In the treetops,
when the wind blows, down will come...
Death. Harsh and fast, screaming through the
sky, pounding through the trees leafy foliage and ready for you. First will come death's notice - one of fear. Next will visit
the master of madness, bringing with him the hatred and loathing of what is to come. And finally Death will appear before
you with his cloak and sickle. He will smile and say sweet things before he imparts the knowledge of what awaits you.
That is what comes from the treetops, when the
wind blows. And the agent awaits you.
Lying on the grass at the base of the thick Oak
tree, your head resting on a pillow of grass. Staring into the bright morning sky, tree branches provide little respite from
the glare and you can see Death in all the fiery glory.
But do you really want to?
Of course you do.
We all do...
Especially when we are unaware of it.
The car speeding down the hill, a businessman
late for a meeting - million dollar deals. A million dollar death.
Eric Young, businessman, real estate. The biggest
deal ever. Speeding. Corners. A park. Telephone poles pass in a blur, intersection coming. Children, running, yelling, playing.
Parents self-absorbed, talking to other parents.
Only one is watching. He wears a black cloak,
stands at the edge of the play area.
Eric is coming.
Death knows Eric's past, he knows how the man
got his position in the firm. The man was greedy and wanted only to improve his own standing in the community. A fine young
example of the future.
The quota must be filled.
Today will be a double header. Pity to use a
Death's attention is drawn to a small girl in
a frilly pink dress. She is at least two years old. He looks for the parents. Ah, there they are. The father is wearing sunglasses,
Death knows he is sleeping. The mother is talking to another man. Ah, yes, her secret lover.
The husband knows nothing. He works hard, buys
her everything she wants. Death likes the husband; reassesses and realizes he feels sorry for the faithful man. Love is blind
and only the foolish fall for its tricks.
A blink of an eye, fast and fluttering, a sparrow
diving under car tires, the grill slams sending it soaring into the air. Death passes and stops beside the girl. So young.
The small child looks up at him. Her eyes know.
She is too young for fear and the master of madness cannot touch her.
Young, sweet, innocent, pure. Her blood will
sweeten the pot.
He sends her on her way. Watching like a dutiful
parent as she steps past the wooden boundary and stops on the footpath. She looks back at her mother flirting with someone's
daddy and steps onto the road...
...The car's not going fast enough. His briefcase
is lying open on the passenger seat, the diary opened at the meeting page and time. The pages held flat by the silver cased
The last corner is coming, from there one intersection,
not usually busy on a Sunday. And then it is a straight line to the office. He looks at his watch. Five minutes.
Rounding the corner. A child in the center of
the lane. In the second Eric sees her, he also sees Death, wrapped around her like a shawl. Free and flowing.
He slams his brakes. The car slides. The child
is crying. Fear has come.
Eric fights for control. A skull with fire in
the eyes fills the windscreen. Death has been cheated. He wanted the double header.
Knowledge comes. Fear has always been with him.
He slams into a parked car, out of control. His
foot is on the brake but something is pressing the accelerator.
Smoke fills the air from locked tires trying
to spun. The sound an attention grabber. Death is at work as the car, spinning out of control, takes Eric into the intersection.
An eighteen-wheeler does the rest.
The briefcase slides to the floor. The silver
cased pen rolls off the diary exposing the date fully: Monday 6.
In the treetops, when the wind blows, down will
Copyright Walter Anderson 2003