The Incarnations: The Incarnal War (Chapter 11)

Dining With Death

King Evil finds himself in a very special place in Paradise.

In Paradise, a whole universe is filled with floating islands and continents made to sate the wildest fantasies of the mortals, and few Incarnations who earned it. There are even places for the animals and bacteria to flourish and scurry.

It is generally accepted that because she has been such a gracious host, none bother Death without being called upon. None seek out her help in fear of angering or annoying her.

At first she appreciated this, being alone with only her servants, but that can lead to a loneliness which is only scared away when she is visited by one of her living children.

Asides for King Evil, that’s not very often, or even then it is only to gain something. Now, much like her favored child, she looks to settings of the future to waste her time.

King Evil stands before a rather short building, similar in its style of architecture to his Majesty’s home. He identifies it as a club. He stands at the backdoor entrance where a servant stands guard. Then he walks up to the servant that stands taller, in clothing similar, yet somehow dated in comparison to the fashion of the demons.

His Majesty pokes fun at the large skeleton standing guard. “Dood, I see that my mother has made you the bouncer. That’s a good joke.”

The servant of Death responds in his callous and harrowing voice, “I do as my mistress commands. She needs my protection, but desires that my presence not remind her of her task. So please, keep trying to test me.”

His Majesty throws up his hands in an apologetic manner, “I didn’t mean to offend, old man. I’m just making small talk. Since you’re obviously not in the mood for my jests, I’ll just go see her.” When his Majesty attempts to move towards the double doors, the servant stops him.

Dood informs the betrayer, “There is a dress code, which calls for shirts, ties, and a lack of red leather.”

“Not even if I tip the bouncer?” the betrayer jests. When the servant’s eyes maintain an unresponsive look, he snaps his fingers, making his leather trousers and robes turn black. “What if I change the color?”

Dood speaks bluntly, “Tuxes, or no entrance.”

His Majesty rolls his eyes and complains, “Fine.” Then he snaps his fingers and his attire changes to the typically black suit, complete with everything but a bowtie. The top buttons of the undershirt remain undone to maintain an evil style.

The portion of Dood’s face where his eyebrows would be, shifts, prompting the betrayer to respond, “I’m not wearing a bowtie, and if you want I can toss you around until you get over it.”

The more serious and threatening response from his Majesty leads to a short stare between the two. Dood being the servant, of Death or not, gives in to his superior and opens the door for him. As his Majesty enters, he pats the reaper on the shoulder, purposely goading him.

The door closes as soon as his Majesty is inside, barely missing the chance to hit him. This only makes the betrayer grin.

Then he walks down a dark hallway where he sees a bright white light, and hears the sound of jazz running to his ears. The hallway is not long, and the light encompasses his Majesty’s eyes, prompting him to go blind for a moment.

When his eyesight returns, he is greeted by a grand stage occupied by a band of Regamorphs, doing their best to impersonate the blues. Servants of Death, skeletons owning their presence at their seats, dressed in tuxedos, black dresses, and jewelry, perfectly personify the time they impersonate.

I wonder when this will be.

King Evil searches among the crowd, looking for his mother, and it does not take long to find her seated besides an interesting figure. His Majesty arches his brow upon recognizing the Duchess of Despair, recently felled by his brother. Her gray complexion is hidden by the allure of her sparkling and violet strapless dress. Their mother assuredly dressed her in such an attire as an effort to help her transition to being dead as she has with Duchesses of Despair before.

His mother though, my Death, is as ravishing as ever. His Majesty only sees her from behind. He sees her white skin, not ghostly like Dread, or sickly in comparison to Hate, but pure white like a cloud. Her hair is of the same color, billowy and cascading.

Not straight, but curled around her face and shoulders, adding to her face’s defined structure. I remember it well, yet memory is not equal to seeing the real beauty. If only our lesser son, the betrayer would prompt her to turn around. I wish to see her face once more.

The betrayer makes his walk towards her without tension, he is neither afraid nor nervous to see his mother.

As she listens to the jazz musicians do their best to copy artists not yet born, her head twitches to the side, subtly telling me that she hears footsteps behind her.

She stands without turning around, displaying her silk black dress that forms against her figure, showing the length of her hair as it encompasses around her shoulders and reaches to the middle of her back.

Then she turns her head, and smiles solemnly at me. No, at the betrayer, my mistake.

Her face is as beautiful as I remember, her eyes as welcoming. The red pupils of rubies, the white irises of snow, and the black eyeballs surrounding them. I love her eyes. Never have I seen a pair so beautiful.

Death gasps, not with terror or anger, but welcoming surprise, “Evil. My son.”

She doesn’t use titles, not out of disrespect, but what mother speaks to her children with titles?

She walks to him as he holds his arms out to her. Typically, she assumes my grander size, but now she is shorter than Evil, assuming a height that fits how she feels, how she shouldn’t feel.

She wraps her arms around her son’s ribs, and holds him tight, and he wraps his arms around her shoulders. He holds a hand behind her head to hold her close. My jealousy.

King Evil holds Death for many moments, and it seems as if they are never going to let go of each other. Then she lifts her head from his chest to look up at him, “I’m so sorry, Evil. I’m so sorry that you are here.”

“Why, mother? I come here of my  own volition, because I know that I must help you. I should have been here long ago.”

He reasons to himself, attempts to abdicate himself of his betrayal. He should not be standing where he is, but his word never meant all that much to him.

Death shakes her head, she reasons with great sorrow, “Do not try to trick me. You are here because Lord Guilt convinced you so, that you owe me your swords, but you don’t owe me anything. I’m so sorry that my actions have forced this war upon you. No mother is supposed to bring war upon her child. I’m supposed to protect you, all of you.” Tears almost seem to grow at the edge of her eyes, so her son is quick to bring his thumb to their corners.

His Majesty assures her, “I am no child. I am much too old to be called that. Too experienced in too many departments to be called a child, certainly.” His jests and his smile makes his mother chuckle and smile meekly.

His immaturity at the very least prompts her to break away from him. She teases him, “Oh, I don’t want to hear any of that, but still I guess this is partially why I like having you here. You actually have a sense of humor even if it isn’t mine.” Then she takes his hand and leads him back to her table.

“Thank you, but being old also means that I make my own choices, and make my own bed.” His mother looks at him with a perverse scowl and he assures her, “That one wasn’t intentional.”

Death nods her head with a doubtful smile on her face.

“I’m trying to say that it doesn’t matter who made sure I got here, it’s the right thing regardless. Mother, you need me.” Then gently he grabs her by the shoulder to make her face him before they take their seat. “You have always stood by me, and I should be standing by you. So you can’t give up, you can’t give in to Life and allow him to do what he wants. You know better than anyone, his way doesn’t work.”

Death shakes her head and tears away from her son. She sits in her chair, and takes her head in her hands. The Duchess of Despair looks away from the musicians to see Death, but she does not know to try and console her.

As his Majesty takes his seat besides his mother, Death bemoans his words. “Evil, you don’t understand. There is only me and you.”

His Majesty reckons that, “No Lord or Lady is going to go up against you and me. At least not while they answer to my brother and father. They will assuredly want this battle to stay between us. Even still, we can surely defeat them.”

Death’s head falls to the table with her hands over her head, bemoaning how, “You shouldn’t have to fight your brother!” Then she raises her head to show the tears running down her face. “You shouldn’t have to do that. The final battle should be between only Life and me, not our sons.”

“Mother, this fight was a long time coming anyway. Opposites don’t disagree for millions of years without throwing a punch. At least now we fight for what we believe in, something important.” Then King Evil takes his mother’s cheeks in his hands, and tells her, “You should be in charge. You should be leading us all, not Life.”

“You speak of him as if he were not your father,” Death mutters. He has always spoken of me with a lack of recognition.

“When one ceases to do his job well, that is the disrespect he earns.” His mother’s eyes dip to the table cloth, and her son feels sorrow for causing it. He apologizes, “I’m sorry, I know you still care for him, so my insults can’t make you happy.” He should do well to remember that.

“No, that’s not it at all.” Her words a dagger through my heart. “Your father has shown that he no longer cares for me, he proved that long ago, and I have begun to return the feelings.”

No, no, no. She misunderstands. She always misunderstands! That’s not what I mean to do at all!

“I want you and your brother, and all of our children to feel that we both love you, despite how we behave towards each other.”

His Majesty assures her, “If I feel as if I have only one parent, that’s not of any fault to you. Now come here.” With that he envelops his mother in his arms, and hugs her close, pulling her and her seat closer to him. She merely lets him embrace her, and finds comfort in being held.

Death whispers to him, “Evil, tomorrow the world will change, and I’m afraid.”

“Don’t be, no matter what happens, you will be alright,” King Evil assures her. “While you may not believe it, Life will never kill you, even if he had the power, he could never bring himself to do it.”

“Do you think I can?” she asks him.

His Majesty thinks honestly, “Yes, I believe you can. You know what death means more than he does, so you know the curse would not be in his end, but what he has earned, that is not on your conscience.”

Death hums to herself to think on the betrayer’s words. She speaks truthfully, causing me fear, “I think you’re right, but I don’t know what my conscience will say no matter the afterlife he has earned. We’ll see.”

Together in embrace, they continue to listen to the musicians sing and play jazz.

Death tells King Evil, “I love you.”

King Evil tells Death, “I love you too, mother.”

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