Turn Back the Clock
“Great news, my friend.” Death bounced onto the sofa with child-like glee after walking in the door.
Chronos sloshed the cup of tea he’d been holding while reading the paper when a femur struck him. He shook his head and smiled at Death’s enthusiasm for life.
“What momentous thing has happened this time?”
“I have an appointment in a few minutes,” Death said. “Come with me and I’ll tell you all about it.”
They arrived inside of a nursing home. The recreation room held a number of residents who called out greetings to Thanatos with great grim humor. Chronos looked around with interest as Death shook hands with people, working the room like a politician looking for votes. He wondered who was to be the collection.
“Who are you here to collect?” Chronos asked after several minutes of socializing went by.
“No one. I just stop in each week to visit. They consider me an old friend around here. But let me tell you about my news. Cleopatra has consented to finally go out with me.”
“What made her change her mind after all these centuries?” Chronos knew she’d rebuffed Death many times.
“Well, my friend, that’s where you come in. I need a small favor. See, I told her about the androids in the beach bar, the time that you traveled 400 years into the future? She said she’d like to go there with me. I need a couple of grains of sand from you to take her, though.”
“Oh, no. Don’t you remember what happened the last time I gave you some? You dropped them on the border between France and England.”
Death shrugged and tossed a peanut in the air, catching it in his eye socket.
“I don’t think the British mind being an island. They should have called it the Thanatos Channel though. Besides, I’m only asking for two grains this time. You have millions of them. Please?”
“I know I’m going to regret this.” Chronos fumbled with his hourglass as he muttered dire consequences for any future mishaps.
He fished out two grains of sand and placed them on Death’s outstretched metacarpals. One grain promptly fell to the floor and Chronos dove for it. A metal walker leg tromped on his hand while an orthopedic shoe stepped on the tiny speck.
Chronos and Death both froze as the wizened benefactor blossomed into a beauty, shaving 60 years off her age in an instant. Bemused, they watched the lithesome woman march out the front door dressed only in a housecoat and support hose flopping about her ankles.
“That one doesn’t count, does it?” Chagrin colored Death’s voice.
Chronos laughed. “No, but why don’t I put them in your pocket for you? That way you’ll know where they are when you’re ready to use them.”
“A timely suggestion.” Death linked arms with Chronos as they left, shouts of farewell following their exit.