The Reaper helped Melvin off the floor when he came to.
"Am I dead?"
"No, I told you that." She snapped her voice sharp and disapproving.
Melvin rubbed his head checking for any bleeding.
"You're not." Death said sitting back down in his armchair.
"Not what?" asked Melvin.
"Bleeding Melvin." Death's eyes flashed briefly deep within her cowled hood.
Leaning forward he tried to get a better look at her face but it remained hidden. There was no mistaking that Death's voice was female and the close fitting black robes reinforced his suspicions. Finding it odd that he was eyeing Death up he rubbed his head again to make sure that he hadn't cracked his skull.
Death's hands were covered in long black gloves no doubt hiding thin skin stretched over skeletal fingers. Her eyes sparkled with humour, instead of being glazed and vacant, and she sat with an exaggerated grace and poise.
"You don't look like the artists depict you. Well maybe a little."
"Everyone says that. In England I wear black, in Poland white. Horses for courses. I like black, it's such a slimming colour." she trailed off running her hands over her hips, the image both alluring and disturbing.
Obviously Death was a tease.
"My head hurts." he touched the throbbing spot. "Ouch! Are you sure that I didn't fracture my skull? "
"Yes Melvin I know about these things. Trust me. Now young man... some tea?"
"Yeah right, sorry. Er how do you take it?" Melvin asked unsure as to whether he offered Death a biscuit or not.
"Milk with no sugar, I'm sweet enough. Off you pop then."
Knowing a dismissal when he heard one Melvin walked into the kitchen and filled the kettle up, the sound of it boiling loud in the early hours of the morning. Wondering if Death liked her tea in a mug or a cup he peered around the corner to see her facing the wall, looking at his pictures.
"A cup and saucer will do fine, Melvin." she said without turning around.
"Right thanks." said Melvin.
He was sure that his mother wouldn't mind him using the cup and saucer he kept for her visits, and he scattered some ginger nuts onto a plate and then carried a laden tray into the living room.
Sitting down they both sipped their tea in silence, punctuated by Melvin's biscuit munching.
After she had finished Death placed her cup on the side table and sat up in her chair.
"So Melvin, can you tell me why you have been creating more work for me? "
"Pardon?" Melvin spluttered crumbs of biscuit flying everywhere.
Death leaned forward her eyes glowing bright red and captivating him.
"The deaths Melvin. You're a walking corpse factory. Why are you doing it?"
"Me?" said Melvin, "I thought that was you?"
"Apparently not. We need to look into this. Pack a bag, you're coming to stay with your Aunty Śmierć."