Due Payment

The sun was shining in the sky. Its rays shone through the café windows. The greenhouse effect caused by the glass surrounding her, made her feel like an old delicate flower in the greenhouse. Did all plants feel so warm and moist regardless the time of year? If this was so, she was so happy she was not a plant.

The news at the newspaper were already stale, even though they happened only the day before. All had read a thousand times over about the inauguration of Donald Trump, the 45th President of the USA. Every time the same story; they made such a big fuss over the new President of the USA, or the new Prime Minister of the UK, or the whichever man (or very rarely woman) took over the control of a country of the West Society.

She did not care anymore about politics. This is a logical consequences of the age she had reached and the experiences she had gathered in her long life. At some point the squabbling over the rules and laws and power lost its power to interest you.

A sudden chill on the back of her neck, a crippling sensation on the lower of her back. Suddenly, her stomach was tied in knots and her aged fingers were numb from the cold. A quick glance around her, confirmed her suspicions. She was the only one who knew. The rest of the customers were too happy, too relaxed to have experienced a chill coming from a gust of the open door. No, she was here, and the old woman sitting on the back of the café was the only one who knew.

The pair next to her let their coffees get cold and the weirdos at the back of the café continued writing furiously at their notebooks, and the Lady glad in black sat across from her. It is so soon, was the only coherent thought she could make.

“Hallo, Johanna” the low voice of the Lady rose the need in her to scratch her face. “I hope you do not mind joining you for a cup of tea”.

“What do you want?” Johanna tried to sound brave, something that she did not feel. There was not point for fake pleasantries, this was not a courtesy visit.

“I want the payment” a happy note in Lady’s voice.

“It is so soon!” cried Johanna. A couple of customers turned around to look at her. Quickly she pretended that she was speaking on her phone through her earphones.

“It is not. You should have read the terms and conditions more carefully when you signed the contract”. Lady pulled out of her pocket a pair of neon green glasses, the only thing with color on her, and she wore them. After that she pulled out a very old stack of papers and took her so long to open them and find what she wanted that Johanna felt like she had aged another ten years at the mean time. “Paragraph 183” she read in her ageless voice. “When the Buyer has turned 100 years old, the payment must be given every six months instead of yearly, as it is increasingly difficult to keep her out of the clutches of Death.”

Johanna sighed. She hated Lady, but when she was thirteen years old, the idea she sold her seemed amazing. Who wouldn’t like to live forever? No illnesses, no hospitals, no doctor bills? And at what price? Just a liter of virgin’s blood.

A few moments passed. Johanna stared in front of her without looking at anything in particular. “Do I have a choice?”

“Did you ever had a choice?” questioned her ironically Lady.

No, she never had a choice.


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