All Things Must Die - Even Life Itself
Una Van Heerden, Grade 12, Christian Outreach College -
I am Life. A strong, proud pegasus draped in white. I live between the planets to bestow life where I please. I have no connection with the afterlife. That is, I had no connection, but just like everything and everyone, I met Death.
Death met me here in the archipelago; where one feels the salty slap of the ocean on one’s chest and the fresh coconut slurp that sends chills into the stomach. Over the sun-kissed sparkles on the ocean, he came. Death. A pitch black flying horse, darker than the darkest material on Earth, with eyes reflecting rings of fire around the pupils. His wings were large enough to carry his whimpering body to and from the afterlife.
“Life,” Death whispered, but it was more like a groan. “You must come fly with me to experience the afterlife.”
I examined the wretched black animal. I expected Death to overpower me, to strike me down, but here he was, like a slippery hyena inviting me to the afterlife.
“Why would I want to go to the afterlife?” I asked.
“Life, you don’t know what you’re missing. I go back and forth between here and there and I know what the afterlife is like. Everything is far more beautiful than down here.”
“My place is not in the afterlife,” I declared.
“Life, I want to have a balance. Like yin and yang, we are Life and Death. Come, take people from my hands the way I take them from your hands. Or should I say hooves!”
Large snorting noises erupted from the black animal. I assumed it was laughter.
I walked away from this disturbing creature with a new mindset. What if I resurrected the deceased? A sweet cycle of balance that holds life and death together.
Was it an impulse decision? Was there any logic in what I was about to do?
“How do I get to the afterlife?” was my question.
“Life, there is only one way. You must…die.”
My head was spinning. My mind grappled for a sober thought of what next step to take.
“Then that’s what I’ll do.”
A warmth was flushing over me. But, the warmth I felt was that of my own blood gushing out of the gash in my side. I couldn’t distinguish between Death’s footsteps and my own throbbing heartbeat. My ears were ringing. I could see only static. My thoughts were drifting away from my body. In this state, I could think of only one clear thing; my life cannot be regained through demonic forces as Death’s can. Life is pure. Life is innocent. I will be forever dead.
I felt the swelling pain flashing through me like waves going up and down the shoreline; a moment of calm before the next wave rolled in. Just when I thought I overcame the pain, the next wave knocked me off my feet, to splash me in agony. Death had won. Now all is dead. All things must die, even life itself.