Angering Death

“Thank you for coming with me, Psiksi…” Tenuk huffed and heaved as he and the little Skyavok climbed the stairs.

“You really think I was going to let you go to Death’s home on your own? In the state you’re in?” Psiksi asked. “Really? Also why are we using this door up here with your special key thing?”

Tenuk grunted. “I like this door. And we don’t want anyone following us.”

The tall, lanky Rethavok pulled out a large collection of keys, with a fluffy blue ball attached to the end. He rummaged through the keys and picked out a silver tea strainer. He tapped it against the door, then opened the door. Rather than walking through into the next room, the door opened up into a rocky, bushy landscape dotted with streams. There a small cottage in the distance, but it looked abandoned.

“Woah…” Psiksi whispered. “This place is so cool.”

“Looks… bare to me…” Tenuk stepped through, pulling Psiksi along with him. The two of them walked swiftly towards the little cottage, not sure what to expect.

“Is it always this… desolate? Last time…”

“No. Not normally!” Tenuk interrupted. As they got closer, Tenuk pulled a small stick from his pocket. Tapping it on the side twice caused it to expand into Tenuk’s signature magic spear, which he could use to both cast spells and to stab people with.

There was a small pool nearby. The water was blue, rather than the pink-tinted streams the two beings had walked through. Lying in it was a familiar black and yellow being.

“Fuck off.”

The Lord of Death was clearly grumpy.

“Are you alright, Arkadin?” Tenuk asked.

“I said fuck off!” Arkadin hissed.

“Can I get in with you?” Psiksi asked. “The water looks lovely.”

Arkadin rolled his eyes. “No. Fuck off, the pair of you. Leave me alone.”

Psiksi ignored Arkadin’s words and sat on the edge of the pool, sticking his legs into the water. “You’re very angry. You want to talk?”

“I want you to fuck off.”

Tenuk grabbed Psiksi’s shoulder and tried to pull him back, but Psiksi remained where he was. “Don’t worry, Tenuk. I got this.” The little Skyavok turned his attention back to the Thantophor, the Bringer of Doom. “You’re upset and you need someone to vent to. I’m all ears, if you want to talk!”

Arkadin kicked his legs, splashing water in Psiksi’s direction. “What part of “fuck off” do you not understand?”

Psiksi kicked some water back, but was careful not to actually splash the Lord of Death. “I know what it means, but clearly you’re in need of something. You’re upset and you’re-”

“I’m not doing my job because everyone keeps on telling me not to, and for once I am listening to them!” Arkadin roared as he stood upright, his anger flowing off him in waves of black energy. The water in the pool began to heat up, making Psiksi climb out of the water. “For fourteen billion years, I have had mortal and deity alike berate me for doing my godly duties, and the moment I actually do as they ask, I get little idiots like you coming back and begging me to just make them not die! It is all or nothing! Either everything dies or fucking nothing dies!”

Psiksi hesitated. “Uh, actually, I was going to ask if you knew why no one could eat anything.”

The Thantophor growled as he levitated out of the pool and landed next to Psiksi. “You know that death is more than just sentient life dying, right? Your stomachs can’t break things down. The bacteria in your gut can’t break things down, and old bacteria and cells aren’t dying. Within a week, you will all turn into cancerous growths. At least, moreso than you all already are.”

Psiksi glanced at Tenuk, then back at the Lord of Death. “That was harsh.”

“That’s what happens when there’s no death. Nothing works. Nothing decays. Nothing breaks down. Resources are used up and cells keep on multiplying endlessly. This is what everyone has been begging me to do, to stop doing my duty, but no one realised what the end result would be. But this is what you all wanted. Not what I want.”

Arkadin stomped past, heading back to his house. Psiksi decided to do something insane and grab the Death God by the tail, stopping him from doing so.

“Psiksi, please…” Arkadin sighed as he looked down. “Please do not make me hurt you.”

“What can I bring you to get you to change your mind and start doing deathy things again?” Psiksi asked with a smile.

Arkadin sighed. “Come inside. I’ll tell you…”