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  • Khushi Gala

Love and Death

Updated: Jun 25

Once upon a time, in a realm beyond the veil of mortal perception, two witches, Love and Death, played their eternal game of chess. Arcane as it was, the pieces upon the board were the fated lives of us humans. 

At that moment, they were in Death’s castle, a dreadful place that no mortal dared to enter, for those who journeyed through its gates never returned. Their moves determined the fate of humanity, their hand gestured the destiny of mankind. Death's moves brought misery, pain, and hardship into people's lives. Her happiness was all the world's misery. However, Love’s moves brought joy, hope, and merry times. This is why in life, we all face a mix of good times and bad times, happiness and sorrow.

Her face as pale as a shroud and hair as dark as midnight, Death’s emerald eyes narrowed as she contemplated the chessboard before her. Her inherited intention is cheating, without which she says no game is complete. She was wearing a black gown, crookedly cut, with a hunter's necklace made of teeth and talons. Luminating in the same light was Love’s only adornment, a necklace of twining willow branches; a family heirloom, a sign of their kinship - for who can believe they are sisters!

The wind was swirling, and cherry blossom leaves rustled. Death made sure Love knows that she doesn't like to lose. Their hands fell upon two boys, who were home alone. Jacob and Bene’s mother was leaving for the supermarket. She hastily reassured the boys that she would be back soon and warned them not to fight while she was gone.

The perfect day as it was, the two brothers were ecstatic knowing that they could do what they wished. Outside the window, you could gaze at a sunny and fresh May afternoon. The boys were not told to do any chores so they grabbed a packet of chips and lay on their four-poster, watching television. Little did they know what was in store for them.

A cold draft blew through the room, coming seemingly from nowhere; the windows were closed. The cartoon channel suddenly switched to a horror show- a glitchy transition, Death’s play. The boys got startled, hurriedly turning off the TV. 

Love’s turn. She wanted to comfort them; the uneasy feeling growing in their minds subsided and they started to play hide-and-seek.

Jacob assumed his traditional post of being the seeker since Bene loved to hide. Jacob started counting down from 50, trying to secretly peek from between his fingers. Bene was a scrawny boy, who could hide almost anywhere, he even had secret hideouts no one knew about!

‘Thirty-four, Thirty-three….’

Bene was having a hard time making a decision. He frantically looked around, eyeing every nook and cranny of the room. Death grinned upon receiving her turn and decided to mess with the boys.

Ironically, no matter how hard Jacob looked, he wouldn't be able to find Bene; even if he was standing right under his nose. Bene on the other hand, no matter how hard he tried, simply couldn't fit into any of his hiding spots.

Death shrieked with joy, marveling at her move. No one knows where the sisters reside in time and space, but the people on Earth are the victims of their nasty play.

After 15 long minutes of searching and searching, Jacob gave up. He sighed and collapsed onto the sofa. He called out to Bene, “The game's over, you won! Come out.”, but to no avail.

Love hated seeing the young children being tormented this way and used her turn to end the game by surrendering.

The boys were prey to the deceptive game of Love and Death; no wonder fate changes so fast. A wisp of yellow twinkling light swirled above their heads and out of the window, disappearing into the sky. Love’s spell was cast; the boys would have no memory of the strange encounter. They went on about their day, watching the funniest cartoons and laughing about the silliest things.

The sisters decided to hunt a new man’s life as they headed to Love’s castle. They sat in the hollow of a willow trunk near a clear rushing stream, where the breeze was light and fresh. Any mortal who sat under it would be full of spirit and heart, no matter how weary he was. 

They readied themselves for the next round, locking eyes with each other. Love and Death would always continue the play, for the world needed a balance of both, for eternity.

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