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“I could swear I’ve seen you somewhere before.”

Ezekiel groaned and sat up, rubbing his head. “You? But I didn’t –“

Death pointed to the corpse lying besides Ezekiel. “I thought you said we wouldn’t meet again for a few years. Is ‘careful’ even in your vocabulary anymore?”

“Never had a need for it,” Ezekiel staggered to his feet and pulled out two small objects from his pocket. “Brought my own dice this time. Save you some trouble.”

“That won't be needed, Ezekiel. I’ve decided to try something new with you.”


“A riddle or two,” Death pulled out a thick book from his robe and opened it to a random page. “You don’t mind, do you?”

“Of course not,” Ezekiel flashed his signature grin, “We magicians are very skilled with problems as such.”

“We’ll see about that. In case you’re hoping to cheat, I’ve carefully blacked out the answers with permanent marker.”

“I’m not afraid. Ask me a riddle.”

“What always runs, but never walks, often murmurs, never talks, has a bed, but doesn’t sleep, has a mouth, but doesn’t eat?”

“A river.”

Death scowled, “That was just a test. It didn’t count.” He flipped through the book once more and said, “If you have it, you want to share it. If you share it, you no longer have it.”

“A secret.”

“That was another test,” Death snarled, “How many bricks does it take to complete a brick building?”

“Just one, the last one,” Ezekiel leaned against the wall, smiling, “this is getting boring, Death. Can’t you come up with anything better?”

“Fine,” Death tightly clutched the book in anger and scanned further pages. “As I was going to St. Ives –“

“Just one.”

“A man rides into town –“

“The horse’s name was Friday.”

“A man and his son are driving when –“

“The doctor was his mother.”

“A father’s child, a –“

“She’s their daughter.”

“How’d –“

“There were two sets of triplets. She cut the twig during the night. He was a justice of the Peace. The ninth statement was true.”

“Okay, Ezekiel – “

“Nine and five are fourteen. He had the hic-ups.”

“That’s –“

“It was a clock. He wrote “your exact weight” on the paper. The child held the cup over his head for ten minutes. He was born in the hospital room 1955. Because there’s a B in both and an N in neither.”

“Alright Ezekiel! That’s enough!”

Ezekiel turned to Death, all smiles, “Already? I was just getting started.”

“How’d you know all that?” Death examined the book to make sure there were no traces of magic on the pages.

“My niece had a pet dragon. All it does is pester us for riddles. Now, if you don’t mind, I’d like to go back into my body, please.”

“I’ll get you someday,” Death growled, pushing Ezekiel back to the living, “I’ll find some way to make you lose.”

Ezekiel got up, put his hand to his head and flinched, the headache still tormenting him. Death fiddled angrily with his scythe, “Hey, Ezekiel?”

“A gold coin.”


See you soon, Death.”

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