Death was a housewife. Not in the literal sense with a husband, 2.5 kids, a house in suburbia, and a dog (can’t forget the dog). Death liked humans and their assorted aesthetics, so in that moment, Death was a housewife with dark brown hair swept into an updo, a stiff, pink dress, and a wool cardigan tied around their shoulders. Last time Sauriel saw them, Death was a punk kid with a studded, leather jacket and dyed hair—it all depended on their mood that day.

“Who are you wearing today?” Sauriel asked, sipping orange pekoe tea from an ornate porcelain cup.

“Mary-Debra Jones, she died this day 1952. Heart attack.” Death stirred three sugar cubes into their earl grey tea, clacking Mary-Debra’s French-tipped nails against the cup. “She was a very stressed woman, but her taste in fashion was exquisite.” 

“Who doesn’t love the new look?” She took a sip of her tea. “Not that I don’t enjoy speaking with you, but you’re usually not one to seek out the living.”

The sugar cubes finally dissolved, Death took a long sip of their tea. “Don’t worry, I’m not here to scatter you to the stars just yet, but you are correct, I’m not here for pleasant conversation. I’m here to give you a warning.”

Sauriel stopped mid-sip, “a warning? Hopefully I’ve caused no offense.”

“None at all,” Death scrutinized the cup, running their finger across a miniscule chip. “Your sibling though, the one with the two demon-children—”

“Marcin,” Sauriel supplied.

“Yes, Marcin and his two curtain climbers have caused offense to some powerful people. I won’t lie to you. There are many beings gunning for his demise, for the demise of all of them.”

Sauriel set her cup in its saucer; for a brief moment before it seated properly, the cup rattled, spilling over. “Who sent out the order?”

Mary-Debra’s eyelashes weighed down her eyelids. “The order came from Lucifer. I heard he’s sent Mephistopheles Henriette and Mephistopheles Adisa.”

Nothing good could come from a Mephistopheles; Hell’s most loyal, the first to fall. She had crossed paths with Henriette and Adisa—both before and after they fell. When they were angels, Henriette had created thylacosmilus. Adisa had created pikaia. When their creations were wiped from existence, their screams tore into Sauriel’s soul. Now that they’re demons, they’re the last to be reasoned with.

“Are you sure you can’t just give them their pet projects back?” Sauriel asked.

“No,” Death didn’t even entertain the joke. “My reapers quite like them. I could never give them up.” Sauriel could count on one hand the number of times Death willingly let someone or something slip from their grasp. It was a special occurrence with special rules for special individuals. She stirred her tea and sent a silent apology to all thylacosmilus and pikaia.  

Sauriel looked back up and Death was a college student sipping an energy drink wearing cargo shorts and a garish, dinosaur-print button up. 

“Fashion is overrated these days,” they said. Sauriel blinked and Death was gone.