‘But there’s a lot more I should explain before we start trying to save the world and whatnot, and you should probably clean up this mess before someone sees. Unless you plan on starting things off by revealing your secret to someone.’
“Er, right...” He moved toward the door and then paused awkwardly. “Uh...”
‘Maybe a mop would be useful?’
“R-right...” He opened the door and left. A narrow hallway awaited, and he couldn’t help staring at it for a moment. Such a simple place. Creamy white walls and plain brown carpeting. He must have seen it thousands of times, but it seemed somehow different. Everything did, in fact. His scuffed sneakers, his baggy black trousers, even the hallway light over his head and the moth fluttering around it; everything was a reminder of himself, of who he was, of his sudden uncertainty as to whether or not he was still that same person.
He made sure to close the bathroom door behind him and went downstairs. His parents sat together in the den, watching television in the dim light of a tall lamp. They didn’t bother to look at him as he crossed into the kitchen, though he was sure they must have heard his footsteps. But then, he supposed it was better that they didn’t see him. Explaining all the blood on his shirt would have been difficult. Quickly, he grabbed the mop by the refrigerator.
‘Don’t forget a bucket,’ came the reaper’s soundless voice, and Hector nearly dropped his mop, juggling it between hands for a few moments. ‘Some towels would probably be good, too.’