Boy afraid of death is death itself
(Kleinfeltersville, PA) 10 year-old Graham R. Epper was shook to his core when he came home from school to learn that he was actually the living embodiment of death itself. Warning signs had permeated his life. His father died the instant he held his son for the first time. He lived with his mother ever since, and took up an interest in the Presidents. “Franky (sic) Roosevelt was my favorite because he said there’s nothing to fear but fear itself.” He would soon learn that he was the thing he feared most: death.
Graham was on his way back from school, running away from suddenly wilting flowers in his wake. When he got home, a fifteen-foot tall snake waited in his living room. This snake, who could have eaten the boy whole with little effort, instead spoke in parseltongue to say “you are death, eater of worlds.” Graham did not take it well, and the snake decided to leave the house. Graham was frightened and ran upstairs.
He got to his room and put on some Good Charlotte while he had a good cry. Once that was done with, he went on Youtube Red to watch his favorite Let’s Player play some Minecraft.
Instead he stared at the mouse at the foot of his bed. He concentrated at it and, shockingly, the mouse vomited, then evaporated in thin air. This was peculiar, but he returned his attention to the Minecraft streamer he had been watching. His mind wandered, and Graham noticed that he could see his bright blue eyes reflect in the chat stream next to the video. Normally he would say how much he disliked the survival mode, for it had too much killing, but today he simply watched. As he did, he spotted an irritating fly, which made quite the squeal when Graham made it pop with his mind.
The next morning it rained, and with rain brought the worms. A trail of these now deceased worms followed the young whippersnapper on the way to school. The school bully, twelve year-old Frank Snyley, has been known to put dead ants on the end of a stick, cleverly using a bit of Juicy Fruit to make it stick. He has been known to chase Graham around the playground with his apparatus, much to everyone’s comic folly. Today, he made Snyley’s skull explode violently, placed it on a stick, and chased his own classmates around the playground. No folly was had by any. Graham has developed a taste and now he wants more.
After a stern warning from his Principal, Graham returned to class. The day’s social studies lesson was on George Washington. Graham found himself drawn like a maggot to rotting flesh toward the details of Washington’s demise: the doctor’s bloodletting failed. It was a common medical practice for those with an ailment to have themselves cut open so that blood could leak out. Graham thought this barbaric form of medicine looked like fun and would attempt it on a bully in the next school district.
In kindergarten, Graham got a bloody nose and passed out. He had always hoped he would never see blood come out of him, but strangely his taste had changed. His focus drifted from the cool ‘S’s that he was drawing in his notebook to the veins on his strict and no-fun teachers arms. This was the same teacher who told him nobody wanted to see him if his nose was bloody. At one point in time Graham would have agreed, but now he couldn’t control himself. “Blood-letting looks like fun” he said out loud, as his once deep blue eyes faded to black.
Suzie, his classmate who had witnessed Graham’s eyes and soul fade from his face, told him that his face looked funny. Graham reportedly spared Suzie if for no other reason than the bloodlust made him have to use the bathroom. Residing future bloody plans to the future, Graham made his way to sign out and get the bathroom pass. As it turns out, Jacoby was already in the bathroom and had been for the maximum four minutes. Graham waited and waited, but Jacoby was taking his time. Graham, black eyes as dark as hell with him, decided to do the unthinkable: he left the classroom without signing out, and made his way to the bathroom.
Looking himself in the mirror, he could only vaguely recognize who was in front of him. So vague did he appear that Graham actually believed it was a different person in the mirror. In what Jacoby later recalled as “weally weird,” Graham focused on his reflection in the mirror, only for himself to spontaneously combust. So it goes, that the boy who feared, who would not be quenched, saw the evil in himself.
Matthew Radulski is a third year writing major who stays up late at night a reads Nietzsche with his book light. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org