Peer Review by AbigailSauble (United States)

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The Music of Her Heart

By: CCReed

The child was supposed to die.

Once the world was finished, Death could take over.
Earth was finished. Had been finished for many years.
This small, squirming thing was supposed to die.

Yet no matter how many times Death reached out to wrap her cold fingers around the child's heart, a warm light pushed her away. How was the child resisting Death? It wasn't even able to breathe right. Death could see the quivering, struggling lungs, filled with liquid. This was supposed to drown the child. Logic said so. This had never been a problem for Death before. Death turned to hear the heartbeat of the Death-thief, rushing in with a million pit-pats of the nurses. They took the child from its inexperienced, mother's arms and rushed it into a different room, leaving death to listen to the quiet thrum-thrum of the mother's sleepy breath and the anxious marching rhythm of the father. Death turned to follow the beat of the Death-thief and his nurses, hurrying to catch up to the musical tattoo of the newborn as it continued to fight for life.

Slow down. I don't have legs.
Death sped up her pace, dodging the heartbeats of the crowded hallway and chaotic movements. Death personally hated working her shifts at the hospital. All the heartbeats were off-cadence, erratic and confusing. Some were the whole heartbeats of the fully alive, while some heartbeats beckoned Death to choose them and bring them home. But the Death-thieves would come in and make the heart indecisive, and Death would have to tug to try to bring the painful soul back home- more often than not, Death found herself losing, and she would watch the heartbeats quicken and eyes flutter open, and the soul would have to continue living in the pain that Death could have brought sweet relief from. It was truly frustrating.

And here was another battle between Death and the Death-thieves with this child. Death found it again on a table, a million worms and needles circling the tiny body. The child had its eyes closed, and Death could see the drugs moving down the veins, causing the musical sound of the newborn's heart to soften and slow to a lullaby. Death listened to the quiet sound for a minute.

The melody of this heart was different than the rest- it was not a simple, consistent drum beat that beat on and on, nor the tick-tick of those in a hurry, nor the rapid percussion of the naturally enraged. This heartbeat wavered and lilted, carefree and happy. Death couldn't help but smile. Why should she deprive the world of such a unique, beautiful tune?

Peer Review

For one thing, this isn't exactly a myth. (While it may be fiction) The supernatural word is definitely alive and (maybe not so well, but alive nonetheless).
And I absolutely LOVE your POV. I'd never thought before about how Death can hear people's heartbeats, and that would also bug me if I could, too. All different rhythms. ;)

You don't have all that much symbolism (though if I missed it, I apologize), but man.....this piece deserves a lot of viewing/likes/comments/reviews!!
You began with a captivating sentence, and it just grew in interesting(ness) from there! And at the end, we see Death turning a soft corner. Sparing a newborn? Aww.....can something get any sweeter? :)

Reviewer Comments

Oh my goodness........I love this SOOO much!
Keep up the fantastic work!!
God bless!