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The Reaper: Asogio
by Tanner

The reaper sat on a throne of skulls, two gremlins by his side. The doors of his German castle creaked open. There in the doorway was a man. He was muscular, tall, pale, and handsome. He had combed back black hair and wore a long black robe and no shirt.

There was a scar across his chest. He approached the throne, his feet leaving black marks on the floor. The reaper clutched his sickle and stepped down.

"Who are you?" asked the reaper, a welt of anger in his voice.

"I," began the man, "am Asogio. I come from the great tombs in Italy. I, as you can probably tell by my attire and skin shade, am as the humans call... A vampire."

"What brings a leech like you into my domain?"

"I have come to obtain custody of this fine place."

The reaper released an entertained laugh. "No boy, you have come to impress me."

The reaper ran his bony finger over the scar on Asogio's chest. Asogio grabbed the finger and snapped it back, crushing it.

"Not a wise move boy," informed the reaper. The reaper raised his sickle into the air. Asogio fell back as beams of light escaped his torso and manifested itself into the sickle, which was now glowing. Asogio slowly rose, then fell again. The reaper pointed the sickle at Asogio. The energy moved into Asogio who rose, trembling.

"Don't touch me again," warned the reaper. Asogio balled his hands into a fist.

"I'm warning you. Either you give me this fine establishment, or I will inform the dark council. "I could kill you." Asogio stepped back, trying to conceal his fear. "I propose this offer; we hold a contest to see who gets this place."

"I'm listening," informed the reaper.

"Winner will get this place."

The reaper gave a nod of satisfaction.

"Then it is settled. Tomorrow we will begin."

The next day Asogio stood in the main chamber, a demon standing in the middle of the chamber. Two shackled humans appeared.

"Ye must take the life out of these humans. Begin."

Asogio lunged for the first prisoner, digging his teeth into the man's neck. The reaper aimed his sickle and instantly absorbed the energy from the second man.

"The reaper has won," said the demon.

"Next, ye must travel through this course without touching the contents below."

On the bottom of the floor was a pit of fire, a cauldron of hot gas, a hole filled with pythons, and a pile of needles. Asogio jumped up and turned into a bat. The reaper snapped his fingers. In a puff of smoke the reaper was on the other side.

"Last challenge. Ye must each fight each other using no power, weapons, or spells. Now start."

The reaper lunged forward, striking Asogio hard. Asogio attempted a roundhouse kick. The reaper grabbed Asogio's foot and snapped it. Asogio fell, his eyes burning with rage. He jumped up and swung a fist at the reaper. The reaper's head recoiled back, but with a cracking sound came back up. With a well aimed jab, the Reaper silenced Asogio.

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