|Welcome back, my pretties
October 8 2001 at 11:24 AM
|Harbinger of Death
|“I want starch this time,” said the
Harbinger of Death. “It’ll be my first appearance this year and I want
to look really crisp and classy.”
“Of course, sir,” said the clerk at the Incarnations Dry Cleaners. “And I hear the blacksmith is having a pre-season special, if you’d like to get your scythe sharpened.”
“Oh, is he?” asked the Harbinger brightly. “I’ll check that out, thanks.”
“Any time, sir.” She smiled at him, and tried to maintain prolonged eye contact with him as she gave him his ticket. It was difficult to do, since he had no eyes, just empty sockets in his skull, but hey, it was worth a try. She had a thing for powerful men. And how can you get more powerful than the Grim Reaper?
Harbinger took his ticket and headed down to the blacksmith. “I need it especially sharp,” he told the burly, sweaty man as he handed over the scythe.
“Who’s your first victim this year?” asked the blacksmith. “Anybody I know?”
“Starting with the Debaucherettes this year.”
“Ah! Then I’ll get out the best millstone I’ve got. And I’ll even toss in a couple of throwing stars, on the house.”
“Oh, how kind of you. I take it you have no love for the Debs.”
“That’s just it, I’ve had plenty of love for them, but they never want it. Always runnin’ after them heroes.” He snorted. “I’m just as good as they are!”
The Harbinger eyed the man’s pot belly and multiple chins, puffy eyes and yellow, crooked teeth. “Of course,” said Harbinger politely. “I’ll be back for the scythe this afternoon.”
“You got it.” The blacksmith went to work on the blade, sparks flying.
“What on earth are you doing?” asked Raindrop.
“Nunnayerbizness.” Aeaea didn’t look up.
“Do you really think that’s going to help?” said Shoshana. “You know he isn’t stopped by anything mortal.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” said Aeaea airily.
“Me neither,” said Raindrop. “What are you talking about?”
“She’s talking about the Harbinger,” said aneXa. “And she’s right. That won’t work.” She pointed to Aeaea’s stock of arrows and daggers.
“Work for what?” asked Raindrop.
“It might not, but it’ll give me a little time!”
“Time for what?”
“It doesn’t matter if you have time. He’ll get you anyway.”
“But if I keep him at bay, I might be able to escape, and put it off.”
“Put what off?”
“Don’t even bother! Might as well get it overwith!”
“WHAT? Get WHAT overwith??” Raindrop stamped her feet and hollered to get their attention. The other girls looked at her.
“Well, he’s coming, and Aeaea is trying to defend herself against him,” said aneXa. “And it is so pointless.”
“Resistance is futile,” Shoshana agreed.
“Would you please tell me who ‘he’ is?” Raindrop sighed.
“I believe they’re speaking of me,” said a voice, and they turned to the sound. There he stood, the Harbinger of Death, in a crisp black cloak, holding a really really sharp scythe.
“Uhhh….” said Raindrop, her eyes as big as saucers.
“So you can put me off, eh, Aeaea?” He sounded amused.
“Well, you know, I just…um…” She shifted uncomfortably. “Well, last year it hurt, that’s all!”
“I think I know how best to claim you this year.” He waved his hands and they became four chickens, clucking and pecking.
“Coming,” said Falafel, answering the knock at his kitchen door. “Hm, what’s this?” He opened the door but no one was there. Instead, a burlap sack was at the step. A note on it said, “Dinner is served.” Falafel opened the sack, and inside were four wide-eyed hens.
“Ah! Perfect! I was just looking for something to add into my Peach Curry Soup.” He took them out to the chopping block in the yard, where four THUNKs were heard, one after the other. Soon, four headless chickens hung from the line, so their blood would drain and they could become Peach Chicken Curry Soup.