The Case of Hannah Louvre
Hannah Louvre was an art student — apt, given her last name — when I came upon her one December evening. She sat in a coffee shop, stirring what appeared to be an herbal tea that gave the appearance of lukewarm piss, and I watched her out of the corner of my eye as she sat unaware to my attention.
Death came in many guises, but the one I’d perfected over the years had treated me well: no one knew what I was from a glance because I always appeared homely and unassuming even to the best of them. I was not the type to be approached — yet I wasn’t the type to be outmatched either. That was for lesser beings.
“Is this seat taken?” I asked, soft as rain, after I had skulked close enough to be on the other end of Hannah’s table. She startled, looking up with a flash of recognition as if she could sense what I was — but then the awareness was gone the next instant, flared away by a confusion before settling into a blasé expression that made me feel all the bolder.
“By all means,” she said, gesturing to the seat, right before she retreated back to her handheld device that would be outdated in a year’s time. But it didn’t matter. She wasn’t going anywhere.
I could see the lifelines scattered around her head like a halo, tangled like a web, until the etches began to form themselves into numbers and words. The date of her death came to me as if it were born on the end of a string. It sat there like a glowing placard of meaning as if she were the birthday girl at a party held just in her honor.
Her death date was in two weeks’ time. Nearly Christmas. How poetic.
I decided to probe gently by asking, “So, any plans for the holidays?”
Hannah looked up, a little irritated by my intrusion into her online meanderings by way of scrolling, but I wasn’t put off in the least. Marks like her were always taken aback by something like me, even if they couldn’t always figure out why. Some had, in the past, surmised me to be a demon. I couldn’t say they were too far off from the truth.
Death angels walk among you every day, and none of you realize it because you’re so damn caught up in your microcosms of being. If you only opened your eyes…