The usual Disclaimers apply to this story.
What happens on death's day off? To find out cast your eyes down below and read on.
David Nearly 13
He threw back his cowl and looked at the face that stared back at him
The empty sockets for eyes, the hole for a nose and the hideous grin for a mouth that made even him turn his head in revulsion.
Lifting his bony hand he passed it over the mirror and the face changed. He looked again at the reflection and the transformation of the image that stared back at him. It was to his liking. The face he looked at was of a young black haired man, with vivid green eyes, his lips which were full were of the lightest pink; his complexion was so fair that it made his features even more striking. He sighed with pleasure at his appearance and stripped away his black cloak and threw it to the ground then stared at the rest of his body and was pleased at the result.
He donned his 21st century apparel and Death transported himself to his favourite site on the planet far away from the mortals that he had moved amongst for the last one hundred years, where he could relax and let what had passed before be but a faint memory for this one day of rest.
He could have selected any one of an infinite number of planets to spend his day of rest, but this particular planet that he worked was to him one of the best that the boss had created he'd really gone out on a limb when creating it, so why not spend your day off at home.
The site had changed over the century, now where he lay he could gaze up into an azure sky with nothing to cloud his view. The last time he lay here there was no sky to be seen only the green canopy provided by the trees that had surrounded him, now the only trees in sight were a bit further up stream.
He wished for nothing more than to be on his own on this one day of respite from his involvement with the human race.
He saw enough of them on his daily excursions, from the very young a few seconds old, to those wrinkled and toothless patiently waiting for him to appear, the obese and malnourished, the rich, and the poor. He was not prejudiced in his choice of victims he embraced them all into his arms as he sucked the life force from their bodies leaving an empty carcass for the bereaved to deal with.
As he lay on the banks of the river he closed his eyes and let the warmth of the sun play over his being and indulge himself in a bit of thought free relaxation.
His mind floated in a void completely at rest with no thoughts coursing through it. He would stay like this till it was time for him to return to his calling.
He was jolted from his solitary tranquillity by a sudden scream. He opened his eyes lifted his head and looked in the direction from where the sound had come.
He could see a person splashing in the water. Looking closer it seemed to be a young boy struggling to stay afloat. The boy went under and he didn't move to assist him, instead he looked around expecting to see his stand-in for the day appear but no apparition was forthcoming.
"Seems like the boy is not wanted yet," he thought, "I wonder where his rescuer is," suddenly he heard a laugh from above and he groaned.
"Damn! The boss has a wicked sense of humour," he mumbled. He thought about walking over to the boy and pulling him out of the water but decided against it, he didn't want to have to answer awkward questions if any other humans in the vicinity saw him. Instead he divested himself of his outer garments and dived into the river. A few powerful strokes assisted by his mind brought him alongside the struggling boy. He wrapped an arm around him and within seconds had them both lying on the river bank. He turned the boy onto his stomach then placing his hand on the youth's back pumped the water from his lungs. The boy spluttered as the water was expelled from his body and shortly he groggily sat up.
"Thanks mister I thought I was going to die back there."
He looked at the mortal that he'd pulled from the river and inwardly smiled thinking of the irony of it, Death saving a human's life that one day he would have to claim. His thoughts were invaded by the boy asking? "Would you like to accompany me back to my campsite where we could both get dry?"
"No you go ahead I'm okay I'll soon dry off in the sun."
"Oh come on mister." the boy stood then grabbed his hand trying to pull him to a standing position.
Reluctantly he conceded to the boys demands and got to his feet. "So where is this campsite of yours and how many of you are there?"
"Only me I'm camped at the bottom of our garden"
"So what's your name and how old are you?"
David, David Jennings, and I'm nearly thirteen, well in about seven months."
"Alright David, nearly thirteen, how did you manage to get in the water."
"You see those trees at the edge of the bank," the boy said pointing, "And how the branches reach right over the river, well I was trying to get up to a higher branch and I slipped and fell in."
"If you're going to play near a river wouldn't it be advisable to learn how to swim."
"Yeah I guess so, but my dad and mum don't seem to have the time to send me for swimming lessons."
"So don't you have swimming lessons at school?"
"I don't go to school, I'm privately tutored."
"Ah I see, so where's your teacher?"
Its summer holidays now he won't be back till September. Come on lets go to where I'm camped? Then we can dry off."
"Okay David nearly thirteen lead on," he said, as he stooped to retrieve his clothing and bare footed and in his underwear followed the boy along the river bank
"What's your name?" The boy asked over his shoulder.
"I don't know, umm Michael."
"Death smiled at the name wondering if a certain winged being was listening in on the conversation then asked, "What made you choose Michael?"
"Just. You sorta look like a Michael."
"You really surprise me, are you able to read minds because you guessed right."
"Really," the boy asked turning around facing the man and walking backwards, "It was only a guess."
Inwardly he smiled before saying, "Well that's my name, are you sure you can't read minds,"
"No honest I can't, it was just a fluke I had no idea what your name was," the boy said, with a look of consternation on his face. Then turning around again and continuing his walk saying, "Come on Michael we're nearly there."
The man let the boy assume his name was Michael; he didn't suppose it would go down too well if he were to tell him by what name the human race knew him.
As they neared the trees that the boy had fallen from they came upon a wire fence that stopped short about twenty feet away from the river bank. The boy halted and turning to the man said, "The fence is electrified but we only switch it on at night in case of burglars. It won't kill you but it will give you a nasty shock."
The man smiled at the remark. They skirted the fence then came upon a gate which was open, with the boy leading the way they walked through and when they had he closed it then locked it with a key which hung around his neck.
Michael looked around and saw quite a large tent for just one small boy. It was situated roughly in the middle of the wire fencing that ran on both sides approximately fifty metres apart all the way towards what looked like quite an impressive house what he could see of it about 100 metres away. "Are your parents at home?"
"So who's looking after you?"
"Rupert the butler, what time is it Michael?"
"How do you know? You don't have a watch on."
"Trust me I know its now."
"Well if you're right Rupert will be having his afternoon nap, if he were awake I'd take you to meet him he's really very nice but quite old."
"Don't worry David I'll meet him at a later date."
"Okay come on into the tent and I'll get you a towel."
"Its okay I'm dry now."
The boy came forward and felt the man's underwear which was bone dry. "Gosh how did that happen my clothes are still soaking?"
"Body heat I told you I dry up quickly."
"Well alright come into the tent anyway, while I dry and change my clothes."
The proceeded into the tent where the boy without any inhibitions stripped and dried himself, when he'd finished he put on a clean pair of jockey briefs then pulled on a tracksuit bottom and yellow T-shirt.
While the boy changed so the man donned his garments and sat down on the foot of on an air mattress.
David came over to him handing him a comb, and sitting on the ground between the man's legs with his back to him said, "Could you do my hair please Michael?"
"I don't really know what style you have it in." looking at the boy's tangle of blonde hair that had been rubbed to a reasonable dryness
"Just comb it straight back. I like it when someone combs my hair it's a really neat feeling."
He held the boy's head with one hand and started to run the comb gently through the boy's hair from front to back. The simple action caused a tingle to run through his being, never in his existence had he been so close and intimate with a human. The sensation was new to him he savoured and let it envelope him as he continued combing the boy's hair and stroking his head. David was silent and his head moved with each stroke of the comb as if it he had no control over it.
Michael sensed the boy was sleeping; he stopped combing his hair and gently lay back on the air mattress pulling the boy beside him at the same time letting David's head rest on his chest.
He lay content for a while and let his mind drift casting all thoughts from it so that he could rest, and soon joined the boy in a state of unconsciousness.
He came alert knowing that the boy was watching him, he opened his eyes and was aware that a few hours had passed and that the sun would soon dip down below the horizon.
"Did you sleep well?" The boy enquired.
"Yes thank you David."
The boy frowned and knitted his eyebrows, "Are you an Alien?"
"What makes you think that I'm an Alien?"
"When I woke up my head was on your chest it felt really nice lying there but then I noticed I couldn't feel, or hear your heartbeat. I could feel mine but even when I put my hand all over your body I couldn't feel yours"
"Would you be scared if I was an Alien?"
"Nope, if you were going to harm me you wouldn't have bothered to save me in the river or let me sleep using your chest as a pillow."
"So you are an Alien then?"
"Well sort of, but just let's say I am that will save me having to do a lot of explaining."
"So where's your spaceship?
"Umm I don't need one."
"Wo, way out you're like a super hero with special powers."
"No I just have exceptional powers."
"Can you move really fast?"
"Do you know the size of your planet?"
"Well I can be in ten thousand different places anywhere on the planet at the same time."
"Wo, Superman or Silver Surfer can't move that fast."
"Who are they?"
"They're just pretend super heroes"
"So what do they do?"
"They go around the world putting all the bad things right."
So who's your favourite?"
"Silver Surfer, he's way cool."
"What does he look like?"
"Umm sort of."
"Never mind I got the picture from your mind."
"You did, but you look a lot younger than them."
"How old do I look?"
"Dunno, about nineteen, or twenty."
"I'm a bit older than that, but its looks that count and if I look about twenty then we'll leave it at that."
"Can you show me how fast you move?"
"No, but when I leave you can watch me go".
"When are you leaving?"
"Just before ."
"Oh man! Can't you stay for a few days and keep me company. I've only got Rupert here he's nice but he's too old to play with me."
"Sorry David, I have to be back by . If I don't leave on time my superior would yank me back pretty quick and then I'd be in big trouble."
"Can't you talk to him Michael, and ask him to let you stay for a week. We could do all sorts of things and I've also got a canoe which you could teach me how to paddle, my dad hasn't had time to show me yet. And you could sleep on the air mattress with me it's wide enough for two or if not I could get you a sleeping bag."
Just then their conversation was interrupted by a voice calling the boy's name.
"That's Rupert, I have to go in for my evening meal but I'll be back unless you want to join me."
"No thank you David, I don't need to eat anything."
"I thought so, okay I'm going and while I'm away have a word with your boss and see if he'll let you stay for a week. Tell him I asked."
The boy left the tent and he sat wondering how he was going to tell him that his request had been denied.
"You haven't asked," a voice said inside his head, "And there's no need to. You've got a week make sure you're back here on time and bring the boy with you, you need an assistant since the human race has multiplied so rapidly in the last hundred years. And think about a new working image when you get back the boy won't like your present one and personally I think it's become a bit dated."
He transformed himself to the boy's image of the Silver Surfer, "How's this boss."
"Well its better than that bloody skeleton look. What about the boy?"
"He can be a replica of me but in Gold."
"Okay, you've got a week."
"Yes boss." And he transformed himself back to Michael. Grinning he lay back relishing the thought that he was to spend a week here just him and the boy, doing all the things the boy wanted to and he would be able to indulge himself in the boy's presence, and get those wonderful sensations coursing through his being again.
Then after the week they would have an eternity together.
Twenty minutes later he stood outside the tent watching the boy walk down the garden towards where he was standing, when David nearly thirteen stood beside him He smiled at him saying, "I've a got a week."
"Yeah" the boy yelled jumping into Michael's arms.
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