They’d never really liked waking these paths. The lands where mortals tread were so strange: constantly changing whether by the influence of of nature or man. They felt the cracked stone beneath Their feet as They walked and They could swear They heard the sound of solders marching along this old road.
They could see them in Their mind. Waking in rows of four, the metal of their swords and shields glistening in the summer sun as they marched onwards. Tens of thousands of men marching home in victory, having just conquered a new land.
They sighed and slowly faded from the hand made Roman road. As the mortal plane cam into focus again, They felt a sad smile on Their face as They looked out over the staggered rows of broken stone. They looked at the large play area where the finest actors of the day would preform for the masses.
They closed Their eyes, and when They opened them again, it was as if They were watching Medea again. The shine of the masks as they flaunted along the play area, coupled with the frightened chorus cowering about. It was art. They watched the present fade back into focus and sighed. It was such a shame that the place where it all happened was in such ruins now.
They continued on their journey, making their way to China. They found Themself on the Great Wall and smiled at the memory of it’s frantic construction in a span of 200 years. They could still see the workers hauling bricks up to the top of the wall and sealing it in.
They remembered another marvel of engineering, and soon found Themself in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza. All of this land had once been great. They wondered around Egypt, taking in the hieroglyphs and remembering the days of the pharos. They stopped at an old run down church and shook Their head as They remembered what was supposed to stand there. A great library filled to the brim with scrolls and tapestries. They found Themself near tears as They pictured the beautiful library going up in flames. With that, They left Alexandria.
Instead They traveled north, to Moscow, and smiled at the beautiful sight that was the Kremlin Palace. It housed the Russian president now, but it was a home for Kings when it was built. They grimaced as that thought brought Them back to the horrible night when the Russian Monarchy was overthrown.
They sighed and moved on. They sped their way through Germany, in an attempt to avoid the haunting memories of the Holocaust. They jumped around in India, recalling the construction of the railroad. They admired the tower of Pisa in Italy, smiling as They remembered how panicked everyone was when it started to tilt. They walked through the Louvre in Paris, smiling as They took in the memories each piece of art held with it.
Finally They made Their way back to the place They should have been in the first place. The old man was sitting with a box of photos, a small smile on his face as he gazed at his parents, wife, children, and grandchildren. They walked up to the old man and he smiled at Them. “Thank you for the extra time,” he said. “I just want to make sure I won’t forget any of them…”
They thought back to all the centuries of human history They’d seen and They could understand the old man. It was important to remember, especially in the end.
“I’m ready, now,” The old man said, taking Their hand.
Death smiled as They led the old man away from the mortal realm, just as They had done so many times before.