Part One of the series: Death Wants a Moment's Peace
Part Two, written for Lily's Friday Prediction (the words were: spiral, hair, thousand) and Bonus Part Three.
2. The Horse’s Mane
A thousand souls passed, a thousand more. Death had a glass of wine and waited for the man at table three to choke on his lobster. He had forty-seven seconds.
He used those forty-seven to reflect on Moira’s hair, so lank of late. It looked more like her horse’s mane, red-blonde and tangled.
Forty-seven. The young wife panicked. Plates broke, chairs toppled. Death slipped between busboy and wife and picked the soul, as slick now as he’d been in life.
His bag wasn’t full, but he thought a trip to the Expiry was in order.
No one noticed the spiraling shadow.
3. The Expiry
Death dumped the contents of his bag on the counter. The Expiry flicked through them as if they were playing cards. Shuffle, fan, shuffle, sort.
“Not much here,” the Expiry sniffed. He turned and pulled a long piece of ticker tape. “Today’s the twelfth, you know.”
“Is it?” Death barely kept track of time anymore. The calendar over his bed turned its own pages, ignored. “Say, how much tape is there?”
“There’s tape for all,” said the Expiry, confused and annoyed.
“No, what I mean is, you only give me a piece. Can I have the rest?”
“What? Why would you want that? You’d get all mixed-up. You get what you can handle.”
“I wouldn’t mix it up.” Death crossed his bony arms over his ribcage.
“You would. Everyone knows you would.” The Expiry slumped on his stool, arms also crossed. “Besides, where would you put it?”
“Oh, I’d put it somewhere. Somewhere safe.”
“Uh-huh. That’s what ol’ Typhon said about that Mengele. Now, no one can find him! He’s lost down there, somewhere. They may never find him.”
Death did not think that it mattered if Josef Mengele’s soul was lost in the bowels of Hell. It was probably for the best. Also, the Devil was a liar. He probably knew and wasn’t telling.
“Now, stop pouting and get out of my Expiry,” said the Expiry. “Before you get more behind.”
“Just one more thing.” Death stood up straight, willing the winds of emphysema to make his robe flutter and the visage of a thousand drowned corpses cross his skull. “What if I, Almighty Death, Immortal One, Bringer of Finality, wanted to know about one soul in particular, one that might be on the tape further up?”
The Expiry leaned on the counter, unimpressed. His forked tongue licked over his face. “Then I would suggest that the Bane of Mortals get his everlasting bony ass in gear and get caught up, and maybe he’d find out.”
Death hated being the youngest Incarnation on the block.
Thank you for reading. If you enjoy this series, more has been written but will be parceled out because I'm a cruel, cruel woman. (not really, I just want it to be perfect)
Part four here.