The Usurper

I opened the door to a stranger. I could tell he was not local due to the bluish tinge to his face which obscured his features and the severed head that he held up by the hair in his left hand. I recognised the severed head immediately for it was my brother.

I had not seen my brother for over thirty years and time had not been kind to him. There were maggots where his eyes once had been and bluebottles crawled leisurely in and out of his mouth.

“Darius,” the stranger spoke, though the voice was that of my brother “it is time for you to come join me beneath the green valleys where the River Styx flows.”

“You are mistaken.” I replied shaking my head “The deal was signed with blood; yours, your children, our Mother and Father. My victory in battle and life assured for your blood sacrifice. “

“What life is this hiding out on a mountain afraid of those you have wronged?” spoke the stranger gesturing with his right hand to the vines that grew upon the slopes of my meagre plantation.

“It is life eternal, to the end of days. A deal with the Gods.”

“Brother.” I looked up into the stranger’s face, the ghostly bones of a skull stared back at me. In his right hand he now carried a sword which glowed pale blue “I am Death. I do not recognise the Gods and only I determine the end of days.”   


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