The costumed sorcerer in the flared pumpkin pants and tuxedo jacket rooted through a carpetbag of supplies and continued to chatter at Little Death.
"You are one busy bee. Been following you all over the city for two weeks now. You certainly get around, mister. It really is a pleasure to finally meet your acquaintance. I'm Dandy Darkly, already told you that though. Didn't catch your name..."
Dandy Darkly glanced up from his bag of exorcism supplies. Little Death silently continued to hover, trapped inside the exorcist's ensnarement spell. Dandy rolled his eyes, "Be that way then." He rummaged back inside his carpetbag and removed a bouquet of dried herbs and a small cage holding a toad, its gullet occasionally expanding to a bright green bubble.
Dandy chuckled, "So it's the sex right? Or, rather, people cumming? And then dying? I'm right. Right? I couldn't figure it out at first. Your aura is fascinating by the way -- nothing I've ever encountered before."
He still arranged ritual components. A silver fountain pen. A bag of green candies. He continued, "I'd show up looking for you, but nothing. Just some dude crying cause he killed a hooker. Or that lady who bled out 'cause of that... Uhm? What the fuck was that thing? Like a rubber jackhammer! Remember her? So nasty! How do you handle it? Seeing people like that?"
Dandy Darkly chuckled as he scattered hand fulls of sea salt between the two of them, "But then I finally figured it out. You're a bigger pervert than any of them. You like to watch it! Don't-cha?" The clown started into his sing song voice again, "Yooooou like to waaAAatch! Yooooou like to waaAAatch!"
The exorcist jeered. Little Death punched at the barrier between them. The dimly lit shower room crackled with blue electricity, painfully throwing Little Death to the slippery tiles. He hadn't felt fear since his life at Nightfell Manor.
"Feisty lil fella. I said not to struggle! I promise this will be quick and mostly painless. So let's begin!"
The cage of energy had tightened, leaving Little Death with only space to kneel. He stared at the floor near him. The water splashing from the running shower had accumulated into a nice sized puddle. A few more minutes and there may be enough water to wash over one of the bone runes securing the mystical cage. He had to stall the sorcerer.
Dandy Darkly cocked his head to the side, "Oh? Now you want to talk?"
"Yes. Please. Let me go. You're right. I love to watch. I only watch now. I never make them kill."
"Now is hardly good enough, precious." Dandy shook his head, "You got the stink of murder trailing your wake for centuries. You look great for your age, by the way. Let's get this over with."
"My name is Little Death!" He immediately regretted telling the sorcerer his name. Names hold tremendous power.
Dandy Darkly removed his fingers from the mouth of the squirming toad and smiled, "Little Death? Is that why you're dressed all Emo? Black hoodie? Cute look. Reminds me of an old friend."
"Sort of. Death. He's my father. But I don't really know him."
Little Death eyed the water on the floor. He needed to stall longer, "Yeah. Told me to my face a long time ago. So is your friend a sorcerer, too?"
"No. He's with your daddy now." Dandy sighed, "Anyways, listen. You seem like a nice guy. It's great that Death is your dad. And for the record, I appreciate that you don't kill directly. Totally explains why it was so hard--"
"What was so hard?" Little Death had to keep him talking.
"Guessing where you'd watch next. Like I said, you were a hard one to track down. Entities that kill directly? Easy! Like pointing a gun and just seeing what's in the way." Dandy motioned as though he were holding a pistol at Little Death. "But you? You bounce off death. It bounces back off of you. Death scatters all around you." Dandy flared his fingers open, miming an explosion.
Little Death played to the fool's arrogance, "Amazing! How did you know I'd be here?"
Dandy laughed, "It's so déclassé. Tarot cards! Can you believe it? Normally, I hate gypsy magic. Hate. Hate. Hate! So many variables, especially with a unique critter like you. But I narrowed it down to The Lovers or The Hanged Man. Fifty-fifty. Went with this guy strangling himself." Dandy motioned to the motionless guy who choked himself in the shower. "Been hiding in this locker room for nearly five hours. Not to shabby, eh?"
The pooling water was nearly at the runes securing the barrier. Little Death needed a few more seconds. He nodded, "Not too shabby at all. So what is it you plan to do to me?"
Dandy Darkly stated matter-of-factually, "Wipe you from this plane of existence. Let's get started."
"Wait! I can-- I'll be your slave! Indebted to you for eternity if you spare my life!"
The sorcerer paused, again removing his fingers from the toad's mouth. "Little Death, listen. I appreciate the offer. I, myself, have done the indentured servant thing, and it's really not much fun. I can't imagine what I'd even use you for--"
The water on the floor touched the rune grounding the electric cage. All six of the painted bones sparked bright blue and popped, leaving black soot marks on the shower room tiles. Free of the entrapment, Little Death sprung into the air, "Oh, Mr. Darkly. Let me show you!"
Little Death slipped into the surprised warlock's psyche with no problem. He dug deeply into the clown-wizard's libido to find the appropriate desire that would reduce the exorcist to a quivering orgasmic heap. But... there was nothing. Absolutely nothing! It was as though Dandy Darkly's desire, his passion, even his very notion of love had all been scraped away or, at the very least, utterly suppressed by some sort of powerful magick. It was like flipping pay-per-view porn, but every channel was scrambled. Little Death doubled over as Dandy kicked him in booted him in the stomach. He sprawled on the tiled floor, wheezing.
"Get out of my brain, you little asshole!" Dandy clutched his shaved head, "Not sure ... what you just tried to do. But I'm ... still talking,"
The exorcist seemed to recover. "So that really sucks for you. Let's make this as painful as possible," He shoved two opposing fingers down the toad's throat and roughly yanked it apart. The amphibian's entrails splattered across Little Death.
"Essence of horned toad to muddle its lust."
Dandy scooped a handful of green chocolate candies. He deftly passed them between his gloved hands and revealed a dozen Spanish Flies. The jade beetles descended on Little Death as Dandy continued to chant.
"From sweet to swarm, Incubus cause none harm."
Little Death covered his eyes and mouth as the biting insects stung his skin. He tried to rise, but was too weak to move. Dandy now pelted him with burning chunks of dried herbs.
"Add ash of goat weed to sap its senses."
Acrid smoke billowed from the burning weeds, choking Little Death and concealing much of the room. And although the beetles continued to sting at his eyes, he could see movement beyond the smoke and buzzing insects. A wash of sheer black fabric glided along the narrow row of showers.
The exorcist pushed his tuxedo sleeve up to his elbow to reveal a patch of deeply scarred skin tissue. Dandy Darkly dug the razor sharp tip of a fountain pen into his arm. He winced but continued chanting as he sliced the words Little Death into his forearm.
"Skinned as I skin, darkest ink of my heart."
The letter L slashed itself across Little Death's left cheek. The letter I followed along his neck. One by one the letters of the dwarf's true name cut themselves into Little Death's face. The ravenous beetles dug into the bleeding exposed flesh. They pushed their way into his torn flesh. A gaunt cloaked form knelt where Little Death writhed and screamed.
Dandy Darkly seemed not to notice the figure as he flicked a silver lighter and passed the fire back and forth along his bleeding arm, cooking the skin he'd just sliced open.
"Burned as I burn, devil depart!"
Little Death agonized as flames ignited across his minuscule body. He tried to pull himself towards the puddle of water, but watched, horrified, as his hands disintegrated into clumped burning dust. A pale bone hand graced his face where his bleeding cheek now blackened. Though he cried, Little Death whispered happily, "Father. I can see--"
And the son of Death was nothing more but muddy ash on the dirty floor of a locker room shower.