The room was dark, yet ever slightly glowing with the pale gaze of the moon, peeping through the blinds on the hospital windows. David laid in his bed...looking up at the ceiling, tears began to ascend from beneath his eyes as he came to realize that this would be the last warm bed that his body would ever lay in...Though he looked forward to Heaven, he dreaded the fact that he wouldn't be able to say goodbye one last time or even see them.
He then looked up to the heart monitor, and then to the dim lights from the other side of the door to his room. He looked all over and around his last room. There was nothing to be seen or heard by David that would've brought him any sort of comfort. He was emotionally desolate...His eyes winced as he felt the urge to cough. The beads on his rosary gave languid clatter as he lifted his hand to his mouth. His lungs gave a wretched bellow, and he quickly lost control as blood found its way to his hand, painting the wooden rosary with spots of dark red...when it finally ended, his head fell back down onto his pillow after it had been forced up like the blood. And as his eyes reopened, he let out a sigh and said to himself, "Just a little more time....please God...just a little more time..." His voice was weak, but it quivered with a sorrowful passion.
And as it was, a voice came from within the room..."Time is an inevitable thing David. A concept misconcepted by you humans..." David attempted to sit up, but he was weak. He spoke in a panicked tone, "Who are you?! What do you want from m-" The voice interrupted him, "Calm yourself. You are safe." David found the controller to the bed, and was able to lift himself to find the source of the voice.
In the corner of the room was a darkness...black yet seemingly warm as if to be comforting in nature...David glanced down to the floor only to find the bottom of what seemed to be a black robe. His hands trembled, and his voice quivered..."Are you...Death...? The Grim Reaper people talk about?" From the darkness came a light heart chuckle, "No, that is my brother...only if he was here should you tremble and shake as you do now..." From out of the darkness came a face, fair and pale. Slightly boney around the jaw line but a friendly face regardless. His hands were hidden within his sleeves as the openings met in the middle. "I am Azrael, the Angel of Death and Guardian of all humans upon departure to Paradise. You have nothing to fear from me my friend. I am only here to bring you home." His lips grew into a smile and his hands revealed themselves as open arms.
David's fear began to subside, but his angst was still very much alive. He had found strength in the presence of the angel and sat up to speak, "Please! Please I just need a little more time to see my family and tell them goodbye. Please, I beg you!" The angel's face formed a picture of pity for the human. "Such sorrow...again...time is but a neutral creation to all creations David...You shall not speak to your family before your passing...but I take you to see them once more, as it is within my power do you such a service, within its reason and limit, as to bring you comfort in this time of your dying. However, we must take you away from here."
David was distraught. He knew not what to feel or what to think. All he could muster were tears and flustered questions. His words were incoherent at first, but within minutes he had regained himself, "So...there's....there's no way I can change your mind?" Azrael hung his head to the side and looked away..."My orders were clear David...I-"
"Your orders? What is that supposed to mean?!" Azrael interrupted, "David!" He seemed to grow in the darkness, and as he leaned in, David's impatience swiftly turned to back into the fear his mind had produced only minutes before. Azrael's words were soft but powerful in tone, "Trust in the Will of our Father...I am Comfort of God, and one of the most powerful of Angels, yet like you I have my limits within the tainted thing we call existence...If I could spare every poor soul I chose to, I would do so often and far too much...but that would risk the very foundation that holds your world together...All will be explained in due time, but we must leave now."
Before David could even part his lips in protest, Azrael placed his hand upon David's head. The next thing he knew, he and the Angel were in an airport...Confused, David looked around and turned to find his family sitting alone in empty terminal lobby. He looked back to Azrael, "Will...will they be able to see me? or even hear me?" "The angel looked down at him and replied, "No...Though they shall feel your presence...and it will burden them. not that you intentionally mean them pain, but their souls are very emotionally attached to you, therefore they have already felt a faint sting in their hearts that was your passing. Approaching them will further deepen that sting as will time...Their minds, in anxiety will jump to conclusions about your passing...it is a very complicated process. God took his time in creating you all...From dust you all came, but from the mind of God himself did every last grain of dust come to be."
David turned back to his family...He looked at his Wife, then to his children..."They are beautiful David...I will see to it that they recover with time, so long as they holdfast in the faith. Worry not for them or what for them, what the future holds. Will you approach them?" There was a silence, and it was broken by the sudden cry of the daughter. "Can she feel me?" "Yes...sadly, she loves you dearly...She will require much attention from me..."
David looked back up to Azrael, whose face was stricken with tears and gentle frown..."You really do feel for us...don't you?" I have been with you and my own species since the dawn of time...Though I transcend time, I have my orders and I have my schedule. I am with thousands, upon millions of your kind each and every day...Though I am the comfort of the Lord, I seldom find what I can provide so easily, for myself. That being said...I weep for you David...so that you do not have too...You may feel the burdens of sorrow, but I am the harbor of your true pain in Death...Theirs in all of this as well..."
"I don't want to hurt them anymore...I just hate leaving them like this...Promise me Azrael, promise me that you'll make sure they find happiness after all of this...I love them too much to leave them in pain." Azrael raised his pale hand to stop David. "Rest in peace knowing that they shall miss you, but I shall give way to my words in telling them that you live on watching and waiting in Paradise."
Azrael turned to the left and thereupon a large wall, "Come, we must leave now..." They both turned, and the Angel and David walked through a doorway into a void...in this void, there was no color, no scent, nothing...except for two dirt trails leading off into different directions..."You must venture to the right and stay upon that trail. By the end, you shall be at complete peace, your heart and mind at ease, and your soul cleansed of all burdens."
"You aren't coming with me?" David asked. Azrael chuckled, like he had in the hospital room, "No, I must make my way to the next on my list. My work will not end until the end of all of this..." "That reminds me...you mentioned your brother before..."
"So many questions....too many...You will learn all that you wish upon the end of your final journey..." "Fair enough I suppose...Sorry for all the questions...'' The Angel laughed, "I am more than accustom to it."
As David turned away to walk the path to Heaven, Azrael paused...Looking back at the still opened door to the airport terminal, he said to himself, "Three brothers have I, in the same nature of my purpose...two fallen...and one soon to rise..." The door slammed shut and the paths disappeared...and from the darkness...came a voice...."two fallen dear brother?"