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January 1st, 2017

Death
The shadows lengthen as the sun goes down in the Sonoran Desert. The shrubs part and let Death through, <follow me> it says.

"No", I reply, and walk away.

I spin away when I feel its bony hand grab my shoulder. I walk away.

I make it six paces before the handle of its scepter blocks my way, <follow me> it says.

"Ok" I reply, and follow.

We walk through the desert for five minutes without talking. It points to a freshly dug hole in the ground: <enter>

"I followed you out here, but I will not go in there. I know who you are."

There is no perceptible response. Then it says <enter>

I turn and walk away and make it two paces before it appears in front of me.

"I will go in if you go first", I respond. It pauses to consider.

Death must not be negotiable. This is a mistake. I grab the scepter from the trainee, dispatch it, and push it in the hole.

I walk back to the start mark and wait for the next trainee. Finding a replacement will take time.