An End Other Than Death (Part 1)
One of the things I met was a person draped in a robe of golden silk. A hood of the same material covered his head, and his face was veiled behind a veneer of the gilded silk. I asked if he was blind like me. He laughed and said that he may have been. His tread left no prints in the soil, and he made no sound at all save his measured voice.
In his right hand he carried a scythe. It was clean and old, and I knew that it reaped people, not grain. I asked as much, and he said so, plainly. I asked what the scythe was made of. He said that I was the scythe.
In his left hand he held a chain. It ended abruptly where it dangled from his grip, and the silver links trailed down to his legs, where they disappeared into his vestments. I asked the man if he was a prisoner, but he said no: he was the warden. I said he reminded me of home, of my mother, of a distant memory of a woman clad in a wreath of indigo star-stuff. He laughed and walked along. As he went, his footprints were deep, and cuts in the loam had been made as if they were chained together.