Hi there! So glad you came to see me! Come in, come in. Sit down there. How do you take your coffee? It’s Mr. Hades’ blend, Dark Sparks. Me, I take it with heavy sweet creams and ten scoops of sugar, and ohhhh, ohh, ohh, it’s so good. I’m the reaper, the god of gentle death, I’m Thanatos, call me Than.
I dive over the counter to escape whatever these things are. My medication must be failing. The prescription amount must not be right. I am having another break from reality. I land on my face as the room begins to fill with more and more of these phantoms. All of them yell things at me, their voices overlapping. I look under the counter to find a gaunt-faced boy staring at me.
“Look, I’ve been your doctor for a good number of years, and I know it wasn’t easy finding your twin brother’s body. The way that Henry took his own life was such a shame. I am really sorry, Tom, but you have got to stay on your meds. Any problems you call me day or night, understand?”
Mr. Hades sighed heavily and said, “He is too powerful to be left alive, and a final solution needs to be put into place. You are the only one who can carry this out for not only us, the gods, but the mortals who are in danger. You know full well what your brother is capable of.”
“I was put to task to come up with a way to deal with our brother by Mr. Hades. I have spent months weighing my options as I listen to his victims’ never-ending cries for justice inside my aching, throbbing head. He is beyond Dikê’s touch and yours. So I came up with the final solution,” I confess.
Revenge and vengeance fed from themselves, one act creating the need for more. In the hands of mortals and gods alike, it was a neverending cycle of destruction and despair. It was only by my touch that balance and justice were achieved through revenge. And only because I wrought it so, only because I thought and knew the price, only because I controlled my power.
Now it is just the three of us, and I make my way to the kitchen. She has taken care of me my entire life, and now it is my turn to take care of her. I believe it is time to break some bread and a nice meal is in order.
Polus takes a deep breath, and the air rises from the ground, swirling and shimmering around his arm, his eyes turning dead-white. The Lord of the Axis in his absolute power now stands before me. I open my wings to their full extent and gather the shadows around me. My scythe appears in my hand, blazing with light.
The rune dissolves, and the black ink liquid moves and shifts from my hand as if to say, See you soon, Thanatos. We remember. I remember the hot and dry desert air, the cocky sneer of the djinn, his eyes alight with blue fire, and the permanent look of surprise on his face as his head hit the ground and rolled to the feet of his father.
She is hesitant to take leave of the titan. She shoots unsure glances at him and then at me, as if trying to make sense of what is happening. Polus leans in and kisses her on the lips. It is a tender kiss. I wasn’t aware that titan’s new such tenderness, with the exception of possibly Selene, but I really don’t know her. He pulls away and nods, a gesture she returns before leaving.
It is obvious what killed him. I know of only one beast that can sear the earth and a body in this manner. This was the work of a dragon, but why? They don’t usually go on the attack, plus they are so well camouflaged most humans pass by them without ever noticing.