Based on the prompt making friends with Death from ysabetwordsmith.
The beach was usually deserted. Caitlyn didn't know whether it was because it was always night there or if there was some other reason. In the short time she'd been dead, although she hated thinking of it as death because she still existed and to her death was the end of existence, she'd realised that very few people seemed to explore. They stuck to the towns, the places that seemed familiar because they were like the places they'd been when they were alive. She didn't because that didn't seem the right thing for her to do. It was like they couldn't let go of the life they'd had while she could.
On her third visit there was someone there. They were stood alone, staring out to the sea, so she contemplated going somewhere else. She didn't want to interrupt if they wanted to be alone because she knew how hard it could be to get any time alone. At the same time she felt like she should go over, even if it was just to check on them.
“It's fine,” a male voice said, just loud enough for her to hear over the waves. “You can stay if you want.”
Slowly she walked over to him. “Who are you?” she asked, glancing at him before looking at the moon.
“I'm Richard,” he replied, not looking at her, “or Death. I don't mind which. Who are you?”
“I'm Caitlyn.” She turned to look at him and couldn't help thinking he seemed a little unimposing to be Death. “You're really Death?”
“Most people run away when I say that.”
“I'm not most people.”
He smiled. “Yes, I am really Death. It's probably more a job title than a name, but a lot of people just call me Death.”
“Where's your scythe?”
“I don't use a scythe. I prefer a sword if I have to use anything.” He raised an eyebrow. “I bet you read Pratchett.”
“Yes, I did, but Death has been pictured with a scythe for centuries.”
“I'm sure one of the Deaths that came before me used a scythe.”
“There were other Deaths?”
“From what I know of the history of this job I'm the twelfth Death or maybe thirteenth. To be honest I wasn't paying a lot of attention when I agreed to this.”
“Maybe you should have.”
He shrugged. “It's really pretty simple. I go where I'm needed to gather souls until the day they call another Death and then I'll decide what to do after that.”
“Isn't it lonely?”
“I'm the personification of the end of life. Of course it's lonely.” He sighed. “When I took this job on I thought it wouldn't be any different to doing any of the other jobs, but most people are scared of me because of what I do.”
“One person out of the thousands here.”
“Isn't one better than none?”
He looked at her for a long time. “I guess it is.” He held his hand out. “Friends?”
She took it and shook it, feeling slightly bemused. “Friends.”
© K A Jones 2011
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.