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“Oh no, not you again.”

The spirit stood up, dusting off his shirt, and looked down at the body at his feet. He glanced up and smiled at the dark-clad skeleton. “Ah, we meet again?”

Death swore quietly under his breath and tightened his grip on his scythe. “Yes, now if you don’t mind, Ezekiel, we’ll –“

“Not so fast. I think I’ve been through this enough to know how it goes. You can skip the song and dance.”

Death sighed, “I think after a while, the rules change a bit.”


“Surely you can’t keep this up for so long.”

“Well, I can try.”

What have I been reduced to? Letting a human call the shots! “Fine, then.”

“So, what’ll it be this time, Death? A card game? A guessing game? Riddle?”

“Are you sure you don’t want to reconsider –“

“I want to live as long as I possibly can.”

“It’s been five hundred years.”

“Don’t look a day over 25, haha!”

“Aren’t you curious about what comes next?”

“Just give me the game.”

Death reached into his robe and pulled out a set of dice. He had long ago given up on making the games difficult for Ezekiel and decided to save time by letting it go. “Roll a two with these and you win.”

“That’s all? None of this ‘hop on one foot while saying a limerick underwater and baking a cake at the same time’?”

“Would it have changed anything?”

Ezekiel grinned and took the dice, “You’re getting smart, Death.”

Ezekiel threw the dice against the cobblestones and watched them roll up to his corpse. At last minute, dark purple smoke from Death’s fingertips flashed against the dice, sending them toppling to double fives, but less than a second after, a green light rolled them to double ones. Ezekiel’s hands stopped glowing as Death turned accusingly at him.

“Well, well, well,” Ezekiel inspected the dice, “how about that? I rolled a two.”

“You cheated,” Death recited the traditional phrase.

“I only did what you did,” Ezekiel gave the standard reply, “and I know Death would never ever be so low as to cheat.”

Death sighed and pushed the spirit down and back into his body. Ezekiel opened his eyes and staggered to his feet, wiping some of the dried blood off his cheek. He grinned at Death, said, “see you in a few years,” and walked off, laughing. Death glared at his back until Ezekiel turned a corner, then swung his scythe angrily against the wall.

“Damn magicians!”

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