Death found himself enjoying the sights a lot more once the day got on. The city had a wonderful warmth in it, people smiled while they worked; their skins bronzed by the sun and their remaining teeth hanging onto their gums gleamed with pride. The buildings were painted a variety of colours, the roads sandy and packed. All-in-all, it was a welcoming first stop on the cruise.
Death decided to pass time by visiting the nearest coastal restaurant and take in the view of the ocean instead. He bought the cruise ticket to take in the sight of the ocean, so before he continued his exploration he would watched the waves roll in smoothly against the rock-face of the island.
“What will you be having, sir?” the waitress asked without raising her eyes to meet Death’s.
“What do you recommend?” Death asked cooly, adjusting his hat so the sun didn’t shine into his sockets.
At this the waitress began to recall the specials, causing her eyes to raise enough to see Death before her. She paused for a moment, her mind buzzing, but silenced almost immediately as she returned to her original thought.
“We have a wide range of breakfast smoothies, lime, mango, banana, but on a personal note I would recommend the mango, a lot more filling,” the waitress listed with a more sincere smile. “Alongside that, we recommend the full breakfast, but a popular breakfast has always been our muesli mix, due to the variety of berries.”
“The mango and muesli then,” Death replied and returned his gaze to the great sea before him.
The waitress marched to the kitchen with a new found energy and began preparing everything herself. While she set everything up she took her time to make it presentable as well as contain the best of the muesli and mango. Everything turned out better than she imagined and as she carried it out to serve to Death, all those who saw what she was serving were immediately swayed in their order.
“Here we are, sir,” the waitress replied placing the smoothing and bowl in front. “Anything else?”
Death didn’t say anything. He sat in silence, as still as the chair he sat on. Wind whistled through his bones and his mind wandered beyond the world he was in. There was a serenity in watching him that the waitress couldn’t explain. When she returned to the kitchen she let her superior know she was taking her break and walked over to the table beside Death with a smoothie of her own.
For the time, she watched him and the ocean he seemed to stare beyond. Death was oblivious to all this, his arms on their rests, his head beginning to sway as the wind picked up for a moment. The waitress grew worried as her customer sat so still and stepped up to him, placing a hand on his shoulder.
Before she could open her mouth to say the word ‘sir’ there was an endless torrent of thoughts moving from Death to her, her mind beginning to burn as she took so much in. Death shifted out of her grasp before even a second had passed, but by the time he removed himself from her touch, her hair had turned white at the ends.
Death caught her before she fell and placed her in the seat she was in. It was foolish of him to let his mind wonder like that, but it had been millenia since he did. Still, there was no harm done to her from what he could see and with a brush of his hands the white tips of the hair had turned back to their original colour.
When the waitress woke up she saw Death’s table was empty with a clean bowl and glass. Money was placed beneath the salt-shaker with a reasonable tip. The waitress, her mind having collected itself in those moments, ignored the money and ran out of the restaurant. Looking up and down the street she tried to find Death, but he was nowhere in sight. It was only when she looked behind her did she see him standing there in a straw hat and bahama shorts.
“What is it that has you watching me?” he asked her.
“I...I...uh...sorry, my mind can’t..,” she replied. “Who are you? You seem so familiar.”
“I am Death.”
“I wondered...I suppose you know, right?”
Death gave no hint of knowing anything, instead standing there blankly waiting. The waitress stared back at Death and eventually lost her nerve. She apologised to him and began walking back to the restaurant. Death didn’t let it linger in his mind and turned back to the rest of the island. He felt as if he stood there long enough and returned to the cruise ship. As he walked away there was a strange gloom hovering over one side of the island, a dark cloud that just as it started began to disappear as Death left.
The waitress returned to Death’s table and collected the money. As she did she noticed the small note beneath it written in simple calligraphy.
Those two words were enough to settle the curiosities that plagued her mind and she breathed a deep sigh. With the exhalation their were the thoughts of Death leaving her and her memory of his visit disappeared. Now, with more money than she remembered, the waitress returned to the kitchen to help with the many orders of mango smoothies and muesli breakfasts.
Death walked up the gangplank with a small number of eyes on him only to drift away once more. There was a strange peace within everyone at the sight of him, but there was only emptiness within Death.
He returned to the sun bathing deck with a new book in hand and laid himself on the reclined chair. There, he eased his tired bones and began reading. Realizing there was still one set of eyes on him, Death turned to the small child he met yesterday upon arriving on the ship. The child made a motion, rubbing it’s small upper lip.
Death repeated the motion, rubbing away the mango moustache.
Be sure to follow!