A Dance with Death

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Chapter 10

Six months later.

Six months passed by, I hadn't heard from Mors since he delivered Ellie to me. Ellie had turned into a strong, rambunctious, vocal, happy dog. Her little body was starting to become pure muscle. Her tail never stopped wagging. She gave the pet sitter I hired a run for her money.
However, Mors was right, Ellie made me smile and laugh. She was also cheeky and jumped up on my computer chair and made herself comfortable in the gap between my body and the back of the chair when I was working on the computer at home. She was full of kisses and love.
She licked many tears from my eyes since she was given to me. I would always hold her tightly and she loved that, she also loved sharing my bed.
In a typical staffy fashion she'd take up as much room as she could, while also having at least one body part touching me.
Even though Ellie and work kept me busy, my mind would wander back to Mors. I felt as though something wasn't right. I just knew in my heart that something bad had happened to my beloved Mors. I just wish I had known what it was

One warm afternoon while walking Ellie through the local dog park. I saw a flash of a trench coat. My heart stopped in my chest, was I imagining this or did I just see Mors. I ran towards the area in which I saw the flash.
I stumbled across a large green grassy area. There under the branches of a sprawling gum tree, sitting on a bench was a man. The man was wearing a bowler hat, a trench coat, tailored pants, and his nose in what looked to be an old worn, leather bound book. I couldn't contain my excitement as I approached the man. I crossed my fingers, prayed, and hoped that the man sitting on the bench was Mors.
Once I reached him, I cleared my throat and with as much of a normal voice I could muster I said,
"Mors, Mors! Is that really you?"
The man looked up, I recognised him. It was Mors. However, he did not seem to recognise me. He had a look of utter confusion on his face, and his piercing blue eyes reflected nothing, he didn't recognise me, he didn't know who I was.
My heart sank, Ellie was trying to sniff him, he reached down and gave her a pat. He then focused his attention to me once again,
"I'm sorry sir, you have the wrong person. My name Is Clay." He looked down at Ellie, then back at me and smiled. The smile that I loved seeing because Mors rarely smiled.
"Your dog is cute. What's her name?"
I was still in shock and heartbroken that here in front of me in a park that I always visited was Mors..and he didn't recognise me and went by another name.
Trying to disguise my hurt I smiled back and answered his question,
"Her name is Ellie." I paused, "and my name is Roku." I extended my hand in greeting.
Clay smiled and met my hand with his. As our hands touched, I gasped in surprise, the touch of his hnd was warm like a normal human, not cold like a reapers.
Clay invited me to sit with him, so we could talk longer. I asked him about his book, what he did for a living, just small talk that you'd use when you first meet a stranger or a new friend.
Clay seemed interested in everything I had to say, even though Ellie would force her head under his hand demanding more pats as her tail wagged non-stop.
Our conversation was interrupted by someone calling Clay's name. Clay smiled again, and said,
"That's my friend, Shin calling. Would you like to meet him, Roku?" Clay asked.
It was strange seeing Mors so innocent and child like in a way. Considering all the deaths he had seen. I smiled and nodded, it was hard pretending that I had just met him and had not met Shin before. There was a fight raging inside me, I wanted to pull Mors into my arms and kiss him, the other side of me wanted to remain logical and not give in to the build up of emotions and questions wanting to burst from my lips.
I followed Clay until we met Shin back on the path that I had first seen the flash of trench coat out of the corner of my eye, which led me to meeting Mors once again.
When we were close enough for Shin to recognise me, I saw Shin's posture drop. Me running into Clay was not on the agenda. I had so many questions and had a feeling that Shin had the answers in which I sought. Clay was excited as he introduced us,
"Shin, this is Roku and his dog Ellie."
Shin grimaced as he smiled, but as he was a good sport he extended his hands and I returned the favour.
After our introduction, I turned to Clay and said.
"Clay, Is it alright If I speak to your friend Shin in private for a couple of seconds? You can even hold onto Ellie's lead if you'd like?" I asked.
Clay's face lit up like a child on Christmas day about to open their first present.
"Okay." I handed him the lead and motioned for Shin to join me a few metres away.
Once we were out of Clay's ear shot. I felt the need to let loose with my anger, frustration, and shock, but not sure how Clay would handle me being that way, I controlled myself.
"What's happened to Mors? Why doesn't he remember me? Why is he now so child - like and innocent?"
Shin sighed and lowered his voice,
"I want to answer your questions, but I don't think here in an open and very public park is an appropriate place in which to speak. Don't you agree Roku?" I didn't want to agree, I wanted answers, but I knew that Shin would not tell me anything while we were there.
Before I could answer, Shin inched closer and rested his hand on my shoulder, and under his breath he gave me an address and time.
"Meet me at this address, tonight at 7pm. Then I will tell you everything. But you mustn't let Mors see you, he lives in the apartment next door. I'm sorry you had to see him this way, I was going to tell you, but wanted to wait until he returned to his normal self to save you the shock, but fate had other ideas it seems."
I nodded and turned back around to collect Ellie from Clay, only to see him sitting on the ground playing with her. His smile made the day brighter and the laughs and giggles escaping his mouth, warmed my heart. I paused and watched them, Shin joined me and rested his hand on my shoulder, while he watched as well.
Even though I didn't want to stop the scene playing out in front of me I had to break it up. I was to meet Shin in three hours, and needed to go home and get ready.
Shin and Clay waved goodbye as we left in opposite directions. I looked forward to getting answers from Shin.
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