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.

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12. She might get disorientated and leave...

Xanthus stared at the glaring woman and opened his arms. “Don’t I get a hug then, mother dearest?” He said, pouting. She continued trying to kill him with her gaze, but dropped the new Gabby and stepped forward towards her son. As she approached Gabby gasped and coughed in the background.

                Xanthus’ mother was gaining and he was seriously wondering if she was actually going to hug him when she finally reached him and slapped him across the face. “You idiot!”

                “Sorry, mother…” He muttered, his fist flew out and connected with the woman’s stomach, making her double over, he then stabbed his elbow into the back of her head, knocking her out cold.

                “Did you just beat up your own mom?” Michael demanded.

                “She did just try to kill you…”

                “Yeah… but… She’s your mom… Now what are you gonna do?”

                “Carry her out and dump her in the alley at the back… she might get disorientated and lost… she might just leave…”

                “Umm… and what about you, where are you going.”

                “I’m going to work. I want to get away from here for a good while.” Xanthus smiled, baring his rows of teeth and making the boy quiver instinctively. With that Death turned and left his mother lying in the middle of the floor. “Deal with her for me, Gabby, call some guys in to help you if you want. But be gentle, only I can hurt my mother.” He added turning and shouting it back to the stunned teenager.

                “I need to find a better job…” He mumbled to himself, glancing cautiously at the woman on the floor. “I really do…”

 

*****

 

“Do you think you can run away from me? You think, honestly, someone like you is capable of cheating death?” Cars rumbled past and people bustled busily past, giving him odd looks and averting their eyes when they noticed his strange… features.

                “I-I…” The trembling voice of the old woman stuttered, staring at Xanthus with such fear he was surprised she hadn’t died all over again.

                “All I want is a quick meeting, Okay? Come to my work place, you’ll be safer there, happier.” He smiled, job done.

                He’d ended up running quite far away from home just to avoid his mother… It was pathetic really, letting himself get so worked up he’d knock her out… Maybe he should have dealt with it better, or maybe go back and apologise… No he was gone now, if he was lucky she’d be gone by night fall.

 

Turning back to the cowering woman on the floor he smiled, “sorry what was I saying? My mind wondered…” Xanthus said, still grinning at him.

                “Something about me being happier… I think?” The woman replied, staring at Death with utter horror.                    

                Xanthus sighed and unwound the scarf wrapped around his face and slid off his glasses, at the same time the umbrella clutched in his grip went up and shielded his skin from the dazzling sun above.

                “I can’t be bothered with this crap. Let’s just do this here, choose.”

                “Choose what?”

                “Heaven or hell. I am Death himself, welcome to my domain.” He dipped his torso in a sweeping bow. “Come now choose, there is a price for both though I must inform you.”

                “Wh-what, heaven, hell… I don’t believe in either.”

                “Okay then, choose hell. It needs filling. Infernal fiery pits of torcher don’t usually seem popular with the kids now days. Kids, eh?”

                “I-I, please you can’t do this. My grandson he only just died, someone has to be there for poor Janie! My daughter, she’s lost, she’ll kill herself! Let me stay, I’ll give you anything you want!”

                “More for the pickings, so choose.”

                “No! I won’t!”

                “Hell it is, now as a price: two parts of the body, any will do, but nothing too gross, I have to carry that back… not fun.”

                The elderly woman glared at him with fear and anger. “No!”

                “Five.” Silence. “Four.” Silence. “Three.” Silence. “Two.” Silence. “One, okay choices, choices, choices… I’ll take a leg and an eye, opposites, artistic! And anyway… carrying a leg through the city will be funnily amusing…” He drew his scythe from the depths of his coat and swung it forward, catching the leg as it fell. The woman dropped like a fly and clutched her stump of a leg. Xanthus crouched over her and plucked the eye from its socket. “Bye, bye!” He exclaimed. And walked off, making a quick call ass he left.

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