Final Guests

On my deathbed, after all the family had gone, resigning themselves to my fate, the nurse knocked on my door one last time.

“You have a few more visitors” she whispered.

Curious about who I had yet to say goodbye to, I slowly nodded my head. Through the oxygen pump, I managed to wheeze out, “Let them in.”

The first to enter the room was a young man, no more than eighteen. I didn’t recognize him, but I knew my eyes weren’t what they used to be. He had broad shoulders and hair so blond it was nearly white. I couldn’t find any words in my weak throat, so I just blinked at him, as if to say, “Who are you?”

“It’s me,” he had a thick Nordic accent. As he stepped into the light, I could see that he was wearing a black sweater with an embroidered “HC” on the chest. “It’s Sherman….Sherman Oscarson?”

I coughed, feeling my heart palpitate. Sherman Oscarson was a character I had created for the first time at twelve years old. I had written his story several times over the course of middle and high school. He was a pure work of fiction, and yet here he was, standing in my hospital room. I must be dead, I thought.

“Look, I know this must come as a surprise,” he said, kneeling at my bedside, “I guess I just wanted to give you some closure. I know you never got to write my ending. But things worked out for me. I’m back with my family. Isaiah was finally taken down. So…thank you.”

All I could do was smile. I had never been good at finishing my stories, so it was nice to know Sherman got the happy ending he deserved.

The door opened again. This time it was a little girl, with perfect curls tied together with a pink ribbon that matched her lacy dress. I knew exactly who this must be. Her trembling hands clutched a bouquet of assorted flowers; roses, camellias, marigolds, hyacinths, zinnias, irises, and…

“Azalea,” I croaked.

“Your majesty”, she bowed and layed the flowers on the bedside table.

Confused, I shook my head.

She knelt down next to me and placed a dainty hand on my old and decrepit one. “Where I am from, you are the highest of royalty. Even my mother reveres you, and you know how hard that is for her”

I gently squeezed her hand. At this point I was excited to see which of my childhood writings would walk through the door next. My heart rate monitor notified me of a spike in activity, but I was too giddy to care. As the squeak of the door caught my attention again, I looked up as eagerly as a dying person can.

To my horror, a frigid gust of wind swept through the room. Sherman and Azalea shivered and sunk back into hospital chairs. A tall figure entered the room, faceless and draped in black but for a large gemstone hanging around his neck. I wasn’t sure he was entirely human.

Tentacle-like fingers gripped an oversized pair of steel scissors, with blades that looked sharp enough to slit my throat. I swallowed.

The figure made its way over to my bed, almost levitating above the ground. The cold in the room gripped me like an icy claw. I never thought my life would end in such fear.

“Who are you?” Sherman asked the question I had been thinking.

The figure spun around and in a blast of freezing air, threw Sherman out of his chair and onto the floor. Then without a second thought, he turned his attention back to me, looming over me with the most ominous aura.

“I’m The Destroyer” he hissed as I watched his scissors slice through the tubes to my oxygen tank.

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