The Die is Cast: Entry 1

letter

To whom it may concern,

Hello.

I am entirely unsure as to how to begin this, as it has been centuries since my last attempt at writing, but in recent days I have felt compelled to do so, so I shall begin.

Today is Friday, June 13th, 2015. I was born on October 13th, 1844 and died a short 27 years thereafter on December 25th, 1871. I do not remember much from my life, but in the days following my death I did have the opportunity to gather the following information in reference to it:

– I was killed by the bacterial disease typhoid
– I was married to a woman named Mary and we a daughter named Emma
– I worked as a Shoemaker
– I passed in Columbus, Ohio
– My name was Henry Walter Kimball

Following my passing, however, I have been called many things; the most common of these being: Death.

Now that we have been introduced, I suppose I shall put this journal to use. Today I had the privilege of accompanying a Mr. Thomas A. Eldridge on his journey to the afterlife. Professor Eldridge was a psychology professor at New York University and as such had a plethora of texts scattered about his desk. Today I was called far too early for a retrieval and the patient is still alive upon my arrival. This happens far too often. I stepped into professor Eldridge’s office and seated myself in the chair facing his desk. I looked at the man curiously, enchanted by his involvement in the paper he was writing. His wire glasses hugged his loosely framed face, and laugh lines were apparent on either side of his lips. The man flipped from page to page frantically, as if racing to meet a deadline. Little did he know that in a few short moments his heart would give out, rendering his work a small blot on the stain of human kind. There was a serenity to it. Sadness as well. But after 200 years of passings I have grown cold to the process. Professor Eldridge was set for retrieval at 2:33pm, and the clock was already 30 seconds past his scheduled departure.

Then, almost immediately, Professor Eldridge fell from his chair onto the floor.I knelt beside the professor and laid my bony fingers upon his chest, whispering the phrase once spoken to me, “Alea Iacta Est.” He was pronounced dead at approximately 2:34 pm.

A student found him moments later, and the paramedics arrived within the half hour. Two of them walked in, knelt before the man as I had, and felt for a pulse. One of the men signaled to the other, and the man spoke some medical code into his walkie. Another paramedic entered with a gurney and body bag, after which they hauled the body to their truck. In all of an hours time a man had lived, died, and been transported off to the morgue.

I stood in the professors’ office a long time after that. I didn’t understand why, I still don’t, but something got me thinking. I thought for the first time in a long while of the many grievances of the world. Of the pain, and the loss, and for a moment I tried to think of my loss. I often wonder how my love felt. If my loss was painful, or if my family lived happily following my departure. But these thoughts are futile, as I have been long passed, and so have all those who I once loved. I began to turn and leave the office when I noticed a journal upon the professors’ desk. The cover read, “And so it is written.” Intrigued, I picked up the notebook and thumbed through it’s pages. The journal was wholly empty, and as my interest began to wane, I found an inscription on the first page and a small piece of paper folded in half. It read:

For D,
 
“I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart for so long. 
If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can be together all the time.”
– A.A. Milne

 

 familydrawing

 

I tucked the book into the pocket of my jacket, left the room, and set off for my 5 o’ clockappointment.

 

By DYLAN PRITCHETT / Columnist
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