the hitman & the reaper
the shady file | short story #1
“There you are,” the hitman said, as he slowed down once his old friend was in full view.
“Here I am,” his old friend said, without looking back, continuing to stare at the large moon that had begun its journey through the sky.
“You may approach. She won’t bite,” his old friend said, a few seconds later, as he patted the head of his mount.
The hitman inspected his old friend, and the creature he sat on, as he slowly circled them. His old friend was exactly as he remembered him to be. Nothing about him had changed. His large shadowy wings, with their neon blue tips, fluttered, the way they always did, slowly and deliberately. His hooded robe was as dark as the night that surrounded them. Nothing within it could be seen, except for the bright, glaring, and oddly smoky, neon blue eyes of his old friend. Like always, his old friend held a large scythe in one hand. The weapon was even more beautiful than the hitman remembered. Its shaft was made of a strange metal, and a string of neon blue runes ran up most of its length. The blade was, like always, sharper than anything the hitman had seen, with its electrified edge colored a bright neon blue, just like his old friend’s eyes. The top of the blade was decorated with a variety of skulls, some large, others small, each of whose eyes glowed with a different color. Some red, some white, some green and so on. His old friend’s robe, as it always did, covered every part of his body, revealing nothing, except for his old friend’s hands, which were covered by spiked gauntlets, that had neon blue lights on them. The gauntlets, while still a deep black, somehow seemed to be a few shades lighter than the rest of his old friend’s attire, if that were even possible.
The creature, on the other hand, was new to the hitman. He had never seen her before. His old friend had, until today, always arrived on foot. The creature, which was slightly larger than the hitman’s mount, most resembled a panther, with black fur, that was, just like his old friend’s gauntlets, a few shades lighter than the robe of the winged being that sat upon it. The creature had eyes that glowed a bright neon pink, and the armor it wore had its various sections and spiked plates highlighted in the same color. The creature’s eyes pierced the hitman’s, and he could tell that it was observing him as carefully as he was inspecting it.
“Who is this?” the hitman asked, as he slowly nudged his mount towards the panther like creature, so that he could stand by his old friend’s side.
“Just a mount, dear assassin. Nothing more,” his old friend said.
The hitman remained silent. He continued calming his horse as they neared the creature. As soon as the hitman had managed to get it to stand right next to the panther, the panther looked at the horse and growled softly, baring its sharp, bright, white teeth. The horse tried to take a few steps back, and began to fidget, slowly at first, but rather violently thereafter, as the hitman tried to keep it in its place. It was all the hitman could do to stop the creature from throwing him off and running away.
“Quiet, little one,” his old friend said to the panther. The creature immediately calmed down.
“There we are. There we are. That’s it,” the hitman said, as he got his horse back under control.
“I thought I’d never see you again,” the hitman said, a few minutes later, once both creatures had gotten comfortable with standing next to each other.
“And why is that?” his old friend asked.
“Because it’s been a while since you’ve visited me,” the hitman replied, as he pressed a button on his helmet that made it transparent, thereby revealing his face.
“That it has,” his old friend said.
“My psychiatrist doesn’t believe me, you know?” the hitman began, sometime later, as his friend continued staring at the moon, without so much as looking at him.
“Go on,” his old friend said.
“Nobody does, actually. And why should they? Not everybody sees death, not unless they’re on something. They’ve been pumping me full of drugs, which I thought were working, since you stopped coming around,” the hitman said.
“No human medicine can stop the reaper from making a visit he has set his mind to,” his old friend said.
“Then why’d you wait so long? It has been a few years since we last saw each other. And why are we meeting here? You always show up right in front of me, through whichever shadows are closest, whenever you so please,” the hitman said.
“That is true, dear assassin,” the reaper said. “However, this is no ordinary visit. And therefore, shadows will not suffice.”
“And why is that, old friend?” the hitman asked.
“Because this, my dear child, is our last meeting.”