A Series on Death Pt. 1

Aaren Herron
3 min readJun 23, 2020

Ante Mortem

Alone within his bedroom at 10:30 pm on a Friday night, Jason rests two feet above the ground swaying left to right. A small red stool rests toppled over a foot below and a foot to the right. The struggle of life has forced itself out of the confines of his heart and filled the flesh on his face, growing darker and darker as it approaches bursting potential. A grasp of twine has forced a permanent crane into his neck.

Jason’s eyes, perpendicular to the ground, explode open revealing a devilish glow deep within. The grasp of evil extends it’s red hands across Jason’s eyes, it’s fingertips just a millimeter away from his pupil. As the red extends, Jason’s pupil begins to contract, shrinking away from the demonic threat.

Jason’s body slowly begins to sway back and forth, oscillating like a motorized pendulum. Faster and wider Jason swings, motion bringing life into his appendages. With a twitch of the right fingers, the evil in Jason’s face begins to fade. Left to right, left to right, pulling waters from the world and into the ducts of his tears. Each tear follows a predisposed path as they force themselves back into his eyes; bringing with them a twitch of life and fade of evil in the white of his eyes.

As the darkness dissipates from his face, the speed of his swing increases and the grasp of twine loosens. Jason attempts to force the evil out but can only manage to release a shrieking gargle that’s almost immediately suppressed by the crane of his neck. Jason’s eyes twitch more and more, pushing the evil out until it is no more. He blinks his eyes back into focus and tries lifting his arms. A sharp tingle threatens to take them, but he pushes harder until he can feel the coat of fur upon the evil twine, but his arms can no longer stand the test of strength and collapse at his side.

The red stool on the ground begins to shake in anger, rattling on the floor like a ticking time bomb. Jason’s eyes, blinking in worry, dart back and forth until they land upon the stool. His pendulum swing leads him right above the stool and then as far away as he possibly could be, and back again. One two, one two. The pendulum swings for what feels like eternity; up until Jason approaches the stool for what could easily be considered the hundredth time. As Jason approaches from the final restoring force, the stool rises from the ground like a body from the grave and meets Jason’s feet at the equilibrium force; the swinging stops.

As Jason begins to stand on the stool, the tension in his neck starts to dissipate as the crane fades away with crackles and stings as his eyes finally rest parallel to the ground. The evil has left his eyes; the evil has left his face; the evil has loosened its grip on Jason’s soul and a single breath explodes out of Jason’s lungs like a dark cloud of despair.

As the final tear crawls itself back into the ducts of Jason’s eyes, his arms, having regained their strength, slowly moves up towards the twine and loosens the choke hold around his neck. As he pulls his head out of the choke hold, he rests his hands on the twine for a moment; analyzing every loop and twirl that keeps the twine strong. He closes his eyes with a slight smile out of the corner of his mouth, and steps off the stool.



Aaren Herron

Creative writer working to hone his craft, no longer at the expense of a mental state.