Death; noun

The action or fact of dying or being killed; the end of the life of a person or organism.

"an increase in deaths from skin cancer"

synonyms:

demise, dying, end, passing, passing away, passing on, loss of life, expiry, expiration, departure from life, final exit, eternal rest;

o the state of being dead.

"even in death, she was beautiful"

o the permanent ending of vital processes in a cell or tissue.

Death. The end of life. Never again to be living, moving, breathing.

Death. The end of memories. Never again to be loving, caring, laughing.

Death, The end of happy moments. Of good times. Of times when you laughed so hard you snorted milk out of your nostrils.

Death. The cease of your heart. Of your breathing. Of your consciousness.

Death. The taker of the living. The Grim Reaper. The end of conscious existence.

Death. The end of all thoughts. The end.

It happened a lot.

…..despite the fact that it's always the innocents who get shot and the criminals- these condemned people that deserve nothing- are allowed to roam free.

It happened when a drug deal went south. Someone would threaten to rat them out, ended up on the wrong side of thirty-some iron barrels.

Police would show up thirty minutes later, no living being in sight. Start writing reports, hardly bat an eye to the surrounding scene before the body was placed in something considered worse than a trash bag and loaded onto stretchers.

The ambulance's sirens would turn off and they'd drive away, the police shortly after.

It happened when a bank was held up and raided. The criminals took hostages aside and called loudly outside that they'd only let the innocents -that were there in the wrong place at the wrong time- go when they were given a safe escort out of there with tons of cash secured wherever they'd ordered it.

The PD would show up and try to negotiate.

If they were lucky, the masked men were just desperate amateurs that were about to be evicted from their worse-than-dump-standards apartment.

The men would hand the hostages over after about a decent two hours and the police had minimal paperwork and citizens to reassure.

If they were not so lucky, the masked men were professionals that had done this time and time again and wouldn't bat an eye at the blood that crusted their fingers and left droplets of red on their clothing.

And about five hours later, when the police finally got the head of the heist out of the building or he got away, they'd start rolling in to collect the traumatized patients with less-than-comforting words, cover the bodies –five to six, depending on how much bloodlust the men had been running on that day, and start scrubbing the blood off the walls and floors.

The bank would reopen less than a week later, with nothing different except for the squeaky-clean tiles that were incidentally shiny only in that part of the lobby.

It happened when a person refused to pay up and a gun was being held to their back –or head, in some cases. A gunshot and cry of dismay -sometimes, not a cry at all- later, the lousy excuse for the law enforcement would show up and start the same cycle all over again.

Write reports, take pictures, wrap the body, drive away.

It happened when the mafia cornered an honest circus owner and ordered him to pay up for "protection". So naturally, the owner refuses because that scumbag isn't worth it. Next thing you know, there's a SNAP! of bolts and tethers and suddenly your parents are falling to their deaths. And it hardly registers to your now overloaded-beyond-belief brain that the sickening CRUNCH! is the snapping of bones as their bodies bend at awkward angles.

And it keeps replaying in your head, that same sound over and over and OVER again.

The twisted CRUNCH! and the chilling POP!

And the blood that shouldn't ever be flowing in so much amounts that's puddling around their bodies like some sort of twisted blood-angel and pouring out of their mouths and ears and you just can't comprehend it and you're struggling to BREATHE and then it's gone but your brain still hurts and you can't find anything to grab onto and now you're falling, falling, falling, just like they did and you close your eyes because you want to join them in whatever afterlife they're in and then you wake up on the floor in a cold sweat.

And you find your arms shaking and your breath shallow and quick. And your forehead is covered in a thick, watery substance and you reach your hand up to wipe in off and –thank God it's only sweat but then it turns red and starts to stick to your fingers and you're screaming your throat out but there's no sound and trying to tear the suddenly sticky substance off of your hands and you suddenly feel very dirty because it's still there even when you rushed to the bathroom and were scrubbing your hands so hard that they were bruising from how hard you're scrubbing and you're trying to think happy thoughts because you know that blood's not this hard to wash off but it is and you're sobbing hysterically and start to try and scrub your eyes with soap to get rid of the scene that keeps replaying and replaying and you can't stop it and you're going to die like this and then you wake up the next morning with water all over your face and a bump on your head from where it hit the counter in your not-so-graceful descent to the cold floor.

And then you start wondering why your life is so messed up and covered in such a traumatizing past that just won't go away and you catch yourself before you start hyperventilating and heave a large, exhausted, sigh.

It's no biggie, you tell yourself. Just a nightmare.

But that gruesome scene is one of the most vivid your sleep-deprived brain has conjured up so far.

So, with a great deal of effort, you force yourself up off of the cold watery tiles of the bathroom and struggle your way into bed. Upon reaching said destination, you promptly collapse onto the soft, comforting mattress and wish with all your might for sleep to come even though you don't necessarily want it.

So, when you eyelids start to flutter closed, you allow yourself to smile a little.

It's just a nightmare, you tell yourself. Everything's alright.

How very wrong you were.