The bees of Death are big and black, they buzz low and sombre, they keep their honey in combs of wax as white as alter candles. The honey is black as night, thick as sin and sweet as treacle.
It is well known the eight colours make up white. But there are also eight colours of blackness, for those that have the seeing of them, and the hives of Death are among the black grass in the black orchard under the black-blossomed, ancient boughs of trees that will, eventually, produce apples that... put it like this... probably won't be red.
The grass was short now. The scythe that had done the work leaned against the gnarled bole of a pear tree. Now Death was inspecting his bees, gently lifting the combs in his skeletal fingers.
A few bees buzzed around him. Like all beekeepers, Death wore a veil. It wasn't that he had anything to sting, but sometimes a bee would get inside his skull and buzz around and give him a headache.
As he held a comb up to the grey light of his little world between the realities there was the faintest of tremors. A hum went up from the hive, a leaf floated down. A wisp of wind blew for a moment through the orchard, and that was the most uncanny thing, because the air in the land of Death is always warm and still.
Death fancied that he heard, very briefly, the sound of running feet and a voice saying, no, a voice thinking oshitoshitoshit, I'm gonna die I'm gonna die I'm gonna DIE!
Death is almost the oldest creature in the universe, with habits and modes of thought that mortal man cannot begin to understand, but because he was also a good beekeeper he carefully replaced the comb in its rack and put the lid on the hive before reacting.
He strode back through the dark garden to his cottage, removed his veil, carefully dislodged a few bees who had got lost in the depths of his cranium, and retired to his study.
As he sat down at his desk there was another gust of wind, which rattled the hour-glasses on the shelves and made the big pendulum clock in the hall pause briefly in its interminable task of slicing time into manageable bits.
Death sighed, and focused his gaze.
There is nowhere Death will not go, no matter how distant and dangerous. In fact the more dangerous it is, the more likely he is to be there already.
Now he stared through the mists of time and space.
OH, he said. IT'S HIM.