04
Jan
21

Writing Prompt: Greeting

“Hello, Jordan. It’s been awhile.”

It had been, Jordan reflected. Almost twenty years since he’d heard that voice, and it had said the same thing then, too. It always did, whenever it finally caught up to him.

“Yup. Back in ’02, in Bangkok. I remember.”

He turned, barely registering the fact that the New York pedestrians all around him had stopped moving, many of them in comedic poses just as good as the ones you’d get by randomly pausing a drama channel on YouTube. He was used to it. The only things moving were himself and the one who’d spoken.

The speaker was gaunt, barely there in more than one sense. He was thin, of course, his skeletal structure showing clearly through his tight and yellowed skin. But he also didn’t appear to be entirely real, appearing translucent, shimmering like some sort of hologram. It always made Jordan want to sweep his hand through the figure, but doing it once had trained him not to do it again; the sensation had been spectacularly painful.

“What is it this time?”

Jordan sighed the words more than he spoke them. He had grown tired of running errands for this ephemeral specter at least fifty years ago, and had since passed into boredom. They made have had the perk of keeping him young and alert – he certainly didn’t appear to be the two hundred and eighty-six years old he was – but they always seemed so… small. Pointless. He would have thought being the physical hands of a spectral and nigh-omniscient being would be more exciting than occasionally delivering a message, stealing a pearl earring, or knocking over a gravestone.

Still, only having to do a minor task every decade or two and being immortal for it wasn’t such a bad deal, he supposed.

The figure smiled, which didn’t make it any more inviting; his teeth were overly large, and the way it scrunched his eyes up emphasized the skull-like appearance by pushing them deeper into their sockets.

“It’s time, Jordan. Time to become. To be what you were meant to be.”

“What does that mean?”

“You’re no longer the errand boy. Now you are the messenger.”

Jordan’s stoic expression faltered for a moment.

“What?”

“Your job as my hands and eyes is done. Now you will find others to do these things for you.”

The figure punctuated this last with a laugh. Jordan failed to understand what was so funny about the whole thing.

“How am I supposed to do that? Who do I go to?”

“When the time comes, you’ll know,” the figure said. Its form was growing more hazy as it spoke. Faint motion, the first stirrings of wind, were coming back to the New York street corner. Time was almost up.

“But what do I say?”

The figure smiled again, and just before fading away, it gave its last piece of advice.

“Just say… ‘hello.'”


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