(The Reaper and) Little Mary

Hello once again. This time we have something of the ilk of fairy tales. Though, not exactly influenced by any specific fairy tale, the idea of the ol’ children’s story was used as influence. And, I’m not much a children’s writer, so the plot of this is actually not very pleasant at all. In a simple sense of it, it’s about a girl, Mary, who lives alone since her parents are deceased. She is a kid, from thick and thin, and she does not understand adult concepts, one of which, as explored briefly, is death.  This was a fun little piece that I concocted without much to go from, and as such is just that, a fun little piece. So, here you go, “The Reaper and Little Mary”

Little Mary has lived alone for the bitter half of her life. Whenever Little Mary wakes up, she is greeted by the faces of her dead mother and dead father. They used to call her Little Miss Mary. Since they died, Little Mary ousted the Miss, and became Little Mary. Little Mary liked her named very much, because it was the name her mother and father gave her when she was born. Little Mary loved her parents very much, and wanted to do everything in her power to make them proud. Now, Little Mary can only ever remind herself of her parents when she is lost in reverie.

Little Mary’s day is not very eventful. Every day she brushed her teeth, and every day she made breakfast. Little Mary was a very smart girl, and a very resourceful girl. Little Mary knew not to trust strangers, knew always to lock the door, and knew never to touch the stove when it is hot. Little Mary was a good little Mary.

Today, Little Mary’s day would be very different. Little Mary woke up, brushed her teeth, ate breakfast, and then heard someone knocking on her door. Little Mary, who lived alone, walked past her house, past the wooden walls, past the living room, past the wooden table with the lamp on top, past the paintings of butterflies and rivers, past the red letters on the other side of her hallway, and to the door. Little Mary peeked through the small peep hole on the front of her door, and looked at who was knocking. It was a man who wore a black robe that covered his entire body. Little Mary was too short to see his face, but remained phlegmatic, refusing to shake her hands, her feet, or even her body as she looked at the tall man. The man then knocked again, this time, as Little Mary had pressed her face against the door, the knock boomed throughout Little Mary’s body, causing her to almost vibrate. Little Mary had to repress a giggle, as she didn’t want the tall man to think she was making fun of him and entice an acrimonious punishment. It was something she was far too familiar with.

The knock permeated Little Mary’s pernicious abode, and Little Mary smiled again. Little Mary did not know if the tall man was going to stand there and knock on her door forever,  but soon enough, Little Mary heard the man speak, “Is anyone home?” Little Mary tried her best not to say anything, and thus continued to stare at the tall man through the peep hole. Little Mary was obstinate about opening the door, and wanted the tall man to leave.

After a few more minutes of staring, the tall man left, and Little Mary sighed in relief. She took her face off of her door, her arms and legs relaxing, but just as she was about to turn, something came through the small opening of the door. It was a small note, and Little Mary, being the smart girl she was, knew how to read, and so she picked up the note, and read it. The words were splattered in large black font, and Little Mary read the words aloud, wanting everyone in the house to hear, “I see you.” Little Mary did not understand what the words meant, and thus took the letter and placed it on the nearby table with the lamp.

As Little Mary went to the living room, a tapping on the window alerted her. At first, Little Mary was truncated in her spot, but then Little Mary knew that she couldn’t be scared, and that she had to be brave, so Little Mary puffed out her chest and went to inspect the window. She walked past the living room couch, past the living room fireplace, past the living room dining table, past the living room grandfather clock, and past the human figure hanging with the living room lamp, and to the window. Little Mary pulled back the curtains, and in front of her were big black letters, like the one in the note, that said, “Open up”. Little Mary looked past the letters and out into the dirt road, out into the trees, out into the flowers, but did not see anyone. Little Mary then closed the curtains. Little Mary was not sure what was happening, but went back to the front door, past the red letters, and opened the door. There was no one there.

“Hello,” a voice said, and as Little Mary turned towards that voice, Little Mary saw the tall man in the middle of her hallway. Little Mary looked at the tall man phlegmatically, not shaking her arms, nor her legs, nor her body. Little Mary was strong, and stared at the tall man, and then with her tiny mouth, and with her tiny voice, said, “Hello. I’m Little Mary. Who are you?”

“I am–” Little Mary did not understand the tall man’s name.

“Why are you here?” Little Mary asked.

“I am here on business. A job, you can say.”

“A job?” The tall man hid his face in his black robe’s hood, and Little Mary could not tell what kind of expression he was making, whether he was thinking of an answer, or simply ignoring her question.

“What’s a job?” Little Mary asked again.

“A job is something that grownups have to do.”

“Are you a grownup?” The tall man nodded, which enticed Little Mary to raise her feet, lift her head, and say with as much swagger as she could muster, “I’m a grownup too!” Little Mary held this position for about ten seconds, and then fell on her face, hitting her nose on the wood floor, but quickly recovering. Little Mary rubbed her nose as she got up, but continued to stand tall in the face of the man.

“I’m a grownup too!” Little Mary said to reaffirm herself.

“My job is to make sure your debts are paid,” the tall man said. Little Mary stared at the tall man, unmoving in her reaction and standing firm on her spot.

“You may not understand, but your actions are anything but peccadillo.” The tall man raised his veiled hands out at Little Mary, and opened them. Then, as Little Mary stood staring at the tall man, a gust of wind blew across the hallway, obstructing Little Mary’s view, and as her vision cleared, she noticed that the tall man had disappeared. Little Mary turned behind her, and then noticed that the door was shut. The note was not on the table anymore either. Little Mary made her way to the window, opened the curtains, and saw that the letters were gone. Little Mary didn’t know what had happened, and decided that she was just dreaming.

Little Mary made her way to the kitchen, so that she could make herself something to eat. Little Mary went past the kitchen, past the wooden table counter, past the chairs, past the stove, past the sink, past the jar of reddened bodily matter, and to the freezer. Little Mary stuck her hand in, and moved past the bread, past the eggs, past the meat, past the carrots, past the lettuce, past the jar of honey, past the butter, past the sticking hand, and grabbed a jar of dead duck eggs. As Little Mary brought it out, her hand slipped, and the jar shattered on the wooden floor, leaving shards of glass to spread all over the kitchen floor. One such shard lodged itself into Little Mary’s leg, which caused Little Mary to smile. Little Mary laughed, and then as she lost the nerves in her leg, was forced to bend down.

“I’m sorry, mother, and father. Little Mary is a bad girl after all,” Little Mary said with a deep voice. Her smile never ceased to persist, and as Mary stayed kneeling on that kitchen floor, Mary knew that her final act had yet to be played. Mary was confident, that there was one last person she needed to add into her canvas of anathema.





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