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So my grandfather was recently admitted to the hospital and it inspired this one-shot.

A Battle With Death

The Mierek clan had officially taken over the waiting room. Occasionally a family member would enter and another one would leave. A week ago my grandfather had suddenly fallen ill and has been at the hospital since. His condition had gone down hill and we were all called here to see him. I sat with my cousins playing games and trying to keep the younger ones happy. I had driven out after school with a few of my cousins to meet up with the rest of the family.

My grandma walked back in. She wasn't crying, thank the gods. A few of my uncles and I were trying to hold it together for everyone. She walked over to my mom and they started chatting. I looked around and saw all my aunts and uncles together with my cousins. My dad, being Zeus, king of the gods, had better things to do than come down to earth and comfort his son and his old lover.

My mom waved me over and together we walked out of the waiting room to my grandfather's room.

"What did grandma say?" I asked my mom.

"Well they don't know exactly what's wrong with him but they are going to continue running tests. All we can do now is wait." She replied. I hated hearing that. Being ADHD sitting around and waiting is never my thing. 

We entered my grandfather's room and I quietly shut the door behind me. My grandfather was propped up in his bed. Balloons and a stuffed cow were set on a table. Art work and get well cards lined the wall above his head. He was sleeping, something he was doing a lot of as a result of the medicine they were giving him. My mom gently shook him awake so he would know we were here.

"Hey dad." Mom said quietly.

"Jackie, Joseph." He said noticing I was there. His thinning hair was a mess and his face sagged but the same smile spread across his face.

"How ya feeling?" I asked him.

"Tired." He muttered. "How's the barn?" 

My grandfather owned a small dairy farm and I had started working there after school and on the weekends. Even though my grandpa is in his seventies he still works in the barn morning and night.

"Hey don't you worry about the barn, me and the guys have it under control." I replied trying to sound up beat.

"Good, good." He muttered nodding his head. He then fell back asleep and my mom and I exited the room.

We walked back to the waiting room and passed a male nurse dressed in a black scrub and black pants. He was checking something on an iPad. When I walked past him all the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and I stopped in my tracks. I turned around and for a split second the nurse was a hooded figure reading a list and holding a scythe. I blinked and the the man was a nurse again. He started walking down the hall towards my grandfathers room then turned left going in the opposite direction.

A few minutes later a team of doctors and nurses rushed past us with medical supplies. 

"Hey mom I forgot something in grandpa's room, I'll be right back." I lied. She nodded and continued on her way to the waiting room.

I rushed back to my grandpa's room keeping an eye out for the black nurse. I was moving so fast that I ran smack into a doctor coming around the corner. I fell to the ground but the doctor just dusted himself off.

"Be careful kid this is a hospital, not a race course!" He scolded

Before I could apologize he walked off. I sat up and noticed a small pill bottle in my lap. I turned around to try and tell the doctor but he had disappeared. I looked at the bottle and read the label. My eyes growing with every word.

"Immortality Capsules. Take one with water and wait five minutes for effects to kick in. Side effects include; prolonged life, youthful appearance, cocky attitude, lust for power, and immunity to death. Consult Dr. A. Pollo with questions and concerns. Effects last for one hour, depending on species."

I jumped up and sprinted the rest of the way to my grandfather's room. I entered and pulled the curtain in front of the door shut. Thankfully my grandfather was still sleeping. I sat in a chair and turned the bottle in my hands. I opened it and took out the small golden capsule. I was instantly tempted to shove it down my grandfathers throat. I took one step forward then another back. The bottle said that the effects would last for only one hour. Would that make him fell better? Would it cure him? Would it backfire?

I fought with the decision in my head until another idea formed in my head. Suddenly a shadow appeared at the door. I knew by the size of the person that Death had come knocking on my grandfather's door. I ran over to the sink and checked the time on the clock 5:55 pm.

"Hang in there grandpa." I said looking over at him. I popped the pill in my mouth and took three gulps of water from the sink. Then the door opened.

The person who walked in wore a hooded cloak and carried a black scythe in his hand. I leaned up against the sink and Changing Storm appeared as a sword in my hand. The figure seemed to hover past me with no regard for my presence. He moved over to my grandfather's bed and pulled out his iPad. He tapped on it a few times then it disappeared.

"Hello Thanatos." I said calmly causing him to jump. He whirled around and stared at me. I put on a very smug look even though I was literary staring Death in the face.

Thanatos removed his hood revealing his black braided hair and hazel colored eyes.

"Joseph Mierek," He said in a deep voice. "What are you doing here?"

"Oh like you don't know." I said sarcastically. I pointed my sword at my grandfather. "The elderly gentleman laying in that bed is my grandfather, and I would appreciate it if would distanced yourself from him before things get ugly." 

Thanatos stayed where he was. "Your grandfather's time is up, Joseph, and I am here to do my job."

"Now that's where you and I disagree." I said pointing my sword at Death. "Look at this man, a week ago he was the picture of health. He's not supposed to die for a long time. And not like this!" I retorted.

"And what makes you the expert on me? Thanatos asked.

I shrugged. "Are you a gambling god Thanatos?" I asked.

"Do I look like Dionysus?" Thanatos growled growing impatient.

"Hear me out," I began, walking between my grandfather and Thanatos. Surprisingly my grandpa was still asleep. "Man those drugs must be some powerful stuff." I thought. I quickly looked at the clock... 5:57. "If I can beat you in  a fight in under one hour you have to leave my grandfather alone for a minimum of ten years."

Thanatos seemed to be intrigued by my challenge. A smile played across his face. "And what do I get if I win?" He asked.

"You get him... and me." I said glancing at the clock again... 5:58.

"So do we have a deal." I asked.

Thanatos rubbed his chin thinking very hard about what he was getting himself into "Deal!" He said sticking his hand out after a few moments.

"Then swear by the River Styx that you will leave my grandfather and all the members of my family alone for a period of at least ten mortal years." I demanded.

"I swear." Thanatos said. He flexed his hand urging me to shake it. However I knew that if I touched him I would die instantly. That's how powerful he is. I had to wait until the medicine took full effect. I turned back to look at my grandfather sleeping and Thanatos quickly grabbed my hand. I felt a cold wave crash through my body and my vision started to get fuzzy. Thanatos had a wide grin on his face. I glanced at he clock and saw the second hand turn to 6:00.

Another wave crashed through my body but this time warm and more intense. My eyes flew open and I was encased in a faint golden light. Thanatos looked at me with uncertainty and some fear. There's a record, scaring death twice in one day. I gripped his hand tighter and an electric current passed from me to him. Thanatos wretched his hand free and took a step back.

"How are you alive?!" He growled in disbelief. I tossed him the pill bottle and after reading the label he threw the bottle on the ground. He cursed Apollo in ancient Greek.

"Now about that fight." I said pointing my sword at Thanatos. "Let's take it somewhere where we won't cause too much damage. I pointed my hand to the open window and I flew out into the evening sky. A storm was brewing and   a slight drizzle had started. I turned back to the hospital window and saw Thanatos just standing there.

"You swore, remember?" I shouted.

Thanatos had scowl on his face. Probably from being cheated out of an easy win. He tore off his cloak revealing his purple wings and dark skin. He wore a tight black shirt and black jeans. He jumped out of the window, scythe in hand, and flapped his wings, catching the wind. We hovered a twenty feet from each other weapons at our sides.

"You can still back out now Mierek." Thanatos shouted at me.

"Not a chance. You've been beaten before and I can beat you now." I shouted back. Thanatos became furious at his past defeats at the hands of Hercules and Sisyphus. He was determined not to loose to me.

Thanatos flew at me. He pulled his scythe back and when he swung it I allowed myself to drop. He missed the top of my head and I blasted him with a current of air from underneath. He shot upward and I followed. Thanatos regained his slight pattern just in time to block my slash to his head.

He pushed me back then tried to blast me with a bolt of darkness. My sword transformed into a shield and I blocked the attack. I held my shield by the edge and whipped it at Thanatos. He ducked and tried to attack. But I used the winds to pull the shield back to me without Thanatos noticing. The shield smashed into the back of his head and into my hand where it turned into my staff.

"Alright, Mierek no more Mr. Nice-Death." Thanatos shouted.

He raised his scythe and he grew in size. He towered over me, easily ten feet tall. He slashed his scythe and I was barely able to dodge his attacks. I didn't even try to block considering his scythe was bigger than my body. He swung his scythe again and I felt the blade cut my cheek. I held my hand to my face continuing to dodge. I shot up into the clouds and they thickened and darkened around me. I felt my face again and found that it had already healed Thanatos followed but was soon lost in the clouds. He flew three feet bellow me and stopped to look for me. I pointed my staff at him. A powerful lightning bolt shot down and connected with his scythe.

When he dropped the scythe, I dropped out of the sky and slammed into him feet first. We crashed onto the roof of a parking garage, Thanatos on his back and me standing on his chest. I jumped off of him and tried to walk off the pain shooting through my right leg. That was nothing compared to Thanatos. He was silently laying on the pavement trying to sit up.

"You wanna surrender now, or do I have to beat you further into the pavement?" I shouted at him.

Thanatos managed to get up into a sitting position. He extended his hand and his scythe flew to him. He caught it and swung the blade down. A fissure opened up and hell fire shot from the hole. I jumped back as ghostly hand began clawing their way out of the blazing pit. About forty skeletons in mismatched armor formed ranks in front of Thanatos.

"That has gotta be cheating!" I shouted.

Many held swords and shields but half a dozen had bows and quivers full of arrows. They notched their arrows and opened fire. I dove behind a lone hummer as a volley of arrows soared past me. I peaked out from behind the hummer and almost got an arrow through my eye. The arrows stopped whizzing by and I could hear the undead warriors marching forward while I sat there. I quickly pointed my staff at the warriors and shot a bolt of lightning at them. I managed to destroy a few but the others raised their shields. The archers opened fire again.

"Oh I'm screwed." I thought. I was way out numbered and time was running out. A small flash of lighting made me look up. The storm had grown stronger and I could make out distinct shapes flying through the clouds. I lifted my head to the sky and let out an ear splitting call. I watched as the shapes swirled together into a whirlwind of clouds and lightning. Three dozen storm spirits crashed into the line of skeletal warriors with a loud BANG. I stepped out from behind the hummer and watched as the storm spirits began clashing with the undead warriors. I charged into the fight working my way towards Thanatos.

I knocked a skeletal warriors head off and pushed another one over the edge with a gist of wind. A skeleton snuck up behind me and tried to lop my head off when a Bengal tiger dropped out of the sky and tackled the warrior. It tore the skeleton limb from limb then transformed into my sleek gray cat Angel.

"What the heck is going on!?" She shouted at me.

"Long story, I made a bet with Thanatos. If I can beat him he'll leave grandpa alone." I answered. Angel's jaw dropped like she couldn't believe how stupid I was. Heck people do crazy things for the people they love.

The storm spirits had finished off the warriors and the remaining few were focusing on Thanatos. He had regained some of his strength and grabbed a storm spirit which turned to dust.

"Stay here." I told Angel. "If he touches you, you'll die instantly."

I charged towards Thanatos as he finished of the last of the storm spirits. A tornado formed around me and I blasted Thanatos with another bolt of lightning. I hit him square in the chest and he crashed into the low wall of the parking garage. I walked forward and the tornado continued to swirl around me. Thanatos tried to bar-be-que me with hell fire but the flames were caught in the tornado and dissipated. I increased the speed of the tornado the winds pushed Thanatos even harder against the wall.

Thanatos managed to raise his scythe and with a murderous look in his eyes slashed it down at an angle trying to slice me in half. The wind did nothing to slow it down. I brought the but of my staff up in an ark and caught the point where the the blade connected to the shaft of the handle. I ripped the scythe from his grip an the weapon flew over my head and clattered to the ground next to Angel.

Angel transformed into an eagle and picked up the scythe. She dropped it in my hands as my tornado died down. Changing Storm disappeared  and I held Thanatos's scythe to his throat.

"I win." I whispered leaning in close to him. "Now get out of here before I rip your wings off and use your feathers to stuff my grandfather's pillows!"

I threw Thanatos his scythe and, with a defeated look on his face, he vanished without a word.

I flew back to the hospital entrance and told Angel to go back home. I didn't want every nurse screaming at me to; "Get that filthy animal out of here."

I walked to the elevator and went to the top floor where there was a small cafe. I bought a small coffee and a doughnut. The coffee wasn't for me. On my way back to my grandpa's room I ran into my cousin Ashlee, daughter of Athena.

"Where have you been?" She asked.

"No where's important." I answered. "Let's go see grandpa."

We walked into his room and a smile spread across my face. Grandpa was sitting up in his bed flipping through the TV. He looked like he wasn't even sick!

"Hey grandpa." I said walking up to him with Ashlee walking slowly behind me.

"Hello Joseph." He said cheerfully. I handed him the coffee I bought from the cafe.

"Thought you could use this." I said. He took a long drink and Ashlee knelt down next to him.

"Grandpa," She asked. "How do you feel?"

Grandpa paused on his drink. "I feel better, a lot better!" He proclaimed startling Ashlee. "Is everyone still here?"

"Yeah, they're in the waiting room." Ashlee said clearly confused.

"Alright, Joseph get me some clothes. I wanna go see my family." He said throwing back his covers and ripping wires off his body causing a wave of nurses to flood into the room. Ashlee and I were shoved out of the room before we could argue with them. But it didn't matter I was smiling from ear to ear.

Ashlee stared at me in disbelief. "Who...what...how?" She asked stunned.

"Come on." I said draping my arm over her shoulder I'll tell ya on the way.

Author's Note

Well I'm happy I was able to finish this story. My grandpa's getting better and he's under going treatment. We expect him to be back home with in the next two weeks! SonOfZeus1200~Peace out. 05:02, February 3, 2013 (UTC)

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