Do you ever get that dream? You know, the one where the ground has melted into a thick sticky mess, dragging you beneath it. You keep falling, and you know you should scream, but you can’t. It’s almost like suffocating, but… lighter. Easier. Well, I get that one a lot.

I’m not going to bore you with the myriad of psychoses and upsets the dream reveals. Suffice it to say, I’m grappling with a lot. I don’t need some Freudian wannabe digging around in my head, disturbing the swarms of childhood traumas that I manage to keep fairly quiet. You see, that’s not the real problem. The real problem is that I never say no.

I know what you’re thinking. I’m overwhelmed at work, getting taken advantage of in the office and by friends. No, it’s nothing like that. The thing is – I have a gift. Around here, they used to call me the Angel of Mercy, but lately I’ve been hearing a little voice in my head that calls me the Angel of Death.

I can’t help it. I look into your eyes, and I see the truth. I see who you are – who you really are. I see what you’ve done. Sin. It makes us who we are. Therein lies the truth of a person. And I see it. All of it. And once I have – there’s no going back, no turning the other way. I tried to use my gift for good; to help people overcome their darkness. But the job was more than I could bear. So was the truth.

I can’t tell you exactly when it happened, that first kill. It was a mercy kill, you know. No one could live with the things this person had done. Afterwards, the burning sensation between my eyes eased, the heaviness in my chest evaporated, the anxiety – gone. That was the cure. To rid myself of the pain of truth, I had to rid the world of the evil causing it. For a while, everything was quiet. The voices had finally hushed and a calm had washed over me like warm sunlight on a cold winter morning. I knew I had done the right thing.

People came to me about their troubles. They came for my mercy and mercy for their loved ones. Soon I realized that everyone had a little evil in them. A little part of them that needed to be cut out, carved up, and buried. The numbers kept rising and that calm – well, that calm became the only thing in life I could look forward to. Before long, I needed it. And people need me. Mercy. Death. Whatever I am. I’m needed. I’ll admit though, I’m getting sick of that dream.

© Shyla Fairfax-Owen


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