The early morning sky was as dark as the night that had just passed, painted with heavy clouds. The freezing air was clouded with dust and dry leaves as the wind blew them like a hurricane.
Bimbo braved the eerie weather and ran to the stream a couple of miles away to fetch the water her mother would require to make breakfast. All she kept thinking about while running, was how she had to make it back before the brewing storm caught up to her.
At the stream, she bent down to fill her bucket and was set to be on her way when a thought crossed her mind.
‘Since she was already at the stream, a 30-second bath wouldn’t hurt her chances of getting home’
As she bathed, she looked down the stream for peeping toms and saw a figure some ways off. The figure was clad in black overflowing robes and his identity was perfectly masked by the hood he wore. Bimbo watched as the figure desperately tried to get a drink of water from the stream, but his pale and skinny hands couldn’t gather enough to drink.
Though she was startled at first, the sight of the man repeatedly trying and failing to get a drink warmed her heart. So much so, that, she hurriedly put on her clothes and ran to him with her bucket of water in hand, to give him a drink. The only thing that mattered to her at that moment was not the approaching storm, but helping to quench this weak man’s thirst and then directing him to the nearest inn or pub for shelter.
The man willingly took her bowl and drank with his face still hidden. All she could see were his pale, white skinny fingers adorned with a very expensive-looking gold and purple ring on one of them. ‘He must be married’, she thought to herself.
He drank like a Ox that had been working on the fields without getting a drop of water in years. After drinking to his fill, he said to her in a calm but chilling voice,
“Are you ready to go, love. It is time.”
After which the figure stood up and revealed the face behind the hoodie.
Bimbo stood there in jaw-dropping shock. Her face went as white and as pale as the person standing before her. The bucket fell from her hands, wasting the water she braved the storm to get, as she stared death right in his face. She couldn’t move thanks to his black robes now slowly engulfing her. She couldn’t scream or make a sound because of the shock that had found its way to her throat and lodged there.
The threatening storm passed without so much as a hiccup. The weather had once again pulled off one of the most magnificent bluffs. The skies cleared and the dew that had gathered overnight fell from the leaves, bringing with it that familiar and calming scent.
Her ice cold body laid on the river bank as her mortality slowly faded away. At that moment, all Bimbo’s consciousness – or the little that hadn’t gone yet – wondered was what living creature would get to her lifeless body first; the myths in the depths of the river, the shadows in the forest around, the villagers who were probably just waking up now or the vultures whose cheerful sounds at a new prey could be heard from miles away.