The New Death

Ankou God of Death
Ankou, God of Death, as depicted by my friend, graphic artist Sean “Grimm”

Death sat at a bar.

It sounded a lot more poetic than it really was.

I was dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, my black leather jacket creaking at the shoulders whenever I lifted the scotch to my lips.

Death is a skeleton, I can hear you say, he can’t have lips.

Well, everyone said the Titanic wouldn’t sink either, and look where that got them.

I was there for that, too, on First Earth, when I went along with my brother for fun.  That was before we realized mankind had forgotten the old gods and decided the gods of commercialism and technology were more important.  Before we came here.  Before the accident.

I can still hear the squeal of the motorcycle on pavement.

“Ankou,” the bartender said, using one of my many, many names, “bro, that’s your fourth.  Think you should slow it down a little?”

“My brother is dead,” I croaked, the words sounding hollow inside of my cheeks.  “Hades is gone, and I am Death now.  I have work to do.”

“You ain’t getting anything done with that scotch in your system,” the bartender said, giving a harsh laugh.  “Here, give me the glass.”

“I’m fine,” I said, standing up in a lurch and losing my balance.  “Don’t worry about me, Puck.”

“At least let me have a drink with you before you go,” he said, pouring a second glass for himself.  “To old Hades – he sure knew how to take the wind out of everyone’s sails.  But he was a good god.”

“Yeah, something like that,” I muttered, finishing off the remainder of the glass Puck had tried to take away from me.  I hated endings.  I hated goodbyes.  I had hoped it would never come to this, that I could just keep on living as I was, never having my brother’s burdens.

I was never supposed to be Death.

I stumbled, cursing and crying into the night outside, as the pale stars started to fade.

~*~

Well, this was in answer to Trifecta’s weekly challenge, in this case the third definition of the word Death.  It was right up my alley and a perfect chance to give you backstory for Ebony!  Hope you enjoy.

JMS

9 Comments

    1. Ahhhhh thank you! Someone noticed! I always had this idea of post American Gods, like: what would happen if the gods got totally fed up? Well, maybe they would leave our planet/dimension and find a new reality to play with. Hence, the backstory for the gods in my books. 🙂

      1. Not to say Ebony started as American Gods fanfic. The backstory for the gods came well after the first book was already written! And it honestly doesn’t even come up in the books. It would be a bit odd to incorporate motorcycle-riding gods in an entirely medieval fantasy realm, and they know it too. 😉

    1. Thank you! This was always something I wanted to write about. Ankou may have to get his own story just because I know none of this will show up in the final novel, except for mentions, haha. 🙂

  1. Nice job with the prompt. I know a lot of people who question whether they’ll get into the family business or not. This is a new spin!

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