Written Exclusively for popular book blog Nose Graze
Becoming A Death Dealer
Name: Mia Baron
Born: September 21
I carried their deaths with me from the age of four, but it didn’t really sink in until middle school. That’s when I was old enough to understand what had really happened and it wasn’t the sweet fairytale-like story my grandma had told me. My parents were supposed to be in heaven, watching down on me from somewhere beyond the clouds during the day, and at night I’d watch the twinkling stars believing they were the most radiant ones. Perhaps I harbored a little resentment toward my grandma for not telling me they were murdered. No, I found out that little detail as I neared the end of seventh grade. When a classmate asked if I was the daughter of the murdered couple…the ones whose body parts had been found scattered all over their house.
Of course denial was my first feeling, there was no way that juicy piece of gossip hadn’t been exaggerated, but my extensive research led me to that exact truth.
And the fact the killer had never been caught.
In between searching for the bastard on my own—since the detective had told me the case was cold and on the back burner—I spent all of my high school years taking self-defense classes and some other combative training that I had to pay for under the table. Even though I never confronted my grandma, I think she knew I’d found out the truth. I think she knew I’d been seeking revenge ever since I had.
There are countless depictions and pictures of Death Angels. Oddly, so many of them are similar. Which was why I couldn’t stifle my laugh when I was actually approached by one. My shift was over at Lava—an upscale lounge in a mall just outside Manhattan Beach—and I’d been making a beeline for my car on the third floor of the parking garage when a petite man appeared out of the shadows. Around my height of five and a half feet and definitely just as slender, he wore an elegant midnight blue suit with a soft gray button-up, and his hair was the darkest shade of brown I’d ever seen. When he’d stepped closer, I’d moved back. After all, he’d just introduced himself as a Death Angel that went by the name of Abram and he sure as hell had to be nuttier than a fruitcake. But it was after that introduction that he’d said the one thing that got my attention, the one thing that was all I needed to hear to allow him to come closer and show me his eyes. Eyes that were darker than the color of coal, like twin black holes. And what he’d said sucked me into his event horizon. I can give you what you seek most, he’d said in a thick Russian accent. The revenge you won’t be able to have unless you join me.
For some crazy reason, I’d believed him without a doubt and begged him for the identity of my parent’s killer or killers on the spot. But he couldn’t say because he wouldn’t know until their death contract hit his desk so to speak. And it hadn’t yet. There was still time for me to be the soul collector of the one or ones responsible for my parents grizzly murder. There was still time for me to escort them through the spirit realm to the proper Gate. And based on my brief understanding at that time of the way he’d explained the Light and Dark Gates, there was no doubt in my mind where the murderer(s) would end up—the Dark Gate, which sounded a lot like hell the way the Death Angel had explained it.
So when a scroll of cream-colored papyrus paper covered in dark ink writing just magically appeared in his hand out of thin air, he asked one last time for my answer, and my response had been an instant yes. There was less shock when an eight-inch silver dagger had blinked into existence in his other hand, its hilt covered in some ancient-looking script that was completely foreign to me. When asked to hold out my right hand, I’d done so without question. The tip of my index finger was met with the point of the blade—a sharp prick that had my heart racing as I’d watched velvety crimson pool from the cut. Then I’d signed my human life away in my own blood.
And now I wait for the vengeance he promised.