Death was a babysitter. Not in the regular sense with homework to do and sock hops to attend after their employers returned from their monthly reprieve but in the temporary sense with two demon children chasing geese in a cemetery park. Death sat on a bench, their brown hair pulled into a neat ponytail and bangs framing their round face. They crossed one ankle over the other, and aside from the occasional chewing-gum bubble, they sat perfectly still, a sentinel watching over the children.

A man approached the bench, his nerves dissipating as he sunk down in the free seat next to Death. He looked at the kids, his eyes welling with relief.

“Who are you wearing today?” He asked, voice wavering.

Death took in his appearance without taking their eyes away from their wards. Marcin usually kept his shell in immaculate condition, but today, his black hair hung loose and limp from the half bun he normally kept it in, his pea coat was unbuttoned, and his white button up was untucked. 

“Betty Lis, she died on the back of her boyfriend’s motorcycle,” they said. Betty’s poodle skirt caught in the wind, and Death turned her head to look at Marcin. “But that’s not what you want to talk about.”

“No, sorry. I just…” He looked out at his two children, Parish and Beckette, gleefully playing a game of chase with the geese by the pond. “Thank you for watching them.”

“Thank your sister. She was the one who chased off Mephistopheles Henriette and Mephistopheles Adisa. I was here to take them.”

Angels and demons didn’t need to breathe; despite this, Marcin felt as though Death had taken all of the air from his surroundings. “Are you still,” He began before Death cut his thought short.

“No,” they said. “They don’t belong with me yet, but they still appear as two children alone in the park. I didn’t want any humans to bother them.”

“Where’s Sauriel?” He asked, realizing that if she chased off Henriette and Adisa, she could be in danger.

“I’m unsure,” Death said. “But I know I’m not needed by her side at the moment.” Death popped another bubble of chewing gum. “Perhaps, you should ask your other sister. Abiah keeps a close watch on you all.”

Death stood from the bench and held out Betty’s arm. All at once, the geese stood at attention, making the children stop and watch in bewilderment as they flew and morphed mid-air into one, giant golden eagle.

Marcin looked back to Death, now a Kazakh eagle hunter with warm, fur clothing wrapped in intricate, red patterns and a padded glove that strained under the grip of the talons.  

“Consider leaving your children with someone, maybe Gabriel. I heard she’s been rather bored lately.” Marcin glanced at his children, and though he felt nothing, he knew that Death had left his side.