Sam Shotter hurried along the wharf, fully aware of the looming grey clouds in the sky. The crates piled up haphazardly on either side made it more difficult to navigate and he cursed the day-sailors who left them there. He turned right and was forced to slow down as he encountered a maze of the blasted crates. A slight movement to his right caught his attention and Sam almost ignored it, thinking it was loose tarp.
He stopped, it can’t be him, can it? He shook his head slightly. No, the voice is different. Human. Nevertheless, his hand fell to his jacket pocket where he kept his taser. “Do I know you?”
Sam’s mouth dried and summoning his courage, he straightened and said: “Well then, show yourself.”
The stranger stepped forward and Sam’s scream fell silently from his lips.
Even with the reflected light of the moon and stars, the shadow writhed around the stranger. The only discernable feature was the double rows of perfect, white teeth. The eyes were nowhere to be seen.
“B-but I thought you said-” He cursed himself. When dealing with such creatures, showing fear is an invitation to attack.
The teeth smiled, “Everyone and no one knows me.”
“Wh-what does that mean?” By now, a deathly cold has settled on him and the grey clouds do not seem to hold the same importance as it did before.
“Do you know who I am?”
“N-no.” He started to shiver violently. He was only standing because his muscles had locked in place.
“Ah, but you do. Perhaps you will know if I ask you this. What am I?”
It was obvious. “Death.” His body stopped shivering and the cold leaked steadily into his veins.
“Yessss.” Death hissed, apparently delighted. He stepped closer. Sam’s hand slackened, falling from his pocket to hang limply by his side.
“You know me and yet you don’t. You know what to call me and yet you do not know my name.” Death paused, head cocked.
He sighed. He raised his arm and Death’s sleeve fell away to reveal a skeletal hand. When his voice spoke again, it had turned rusty and coarse.
“But it’s too bad. You are interesting, Sam Shotter. I haven’t had anyone answer me in a long time. Perhaps it’s because you’ve met some of our kind. And perhaps you can tell me more from where you’re going to. Say goodbye!”
Death’s hand closed around a wisp of his Shadow and it pulled into the shape of his infamous scythe. The last thing Sam saw was a grinning skull.
Death nudged Sam’s body. He didn’t stir. Death sighed again. What did he expect? After all, his law is absolute. It was too bad Sam was a liar and a thief. When dealing with such creatures, death is the most fitting punishment. Death almost chuckled. He had lied, too. Not even Death could exist in oblivion. His hand released the shadowy form of his scythe and it redissolved into the Shadow. Between one blink and the next, Death had gone to meet his next client. Sam would be found when the first hungover sailors trickle in to take their posts. But for now, the grey clouds would allow his body several more hours of rest.