This is inspired by a writing prompt found on Reddit, here.
” For centuries you’ve reaped humans when their time was up, never paying attention to their advancements in tech and healthcare, then one day every single hourglass just stops. “
I looked about, my eyes blinking in disbelief. I stood right near the Space Needle, looking around, and the sands had stopped for everyone. I held my ticket in my hand– I was intent on going up the Space Needle, but I looked around in disbelief.
“You’ve done it, my child,” the woman’s voice spoke. Goosebumps had risen over my skin, it had been ages.
“Mother?” I asked, finally turning around, tears in my eyes. In my state of disbelief, I looked, and sure enough, Mother was there. She was wearing a summer dress, enjoying the few moments of sun that Seattle had offered.
“Yes, son,” she continued, a gentle smile rested upon her face. Her tone was calm as well, perhaps with a bit of relief alongside. “All of your centuries of service are now complete.”
It had been so long for me. I was born onto the Earth to push humans to find their immortality. I had collected those who had passed, so that they were spurned to improve themselves and enrich their lives to the point of immortality. And finally, I had succeeded.
“It was difficult, Mother,” I finally replied after a deep breath. “The task was so heavily set upon me. My actions have caused the greatest grief, and I did not know if I could complete it. But… it– it is done?” I looked around and saw not a single hourglass moving, though the sand shifted with their gait. But, none fell below.
“I have been so proud of you, for shouldering the burden, my sweet boy,” Mother replied. “Now that they’ve finally done it, their next steps are going to be amazing, and it’s all because of what you have done.”
I blinked away my tears, wiping at my face. As I looked around, people were starting to look at their electronics. A news article had started making its way around with the latest scientific discovery. Immortality had been achieved.
“But…” I stammered. “But what of those who do not wish to go on living?” I asked.
“It’s gone,” Mother replied. “Humans have achieved such a state of utopia, that there is a way to persevere through mental illness, through chronic pain. They’ve achieved the first pinnacle.”
The first pinnacle. I had remembered the words Mother had told me about so long ago. The next pinnacle was to be conquering space, and their immortality would allow them to do so at a tremendous rate. My work, truly, had completed. All of the years of grief that I had taken on, were finally paid in full. The humans were going to be among the stars. I wept, openly, and Mother braced me in a hug.
“Your last reaping will eventually come,” Mother said. She tapped my hourglass, and the sand– finally– began to slowly dwindle into the lower half. “Take your time and enjoy your celebration with the humans. You are largely in part to thank for this.” She embraced me once more. “I must go, on into space, to sow the seeds for their growth. I will meet you one more time before you expire, my Son.”
I sobbed a bit more, and finally lifted my head from her chest. I looked around, and others were rejoicing, in tears, at what had been achieved. I looked no less out of place than I had prior. I racked one more sob from my chest, and looked up at Mother, truly happy for the first time in a very, very long time.
“I wish you the best of travels on your journey into the beyond,” I said, looking at her beautiful green eyes. “I will celebrate with the humans well.” I straightened myself up.
“Until next time, my Son,” she said, planting a kiss on the top of my head.
“Until next time, Mother Gaia,” I said. And with a blink, she was gone.