old. I know you've gone through three remissions. I know you have a super rare blood type- AB negative- and that's why you never found a bone marrow donor.” She rattled off the reasons, counting them on her fingers as she listed each one.
I was confused. “Are you a doctor?” Nothing about this was making sense.
“Ew, no way!” she said, sounding offended. As though implying she was a doctor was the biggest insult I could have thrown at her.
“Then who are you?” I asked bewildered.
“Well, I was a model.” The bubbly quality to her voice was replaced with an obvious bitterness that was so sudden it confused me. I heard her mumble something as an afterthought, but I couldn't quite make out what she said.
“Then what are you doing here?” I exclaimed, using every ounce of energy to pull myself into a sitting position. I was starting to get annoyed. Who was this girl? Why couldn't she just let me die in peace and solitude?
“Whoa, whoa, anger management!” She replied, her cheery voice returning. It didn't seem like she even acknowledged me. “You're mad, I get it, believe me. I was pissed too when I found out I was dying.”
I settled back against my pillow. “You're dying?”
“I was. I... got over it. Sort of.” She shrugged and started inspecting her nails.
“'Got over it'? What's that supposed to mean?” I demanded.
“Look,” she sighed, sounding frustrated. “This isn't about me. Tonight's all about you. Tonight is the night you die.”