Death knocked at my door, but I wouldn't answer. He stood there, quiet and still, kept his hands clasped in front and waited I could clearly see him through the window, his jacket neatly buttoned, and watched as he turned his face to meet mine in the window.
"Hey Chuck. You might as well come out. I can stand here literally forever." Death said to me through smiling lips. "I actually do have all night."
I grimaced and pulled by face back from the window and closed the blinds. Sitting on the floor below the window, I pressed my hot face into my knees. "This can't be right" I thought to myself. "That can't really be Death. I mean, not THE Death..." my thoughts trailed off. I lifted my face and craned my neck to peek outside between the blind and the casing. He was just standing there. Who says Death waits for no one?"There's got to be a way out of this" I thought to myself. "There's got to be..."
The doorbell rang again.
"Chuck. C'mon, This is embarrassing. I've been out here for long enough. You can't get away, and there's no use running."
"What do you want from me?" I bellowed into the empty house. "WHAT?"
"Dude, your soul and all that. I'm fucking Death. What do you think I want, girl scout cookies? Open up and we can get on with it."
I stood up. made my way to the door, and opened it. "What do you want, man?" I asked.
Death reached out and touched my chest. I felt oddly still for a long moment, then realized that my body was lying on the floor at my feet.
"Son of a bitch. I really am dead?" I asked.
Death smiled. "Yeah. That's that. Come on with me" he said grinning.
Death had a really nice car. It was a '29 Rolls, I think, but it was really pristine. It was white, of course. I mean really- if Death was going to drive ANYTHING, wouldn't it be white? What color is "pale" anyway? I looked across the seat at him. He drove, oh fuck, "Casually" is the best I got. He didn't seem interested in slowing down or in avoiding traffic, right? He's Death. right? What's he going to do, die?
"So, where are we going?" I asked intentionally. Death had been pretty quiet since he picked me up. "Like, Purgatory or something?"
"Very Funny. I thought we'd go get some Thai. Are you hungry?" he answered, never turning his gaze.
I considered the question, not really having thought of that. "Fuck, yeah! I'm famished!"
"Good. I know a great place in Trang. We'll be there in no time."
"Trang? Like in Thailand? We're going to drive to fucking Thailand?" I was astonished and disoriented.
"What are you, stupid? You can't drive Thailand. We're gong to take a goddamned plane Like you have to."
""Oh." My face wet a little flat. I felt stupid and childish.
Six hours later, I was pushing the plate away from in front of me. Death was right. It was really good. "So, now what? Are you going to tell me what's next? Seems like there must be a lot of people dying while we cavort around the globe getting lunch, no?" I picked the remains of rice noodles out of my teeth.
"Honestly, when I pulled your name, I had heard you were a little slower than the rest... But you keep making the point, don't you? I'm not the only Death, you know. I'm one of countless beings known as Death. You'll see others in our travels... like that guy over there... watch ...see? Red shirt. Watch the guy across from him in the booth. That what a food poisoning looks like in Thailand..." Death smiled a little, a guilty grin...
The man in the red shirt smiled, then seemed shocked... then his companion reached across the table and touched him in the chest. He fell over immediately, yet, remained seated upright. He looked at me, smiled, waved, and then seemed to realize his situation. Panic crossed his face as his companion stood up and turned to Death. "HEY! How's your guy?" he asked from across the room.
"Dumb as a box of rocks. Yours?" Death answered.
"He just ate 2 servings of fugo and never asked about certifications. Not so bright..."
"Jeesh. See you around." Death waved and stood. "C'mon... let's go."
"Where now?" I was getting tired of the whole thing.
"I've gotta show you a little something in Alaska. We'll take the car." He looked at me and smiled.
"Really?" I smiled back.
"No, Stupid. You can't drive from Thailand to Alaska." He blurted as he turned and shook his head.