The wind was howling, the grass was shaking and the trees were blowing around, but the skies were perfectly clear, filled with endless sparkling stars. The stars were the only thing lighting the path towards Death’s little cottage home.
“It’s not normally this dark…” Kohra muttered, shifting a heavy bag across his shoulders. “This is kinda weird…”
The cottage itself was mostly dark, apart from a light that could be seen from one small window, the flickers and glimmers of a television screen. Everything else felt dark and scary, but also somewhat homely too, as if the place had fallen on hard times.
Kohra finally reached the house. Everything seemed locked up, but one of the patio doors was open, just a crack. He could feel a lot of heat emanating out, even through that tiny gap. After a brief hint of hesitation, Kohra slid the door and the fly screen behind it open, and slipped inside.
“I thought I told you I wanted to… Oh. Hello Kohra.”
The Lord of Death sat on a comfy armchair, wrapped up in blankets, watching whatever it was he was watching. By his side was a small coffee table with a large number of empty cans on it, and several half-empty bowls of sweets.
“Hello, Lord Arkadin, I thought we were going to do baking today?”
Arkadin shrugged. “Don’t feel like it.”
“I’ve had a bad day.”
Kohra glanced around the room as Arkadin opened another can of drink. It smelled like some sort of energy drink, sickly and artificially sweet. The kitchen was completely dark apart from a light on the fridge and on the oven. The windows were all shut. The dining table was empty aside from a pad of paper and a couple of pencils. Everything looked way sadder than it should have been.
“Do you want to talk about it?” Kohra asked.
“Talk about what?”
“Your bad day, of course!”
Arkadin shuffled in his chair, adjusting his position. His eyes were fixated on the screen. It was clearly some sort of action film with explosions, but Kohra couldn’t quite tell what species had made it. Something about massive mutated bread or something? Kohra wasn’t sure.
“Well… I don’t see why not…” Arkadin finally spoke. “No one really asked me how my days go anyway. Half the time I don’t even know if it’s a day or not. How long is the average day, twenty hours?”
“Twenty four hours where I live…” Kohra pulled up a chair and sat down next to Arkadin, somewhat envious of his comfy armchair. “It’s weird getting used to that, days back at home were always forty eight hours. Long days and short years… So, about your day…” Kohra changed the subject. “Why was it bad?”
“Because I’m pretty sure my siblings tried to drug me and kill me again.”
“Oh…” Kohra didn’t have a response for that.
“It’s fine. They do it regularly. I also have a plague I need to deal with over the next month or so. They’re never fun to deal with.”
“Your siblings regularly try to kill you?” Kohra blinked.
“Yeah. You want a drink?” Arkadin felt slightly less annoyed now. Kohra’s presence always cheered him up. “I got some nice Kronospast tea if you want it.”
“I’ll sort myself out,” Kohra smiled as he got up and wandered into the kitchen. “But seriously, they’re like that? Don’t they understand…”
“That I’m Death and Entropy? Of course. Doesn’t stop them from trying… You see, I’m hated so much that even my siblings want me dead… But…” Arkadin paused. “That isn’t what’s bothering me…”
“Then what is?”
The Lord of Death took a deep breath. “I’m too nice for this universe. According to the others. I’m not evil enough…”
Kohra sat back down with his cup of tea, with five sugars in it. He was trying to cut down, normally he’d have ten or so. “You’re not… evil enough?”
“What does that even mean?”
Arkadin shrugged. “I really don’t know. I’m supposed to be a bad guy for everyone to rally against, and here I am sitting at home, watching TV, talking things out. Even been considering expanding my horizons a little bit, making some more friends and stuff…”
Kohra was confused. “I don’t follow.”
“I’m not a crazy evil warlord cackling away in a castle surrounded by storms and lightning, like a Death God normally does. I’m just a god who cares about his duties and his underlings. I care a lot about all you mortals. I take no real pleasure in your deaths. I never wanted to be a bad guy…”
“Then don’t be a bad guy?” Kohra was still really confused but decided to go with it. “Why not just do what you want to do?”
Arkadin tutted. “Then my siblings will continue to hate me.”
“Why do you care what they think? They don’t care about what you think.”
The Thantophor stared at Kohra. “You know what? You’re right. I shouldn’t care what they think!” With a little smile, Arkadin threw a couple of cushions and blankets at Kohra. “Come on, make yourself comfy. Come watch some movies with me.”
“Sure,” Kohra shrugged. “I haven’t got anything else to do…”