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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6. The idiocy of a lab rat.

Xanthus slowly plucked a bottle from the bag the dead man had given him. It was full of an oozing clear kind of jelly, and filled the bottle to the brim. He drew out a small spoon and twisted open the top.

             Death tried to pry open a drooping eye on Gabby’s sleeping face, but it snapped shut. “Gabby? Are you awake still?” He asked, tapping the assistant on the head.

             “No… dammit!” Gabby really was stupid… Who says no to being asked if you’re awake?

             “You, my boy, are an idiot. You should have told me. I have to carry on now, the bottles open so there’s no going back.” Xanthus’ voice went cold and merciless, making the hairs on the back of the assistant’s neck stand on end. He shivered self-consciously.

             “Why can’t you just put the lid back on or just not use it?”

             “Because it is now contaminated. If I used this after putting the lid back on it would kill you. Also I refuse to waste this. I spent years cooking this up to perfection, and you are my test subject.” It was probably one of the longest sentences that the man had ever said, he was surprised he was even able to explain something at such length.

             “Test subject? What do you mean? You can’t test on someone without telling them! That’s illegal! And also, I heard you talking to that scientist that came in. You asked the man to kill him didn’t you? How could you do that to someone? That’s disgusting! I can’t believe that I work for you. That I respect you!” Now that was some long speech. Xanthus couldn’t help but be impressed by the length of his disgust.

                “Well I apologise, but it’s a necessity.” He held his head down with a single hand. Gabby tried to get up, but was completely restrained by the one hand resting on his forehead. It was surprising just how strong Xanthus was, looking at his tall gangly self you’d think he was as weak as a twig. He was only twenty four and he’d already gained a huge amount of power.

                “A necessity?! What?! You’re still gonna do it?!”

                “Of course, Gabby.” Death smiled, baring his two rows of teeth, Gabby shuddered inwardly with instinctive fear. He clamped his eyes shut, but only received searing pain as reward. Xanthus dug his sharp nails into the thin layer of skin that was his eyelid. He sliced away at it until there was nothing there except for his horror stricken eye looking at him like the man in front of him was insane… which ,honestly, was probably correct.

 

“Sir… please…” But the bottle was over his eye and the spoon was dipping into it. Death drew it out and slowly lowered it towards the boy’s terrified face. A single drop tumbled from the spoon, down, down into his iris-less eyes. The veins in it went bright red. He gave off a blood curdling scream that made Xanthus feel exhilarated and excited. He let a laugh of pure joy escape him and poured the rest of it into the pupil. Gabby… No, he deserves to be known as his own name… Adam screamed, his shriek echoing through the tiny shed of a home. His eye bubbled with the acidic substance, leaking into the seams and bursting each vein on the white. It was like watching water go down a plug, his pupil was absorbing the liquid, and was slowly shrinking as it did so.

                When Xanthus was completely satisfied that the pupil was gone he moved onto the next eye. It was getting harder to hold down poor Gab- Adam. He was shaking uncontrollably, shrieking and all the while trying to get away.

                “For god’s sake, Gabby!” The man shouted in irritation. For a moment the assistant froze, terrified. Xanthus instinctively loosened his grip to avoid straining his arm, but that was all Adam needed. He smacked his shaking hand into Death’s arm, jolting it and forcing him to let go completely. His boss stood for a moment. Staring confusedly at his ‘Gabby’. “Wait… How did you-”

                “Shut up! You monster!”

                “How did you fail to notice what I was earlier? I harvest souls for goodness sake.”

                Gabby reached blindly behind him and drew the shining new scythe from its resting place on the wall. Xanthus was disgusted.

                “Don’t lay your pathetic, weak hands on my scythe, please; I’d rather not kill you.” Xanthus spoke with a slight distractedness in his voice. He examined Gabby’s eye. “Can you see out of that eye?” He added curiously.

                “No, I’m blind in that eye.” The realisation struck him and he couldn’t help the whimper that escaped his lips. “What have you done to me, I look like a freak now. Like you.” His horror was slightly insulting for the young sensitive death.

                “You think I look like a freak. That’s mean you know! I didn’t ask to be like this… That’s really not very nice. You should respect your elders!” Xanthus snapped suddenly, his eyes slightly damp. I know what you’re thinking… Is that death crying… and yes. You are correct. But he had a pretty good reason. Having grown up being called insane and a freak it was hard being called the same things again in adult life. You have to bear in mind that Xanthus, at that young age, was very sensitive and borderline suicidal at times… Also he wasn’t actually crying, seeing as his eyes were incapable of something so human, they could water, and that was the furthest his tears would go… Sometimes Xanthus wasn’t even sure if he was actually a human himself.

 

Diving towards Adam he grasped the scythe and pulled it from the boy’s hands. In one quick slice his assistant’s arm came clean off.

                “I don’t like people touching my scythe, Gabby.” He said, and felled off Adam’s head. “Great, now I need a new assistant.” Death moaned, with and irritated sigh.  

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