An Old Enemy

“What-oh? Who is there?” the elderly adventurer wheezed. “Come at me in bravery, fiend! I can still give you what-for!”

Atticus Q. Redghost walked out of the shadows with a soft, sad smile. “I mean you no harm, paladin. I have come to bring you home.”

The old man’s eyes couldn’t focus but he recognized the voice. “So they sent you, my darkest venom. I should have guessed it. Let me have a tea, Atty, before the task is done. Do me this favor at least.” He reached for the kettle but couldn’t grasp it, his hand passing through as effortlessly as smoke.

The old man paused. “…when did…?”

“Age took you this morning while you were asleep. I’ve spent the day compiling your records to ensure you would be buried with your full, well deserved honors. Modesty served you in life, but in death, I know you want to be remembered.” The villain poured tea into two cups, dropping a silvery leaf into one of them. The tea glowed like moonlight on a forest for a moment before dimming. “One last drink with an old enemy?”

“With an old friend,” the ghost quietly corrected as he picked up the cup, the leaf giving it an ethereal thread to grasp. The dead hero clinked his mug against the villain’s in toast and the pair drank in silence.