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Mar 19 08 1:07 PM
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I was six years old at the time, but I remember it like it was yesterday. So amazing; so enchanting; so exciting; it felt as if I had been riding a death-defying rollercoaster at the world’s most popular amusement park; or marveling at a rare, once in a lifetime comet, flying across the star-filled night sky.
I don’t know why I was able to see him or why I was allowed to watch as he performed the sacred transition of souls from this world to the next, but it was one of the most intense and amazing things I ever witnessed. The Collector, as I chose to call him, hunted with methods of stalking that reminded me of my cat, Leo. He would patiently wait, remaining motionless as he lurked in the view of only the unseen eye, waiting for the exact minute of the victim’s predicted death to pounce and collect their soul.
The entire transition was an entrancing dance where the partner had no choice but to follow the deadly lead. A beautiful, fully choreographed dance that mesmerized the victim and every step was in time with the quickened heartbeat.
The Collector would reveal himself in a physical form just before locking eyes with his victim and temporarily send them into a fear-driven state of paralysis, which in turn allowed him to perform the collection. Only at that precise moment, as they are under a spell of lucidity, are they able to see the Collector for what he truly is – a collector of souls, the entity Death. I’d never seen anything like him, and he’d never seen anything like me.
Recalling those days, I’d watched him collect three souls in a matter of a few short months. The first two collections were comparable to a raindrop lost in a thunderstorm, random people out of thousands with no significance to me. Though I’d seen their transitions, the memory of them was short-lived and impersonal; I simply remember that it was the same man who escorted them by the hand to an elaborate utopia before releasing them to walk their path alone. But I remember every intricate detail of the third one, the most confusing and traumatic, because it was my Aunt Audrey.
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