This is the first fanfic I'd thought I'd share with you all. It was originally intended to be shorter, but somehow got longer as I wrote it out. There are some dark themes in this story, and perhaps things some people might find disturbing, so if you are sensitive on the matter I ask that you leave.
I write so that others might enjoy my morbid sense of imagination, not to hurt them. I do not intend to offend.
If there are some grammar mistakes, I'd love for you to point them out. (Of course, its late right now and my mind is braindead. I would not be surprised if I left in major grammer mistakes. I think I even left a duplicate paragraph in there, I don't know.)
And, for those who noticed, the description is obviously not mine. And I might add the warning character death, but this is Kenny we're talking about so no need. I should think, anyway.
I do not own South Park, or the two characters whose stories influence created this.
A traffic accident.
That is what called Death out on this fine evening. But it was not for the teenager who drove his car into the stoplight. Not for his girlfriend who lay slumped in the passenger seat. Not for the young boy OD'ing in the backseat. Not for his little sister who cried hysterically the entire time. Not even for the dog they had irresponsibly run over.
As the ambulance raced away to deliver these children safely to the hospital, where they would get all the care they would need and walk out alive and well, Death was still there. He was still there as the wreckage was cleared away. He was there when the crowd of spectators left, relieved that no one was hurt. He was still there as the day slowly melted into night.
And why did Death stay?
It was because no one had seen the discarded body lying in the gutter, far away from the wreckage. Because no one was there when the car had crashed into that small body, and propelled it into the alleyway yonder. They had only seen the crash afterwards. They had only seen four casualties.
Four, when it should have been five.
Death, in all his dark robed glory, silently glided across the empty road. He was but the soft whisper of wind that fluttered past your face. The living could not see him, but always knew when he was near. They were always warned; by the sudden beating of their heart, their skin breaking into cold sweat, or the quickening of their breath. And for others, it was a deep, unexplainable longing in their hearts.
Under the streetlights he walked, and the lights flickered uncertainty, then continuing to shin as Death continued on. You could say he was a pitch black space of nothingness, but really, his presence was more accurately described as an absence of light. The radiance gave way to the embodiment of death. It knew him for what he was. The only color that distinctively stood out was the single red leaf, tied to his scythe with a stray bit of thread. It was a tattered, dried up crinkly old thing, but the way Death cradled that scythe in his hands made you think it was the most precious thing in existence.
And perhaps it was. It had been a parting gift from someone very dear to him.
The alley smelled of piss and rot. Death crouched near the forgotten body and pulled back the hood of the orange parka. A sigh escaped from within the dark folds of his robes. Kenneth McCormick. Of course it would be this one. It always was.
He still remembered when he first met Kenneth. He was a baby then, yet still was bundled up in loud orange clothing, though it appeared twelve sizes too big on his tiny self. He looked so ridiculous, but was still such a very beautiful child. Death had loved how his curious blue eyes shone with delight and curiosity. Until the babe's curiosity led him to stray far too near an unguarded electrical socket. So began the cycle of death, resurrection, damnation, and salvation. Death was there to watch Kenny grow into a young adult, something he had not ever expected the pleasure of ever witnessing.
But laying there on the cold concrete with his knees poking out of the tears in his pants and his blood seeping through the ground, he looked so very young again, and utterly vulnerable. If Death still had a heart, it would be breaking. When had he gotten so weak? Perhaps he was getting old, as he had first thought with the other one. Death gently smoothed back the boy's hair, and a gurgled cough escaped through those bloodied lips. Kenny was still alive. So what was Death still doing here?
"That boy is not yet yours, Reaper." They were not alone in the alleyway. Another had somehow been able to creep inside the narrow passage unawares, a figure who dressed in a long black trench coat and a single black hat.
Skeleton hands paused, and the air itself seemed to have gone still. Slowly Death stood and rose to his full height, and turned.
"Agony." The voice that echoed hollowly from within the dark hood was melodious and beautiful, spoken so softly it was barely above a whisper, but underlaid it was an ageless sadness. This was the voice of Death. "Why are you here, you wretched creature?"
He was answered by a throaty chuckle, and the figure raised its face. And what a sight it was. An unshaven face covered in blisters and scars. Long, gaunt hands littered with bleeding cuts. A long hooked nose. Teeth broken and sharp, yellow with grime and disease, lips curved in a dark smile. Thin wisps of white hair that trailed from beneath an old black top hat. A tall, thin body that towered above the tallest of men. Sunken eyes that promised pain and violence and betrayal and fear.
"To play of course." The man called Agony said in an equally soft voice, but it cracked and was spoken harshly, nothing like Death's. There was no emotion behind that voice, no glee, no bitterness, no interest at all. Not yet. But as the other… man… looked beyond Death, and fell upon the boy's body, his eyes seemed to take on a spark of anticipation. If Death was still alive, his blood would have undoubtedly gone cold.
"Lay not one hand on him." Death said darkly, raising his arm to block Kenny from Agony's view, earning a rather displeased look from the other man. Agony walked toward Death.
"Have you forgotten your place, dark one?" Agony intoned gravely, drawing nearer still, coming so close that Death could smell the decay filter from his rancid mouth. "You have no claim over those that still live."
Death bristled silently. Of course he knew. He and Agony were one of the oldest beings in existence, both bound by the same ancient rites that shaped the balance of life. Each had their own separate duties to uphold. And that allowed Agony more reign in the land of the living than Death would ever have. And Agony loved to rub it in.
"…but I on the other hand, oh, I can. With them I may play with to my heart's content…" Agony chuckled hoarsely. His thin lips curled into a cold sneer and he roughly slapped Death's arm down. "...while I leave you with the scraps."
He brushed past Death to where Kenny lied breathing raggedly on the ground, crouching over him as Death had been just moments ago. Death made no move to stop him. Unless Kenny died within the next five seconds, he was under Agony's authority. And Death had no right to interfere with his work. As was the agreement made so long ago.
Kenny, for his part, had not- could not have- moved from the spot where the car flown him. He was breathing, if barely, taking in short ragged breathes. He should have died by now, but he was always quite resilient. If only he wasn't. Agony smiled, licking his cracked and bleeding lips, and touched Kenny's face.
They were powerful, Death and Agony, but they had their restrictions. They could not physically lift up a man and launch him into a building wall and kill him. That was against the rules, and not even Agony was mad enough to break them. But they were able to touch. Agony ran a finger along Kenny's jaw, and the semi-conscious boy flinched and moaned in pain. Death could only pity him. Agony's touches magnified a person's pain inside tenfold. That was his job. That was his existence. To spread pain and suffering.
Agony, as if satisfied with Kenny's reaction, drew his hand back. Gnarled fingers curled into fists and were gently placed above Kenny's heaving chest, like a lifeguard to a drowning victim. And the supernatural being pressed down, sinking his fists into Kenny's chest, like a rock sinking in mud.
He screamed. Kenny's eyes snapped open and his entire body jerked violently, and the cry that tore free from his throat was the most heartbreaking, wretched sound to reach Deaths ears. While unconscious, his pain was muted. But now he was awake, awake and feeling the full effects of Agony's power ripping him apart from the inside.
And Agony laughed. He laughed, hooking his fingers under Kenny's skin and lifting up, and the boy raised his chest with him helplessly, not wanting to cause anymore pain even if he could not know or see what was doing this to him. Kenny was gagging and gasping in immeasurable amounts of pain. Death wanted to stop this, but knew he could not. No one, especially Kenny, should go through something like this, but there was nothing he could do.
Suddenly, Kenny's head turned to where Death stood, and the patron of the dead flinched from his eyes. And it was not just from seeing the pain there. Kenny was not a normal boy obviously. Not only was he the only mortal to resurrect after each death, but he was able to see Death during the times when he was about or going to die.
But the eyes that stared at him, though open, were so dilated that the black of his pupils almost wiped out the blue of his irises. Tears ran down his pale face, his eyes seeing yet unseeing. He was looking directly at Death, but wasn't seeing him. Had the crash made him blind? Or was he in so much pain it drove his mind mad? Death certainly hoped so, though it sickened him to admit it. But he did not want the boy to know he was there, when all he could do was watch what was to happen next. Agony was known to play with his favorites.
"I ask you, Death, have you not seen anything so beautiful? As if in the throes of passion…"Agony said mockingly, dragging a black tongue across Kenny's cheek, producing another gut-churning scream from the boy. His hands were sunk down to the third knuckle, no doubt twisting and jerking inside his chest. Who knew how many, if not all, ribs were broken inside? How much more pain was Agony generating from his wounds?
Kenny could not see Agony. The boy could not know what was causing him such pain. But from the look on his face, Death doubted he could even think striaght right now. He was sobbing, his entire body convulsing, and his nails dug into the pavement until they bleed. Tears ran freely down his cheeks, and his face was in agony. He was entirely lost inside the pain.
Death turned his face away, gripping his scythe tightly within his hands, regretting… regretting what exactly? That Kenny kept returning to life? That the boy was blessed with a gift no other man had received from God? Death should not have felt that way. He should not be feeling at all. But he could not help but think that if Kenny had stayed dead, he would not have attracted the attentions of the most dangerous monster known to man.
"He has become so sensitive to me." Agony crooned in delight as Kenny writhed beneath his hands, his diseased fingers digging into the boy's flesh, who could barely take in enough breath to cry anymore. "Look at him, Reaper. Look at how your little whore craves my touch."
Another vicious twist, answered by another scream of agonizing pain.
It was his job to guide the dead to the hereafter. Not witness things like this. But Death couldn't leave now. It would feel too much like he was abandoning the boy. To this… this madman. Death would know. He knew Agony since the beginning. Both he and Agony had delved into madness at one point or another. But where Death's madness had shattered whatever soul he had into fragments and left him tired and aching inside long ago, Agony's madness had never ended. And that made him all the more dangerous.
With an unreadable smile, Agony withdrew his hands and Kenny sank back onto the ground, taking in long shuddering gasps of air as he was able to breathe properly again. But instead of relieved, Death grew afraid. More so, as Agony's fingers started to skim over Kenny's chest, as if unsure whether or not to stab them back inside. But even those light scratches were causing low moans from the boy's lips.
"My dearest Death, do you know how badly our little Kenneth is broken?" Agony asked mysteriously. That should be obvious. He was hit by a car going 68 miles an hour. In town. But the mad creature went on as his hands caressed Kenny's body almost lovingly. It filled Death with disgust, but he could not tear his eyes away. Fear had him rooted to the spot. Fear for Kenny, though what else more can Agony do to him? "Poor thing… his pelvis is shattered… did you know that?"
No he did not. Why was Agony telling him this? His vile hands continued to moved lower and lower until his fingers slid between the boys legs and, like a punch in the gut, understanding came over Death in dawning horror.
"DON'T YOU DARE-"
The next scream was terrifying. Agony's arm sunk in deep and hard, and Kenny's cries reverberated off the walls in a continuous scream until the boy ran so much out of breath he could not make the tiniest sound, leaving him to gasp and whimper and cry and howl mutely. If Death was still alive and young, he would on his knees, retching up whatever would be in his stomach. But he was not. He was as old as civilization. On the outside, Death was cool as he looked on at what Agony was doing. But inside, he was breaking. And soon he could not even hold up his pretense.
With sorrow in his eyes, Death asked a single question.
"Why must you do this?"
The answer remains unchanged.
"I do what you cannot."
Hours past– but to Death it felt more like a millennia– before Agony left, sated in his lust and sick perversions. And still Kenny was alive, but just barely so. Shuddering slowly on the cold concrete as he used the last of his reserves to sob as he gradually– finally– began to die. Alone. Why was it that almost every time this child had to die a slow and painful death, it was always alone?
Death could not answer that. He didn't even know if God Himself could answer that. But, just this once, Death would not allow Kenny to die alone. Death sat down on the dirty ground of the passage, leaning against the wall of the building, and pulled Kenny's softly convulsing body in his arms. He was not allowed to hold a living mortal. But some rules are meant to be broken, under the right circumstance. God could not fault him for that.
Death held Kenny in his arms, gently stroking his hair and whispering reasuring nothings, waiting patiently as the boys breath began to get slower and slower, until, at last, it stopped all together. Then Death sighed a great sad sigh, and waited for Kenny's soul to rise from his body, which was already becoming dead in Deaths arms. But after a while, Death became concerned.
"Kenneth. It is time, child." There was no answer. Only the soft glow that asserted that the soul was still inside. With another sigh, Death stood and lifted Kenny's soul out from his body as it flopped to the ground. At first it was only a tiny flame, cradled in the arms of Death, but soon it shimmered and shaped itself, until Death was holding a confused Kenny McCormick in his arms.
"Death?" The boy asked uncertainly, blinking rapidly as he tried to get his bearings.
"Hello again, Kenneth." Death said to the boy gravely, earning a small grin from him. Until his eyes widened in surprise and he gave a sharp shout.
"SWEET JESUS SHIT!" He cried, jumping out from Death and sinking to his knees, leaning over on the ground and clutching at his chest, startling Death to… well, death.
"Kenny-?" But he was waved off with a hand as the dead teenager dry heaved on the pavement. After a moment he stopped, and Death gently helped him to stand up.
"Fuuuuuck, I feel like I screwed a lawnmower." Kenny groaned woefully, his hand cupping around a highly personal area of himself. But Death was used to such actions from the boy by now and was instead worried about why he was still hurting. Kenny paused. His hands moved behind. "Or it screwed me. I can't tell."
"This has not been the first time you have died from internal hemorrhaging and blood loss." Death tried to say, though he felt sick. Damn that Agony. Kenny still looked puzzled.
"Yeah, but this is different. It feels like…" He trailed off, and looked up at Death in confusion. "I hurt. I hurt, Death. Bad. I'm dead. Why am I still hurting?"
Kenny still had no idea of Agony's existence. Death would not be the one to tell the boy of him. So instead, Death laid his hand atop Kenny's head, out of affection and for something else. He drew out Agony's taint, and granted the boy what all dead deserve. Peace.
"Better?" Death asked, though he could tell from Kenny's gratified sigh that he had done well.
"Very." Kenny murmured, and stretched his arms above his head, rocking his head in circles as he worked out the kinks from his neck. "That's the last time I go walking downtown though. The people here drive worse than that goth chick at my school."
Death sighed. "Now Kenneth-"
"Yeah yeah, mind my manners and all that." He had a thoughtful look on his face. "But you know, after that growth spurt happened and she got those curves, she got kinda hot…" He trailed off as he noticed Deaths exasperated stare, and shrugged helplessly. "Whaaaaaat? I'm a healthy teenage boy. I have needs too. And black lace is hot."
As always, Death did not know what to make of Kenny. At one moment he would act like a hurt puppy, the next chattering happily as if he had not a care in the world. But perhaps that was one of the things that drew him to the boy.
Kenny, looking behind Death, smiled broadly. "Feeling a little nostalgic there, Death? You haven't brought out the hedge since I was little."
Death, confused, turned around. Somehow, when his attentions were focused on Kenny, the background had melted away. Now the two of them were standing before a long row of hedges. A modest wooden door stood directly behind Death. He had not meant to bring them here. But, for some reason, he felt himself asking, "Do you hate it?"
Kenny looked at him in surprise and grinned. He walked around Death and placed the palm of his hand on the lonely looking door. "No. I'm glad. Brings back memories."
Then Death was glad as well. The two of them stood where they were, enjoying each other's company as they waited.
"Hey Death?" Kenny asked suddenly, his hand rubbing across the surface of the door.
"Did an elephant really fit through here?"
"He did." Death assured him. It was a tale Death had told Kenny many times back when he was younger, and still very much afraid of the hedge.
"Huh…" They golden-haired boy looked back, his eyes resting on the leaf on Deaths blade. "And the little girl, the one that gave that to you, she went with him?"
"Yes." Death felt a small pang as the giver of his leaf was discussed, and Kenny seemed to notice his discomfort. But before the teen could hastily change the subject, there came a loud creak as the door swung open.
As always, Death heard nothing but empty air, but Kenny's beautiful blue eyes softened and there was a slight smile on his face as his lips silently mouthed, "I'm coming." His feet began to move, guiding him toward the welcoming door. And as he did, Death called out to him.
"Mind your head."
This was one of the few stories that was influenced by something other than my own twisted little mind. Not your normal South Park fics, though, I must admit.
I did cut out some extra scenes where Agony was torturing Kenny. It was a bit much, and I felt it didn't go well with the flow of the overall story. Besides, this oneshot is long enough as it is. But I hoped you enjoyed it all the same.
If you can recognize Death and Agony and tell me where they come from, you get brownie points. :D And a sweet, normal fic to balance out with this one.