Tale: Tea with Death 14

Tenuk’s first step into Death’s home left him with something warm and sticky on his feet. He didn’t know what it was, but it was horrible. The rest of the room he’d just entered was in a similar state, all covered in a strange, off-white liquid, dripping down the walls and covering the floor.

Not wanting to tread further into the disgusting mess, Tenuk lingered by the doorway, waiting for Death to show up.

“Hai, Tenuk…” Death finally appeared from behind a kitchen counter, covered in the off-white gunk. A Veth, also coated, shuddered and shook itself down, before rushing out past Tenuk, off towards the vast plains of Kinigi

“Did I… catch you at a bad moment?” Tenuk hesitated.

Death glanced around, realising what Tenuk was referring to, before realising that it looked way worse than it was. “Oh, no, not at all.”

“Were you…” Tenuk considered continuing his sentence but changed his mind.

“I was not fucking that Veth, if that is what you’re considering to ask me. I’m a messy little six-dimensional being but I’m not THIS bad!” Death took a moment to lick her long, clawed fingers. “Mm. Not bad. Could do with some salt.”

“Looks like something blew up in here!” Tenuk tutted, still standing in the doorway. “What in the name of existence happened?”

Once she’d finished licking her fingers, Death looked around for something to sit on. She licked a patch of kitchen counter clean with her tongue then sat on that. Then Death started licking the liquid off the rest of her body. “Oh, nothing.”

“This clearly isn’t nothing.”

Death shrugged. “It’s pretty normal, for Kinigi’s standards.”

“No, it’s not.”

“Okay, fine!” Death pouted. “I had a bit of a soup rupture! Okay?”

“You mean soul rupture?”


Tenuk surveyed the room again. He’d stepped in soup. That explained why there was that lingering smell of poultry and cream. But he couldn’t work out for the life of him how Death had managed to make such a mess.

“H-how did you manage to get it everywhere?”

Death grinned and stopped licking herself. She reached round behind the kitchen counter and pulled up a 50 litre can of cream of chicken soup. “A ship of humans crashed into the River Entrance yesterday. All the crew were dead and they all went down the river fine. I got my Veth to dismantle the ship and send it back, and they pulled out so many cans of processed and sealed food. All perfectly edible. Told the Veth they could have whatever they wanted, as long as I got all the tea, coffee and soup.”

Tenuk blinked. “That doesn’t explain how you got soup on the ceiling. There is soup on the ceiling, Death.”

Death glanced upwards, then looked back at Tenuk. “That’s actually kinda impressive of me.”

“I’m not clearing it up!” Tenuk sneered.

“Don’t expect you to. I’ll get some Veth in to clear it up or something. Can’t wait for your little friend Retvik to die, so I can get someone who will teach me how to cook soup from a tin… This story’s set, what, 200 years after our first meeting? I don’t think it will be much longer…”

“You are going to make Retvik into your personal chef?”

“Chef, secretary, organiser, all sorts. He’s going to be my right-hand Veth. He’ll be awesome. And he’ll make me soup without blowing it up.”

“Gee, I’m sure Retvik will be thrilled when I tell him…” It suddenly occurred to Tenuk what Death had done. “Did you try and heat the tin of soup without taking the lid off first?”

“Yep!” Death smirked. “Now now, Tenuk, you should head off. Don’t want the Veth getting confused when I call them in to clear this mess up!”

Tenuk sighed. “Very well. See you next week.”

“You too, dear!”