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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5. Simplistic is an understatement.

For a rich man Xanthus’ home was rather… on the small side. He lived in a blacked out, boarded up kind of shed, that was slightly larger than your ordinary garden shed. Inside was decorated with metal and black, like his office at work. There was no bed, just a straight backed swivel chair at the edge of the room beside a bedside table. There was a phone on the table, and another secured to the wall.

                An open side door revealed a small stylish black bathroom with a walk in shower but no bath.

                “This is your house.” Said Gabby, glancing around in shock.

                “Yeah. Simplistic. Like me.” Death replied, chuckling.

                “Simplistic is an understatement.” The assistant looked round again.

                “Well, let’s get started then.” The tall man  brandished his scythe in an elegant twirl.

                “Okay.”

 

It was a long progress. Xanthus had to carefully strip each layer of film off the boy’s eyes until there was naught but a pupil in a sea of white. Unlike taking from dead people live humans had working nerves so the process was a painful one. It lasted for seven excruciating hours in which Gabby’s piercing screams struck the air like the grating of a saw.

                “Gabby? Are you okay. It’s the worst part now. Are you ready?” Ever the charmer Xanthus didn’t bother to mellow out the facts. Lies are pointless.

                “Y-yeah… keep going… just do it…” His soul was growing fainter in his body, Death could feel it.

                “I think we should wait. I’ll get you a bed.”

                “No, sir, please just do it now.”

                “Okay.” The man’s black hair swept across his eyes again and stuck on their sticky surface.

                “Doesn’t that hurt?” You know when your hair goes into your eyes?” Gabby’s pupils searched his face, their edges streaked with scarlet veins in the sea of white.

                “No… I don’t really notice…”

                “How don’t you notice that? It must hurt, or tickle your face or something.”

                “Nope.”

                “Okay… Do it then.” Xanthus was caught off guard.

                “What? Oh! Gabby, are you sure? You really should wait until tomorrow, I’ll put you to sleep, I can with this part.”

                “Just do it now. And stop calling me Gabby for god’s sake…” Before he could say another word the man’s oddly long fingers were at his temples and he fell into a dreamless sleep.

                “Are you out, Gabby?” Xanthus asked, just in case he’d made a mistake. He hadn’t, as the boy’s drooping lids stayed loosely closed, not producing a single twitch. “Okay I’ll get started.” It was aimed at himself but he felt like Gabby’s very being was sensitive to his softly muttered words, not in a conscious way but in a way the obviously showed that the boy was terrified even in sleep.

                Death jogged to the phone on the wall and dialled.

                “Hi, can you bring me some acid… You know the one for the eyes that I’ve been working on.”

                “But it’s not ready.” One of the many bodyguards that he had around the town took the phone off the confused scientist and spoke in his deep gravelly voice:

                “Should I dispose of him sir?”

                “God sake man, why do you want to kill everything that voices its own opinion?”

                “What?”

                “Oh never mind, pass him back on.”

                “Simon, bring me that flask now.”

                “Yes boss.”

                “Sir.”

                “Sir.” Xanthus didn’t know why but he had a weird appreciation for anyone who called him sir, it was one of the only times a normal human had ever paid him any respect in the slightest… The first time with the 24 carat woman…

 

Simon arrived, hoisting a bag full of clinking bottles, his nose twitching to settle his thick glasses into place.

                “Here you go, sir.”

                “Thanks. You can go now.”

                “You’re using it on Adam?”

                “Who?”

                “Oh for god… Gabby.”

                “Cheeky Simon, do you want to be impaled on my shiny new scythe over there? Don’t get cocky.” Xanthus’ soft voice etched with malice and struck through the scientist’s fear like a knife (or a scythe…).

                “Sorry sir… It won’t happen again. Goodbye.”

                “Aw! Don’t be like that, help yourself to a diamond on the way out.”

                “You’re most generous sir.” With that Simon left, taking a glistening diamond from the bag beside Xanthus’ bed.

                Death dialled on the phone again.

                “Kill him.” And hung up. He couldn’t afford to have someone who disrespected him that easily. Only Gabby was allowed to do that.

 

“Well then let’s get started then, shall we Gabby?”

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