1:1 – Prologue

There was a cold wind against her face, the moon peaked out between three trees, lighting the patch she was walking. She could see it in the distance, the flickering headlights of a car that had went off the road. She knew who was there too, a middle-aged man called Tony who had until ten minutes ago been on route to an important business meeting. A deer that jumped out on the windy road had set a quick end to his plan, leading him across her path instead.

“Help me. Please!”
“Are you sure you want that. Don’t you want to see your daughter again?”

The man blinked and looked at her again.

“Are you…?”

There was a familiar silence, they often needed the time to wrap the severity of their own fate when face to face with a reaper.

“You look different than I expected.”
“Let me guess, you expected black robe, large scythe and so on?”
“Well yes actually…”
“Some still wear that, but most of us have fund a suit to be more suited for the job.”

She noticed the smile on the man’s face, she had found that many reacted that way to her word puns.

“So now what?”
“You have a couple of choices. We can wait, see if you get rescued before that internal damage you have becomes too much.”
“You can give up, and I’ll take you with me.”
“Does everyone have a choice?”
“No, some die on impact, or have too much damage to survive.”
“Do you have a name?”
“Yes, but I am willing to bet you can’t pronounce it.”
“Try me?”
“Náttsól, but you can honestly just call me Nat.”

He looked at her for a while. He was proving to be her favorite type of customer, the type that listened and understood what she was and why she was there.

“Nat it is then.”

Some saw her as a demon and evil, others thought she was an angel of death. There were those that would scream at her, those that would pray, and those that would just try and ignore her presence.

“Here, let me help you.”

She took a blanket from the blanket from the aid bag of the car and moved him a little, so he would be comfortable before putting the blanket over him.

“Are you really allowed to help.”
“This won’t change the outcome; just how comfortable you are until the time comes.”
“So if it could change the outcome, you are not allowed too.”
“I don’t think anyone uses this road…”

She looked up, it was indeed not a well-traveled road. She knew why he had taken it, to reach that meeting that might change his and his family’s future.

“You’d be amazed where people are found.”
“I guess you have some stories about that?”
“Many, you want to hear one?”

She moved getting herself comfortable against car door. She had many stories about people being found, but the one that had surprised her the most was the one she would most often tell. It was a story of a young girl who was in the Dakar Rally. She had lost her way, and her bike had broken down, out of water and food, all she had was a self-made shelter, and her ruined bike. She knew people would be looking for her, she had missed her check in, but she was far of course, and the chance of her being found in time, was almost none.

“Did she see you as well.”
“Yes, we sat much like we are, just a much warmer place.”
“How was she found?”
“In the most unlikely of ways.”

It has been the third day when it had happened. A young boy traveling between towns had decided to take a different route than normal, only to see if it was faster than the one the elders used, and it led the two of them together.

“He didn’t find out if the route was longer or shorter that day, instead he saved a life.”
“What are the odds of that.”
“Let’s just say your odds are a million times better.”
“Did she ever think about giving up?”
“Several times, but she always found a better reason to wait.”

Their talk stopped as the telltale sound of a car could be heard, the sound of breaks, and then voices. When he had been late for his meeting, his boss had tried to call his phone, when there was no answer, he had called his daughter, who called the police. She knew off the shortcut to where he was going and had begged them to please look there.

“Anyone down there?”
“I’m here!!”

She smiled before she got to her feet. Luckily her services had not been needed tonight, and a man would go back to living with the knowledge of death not being so bad.

“Wait… will I see you again?”
“Yes, so enjoy your life until then.”

She vanished from his sight as the rescue workers came to the car. Had it just been a dream, or had it been real? The blanket over his body told him it wasn’t, but could it really be?

“You are still much to kind.”
“Not everyone is as much of an ass as you are dad. I reap my way, you reap yours.”
“Just as long as you remember the rules.”
“Yes boss.”

She vanished from his side, the old man shrugging his shoulders before vanishing as well.

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