Shimmering Scythe

by Vera Nazarian

(an excerpt)


The man ran.

I saw a glimpse of him, as I rang the midnight copper bowl, walking slowly along the curving street of my route.

He, the man, was cloaked in deep indigo, his outlines blurred into an illusion of metal created by the moon and motion. And he was moving as infernally fast as the shadow form directly following him. They ran, always equidistant, neither one human in my reckoning. First they moved along the cobblestones of the street just ahead of me, then, like sudden upswept gusts, were up on the rooftops, barely skimming the shingles, jumping from one housetop to another, lighter than cats.

Another heartbeat and they were gone.

And that was that.

No, I never drink on my route. I promise you I did see them both, and they were none other than death and the thief who stole its scythe.

And damn you if you don't believe me. Ask any other night guard in this great city, for these two are a rather common sight.



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