Drew looked down the line of beautifully preserved old cars at a festival in New Zealand. They reminded him of the first car he ever owned in 1928. He sighed wistfully. He’d loved that car. As he looked down the road between the cars, he saw…him. He was dressed in black with a broad-brimmed hat just like always. He walked slowly, languidly as though his eventual success were inevitable.
Drew felt a familiar trembling in his legs. He’d run from this man before. Drew ran from him at the Battle of Hastings. He’d ran at Thermopylae. He’d run again. He darted down the street. His speed slowly increased until he ran faster that world-record sprinter, Usain Bolt. His vision began to blur and he lost consciousness. He awoke, sitting in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Just like always, he had no idea how he got there.
Back in Napier, New Zealand, the man in black stopped beside a man in white Hindu clothing. “This is really getting old, Parsephilus,” said the man in black.
“For the thousandth time, I’m sorry, Ankou,” said Parsephilus.
“Well you’re his guardian angel,” groused Ankou. “Did you talk to him?”
“I did. I told him the truth.”
“Why tell the truth? Nobody ever believes that! Tell him he’ll get 72 virgins. That works great.”
“Yeah, if you’re young, horny, and stupid.”
Ankou sighed. “I still can’t believe you cast THAT spell.”
“It was a typo!”
“I saw your spellbook. That was chili you spilled on it.”
“It was an accident,” groaned Parsephilus. “I just wanted to protect him from the Devil.”
Ankou (also known as the Grim Reaper) leaned against a sign. “Yeah, now instead of outrunning the Devil, he can outrun Death!”
In Celtic mythology, Ankou was the figure of Death: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_%28personification%29#Celtic
Written for Matthew Wright’s Mega Short-Story writing challenge. Find the original prompt right here: https://mjwrightnz.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/this-weeks-mega-short-story-challenge-11/