William went to bed with a heavy stomach, and awoke with a heavy head. Every movement sent a jolt of pain throughout his body as he carefully dragged his aching body out of bed. He hadn’t even opened his eyes by this point, and when he did he was horrified by what he saw. Looming over him, like a statue, was a darkly swathed and skeletal form robed entirely in black and in its left hand, brandished like a badge of office was a long and withered scythe.
"Hello William…" The figure said in a low and unhealthy voice.
"You’re…" William stammered in shock.
"Death, yes." The reaper said grimly. "And before you ask, yes you did drink that much last night. You’re friend drank more."
"Going to save him for later then? Let him sleep it off a bit more." William mocked, unsure how to face the situation.
"Very humorous." Death said, showing no sign of emotion in his voice.
"I thought so."
"Don’t mock me; it’s not as if it’s easy being the angel of death." He said sadly.
"I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to offend you… Death." William apologised, confused.
"Hm, it’s alright, it’s just been a long night. As you can imagine reaping the souls of the dead can be a stressful and unsatisfying job."
"Yes, it must be. Especially doing it since the dawn of time." William said, irritating the angel of death.
"Don’t remind me. I mean, I never get any praise for what I do. None. Instead children dress up as me in order to frighten each other and they think it’s all very funny, well I don’t. Frankly, it’s all rather depressing." Death slumped into the chair and placed a skeletal hand at his pallid, skeletal forehead removing small patches of emaciated skin as he rubbed his temples. He didn’t quite have a body or face; instead his form was created by the black robe. But he did possess a face and hands of sorts, which were just the base forms of the skeleton but with small scraps of beige skin hanging subtly on to them.
William rubbed his eyes, wondering to himself what on earth was going on. He looked at the distressed form of death in his chair, at his desk. All bone and teeth, He had no eyes and yet William could sense his gaze though it was like the feeling of being watched from somewhere unknown despite the fact that the gaze belonged to the figure in front of him. "People don’t respect me, they either quake in fear or say: ‘hey, death, fancy a game of chess.’ It’s just not funny at all. I’m tired of it all, and ironically I can’t even kill myself!"
William tried to say something, but was cut off by the grim reaper.
"It’s always God this, devil that. They don’t do even anything they sit around bickering with each other, impregnating virgins and torturing the damned. It’s all fun and games to them. It’s people like me that do all the real work."
"People?" William questioned, looking at the inhuman form in front of him.
"You know what I mean." Death said, frustrated.
"Do you know how hard it is to constantly be around death?"
"Can’t say I do… Getting an idea though, seems pretty depressing." William said, subtly referencing to Death’s presence.
"It is!" He lamented, "Do you know how impossible it is to get a girlfriend?"
"A girlfriend?" William stared unconvinced at the deathly figure and sensed a flash of anger in him and returned to humouring him. "I really couldn’t imagine…"
"It’s not possible; no one wants to be with this." Death briefly waved a hand in front of his face, motioning to William to look at it. "But then, you’d know all about being lonely."
"I don’t really think, given what you’ve told me, you’re in the position to mock me." William said, in the midst of thinking of the girl and being entirely frightened.
"And I don’t think it’s your place to tell me what my position is." Death said angrily.
"It seems to me, that you just need a hug." William mocked.
"I can’t even have that, whoever I touch dies!"
"Well that would be a problem…" William rolled his eyes in frustration, he had enough to worry about without having a suicidal angel of death sitting at his desk. "Why exactly are you here?" William finally asked. "What do you want? I don’t have a chessboard I’m afraid."
"Funny…" Death said sarcastically.
"For an angel of death you have an impressive grasp of emotion."
"I know, it’s damn unappealing to people. No girls want to go out with a depressed, skeletal moron who sounds like Darth Vader."
"Oh, lovely reference to Star Wars." William encouraged.
"Thanks, after an eternity of deathly pursuits one can really become rather hip. I’m pretty down with the kid these days."
"Well the reference is a couple of decades late in pop culture terms, but still modern enough I guess."
"Well better than a Shakespeare reference."
"That wouldn’t have gone down well, no, you’re correct." William said, beginning to enjoy goading him.
"Now he was a boring man to reap, he had me speaking in rhyme for almost fifty years." Death complained.
"Yes it was." Death said, "Thank you for your time, but now I need to do something…" William looked at the figure bemused, gently Death placed a finger on William’s arm.
William awoke with a start, launching upright in his bed and then clutching his head in agony. Realising that the pain he had dreamt was lovely compared to the pain that gripped him now. "What a weird dream, I shouldn’t drink ever again." He sighed to himself, putting a hand over his eyes to try and relieve some of the pain. "Jesus Christ." He cursed, opening an eye and looking down the bed just to make sure He wasn’t sitting at the foot of it, wanting a chat.