Hello, sunshines! I have a neat post idea for today. I’ve been re-reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, and oh my, it’s so much more powerful than I realized!
(I read this first when I was eight, so maybe I didn’t really have an adequate understanding of these topics…)
The story is told from Death’s POV and I loved the idea of that. I want to start a series where I write about a certain person (soon to be revealed) from the POV of Death. This will not necessarily be the same genre as The Book Thief, but there will be some similarities. How does that sound? I’m excited!
Usually, my daily trip to collect traveling souls is uneventful. The only handling of souls I interact with are the saints and sinners. Predictably, there are more sinners than saints out there.
This particular day, I happened to make my way to a small village tucked away in the Netherlands nestled near the mountains.
Usually, in small areas such as that, you tend to find less “important souls” than large cities. If you do find one, they are mostly sinners. In a place where you struggle to feed yourself, not many look out for others.
However, that day I was slightly surprised as I stepped through the walls into a small wooden house with only two rooms.
The first thing that caught my eye was the woman- the body of the woman laid out on the table, blonde hair sweeping out behind in a halo, eyes closed peacefully. Immediately, I felt the light radiating from her soul. She was the saint I was here for.
That’s when I made my first mistake; staying. Instead of taking her soul and leaving, I was captivated by the people standing around the table. There were five, to be exact. A man with brown hair and over-grown stubble lining his cheeks stared ahead at the body of his wife, eyes soft and hard at the same time. I could feel the sadness pulsing from his soul.
See, this is why my job is tedious. Not only do I take their souls, but I feel the souls of the alive. Honestly, I find the dead much more preferable. They don’t talk unnecessarily and they’re all in their designated positions. No havoc, no chaos.
The children seemed much like the average mourning kids. The two tall boys had the same pale skin as their mother and one had blonde and the other had brown hair. The older girl had soft brown hair and was rounder, with more curves than sharp angles.
What really stood out to me wasn’t the husband or the three oldest children- it was the youngest one, the midget with the pale hair, pale eyes, and pale skin, clothes hanging off of her tiny body.
Her eyes were the most curious- unlike her family with crystal blue eyes, the girl had muddy, almost swampy greenish-brown eyes. The were large and at the moment brimming with tears.
Although many prefer to think that Death doesn’t have a heart, I’d beg to differ. Of course, my heart doesn’t beat like a human one. It’s much darker, you could say. And at that moment, my black heart betrayed me, pounding just for a moment in my nonexistent body. I knew this girl- she’d been around so many deaths that it was hard to count.
Such a young girl shouldn’t have been exposed to so much sadness. And that, coming from Death itself.
“Lotte, what are you doing?” Spoke the boy with the brown hair. The young girl had crept to the other side of the table and was stroking her mama’s hair.
Lotte didn’t reply. Again, the boy asked harshly, “Lotte, what are you doing?”
She only looked up at him with big eyes and answered in merely a whisper, “Moeder loved it when Maria and I did this.”
Maria, the older girl, looked upon her sister sadly. “Lotte, she won’t get up.”
Lotte continued stroking. “I know. But she knows- she can tell.”
Her words were eerily accurate. She was right- at the moment, her mother’s soul was joy impersonated. She was so happy that her daughter remembered and didn’t fear her dead body. What I wondered was how she knew this. Maybe being around so many deaths had affected her soul.
The girl looked up, straight to the area where I was. It felt like she was glaring at me. With a shudder, I leaned over the table to grab her mother’s soul and swept right out of the room. Behind me, I could hear Maria (was that her name?) bursting into tears.
I fought all urges to go back and see what was happening because I was scared. Scared of this freakish girl and her freakish eyes- scared that she knew what she shouldn’t.
Death was scared of a little girl.
I hope you enjoyed this! I won’t be continuing if you guys don’t want me to, so please let me know in the comments!
Have you read The Book Thief? Do you prefer multiple POVs or one POV? Who’s your favorite book character of all time?