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Courting Death

by on May 27, 2014

Rain had planned to follow Hadley right into hell, she really had. But when she stepped forward into the doorway through which she had pushed Hadley, she felt as if she had slammed against a brick wall. Quite suddenly she found herself standing back in the open, five feet away from the door. She tried again, getting a running start and throwing herself forward. Wham. Again she was outside.  “Okay,” she said to Milroy Birnbaum, “what’s the deal?”

“I told you, that doorway allows any living soul to enter hell,” Milroy said. “Figured you’d know that didn’t mean you. Being Death and all.”

“You could have told me that before I pushed her in,” Rain shot back. “What if she needs help? She wasn’t supposed to go in there alone.”

“Can’t you get in anyway? You’re Death. Perks of the job, right?”

“Yeah. I’ve never actually been down there, though. I just send people there, I don’t follow them.”   She raised her hand. “Might as well try, though.”

“Erm, before you go, I was wondering….”  Milroy coughed nervously. It wasn’t often that a god of war, even a minor one, looked nervous.

“What?” Rain said, not really paying attention. She had already moved on to working out where in hell she needed to transport herself.

“I know it’s a bad time, but I didn’t have the chance before and….ah, forget it.”

Rain looked impatiently at him. “Just tell me, would you? And hurry. There’s not much time.”

“Fine. You doing anything Friday night?”

The incarnation of Death blinked. “I beg your pardon?”

“Are you doing anything Friday night?” Milroy repeated. “I got tickets to that Novaball game near the black hole in the Phoenix Cluster. Thought you might wanna go.”

“Are you asking me out on a date?” Rain said. “Here. Now. At the doorway to hell. Right when I’m about to go down there myself. And you’re asking me out on a date. ”

Milroy shrugged. “It’s not a date. It’s just you and me, as friends, watching the game.”

“It’s two people doing a social activity together. It’s a date.”

“Whatever,” the god of war, 32nd precinct, said. “Look, if you don’t want to go…”

Rain considered. It had been a long time since she’d been in a relationship. Being Death tended to scare people off. She hadn’t been all that social even before she had become Death. There was William, of course. But he was fighting in a rebellion on her home planet.  She hadn’t seen him since her new career, and she didn’t much want to. In her line of work, if she saw William again it would probably be for business reasons, and Rain couldn’t bear that. She had to get away from this train of thought, and fast. Memories were coming back, of William, and the volcano, and what she had done, and her sister….

“Yeah. Friday. The Novaball game. Why not?”

“Fine,” Milroy said. “The game starts at 8 standard. Pick you up at 7?”

“Let’s just meet there.  I don’t know where I’ll be then. People could be dying. You never know.”

“Fair enough.”  Milroy hesitated. “So, after the game…”

Rain rolled her eyes. “Why don’t we just play that by ear, okay?”

Milroy nodded. “Yeah. Your call.”

“Right,” said Rain. “Now that we’ve got that settled…”  She waved her hand and vanished in a blur of shadow.  When things cleared up again, Rain found herself standing before an inky black river, with an ancient ferry tied up near the shore. An old man with an incredibly unkempt beard clung to a long ferrypole with one hand, while he waved towards her with the other. Rain almost turned back. She didn’t want to be in hell at all, really, especially now that she had a date for Friday. But if she didn’t go forward, she’d have to explain why to Milroy, and she’d never forgive herself for abandoning Hadley anyway. So, she never looked back, she just kept walking.


For Hadley’s previous adventures, go here. Thanks for reading!

  1. Oh yes oh yes – that was wonderful – death and hell and dates – applauding wildly – excellent job

    • You know, “Death and Hell and Dates” would be a really good book title…if I write a story with that title, I shall credit you. 😀

      • thank you – I’m good at titles – plots not so much – but really that title is too long

  2. Haha… the god of war has a date with death – good one! It seems death has somewhat of a conscience. I never expected that so I’m not sure what to do with the info 🙂

    • Well, in all honesty, who else is the god of war going to date? I’d imagine being the god of war might hinder one’s romantic prospects with most people. 🙂

  3. Killer story. Absolutely one of the best. Imagine if the god of war and Death procreate…dang, huh?
    Nice job!

  4. Goodness, I hadn’t even thought about kids yet. As the old saying goes, first comes love, then comes marriage….

  5. I haven’t visited you much lately! That sucks for me. 😛 I need to get caught up on what you’ve been writing of late.

  6. War and Death – sounds like a match made in hell. 😉 I’m glad to hear Rain is going to find Hadley. I wouldn’t want to be left to traverse hell by myself either.

    • True. Not even Dante went to hell all by himself: he had Virgil the philosopher. Because there’s nothing like going through hell with a trusty philosopher by your side.

  7. It’s been too long since I’ve been to a good Novaball game. Great serial and each installment gets better. Thanks

  8. A date with Death… not too sure I’d be pursuing that one.

    • The date might not be so bad; it’s the break-ups that would be killer (so to speak).

  9. I think this might be my favourite instalment so far. The dialogue really makes it very amusing. And I like that maybe you’ve set up a future instalment to explain about Death and William, the volcano and the sister.

  10. Now that is creative! Imagine the god of war having a date with death. Brilliant imagination you have there!

  11. Another great instalment. Enjoyed this 🙂

  12. Meg permalink

    I don’t know how you manage to maintain a running story with different prompts but you do it so well. Your characters are so lovable and human despite being Death and the God of War. The humor is so natural, kind of like Buffy or Dr. Who.

    • You’re too kind. 🙂 Coincidentally, I only recently started watching Dr. Who, and I love it so far. I have seen all of Buffy (though not Angel yet), so my nerd credentials are still intact there…

      • Meg permalink

        So you know that was a high nerd compliment I gave you! 😉 Dr. Who is brilliantly written. Just watch out for the weeping angels!

      • They can’t be worse than the Daleks. Those little pepperpots are psychotic. Especially when they can elevate.

      • Meg permalink

        Hah! Pepperpots!

  13. Rain has a date! This made me happy 😄

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