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Larceny in his soul, avarice in his pocket, the grim reaper did appear and on a door was knocking. “Son, your end has come, the reaping time is here, I’m afraid I’ve done an audit and your account is in arrears.”

Victim shook his head back and forth four short frenetic twists, looked Reaper in his cowl and asked, “What’s up with this? I’m less old than young, I’ve got decades left, who the hell are you to tell me that now’s my time for death?”

“Pardon me?”Azrael intoned, in his Good-Fella accent, “Are you challenging my books? Cuz if you are then take a look.”

Mortal screwed up his left cheek and squinted his left eye, dismissing death’s declaration as unmitigated lie. “You think I’d trust your ledger?” he asked, emphasizing your, “I don’t mean to be disrespectful but your alt-truths are a real boor.”

Death’s grip on scythe did tighten, his breath did huff and puff, never in recent reaping had Azrael had a time so rough. “Listen, you little peon, I’m death, I’m huge, the best! You’d better come with me quietly and desist in your protest.”

Curmudgeon’s face can be derisive, he can wound with just a glance, little did death realize he didn’t have a chance. “I was promised four score year, give or take a bit, if you think I’d let a no good bum like you screw me then you can stick it in your ear. Behind me is a legion of loving, caring friends and if you don’t high-tail it out of here you from your bones we’ll rend.”

Death coughed an uncomfortable response, things were not proceeding as planned, he was on a tight schedule so he mumbled, “This reaping be damned.”

“Listen, mortal,” Reaper intoned, leaning in so his breath blew human’s hair back, “I’m gonna give you a rain-check today, but you bet your ass that I’ll be back.”

“Rain-check?” curmudgeon insisted, “What’s up with that? I need a firm commitment, dotted line, signed contract.”

“A contract! Who you kidding? All my work’s free-lance. I’ll be back when I say so, you get no notice in advance.”

“Tell your story walking!” declared mortal as Azrael slouched away, “You know where you can find me! You just be on your way!”

There are few who get the upper hand when dealing with death but if anyone could do it on curmudgeon I’d place my bet.