profile Writer Info; Writer Name/Handle: Angel Are you (the Writer) 18 years of age or over?: Yes
Character Info; Employment: Lucky enough to have squirreled away valuable things over the years Housing: Graves Funeral Home. Character Journal name:soundofwings Character Name:Death. Muerte. Other names as needed. Athanasius Graves Character Age:Late-20s to Early-30s. It's a little hard to tell some days... Mid-40s. At least in appearance. Character Played By: Idris Elba
Character Personality & History: [Things have changed...again. Scroll down to see the update.]
There's nothing strange to see here. You know this story already, right? Even though it does have a new twist to it.
When the New World was still new (at least to those who came at it from across the ocean), there were those places among the thick forests and rushing streams where no one had ever placed a human foot. There were places that those native to the area avoided (for one reason or another), and so the earth there was unfamiliar with the press of feet that were two and hands that brought change. Into these places came people who had little right to come, changing the earth, changing the thick forests and rushing streams, creating settlements where before there had been none. Men and women and children - families - left what they'd once known as home and made the journey across the water. When they arrived on a new shore, not all who had left made the arrival, but of those who did, one was a young woman. Strong enough to cross the water, but not strong enough to stay upon the new land, she was the first to die in that untouched place. Her name was Emily, and her death tied her to the land.
The details are foggy, known only to those who need to know, how there are those - spirits, creatures, souls… reapers, ghosts, demons - who become part of an area, to oversee the lives of those who live there. They are the ones, all across the world, who govern the souls in their territory. They are a single entity but individual, connected to each other and also to those who oversee other facets of human lives. Tied together, they are family and not, siblings and strangers.
That settlement, Emily's settlement, eventually grew. And she remained, growing with it, even as it spread, became a town, became a city, became a state. She remained as they named it New Jersey, remained as war tore the country, remained as everything modernized and changed, and she did the same. The larger the city, the easier it was for her to blend in, moving around, changing her name to avoid suspicion. She wasn't human, not since her own death those many many years ago, but she blended in with the city's population, another one of the thousands that lived there. No one noticed her, not really, not until they had to. And it remained that way for hundreds of years.
Until the time when someone did notice her. A man who was as much a part of the city as she was, though in his own way. Her city had grown crime, had sprouted criminals and the vigilantes to try to counteract them. She took more people every year, grew tired of the drone of it but with no way to escape. No reason to escape. Until that man looked right at her, smiled with charm, invited her out for tacos and karaoke, and discovered who (what) she really was. And accepted it. And grew closer to her, more important to her, than any human should ever have been.
But her city was not an easy city, and the man lost friends, lost meaning, and got to the point where the city itself was killing him. (Or was it her? Being close to her? She wasn't familiar with guilt, and didn't like when it made a sudden appearance.) He had to leave, and she knew that he did. But knowing didn't make it any easier to accept. Especially when she had to stay, tied to her city and unknowing how to extract herself from it without unraveling her entire being. So he left, and she stayed, and it dug a hole into her that was impossible to heal.
And even so, it was a surprise when the powers that govern everything, even her, decided that she was no longer capable of being part of her own city. Hundreds of years, and they told her that she'd fallen in love, and that wasn't acceptable. Not for one who had to remain objective enough to measure the in and out of every human life in her territory. And so the powers that governed her did what she could not do herself, and unwound her from her ties to the city. It was a harsh, indelicate pruning, leaving her wounded and aching and (for the first time in centuries) mostly human. She was told (into a mind still reeling with the changes) that she was being "reassigned" - to a single quiet town where deaths happened, but only rarely. She was told that she would remain mostly human until those moments where she was needed to be otherwise. She was told that it would be her new home. For as much as her kind had homes.
So, mind reeling and pained, in need of healing and answers, she arrived in Repose. Found that one of her "brothers" was already there, and gladly took the room he offered, curling up to lick her wounds until she could venture out and attempt to be "human". And if there's a few too many wounds to lick completely, if that tearing away from her old city left her maybe a little bit more off than she should be, with episodes that leave her restless, where she has to hide away from the world or be revealed as a woman less than normal, well… she's fine as long as she can hide it, right?
That was the story. But even once the author writes the last word, the characters go on living. Emily was Muerte and Muerte was Emily, and neither one of them was very successful at it. Love wasn't enough. Sex wasn't enough. Living hurts. And no matter how much people want things to work out, sometimes it just doesn't. So after her time there, Emily (Muerte) ((Death)) left Repose, stepped across the town's borders and The Powers That Be pulled her back to New Jersey. Dropped her down in the long, abandoned grass over where her bones were buried. And she started over.
But even that wasn't meant to be. Nothing was the same as it had been before, and even the spark of the what-ifs were gone. She went through the motions for a while, hoping that the feeling would pass, but it never did. And she discovered within herself the ability to let go. To take herself, if that was the right way to put it. To find that bit of life, that tiny spark, that kept her tied to the world - the universe - and nudge it out, the same way she had for others for so many years.
Death was reborn. Within them was still Muerte, though not so much of Emily. They were new and old at the same time. They had the ability to help people pass on from their lives, but it wasn't a responsibility as it once had been. They could touch the living without draining them away. They could step beyond the limit lines of cities, of states. They could come and go from the material world as needed, and often did. They also looked very different. Very different. And they felt different. But not. For almost a year, they traveled around the world, finding that she was still part of they, her was still part of them. And every once in a while, she was there again, looking out of her own eyes. But even when they were them, they still held all the memories of her. The knowledge and heartache.
It's hard to explain. Even as part of the story. But you understand, right? Or you will.
There are not many who can reach their end and begin again. It's simply not done. Like wearing white after Labor Day. But there are some out there that can.
Muerte, Emily, Tod. They had all been the same, in the end. Part of the whole, twisted around and confused for so many years. Forgetting, in the midst of life, what it was to be Death. And it was the life that finally did them in, in the end. It ate away, a sinkhole beneath the surface, until finally the hollow below was too much, and the facade crumbled in. It exposed the deep pit that had formed, love in a stagnant shallow pool at the bottom. It revealed all the jagged parts that could no longer fit together into a whole. Neither mortal nor deity, unable to reconcile the two and unable to fully be either. It was a tipping point. No, it was a breaking point.
And now. There is a funeral home on the west side of Repose. It's situated partway between the hospital and the cemetery, and it's been there for as long as anyone can remember. Mostly. Asking around town, even the eldest of the citizens are familiar with it. It's a family-run place, though there's only one person there now. He's a handsome man, friendly enough, a little gruff, but mostly keeps to himself, and people know his face. Though they're a little less clear on his name. He understands, and tells people to just call him Graves. His family has always appreciated the irony, he'll say. The Graves Funeral Home.
He can nearly always be found within its walls - serving those of the town who have moved beyond, or those they've left behind. He treats everyone with the same respect, whether they're among the living or not. Or whether they're somehow between. In the process of moving on. Stuck on a plane that should no longer hold them. Sometimes, people will swear they've seen him at the hospital, visiting those who are ill. How nice that he was able to see them before they passed. Is that a coincidence? Surely not. The thought of that will pass quickly, and people will forget.
Town Connections; Friends and strangers: Muerte's been in Repose before, and Death knows who people are. Or maybe it's a knowledge that goes all the way back to New Jersey. Give me a Name: Eventually, they're going to have to blend in, and when they're them and not her, they have a bit of a difficult time. (Translation: someone mostly normal to be a friend that won't be freaked out by what they are.) Old Timers: There were a lot of years to pass before Repose (the first time around), and those who are particularly aged (like fine wine?) may have encountered them before.