There was a stranger sitting in the seat next to his hospital bed when he woke up. As in, Allen had no idea who the heck this guy was. The man was dressed in all black, and despite it being the summer, he had a thick coat on, jeans, and boots. Sure, the hospital was a cool temperature, but outside had to be a good 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The man shifted, and Allen finally noticed that he was holding a sword, a katana to be precise. Alarmed, Allen’s eyes shot up to the stranger’s face only to find the man staring straight at him.
“Beautiful” was the first adjective that came to mind. Despite the stranger’s harsh glare, the description was quite apt. The man had long, thick hair that should have looked ridiculous but fit his image perfectly. His eyes were mono-lidded, framed by long eyelashes, and were a deep blue that reminded Allen of the vast ocean.
Allen could have commented on any of the details that he had observed, but the first thing that he decided to say was, “Good Morning.”
He got an incredulous snort in response as if the man was expecting Allen to question his identity or his wardrobe rather than be greeted politely. There was barely a pause before he began speaking in a deep baritone that Allen wasn’t expecting from the man, “You’re going to die in five minutes. If you want to say your last words to anyone I suggest you do it now.”
Allen was extremely thrown off balance by the man’s brusque manner. For a few moments, all he could do was gape at him.
“Close your mouth; you look stupid.” The man snapped.
Allen snapped his jaw shut and made an annoyed noise in his throat, “Before you tell someone that they’re going to die, you should at least have the courtesy to introduce yourself, or return a greeting.”
“Morning,” the man said dryly. It appeared that he wasn’t going to reveal his name.
Allen sighed. His eyes flickered to the sword that was being held almost protectively, “Are you going to kill me, then? How did you even get in here with that thing? You should know that it would be hard to get away with murder in a hospital.”
“I’m not going to kill you.” The stranger rolled his eyes as if there was something obvious that Allen was missing.
“Pardon me if I don’t believe you,” Allen pinched the side of his leg to hold himself back from committing homicide himself, “but you just told me that I was going to die in five minutes and you have a weapon in your lap.”
“You’re going to die from whatever it is that has you in the hospital in the first place. I’m just here to collect you.”
“Collect me? And how could you possibly know that?”
“I believe one of the names you humans call us is Grim Reaper.” He looked as if the name disgusted him.
As soon as the man said that, Allen laughed. He laughed so hard that his back and his stomach twinged in pain and his eyes teared up. Lavi must have put one of the guys in his acting troupe up to this to cheer him up. It was working; he’d have to remember to thank him. But when he looked up, the stranger was standing next to his bed with his sword unsheathed and a solemn look on his face.
A glance at the clock told him that three minutes had passed. A nurse popped in for a second to check on Allen. She didn’t once react to the man in winter clothes holding a sharp, real, unsheathed sword. When she left, Allen leaned back against the pillows, “Oh. You’re serious, aren’t you?”
“I don’t joke.”
Allen chuckled wryly. “Yeah, you don’t look like the type.” One more minute. “Hey, um...I don’t have any last words to say to anyone but I do have a request…?”
The Reaper breathed out loudly through his nose, “Spit it out.”
“Could you draw back the curtains, please?”
Perhaps it was because he said please that the Reaper did it without complaint, but Allen was still surprised that he acquiesced.
The Reaper grunted. “Anything else?”
“Will it hurt?”
“No. It’ll be like falling asleep.”
“Oh, that’s a relief.”
Allen smiled, pulled up his covers and made himself more comfortable as if he were really about to go to sleep. He turned his head towards the window, getting one last good look at the sky. It was a clear, sunny day. The blue looked so vibrant and the clouds were so picturesque and white. Distracted by the sight, Allen’s only warning was a slash of light blue before everything was gone.