The hound that he could touch. The only thing “ALIVE” in his reach. The movement of the hound only was matched by the wind. The wind Death was certain was trying to spy on him as it carried his looming messages to those around. By the scent of him, the sound of him (or lack thereof)… what a deceitful wind. Death didn’t like it. There were times he thought it was funny, but right now he had taken himself out of the mood by paying attention to the few things he had to him.
Pup would have had his tongue lolling out of his mouth if he had had a tongue.
“You probably wish I gave you one of those, don’t you?” Death reached inside of Pup’s mouth, wrapping his fingers around a tooth and pretending to wiggle it.
The rest of the hound’s body thrashed, though his face remained still. Death scratched at the roof of his mouth, causing a shiver to run up Pup’s spine – something that was obvious when no flesh concealed the bone. Death blew a breath into his mouth and pulled back in time for the hound to sneeze.
“You don’t have anything that would allow you to do that, you weirdo,” he told his hound.
Death was done here and there was always more to do, but sometimes he couldn’t be bothered to be prompt. Not when he knew the inevitable. He would keep doing as he wished, but in his own way. He moved on from this battlefield to the next bunch of dying that he would save from their twisted torment.
The blade hit the skull and it went flying off into the distance. Death watched as his hound chased after the bone, catching it miles away. He chuckled, moving over the muck of the swamp as it tried to collect the rest of the bodies before Death could have fun with them. Well, the suffering was over. At least, the suffering of those he had come to collect.
Even the plants that lived in this swamp, the insects which couldn’t get far enough away, the frogs who had been injured by what had transpired here… they would come to him, in their own ways, as their bodies failed them and their lives came to an end. So simple. So artificial. They didn’t last very long. They never did.
Pup came back to him, tail flinging itself every which way, happily bringing back the skull. It was slimed, swamp slime, and Death tried to take a step back as Pup dropped it on his head, but he still got it all over his robes. He made a face, then ignored it to reach up for the large hound’s jaw.
With a big huff, Pup lay down to allow Death a good access to scratch at his jaw. Then he became impatient and flipped onto his back, showering the air with muck and exposing mud and blood which lay upon his bones. Death rubbed his stomach, what the hound obviously wanted. Then he leaned against one of his ribs, cleaning off the already clean head of his scythe. He didn’t want anything on it when it went to storage with the rest of his scythes.
Though if anyone realized he had more than one, well, he would have to deny it. Death only came in one form, after all.
Pup lowered his chest to the ground, back legs still vertical as his tail whipped back and forth, slamming into the well entrenched giants of the jungle. The force may have rocked the canopy above, but at their roots they remained still. Those that could move away from the vicinity did. Just as well, Pup wasn’t interested in playing with them. Mostly because they weren’t interested in the first place. If others had been interested, well of course Pup would want to play with them. It was what he liked doing most.
The creature slithered forward on hundreds of thin, synchronized legs. It pulled its front end up and back, creating a general S-shape with its body. The front end opened up, a large gaping hole with teeth inside, shrieking at the both of them.
The hound barked once, twice, in response.
Forgiveness wasn’t sure the creature wanted to play. They warned Pup not to put his hopes up, but he was already in the moment. It wasn’t often that a creature so far away from his master’s domain simply strode right up to him. He usually had to preempt any sort of communication. He liked this.
At least, he liked it until the creature struck. The hound jumped out of the way, all play, but the creature slithered up and around him, trying to hold him down while also trying to slip Forgiveness into their mouth.
Pup batted it aside. That wasn’t allowed. He might put the angel in his mouth, but that was different. Other people weren’t allowed to do that. Forgiveness was his friend.
“How do they play together?” the Keeper demanded of me.
I murmured a quick thanks for the conversation before moving myself closer to the Keeper. We spent half an hour with the devices. This would hopefully keep the Keeper occupied, on and off, for the next several days. Weeks. Months. However long it would be.
“What did you do during school today?” the Keeper went on to ask.
I answered the question with as much detail as I could muster. I wasn’t fond of school, especially now. However, it was unfair to keep it from the Keeper, who obviously craved for that time. We moved away from the table in the centre of the chamber (remembering to take my bag) to the corner of the room where the Keeper kept all of their belongings. Shelving which had been emptied from the books which remained in here to in turn be filled with the trinkets from life before and the life during. As always, I could see each of the gifts I had brought them in the forefront. The newer, the more accessible.
When I was in fifth grade, I played Death in a school play. I brought home my script and showed my mother.
She winced. “Have… have any of them ever heard Death speak?”
I frowned. “Do you think he’d be offended?”
“No. He doesn’t usually bother getting offended.” My mother bought her lower lip. “It just… doesn’t sound like him. At all.”
I had wanted to invite him, because I thought he would find my portrayal of him funny. “Boo.”
“Is this script set in stone?”
“It’s that bad?” I thought about Death. Even I knew it was that bad. “I can totally own he. He’ll find it hilarious.”
My mother wasn’t sure, but I figured I knew Death a little better. He’d find it funny. I didn’t think he had ever said “forsooth” before in his life.
So I’d say it often.