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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3. Twenty four carat diamonds.

Xanthus woke up, rubbing his eyes, and groaned. He didn’t even get a thank you the other day for coming in two hours early. He needed a holiday… But where could he go where people wouldn’t look at him, scream and run away, yelling about a blind shark man with stupidly long hair? That was the kind of thing that an assistant would find out...

                He reached towards the phone beside the office chair he was sleeping in and dialled a random number into it.

                “Hello?”

                “Is there a female in this house?”

                “Um… Who is this?” The voice was obviously a child. What was with that lately? Only children seemed to see fit to speak to him…

                “It’s Death.”

                “Death.” The child on the other end started to cry.

                “What’s wrong Morgan?”

                “Scary man!”

                “Hello who is this?” Finally and adult. A woman by the sound of it.

                “Would you like to be my assistant?”

                “I’m sorry, I think you have the wrong number. Please don’t call here again or I’ll call the police.” Xanthus pulled the phone from his ear for a moment, memorising the number. The phone beeped and began to buzz emptily. Smiling he called his office, and waited.

                “Five, four, three, two…” the phone continued to ring. “One. Okay someone’s going to die later.” He tried ringing again but no one replied. “For god’s sake! What the hell are they doing there?!” But he didn’t have time to worry about that he had dead people to draw in. The problem was he had to find them first. Haven’t you ever wondered what death does at night? All the people who judged him for being seven hours late for work every day had no right to. When they were tucked up in their comfortable beds he was picking up dying people.

                If he didn’t do that, then none of the people would have jobs to go to. “Okay time to go.” He muttered to himself, yawning and stretching out his sore back. That was the problem when you slept on an office chair every day. You got back problems. But that wasn’t the worst part of having that job. No one seemed to like him. Even if he was odd looking he was still vaguely human and he wouldn’t mind settling down and having some mini deaths.

 

He wondered out of his house, on the way to the huge building with blacked out windows. Even from inside you couldn’t see outside. It made a lot of people claustrophobic, but Xanthus didn’t care about other people, he didn’t like the light of day, it stung his eyes and made his head hurt. He made sure to wear sunglasses when outside and pulled the hood up on his zipper hoodie when the sun was especially bright.

                The streets were filled with the usual bustle of the busy people, cars racing past, children playing loudly on their way to school. He had to pick someone, anyone, who could be the next one in his office. Donating to the greater cause. Money.

                What did you think he did with the various body parts he received? Eat them? No he sold them. For a lot too. There were loads of sick people out there who collected or needed body parts. Even hospitals accepted his sales. No questions asked. As long as they believed they were doing the right thing humans would do anything.

                Xanthus began to whistle happily as he went along. Getting odd looks from passers-by.

                “Sir? Are you okay?” A woman asked, stopping and laying a mahogany coloured hand on his covered arm. Death stopped and glanced down at her delicate hand.

                “Excuse me?”

                “You were nearly walking into the road.” She said, concern reaching her chocolate eyes.

                “I was?” He replied in evident confusion. It wasn’t like he’d be hurt if he was hit by a car. It had already happened several times; each time he had to act hurt for a few days, the ‘miraculously recovered’ and killed the drivers. He got a holiday and some free souls all at once.

               

The woman was looking at him like he was insane, but kept her hand on his arm in an almost restraining way.

                “How do you feel about being my assistant?” Xanthus asked her, the thought suddenly striking him.

                “What?” Alarm entered her features. She was obviously thinking that an insane man had just tried to walk into the road in look for an assistant.

                “Do you want to be my assistant?” Something seemed dawn on the woman and she released her grip quickly.

                “Why is your face covered?”

                “I have an… unusual appearance… It disturbs most people.” It was the truth. Papery white skin, razor sharp teeth and eyes that appeared to be blind put some people off.

                “Unusual appearance?” The woman parroted.

                “Yeah. Well, do you want to?”

                “To what?”

                “Be my assistant?”

                “I don’t even know you, or what you do. I have to go now anyway. I already have a job.”

                “Now that, my dear, is a blatant lie.”

                “I work in a school.”

                “Your clothes are too informal.”

                “It’s none uniform day.”

                “There’s only one school in this area and those are children from it.” He pointed at a group of fully uniformed children.

                “I work in one out of town.”

                “You don’t have a car.”

                “I had to head to the shop.”

                “You have no shopping.”

                “I’m on my way now.”

                “There are no shops in the direction you were going.”

                “There are actually.”

                “Not for four miles. And if you do work in a school you,” He glanced at the watch on his pale wrist, pulling up his sleeve. “Are very, very late.”

                “I don’t have to get in until later. I’m a T.A.”

                “T.A?”

                “Teaching assistant.”

                “So you’re already an assistant?”

                “Yes.”

                “Anyway that still doesn’t explain why you’re walking four miles to get to a shop when you have a car.” Xanthus felt his lips twitch in a tiny smirk.

                “I like walking, anyway the traffic gets bad.” She looked around and bit her lip at the evident lack of cars. “Usually.”

                “I live down the road.”

                “Do you drive though? You probably don’t pay attention.”

                “Please just stop lying and work for me. I work in that building over there. The one called Mors Principium Est.”

                “No.”

                “Please. I’ll pay you in 24 carat diamonds.” He spoke so casually, but could tell that at that the woman was close to fainting.

                “Twe-twenty four… diamonds...! My lord!” She exclaimed.

                “You don’t have to call me lord.” He chuckled, (which obviously made her shudder) and gestured to the building again.  “I’ll see you there at two. Don’t be late.” He turned and strode away into the crowded street.

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