[WP] Death visits the other horsemen when they go against their namesake.

Death was normally quite pleasant when visiting a hospital. He always knocked a few items off his to-do list there, a guaranteed productive day. Today was not such a day – yes, there were endings to be had and such, but the day’s activities would leave no room to enjoy them.

Pest was making a bed. Dressed in the orderly white scrubs, she managed to finish fluffing the pillows before reaching for the antiseptic lotion in her pocket. The fourth time in an hour. 

“Running low, Pest?” Death leaned against the doorway of the room, passersby shivering in the hall as they passed the seemingly empty frame. Death had been the stick-in-the-mud, refusing to play the game; thus, he had no physical form to see. The pale completion he took was merely a habit, like a favorite shirt taken for what would be a rough day at work.

“Yeah. Everyone’s sick today,” she answered turning to the door. “Some days it’s a little lighter, but today, it’s just a lot of…” She froze, looking at her ‘co-worker.’ “Sick.” 

“When you all decided to have fun in the human world, I thought that was foolish enough. But you all said you could handle taking on your antithesis. The ultimate affront, War said. So why has there been no outbreaks since you left.” Death plucked a flower petal from the nightstand bouquet of the previous occupant. It promptly withered away.

Pest narrowed her eyes. “You think this body’s personality overwhelmed me? Please Dee, you give me no credit.” She turned away and rubbed her arms. “I got a cold, about two days in. Can you imagine? Pestilence, never being sick? It’s almost embarrassing that it took this long for us to even consider trying this.” She pulled the lotion bottle out of her pocket, looking at it. 

“Our work topples empires and ends generations. We pull the four corners of the Earth into its future. You don’t think it’s worth learning the true impact of what we do?”

Death tapped his foot. “Not when it stops you from doing it all together. I’ve already had this phase before – died multiple times. At each of your hands, I might add. War had a laugh after Nagasaki.” He checked his watch.

“That’s where we’re different from you. Your work is their end. We continue.” She pulled a chart from off the side table. “Pamela, 15 years old, Scleroderma. And yes, I’ve dealt worse to millions before, but…” Pest looked at the bed. “She’s still alive. She has parents, and a few friends, and things she wants to do. If she died, it would be over, but no.”

“You are an isolated moment, while we linger before and after. Death isn’t the problem; life is.”

Death never left the doorway, looking at the bottle she held. Pest’s hands were chapped and dry.

“This world can’t sustain itself without us. We know this, and it is the only reason I let you find me. So I could explain. We will return-but until we return, we will see what we’ve wrought.”

Death sighed; he gathered up the dead flowers into the trash bin. “Fine. But make it quick - I have three thousand next month, and I need one of your gems to do it.”

He left without her response. He still had to collect those that were here – his work was very time sensitive. With any luck, War would be more willing to convince to return right away. From what Death understood, he was working in the office of a marriage counselor in Paris. He’ll be going out of his mind by now. And Famine must be bored to tears in that Australian soup kitchen.

/r/WritingPrompts Thread