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Rated: E · Draft · Fantasy · #1098178
The Reaper finds he might need some help.
“A mountain…how does a mountain just appear?”, Death asked the spirit wavering in front of him. The spirit didn’t respond, it didn’t know the answer any better than he did. Waving a dismissive hand, Death turned to the window of the musty library. Behind him the spirit dissolved into the still air, even as the room itself began to shift and turn on itself. Nothing was really solid here in the space between the physical and spiritual world, at least not when someone wasn’t looking. Gazing out at the infinite space that bridged the two worlds, the swirling morass of color and non-color that turned eternally, Death rubbed one gaunt hand up the haft of his scythe as he was wont to do when thinking. A mountain in Greece, a brilliant rainbow in Norway, a shining star in the night sky, all had appeared for a brief moment in the time following the ripple he had felt. The coincidences were getting to him and he didn’t like where they were leading. With another wave of his hand he summoned yet another spirit to his side. Where they came from he truly did not care, only that they replied to his call as they always did. This one hovered to his right, the faint outline of a young man wearing glasses, gazing almost lazily at the one who had called it. Death gave it a cool glare as he spoke, “You already know what I’m going to ask you, so speak.”

An echoing chuckle emerged from the cloudy spirit, “You’re always so impatient, I would think we would have a better relationship by now.”

Seeing Death scowl is a sight that would cause most beings to quiver in abject fear. For this one however, dead as he was, it simply sobered him a bit, “Of course, of course, information, I know. Do you really need me to spell it out for you?”

Shaking his head, Death sighed, “No, not really. I know the what already, what I need to know is the why.”

The spirit shrugged, “That I cannot tell you my ghastly friend, not now.”

Death raised an eyebrow at the spirit, his face whole enough at the moment for him to do so, “Not now?”

The spirit continued to look out into eternity, “Not now, and not ever unless I can get a closer look at the phenomenon. I have a few guesses but that’s all they are at the moment. Of course, as I am I’m not going to be going anywhere.”

Death hesitated for a moment, what he was about to propose ran counter to the role he had been assigned. He was a reaper, the Reaper. He gathered his souls and he deposited them where he was supposed to. He had never even thought about what he was about to do. Truly it was not his business to be meddling in the events happening but he knew for certain that He never would; no the clockmaker wouldn’t do anything to disturb the gently turning gears of his world. Death turned to the spirit and held out his scythe, “Touch it.”

Death had never seen someone so dead look so surprised, “What? You’re going to…”

Nodding, Death continued to hold out his weapon, “I’m taking you back, at least for a while. I can’t give you your body back so this will have to do to contain your self for the time being.”

“Back…”, raising a tendril of smoke resembling an arm, the spirit reached out for the scythe held before it, pausing only at the last moment, “And after?”

“You’ll go back to wherever you came from…you know the rules and you know that I’m pushing them as it is with this. Now touch the scythe before I decide that I really don’t need your help.”

One ethereal hand brushed the wicked blade of Death’s weapon. The instant contact was made, the spirit began to flow like water over the blade, covering the scythe in a glimmering layer. A moment later the shimmering spirit sank into the weapon, disappearing from view. A moment passed before a voice emerged from the weapon, “Well that was interesting.”

Death turned away from the window, which dissolved into the vortex a moment later, and made his way through the shelves of the library, “We’re going to the locations where these sightings were reported. Once we get there you’d better be able to tell me something.”

Again the voice emerged from the scythe, “I can certainly try, that is…er…was my specialty you know. Say…since we’ll be working together do you think you might tell me what I should call you?”

Death paused, “I am Death.”

The voice seemed to carry a hint of annoyance this time, “Yes yes, I know, the Specter of Oblivion and all that, but surely you have a real name of some sort.”

“Perhaps,” Death replied, “but that is not for you to know. Names have power that I am not so willing to give up.”

The voice seemed resigned, “As you wish, Death is just so...”

Glancing at the nearest shelf, Death began to walk again, a grin tugging at one corner of his mouth, “Call me Ishmael if you have to. And you? I suppose I will have to address you by name at some point.”

A moment passed before the voice spoke again, when it did the tone was sarcastic, “Ahab.”

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