A Completely Random Story About "Death" From the Discworld Books by Terry Pratchett

Death looked at the hourglass-shaped life-gauge of a recently deceased king he had paid a visit to. Kings were always his favourite souls to pick up. They rarely put up a fight. They just solemnly acknowledged him before he decapitated them with the special sword reserved for royalty. He took one last look at the jewel-encrusted life-gauge just as he arrived in his realm. His white horse (oddly named Binky) slowed to a halt, and Death climbed off and walked into his house. His manservant, Albert, met him at the door and took the life-gauge from him to bring to the storage room. His companion, the Death of Rats, hopped up on his shoulder as he reviewed his schedule. With a morose sigh that sounded like a thousand creaking coffin lids, he retrieved his scythe and muttered to himself, "TIME TO PICK UP RINCEWIND AGAIN."

Rincewind the wizard was hiding in a cave. And not a particularly comfortable cave either. It was small, damp, dark, and he had lost his pointed hat, with "WIZZARD" written on it, somewhere in the back. Obviously, if he had the choice, he would much rather not be in the cave, but he had encountered an extremely vicious ogre, and, being the coward he was, hid in the nearest hole in the ground. He was unsure where the ogre had gone. After hiding in the cave, he heard some scuffling and general ogre-like noises, but they ceased after a while, and Rincewind was now sitting in the cave in silence. All of a sudden, he heard a sepulchral voice behind him say, "EXCUSE ME, BUT WOULD YOU MIND GETTING OUT OF THIS CAVE? I'M AFRAID I'M A BIT CLAUSTROPHOBIC." Rincewind shuddered. The voice made him feel like a sub-zero wind had whipped through the cave and passed right through him. "No," he replied, "I think I'd much rather stay in the cave, thanks." Death paused for a moment, then said resignedly, "WELL, IT'S YOUR DEATH." Rincewind considered this for a moment, then quickly crawled out of the cave.

Death and Rincewind had already had several encounters. Frankly, it exasperated him that each time the ignorant wizard somehow escaped being killed. He rolled Rincewind's hourglass back and forth in his skeletal hand. He had often considered attempting to break it on a rock, but decided that it would be unprofessional. It's not that Death didn't have a sense of humour about his job (albeit a pretty twisted one), he was the first to offer a match to a man doomed to light his own restaurant, along with himself, on fire for insurance purposes. But he supplied an essential service, and he needed to get his work done. Gods, how relieved he'd be when He, War, Famine, and Pestilence went on their final ride. He'd finally have some peace and quiet in his non-stop schedule. Go on vacation for a bit, get a cottage - it didn't really matter. He'd have an eternity to do what he wanted.

Rincewind retrieved his hat and placed it on his head. "So," he said awkwardly, "how am I going to die this time?" Death pulled a scroll from the depths of his robes. He chuckled jovially (a sound that would drive most people insane on the spot, it's so incomprehensibly disturbing.), and said, "OH IT'S GOING TO BE GREAT. I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE THE LOOK ON YOUR FACE." This unnerved Rincewind greatly. He looked around nervously, and his hat flopped into his face stupidly. He pushed it back up and sat down on a tree stump. There was a moment of uncomfortable silence, which Rincewind broke by saying, "So … how's life?" Death stared at him blankly for a moment (as he always did, since he had no eyes), before Rincewind noticed his mistake. "Oh … right …" he sputtered, "forgot … sorry." They lapsed into another uncomfortable silence. Rincewind again broke it by standing up and saying, "Well, as much as I'd like to sit around and wait for my demise, I think I'd better--" He was interrupted by an enormous crash behind him. He turned around to see a heavy tree branch laying where he was sitting a moment before. "Oh…" he said, "fancy that. A tree branch. Well, looks like you aren't needed after all, Death." "SO IT WOULD SEEM." he replied. He pulled another scroll out of his robes, looked at it, then added, "SEE YOU AGAIN SOON."

THE END