Tale: Tea with Death 4

“Wow, you look really bloody depressed today, Tenuk!” Death waved the lanky Rethan towards her, before disappearing behind a curtain of shadows and smoke. She was clearly trying to be suggestive but it wasn’t working.

“You know exactly why I am depressed, Death!” Tenuk sighed. “What in the name of the Li-”

Tenuk paused. He needed to rethink his words. Death giggled as she swirled past the curtain and into his arms. Not thinking straight, Tenuk pushed Death away, then realised what he’d done and fell to his knees.

“I-I’m sorry, I s-shouldn’t have done that…”

Death picked herself up, still giggling. “Oh, I understand. You’re a silly little thing. A Deitic with a concept of me. So cute. So adorable. So silly. Why you upset?”

“Y-you know… I should just leave…”

Death grabbed Tenuk by the shoulder, refusing to let him go. “But I haven’t offered you a drink yet! Come, I am not angry, I love having you here. Sit down!” Death continued to giggle as she span Tenuk around and threw him into a chair. “Talk.”

Tenuk hesitated for a second, before deciding to get it all over with. “The last Rethavok village was burnt down today. I tried to save them but the Anthrakopes drove me away. I was too late…” Tenuk put his head in his long, clawed hands. He was crying, he didn’t care if Death saw. “My homekind are extinct!”

Death patted Tenuk on the shoulder. She still hadn’t let go of him. With a whistle, she called for someone to bring them some drinks. “There there, Tenuk. You knew they’d disappear some day. Funny little creatures lived for a very long time considering. 275 million years is a really good amount of time for a sentient race, few make it past the one million mark before fading back into the Cycle!”

Tenuk sniffed and reached for his handkerchief. “I know, I know… Could they have not gone out peacefully though?”

“They never do. The Anthrakopes will all be massacred, if that makes you feel better.”

“Not really…”

Death finally let go of Tenuk as the drinks had arrived. They were brought in by a beautiful gold and purple Veth. Death winked at the Veth as it turned to leave. “Thank you, Retvik.”

The Veth nodded back and disappeared. Tenuk sat up, in shock.

“That’s just adding insult to injury, Death!”

Death shrugged. “Sorry, Tenuk. He always brings the tea.”

“You have one of the most powerful and famous Rethans of history serving you tea?”

“Hehe, yeah, funny, right? Also a pretty high rank for Veth. I see him daily. I see his little brothers too.”

Tenuk blinked. “You said Rethais didn-”

“I meant your Dessaron buddies!” Death interrupted. “All Dessaron end up here. Even that insane Thrope Dessaron thing. Even though there were six of them. Still, they were cool. Made somewhat mediocre Veth though, just ain’t as predatorial as other Veth!”

“You see Elksia a lot?” Tenuk asked.

Death nodded. “Arkay and Teekay too. That was an interesting little session, that pair refuse to be separated. Thought that was rare, but these days most Veth want to cuddle up with a partner and I don’t get why.”

Tenuk sighed. The drink Retvik had brought looked exactly like honeymead, and smelled like honeymead too. Tenuk glanced at Death.


“Is there anything in this? Some quick way to kill me and snatch me away?”

Death pulled a funny look. “No, of course not. You know I don’t take people before their time.”

“This might be my time…”

“It isn’t.”

Tenuk glanced at Death, then at his drink, then back at Death. Finally, he took a sip of the drink and immediately spat it out. It didn’t taste like honeymead. Death continued her funny look.


“If that was honeymead, I’m a Banikan’s aunt!” Tenuk wiped his face. “What was that?”

Death blinked. “Honey and water and absinthe. That is how you make mead, right?”

Tenuk sighed. “No.”

“How then?”

“I don’t know. Not off the top of my head.”

Death smiled. “Well, that’s okay. Next time you come, bring me a recipe and I’ll make you some proper mead. And maybe some cookies too!”

Tenuk winced at the idea, but tried to hide it. He really wasn’t in the mood to be discussing all of this. The only reason he was here was because he wanted to watch the last few Rethavok fade down the river of Kinigi. Death could feel Tenuk’s emotions and decided to leave him to it.

“I forget that you have feelings and stuff. You don’t need to stay. We can chat later. Maybe cuddle a little. That’d be nice, right?”

“I guess. Thank you for the, uh, hospitality…” Tenuk sighed as he headed off.

“No worries, little one. Love you!” Death waved, still grinning.

This story is set approximately 10,000 years after being published.