My eyes thrusted open only to be greeted with a menacing silhouette perched in the corner of my room. It was only after I realized that screams were exclusively vocalized in my mind that I noticed the rest of my body was completely incapacitated, not even capable of twitching a finger. Suddenly, I felt my heart fall through the ground and my body trapped in a vessel of panic. “Mom! Mom!” Again my cries were not able to travel farther than my own imagination. The dark figure glided from the corner to the foot of my bed; the moonlight shining down on it made every ghastly detail visible to me. She had a cleanly cut black bob which shaped her slender face and pointy jaw. I was more shocked at the sight of her suit, black, clean and new with striking red buttons that contrasted the black. The creatures luminescent eyes were able to reach into me, and I felt all of my thoughts being shared with it. At the sight of my tears, the thing grimaced, revealing a set of perfectly white, sharpened fangs. “Don’t call for Mommy. Seventeen is a bit old for these childish games,” Its voice resembled my mom’s guttural yet comforting voice, which allowed me to be eased. “Well?” She asked, “A hello would be polite.” She placed a leather tote on my bed and pulled out a small box. “Wha..what are-” “Well I’m not a demon if that was what you were thinking. Funnily enough some of them are my clients.” She continued to pull various menacing contraptions out of her tote. “I’m here for business and business only, boy. Don’t take anything personal.” Her calmness began to frighten me, but fear locked my body in place. “You’re Death.” She smirked at my accusation. “Well, not exactly. My field does not deal with the actual death of people. I am in the business though. I’m here to collect your soul.” I couldn’t help but laugh. I, only a teenager, was healthy in all senses. I began to come to my senses. This is only a bad dream. Still, I wasn’t able to move even a finger or toe. Fear was still in control. “I’m in great health, so there is no reason for me to die.” I figured that questioning the creature would allow me to awake. “Oh no, you’ll probably live a full life span. Your health is optimal! Souls with better health sell for more.” She crossed her arms and began tapping her foot. “Time is almost up,” she tilted her head. “Any other questions?” “You fool! You can’t take my soul. People can’t function without souls.” Anger began to penetrate my cloud of fear. Not even coming to my senses allowed me to wake up. “Ha! One day you’ll make for a great accountant. Perhaps even a successful executive. Those are usually the jobs people who are souless lean toward.” Tap tap tap tap tap. “Nonsense! You don’t see the dead walking around on the streets.” My heart began to race faster and faster, yet still I couldn’t free myself from the paralyzed state. She rolled her eyes and sighed with utter impatience. “I have already explained this to you! You aren’t going to die. You will just stop living.” She lifted up the box that she had previously pulled out of her tote. “Mom! Mom!” Now I could feel streams of tears ran down my face “Your mom can’t hear you scream. No one can in fact.” “Stop, this isn’t fair!” She bent over the bed and reached inside my chest. I could feel nails digging into my heart. “You just have to learn that life isn’t fair!” Her words came out as a screech and the very walls around me shook from her voice. From my chest she pulled out a blue glowing orb and quickly stuffed it into the box. “I hate you.” “Silly boy, you can’t hate me. You can’t feel anything.” The breeze pulled her out of my room and she disappeared into the darkness. The morning came and although my body was able to move, it was filled with numbness like the night before. Just a dream, just a bad, bad dream. I turned to my nightstand and on it was a small business card which read: Mindy Trivi, Collecter of Souls If one craves to retrieve their soul Bring’th to me seven dead bodies whole And a business agreement can be made Hours: dusk till dawn seven days a week. I lifted up the card to the light, but after blinking the card had transformed into a knife with my reflection staring back at me.