Bone Picking

[WP] Everyone has failed so far. Scientists, humanitarians, world leaders… Time is running out. You approach the dark robed figure; a skeletal hand casually gripping a long, imposing scythe. The figure reclines behind a booth. Its sign reads "Humanity doesn’t deserve to live. Change my mind." from WritingPrompts

Carlos approached the booth and nodded at the robed figure. Its boney hand gripped the scythe tighter as he used it for leverage to stand. His black hood fell backward revealing his white skull.

“Change my mind,” the skull’s teeth chattered. Carlos chuckled; without lips Death’s mouth talked like a puppet. Its mouth opened and closed out of sync with the deep gravelly voice that came from somewhere within.

“How about you get back to work?” Carlos said. Death looked at his sign, ‘Humanity doesn’t deserve to live. Change my mind’ then back at Carlos.

“Do you understand what’s going on here?” Death chattered his teeth. Carlos nodded.

“Of course, I see it all the time. Some people get a little bit of power and it goes straight to their heads,” Carlos said. He shook his head and gave Death a stern look of disappointment. “You’re sitting out here because you’re lonely and want attention. You want people to rush up to you and say ‘oh no, please don’t kill us Death!’  Then you get to feel magnanimous for a little while. Quit wasting time and get back to work.” Death’s lower jaw hung slack on its hinges. He looked around at the small crowd of humans gathering around them. He pointed at a young woman in jogging gear. Her brown eyes dulled and she fell to the floor dead. The crowd stepped away from her, but grim curiosity kept them huddled around Carlos and Death.

“I’m,” his mouth clapped shut, then fell open again, wider. “DEEEEATH!” The gravelly voice said. Carlos nodded, then reached up and pushed Death’s jaw closed. It made a hollow “clack” sound.

“Death, let me ask you a question,” Carlos paused until the skull nodded. Carlos cleared his throat, then asked, “Then what?” Death’s jaw opened a tiny bit, then closed again as if he was re-thinking his answer.

“What?” Death finally asked.

“THEN.  WHAT?” he said louder and slower.

“What what?” Death’s posture loosened. He shrank ever so slightly and looked around at the still growing crowd. He caught several smirks and chuckles traveling between the humans.

“If no one changes your mind, then what? You reap humanity?” Death nodded and pulled his hood up to cover his head from the stares.

“Every single one of you,” he said.

“Then what?” Carlos asked again. “Then you sit around in an empty world until you fade away into nothingness.”

“I’m Death, I’m immortal.” Death chuckled.

“What’s going to happen when you’re out of souls to reap? When no more are being born? If there’s no one around to remember you, do you even exist? Like you said, you’re DEATH. You have exactly one job, and if you’re not doing it what’s the point?” Carlos said. “The way I see it, you’re a public servant. You work for us, and I’m telling you to get off your boney ass and get back to work.” Applause roared through the crowd for a split second before everyone, except Carlos, collapsed. Death pulled his hood down again and looked at Carlos.

“Congratulations, you’ve changed my mind. I’ll grant you one wish.”

“I wish to be Death,” Carlos smiled.

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