The Domain of Death Himself

Xanthus is Death, and Death has a busy life, as you'd imagine. What with the scythe work and the whole soul collecting stuff. His days are long and kind of dull, until he meets a certain, someone.


7. Distrust is a sign of danger...

“Please… please, I can’t… You can’t just take from me. I am not dead; I don’t have to give you anything.” The woman pleaded with him again, she’d been repeating herself for almost two hours, Xanthus was beginning to tire of her cries.

                “I can, my dear.” He said to her softly. “Please, just give me two of your limbs, or I will choose myself.” He wasn’t entirely sure why he hadn’t begun his count down two hours ago, but he was still feeling down about the fact that he’d had to kill Gabby. He’d have to get himself another…

                “But I-”


                “Hair!” Again with the hair! He was really getting sick of people offering hair, who in their right mind would accept two hair as payment of going through to the ‘next life’.

                “No… nine.”

                “What if I refuse?”


                “I won’t! I am a human being too, I don’t see why you have this right. I will leave and get on with my life.”

                “Seven.” She turned and headed to the door, but was blocked by one of Death’s many gorillas. She screamed shrilly, forcing Xanthus to cover his ears.

                “If you do that again…” He muttered. “Three.”

                “But you were on seven, give me some time!”

                “Aye, but I don’t like you.” The man added with a smile. “Two.”

                “No, please!” She shouted hysterically.

                “One, time’s up honey. I’ll take the tongue and an eye.” He held up a hand, stepping towards her. He plucked her right eye from its socket and plunged his hand into her mouth and pulled out the slimy muscle from its resting place. She stared at him (with her single eye) with horror and disgust. It was obvious that she wanted to shout a lot of abuse at the man who’d destroyed her life, but the lack of her tongue stopped her, only strangled whines escaped her.


Four hours later


Malcolmson’s bag was stupidly heavy, but that was a good thing. It meant his sales would be good. The four men and two women that followed him also carried bags full of ‘merchandise’.

                When they arrived at the alley way they often did business they were surprised at who they found there. A man wearing a neat suit and shiny black shoes, his slicked back, mousey hair glinted slightly in the dim street lights. He carried a large black bag and was flanked by seven large men (something Xanthus tried to avoid, it was alway good to have a woman or two, you never know what situation one could get into…). There was a strange feeling about the man, his darting shadowed gaze and his nervous quick breaths.

                “Why hello, my dear sir, I believe you are my… client…” Malcolmson was slightly nervous himself, he’d never had a customer with so much… protection. In the man’s pocket a matt black gun hid in plain sight. “I am Xanthus Malcolmson, I have what you asked for, I make it an aim of mine to go to every meeting I have, so I guarantee you will not be disappointed.” Xanthus said grandly, not enjoying the fact he had to say so much in one go, it wasn’t him in any way.

                “Pleasure.” The man said shortly. “I am Jareth Turnbill.” His unsmiling response made Death feel slightly irritated, he’d made the special effort to come out of his home for the large order, the ungrateful… “Do you have what I wanted?”

                “Yes. One heart, four lungs, six pairs of eyes, two legs and an appendix.” Xanthus had long since stopped asking what these sick people needed limbs for, that was not his business.

                “Okay, can I see it?” Jareth asked, him timid voice and sweating brow making it obvious that he was worried about something…

                “Don’t you trust me?” Xanthus replied, observing the man through his thick sunglasses and high scarf and low hood. His coat was long and cloak like, it swept around his ankles in the wind.

                “I find it hard to trust a man who won’t let me see his face.” Turnbill said an edge to his voice.

                “I don’t think you want to see it.”

                “Well, let me see then, the merchandise.” The men standing around him stared down at Xanthus, flexing their muscles and trying to look threatening. Death couldn’t help but smile at their stupidity, did they seriously wish to intimidate him. One look at his teeth would soon silence their glares. But that was unnecessary.

                “Of course.” Xanthus replied, he snapped his fingers, (failing on his first attempt and having to try again, he should have just spoken… It was another moment where he would have blushed if he was capable.) And the idiots on his side dropped the bags at his feet, the jars inside clinking.

                “Careful!” Jareth exclaimed, his hands reaching out in stress. “Please, this stuff is important!” This man was really starting to get on Xanthus’ nerves, with all his distrust and worrying.

                “Feel free.” The hooded man said, spreading his arms out in an open gesture, ignoring the other man’s clucking. Jareth stepped forward and slipped a bag open. After he’d examined each one he stood, coughing awkwardly.

                “Everything is here.” He stated to his men. As he said this one of the men he spoke to shifted, his hand reaching into his pocket. Xanthus didn’t notice the tiny movement and started on prices.


The man that had moved suddenly pulled something from his pocket. A cracking bang shattered the quiet alley way and one of Xanthus’ gorillas fell like a rock, a cry escaping her.

                Each of the stranger’s bodyguards pulled out different kinds of guns. They fired on the men and women behind Xanthus.

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