It's been said that Death by Dawn is a fairy tale. Perhaps it could be told that way...
This is Marvin Trill here broadcasting from
the Kingdom of Night. And we’ll be talking about the strange and unusual
after hours. Tonight my guests have some rather unusual claims. Well,
more unusual then normal. *canned laughter*
DR – Roughly. I don’t really know what year I was born in compared to the current calendar. That total is off by a few years I’m sure.
MT – So in all that time, what’s changed?
DR - *sigh* Nothing really. Human beings are still the same petty, violent creatures they’ve always been. I’ve seen great things birthed by the hands of man, but I’ve also seen atrocities that would make you wretch in revulsion. Humanity doesn’t impress me. Most of the time I’m glad I’m no longer a member of that tribe.
MT – Well… if you don’t mind me shifting topics, what about your boyfriend? He’s human.
DR – Well, I don’t know if you should put it so simply. He has a human soul, but so did I once upon a time. Nobody is perfect.
MT – Speaking of souls; I was under the impression that you trapped your lovers soul in the remains of his corpse after a fatal house fire?
DR – That is absolutely not true! I wasn’t even present when it happened. Mort wanted to live. It’s far better to have a body that’s only bones to manipulate then be an earthbound spirit with no physical form at all.
MT – But you’re keeping him in this state?
DR. – Only if you consider feeding a child the same thing as forcing it to live. Mort is his own man. If he really wanted to experience the final death he would do so.
MT – But he is still a skeleton?
DR – Technically.
MT – Do you have a physical relationship, or is it strictly platonic?
DR – Of course we have a ‘physical’ relationship. He’s the love of my life. He may be dead, but Mort is still a man.
MT – Do you want to elaborate on how you manage that?
DR – Not really. We get by.
MT – Tell me a little more about the Angel of Death. I understand you’re close.
DR – Close may be overstating it. No one really ‘knows’ Death. Oftentimes even his appearance is your own expectations reflected back at you. Azrael is like a second father to me, but it doesn’t mean I know all his secrets.
MT – But he helped raise you?
DR – Yes, but, from the very beginning he let me have my space. Occasionally chipping away at my human nature, instead of taking it all at once as I offered, so as not to overwhelm me. He’s been there for me when no one else was.
MT – Is Mort jealous of your closeness with the Grim Reaper?
DR – Not that I’m aware of. Azrael has been good
to Mort. Accepted him like a son-in-law, and even shared some of his
power with him. He gave Mort a capacity for healing, and more
importantly, his eyes. They’re two tiny portals to the Outside; so he
never lacks for Qi to move his body.
MT – Tell me about the island.
DR – Isla Caixo? It’s Spanish for ‘Island Crypt’ because I buried a dear friend of mine there several hundred years ago. For now we mostly call it home. It’s small, but we like our privacy.
MT – Says here you own a junk store.
DR – Torrid Books and Antiques is not a junk store. It’s more of a hobby really. When you’ve lived as long as I have; sorting antiques is a trip down memory lane no matter how old they are.
MT – Tell me about Chase Fort and Klareese. They also seem to have an interesting relationship.
DR - *laughs* “Interesting” is diplomatic; Mort
would call it unnatural at best. Klareese is an Outsider. She’s part
humanoid, part moth, and has eyes like glowing embers.
MT – Speaking of love, I’d like to talk about your lover Mort in more detail. I understand he has some rather wild talents.
DR – That he does. Azrael gave him the gift of life along with his healing abilities. I’ve seen him shatter concrete just by standing on it. No matter how far down the dirt is, flowers and plants will just start to grow like crazy. And after a moment they’ll break the concrete apart and shove it away in a mad rush for the sky. When he’s focused, flowers bloom wherever he’s walked. It’s a beautiful thing.
MT – From your expression I gather that your gift is a heavier responsibility?
DR – That it is. Azrael gave me power over the living and the dead. I can speak in his voice and command anyone in earshot to do anything I like, even die. And I will be obeyed without question. But using it drains the life from anything in close contact with me when I speak. Death is part of my soul, and I often attract ghosts and Outsiders without meaning to.
MT – Speak of the dead. Mr. Mort Ad Audeo, please take a seat.
MA – Sorry I’m late. *kisses Dawn*
MT – Nice to have you here. We were just discussing Dawn’s affinity for the dead. Even knowing what to expect I’m still amazed by your appearance. All of you out there I wish you could see what I’m seeing. In all my years as a radio host I’ve never interviewed a skeleton before. Especially not one with such a luxurious head of hair. What’s your secret?
MA – We’re not entirely sure. It’s actually continued to grow after my death, which is good because I like it long. But it and my goatee are growing directly out of the bone.
DR – Hair is an excellent repository for excess Qi. My research has led me to believe that Mort is burning off the extra Qi from the Outside by making his hair grow.
MT – *chuckles* I wish I could do that.
DR – Get on with it.
MT – Yes, ma’am. So um, do you folks have any plans for the future?
MA – For a long time I felt like I had no future. Now it’s like a winding path stretching out before me. I don’t know where I’m going, or where I’ll find myself at the end; but at least I know I won’t be alone.
MT – Dawn, final thoughts?
DR – Embrace the inevitable and live each day as if it were your last.
MT – Profound. Well I thank you both for joining me, it’s been a pleasure. This is Marvin Trill broadcasting from the Kingdom Of Night. And after the break we’ll be talking to a man from Illinois who claims that aliens have delivered a single waffle to his bedroom every night for the last five years. After this-
*copyright by author*