I sit in my chair in silence, looking out at the people carrying on with their lives around me. My journal lay open in front of me, over half the pages filled in from earlier jobs. The sun shines rather dimly as it begins to set and the streets begin to clear.251Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡq88IZ6HdHD
"Hello, how was your coffee today?" my usual waitress walks over to me with a smile.
"Strong." I reply, giving a friendly smile back. I don't tell her as usual that I spike my coffee, after all, it makes what comes next a bit easier. "Check, please."
"Sure thing." she disappears back into the café. I look down at my journal, reading the next context:
Enrio and Antonio Salvadore-pass by gunshot at Polaris Harbor at seven forty-four p.m. Jeremy Anthers and Ellen Heckerson. Jeremy-pass by fall of construction equipment due to harmful confrontation at seven forty-five p.m. at Polaris Harbor. Ellen-pass by suicide at eight thirteen p.m. Suicide by the slit of the wrists at 1126 Westside Apartments.
Wonderful, it couldn't have been anymore specific?! Like what equipment and how exactly it was all going to go down? Harmful confrontation? Really?! I never get the full details of my assignment nor does he ever listen to me when I complain about it... What a vacation he must be on right now!
I quickly snag a look at my watch, reading six O' two. Great! Just great. She's supposed to die before I will even make it over there going from the harbor. Driving across the city itself would take an hour, how the hell am I supposed to do the job?! I grumble to myself, taking out a twenty and leave it at the table. I rush from my outside seat and run towards my motorcycle. I sit myself comfortably on it, putting my helmet on snug, I set the journal in a leather side bag. I rev the engine, the hum vibrating through my fingers as I begin to head over to the harbor.
I barely notice the waitress as she makes it to my table before I disappear in a flash. I make my way through, weaving in between cars and zooming through speed lights, going well over the speed limit. I don't worry, though, I am already dead, well, somewhat anyway. Besides, the sun going down is all the motivation I would need to get this done quickly.
After about a half hour of zigzagging through traffic, I make it to the harbor, a bunch of yellow concrete traffic blocks stop me from pulling completely in with my motorbike. I take off my helmet and set it onto the handle of my bike while making sure I bring my leather bag with me, the night wind whipping my dark hair back. My surroundings consists of many types of equipment and the dust from gravel that lightly stung my eyes. Rusty boats line around the waters in the surrounding areas, plywood piles litter the outskirts along with construction signs emitting warnings around. Run down buildings that I assume were once bars or restaurants and such sit, empty and alone.
My job was relatively easy, however, finding my job was another matter. I had to find the poor bastard and wait for him to literally take his last breath. I begin to scale the different paths highlighted in orange cones, looking for all the available entrances which is where our unlucky tender would come through.
Eventually, the sun is lit up in gorgeous colors, making the nearby water an array of what could be a peaceful spot, that is if you weren't here for the reason I was. Sometimes, in my line of work it's great to take a minute to still appreciate the view before what's to come.
I take once last second before I force myself to turn away and focus at the task at hand: where is poor ol' Jeremy coming from? I scale the outskirts of the small harbor and notice many entrances. Good news? Most of them are blocked off save three of them. Two of them are many yards closer than the first one, the main exit. I look around and think of different possible scenarios to which will force him to come in here and where from.
Would he come through screaming and running away from this "harmful confrontation" or would he be followed? Would he walk into something or is it a situation gone bad? One thing is that I am never told who they are that is dying, whether they are a mother, father, good guy, bad guy, whoever. It makes the curiosity almost unbarring but it gives you room to assume they aren't a good guy. I know full well that it is bull crap but it helps me sleep at night.
I try not to think about what doesn't concern me, because truth is, if I do then I hesitate or am tempted to be a hero. This isn't a story of a hero and I know this but I sometimes feel remorse for what I do. The thing that I keep telling myself is that I don't have a choice and honestly, I've said it enough to myself to where I actually believe it. I don't have a choice... It is something I asked for, granted I didn't initially know what I was getting into, but people do whatever it takes to survive. That's what I'm doing.
The shadows around me begin to fade into dark and the last remaining rays disappear behind me as I sit myself up on one of the plywood piles watching down from above. I can see two entrances, the third is around the corner away from my view. I glance at my watch, now reading seven thirty-one. I take a deep breath and exhale slowly, preparing myself for the initial blow to come.
Street lamps around the area illuminate sections and blackout others, shadows on surrounding building blocks stretch out into impossible shapes and the night is silent other than the occasional howl of the wind. The sky is littered with stars and the moon casts over an illuminating sight over the dark water. The only beauty part left of the night in my eyes.
A strong gust of wind kicks up and whips my hair all around me. I take a second to straighten it out and look back to the area in front of me. A shadow figure stretches across one of the empty buildings and I look to the lamppost, a middle aged man wearing a long brown coat and a black hat stands, nervously glancing to and from his watch. A duffle bag awaits sitting by his feet as he looks around from lamppost to lamppost. My guess is it's another drug deal. He seems to be a bit too jittery for his own good, though. A long tractor looking thing with a skyjack carries a large metal piece of equipment attached are four ropes that carry the piece holding the equipment to the elongated attachment.
Silence sticks with the next few minutes until two beams of light blinds the man several yards from me. I see a black SUV pull up from the entrance that has been out of sight around the corner. It squeals to a stop and two men get out, both dressed in suits, the first one going straight to confront the man and the second, more serious one headed towards the trunk.
The first man that had been in the passenger seat starts speaking to the man but due to the hustling wind, his words are scattered to me. I huff in frustration and climb the side down to get a better view. I fall gracefully down, landing into a crouch and I peer from behind another plywood pile a couple yards ahead of me. I watch in the shadows and am finally able to make out clear sentences against the wind.
"Show it to me, now." The man in the suit gestures towards the duffle bag at the poor guys feet.
Our poor victim shakily manages to bend down and pick up the duffle bag, stands, his knees buckling with anxiety. The man in the suit snatches it away from him and opens it, revealing wads of cash and I see pieces of fine trinkets poking from at the opening. The man sighs loudly, his eyes narrowing as he swishes through the goody bag. He freezes and slowly brings his eyes pointed square with our shaking Jer.
With a small shake he brings his eyes down, a frown growing and he throws the bag behind him, standing with frustration, he closes his eyes and grunts. Suit guy number two comes strutting from behind the vehicle and is holding--
"Daddy!" a girl, no older than ten years old struggles in the man in the suits grip, tears streaming down her face as she tries to break free, but to no avail. The second man, darker in complexion, probably of Italian descent with slick hair and an enduring glare, throws the girl down to the ground and kicks her hard in the gut, preventing her from any escape.
The girl clutches her stomach, all the noise and screams she had been making vanished, her face red without breath. He had literally kicked the wind out of her! The man shouts, seeming forgetting about his own life on the line as he rushes to his daughter, holding her close as if he were trying to shield any other harm to come to her.
"Jer, Jer, Jer... I thought we had an understanding?" the first suited man asks in a heavy Italian accent with a hint of sarcasm. "Did you think you could fool me?"
Jeromy looks up with a look of anguish, tears begin streaming down his wide cheeks, his look desperate for forgiveness. "Please, I tried! I took everything that I could from the bank before the police came! I tried! Please, please, don't hurt her! Let us go!" My chest feels tight with the fact that this is happening. I try hard not to think about anything about but the fact that the man will soon be in a better place soon. I take a deep breath, trying to calm my nerves before the climax playing before me.
The two men in suits look at each other, the second one who had originally grabbed the girl nodded to the other man before taking a silver pistol out. The man and the little girl gripped each other in a desperate attempt to shield each other from the horror to come; but it never came... not that easy anyway.
A minute passes in silence and Jeremy looks up to his tormenters. They both have a sly, evil smile but it finally sinks in why that is: the man is holding out the gun to Jeremy and not the other way around. Jeremy looks at it as if it is almost a foreign object, after all this was the last thing they thought would happen. It was the object that just a second before was believed to be the balance between their life and death.
The man grudgingly tucks the gun into Jeremy's hands, startling the Jeremy and the girl both. As that happens, the first man in the suit whips his out and points it at Jeremy's head, the cold metal pressing directly against his skull. Jeremy's eyes widen in fear and the evil man crouches down, eye level with Jeremy.
"If you don't do what I'm about to ask of you, you can guarantee bad things will happen to your baby girl, you got it? Horrible things that no parent would wish upon their own children. As punishment, Jer," he pauses and the second suit man moves Jeremy's gun hand slowly towards his daughter. "Just, end it quickly, it's a mercy, really."
My stomach quenches at the first suit man's request. He expected the girls own father to kill her? Was he serious? He'd definitely be going to Hell for that. I look hard at Jeremy who shakes in realization at what the man is asking him to do. Either spare her and unimaginable things happen to the poor girl or he shoots her and ends it for her quickly. Damn things like this that make me hate my job.
"Daddy, no!" the little girl seems to flush her face full of new tears, her expression in the highest state of fear. "Daddy, please!"
Jeremy can't seem to hold back any new tears either and puts his free hand over his face as if in disbelief. "You have three minutes to decide, Jer, or you die and leave your daughter and your new girlfriend to fend for themselves, and you see, I cannot guarantee their safety."
Jeremy looks from the first man in the suit and then look back towards his daughter who sits crying in despair. "Antonio, please don't do this, I will get you what you want just spare-" he is cut off by the other man, the second man in the suit who I can now safely assume would be Enrio, who pistol whips the back of his head, dropping the man completely on the ground.
"That wasn't part of the deal anymore, Jer, we gave you a fair deal before and you didn't get all your share. This is what happens when people like you try to be sly, they have to pay the price!" Antonio states in amusement. "You have one minute left, Jeremy, better make it count!"
Jeremy grunts on the ground, slowly bringing himself back up and holds the back of his heads with one hand, the pistol gripped tightly in the other. He steadies himself as best as any poor man can be in this situation and slowly points the gun at his daughter who has seemed to resign to the fact that she was going to die eventually anyway. She cries silently, looking at her father with fear and sadness. The two suit brothers watch intently.
I check my watch, remembering the two die together a minute before Jeremy does. It reads seven forty-three and I look quickly back up to the situation, waiting for something to happen, anything, to kill those two before Jer here kills his daughter. After all, she isn't on the death list. She must survive, right?
I wait anxiously and keep glancing at my clock holding onto a hard chunk of cementing rock for assurance. This moment seeming to be never ending, the wind whistles past everyone, making any noise lost like deaf ears. I read his lips as Antonio speaks, reading 'times up'. Something at that instant happens. I feel my heart race in anticipation and Jeremy clicks the safety off his gun. He clenches his eyes, taking away any visual evidence to what he is about to do and pulls the trigger.
The bullet pierces Antonio right through the skull, protruding through he back and ricocheting off the SUV. I barely even notice my hands over Jeremy's, one still clutching the cement rock as I help him aim, dust kicked up from skidding to the girl's short rescue. A short second passes as everything sinks into realization and Enrio grabs my arms holding onto the gun, preventing me from being able to use it. I quickly react, moving my body quickly under his and lifting myself up, throwing my arms down in a hefty arch, flipping him over hard and unexpected.
I take the cement rock and quickly smash it over his head until blood begins to pour in a dented spot. I huff, feeling the adrenaline making me react as quickly as I am. I take the gun from Jeremy's hands and whip it at Enrio, shooting him in the spot I shot his brother, ending the life from him.
My heart paces with the feel of death all around me, knowing it is time for what I need to do next. Before I give myself a few seconds to collect myself and even out my breathing, trying to calm myself. I look over at Jeremy, wide mouthed and his eyes show the shock he is in. The girl is doesn't cry or speak, just watches with unbelieving eyes.
"Are you ok?" I ask, feeling rather fooling for letting that slip through my mouth. Of course he wasn't ok...he is still on the list.
I feel sorry for the man and his little girl but I have a job and this job isn't something I can just quit from. Jeremy gets up slowly and tries to give a thankful smile, walking a couple steps to me. I raise my hand to halt him, gun pointed right at him. His expression quickly turns into confusion and then horror, seeming to think he cheated death just to die a minute later.
I check my watch, it is seven forty-four, I guess I really was the reason that those two would die tonight. Funny how that works right? I certainly don't like being a pawn in Death's game, especially when I'm the one they send to collect over here.
"What are you doing?! I thought that you-that you--" he stops in his tracks when I put on no show for remorse.
"I'm sorry, but you have to die today. You have a minute." I state that with as little emotion as possible, trying not to show that I'm battling the thought of just letting him go.
"Please, you just help save us, you can't kill my daddy!"
I stare at them as they stare back at me, waiting for any sort of reaction. I glance down at my watch, realizing it's already the next minute, the minute that his life ends. I glance back up and redock the next bullet, a soundly click going into place as I keep it pointed at the man. "I will make sure no harm comes to your daughter, Jeremy." I try to comfort but know it doesn't offer much given that I literally saved them to just come back and kill him.
He stares at me a couple seconds longer as if trying to see if I'm being entirely honest with him but remembers he isn't exactly in the situation to make the orders. He speaks gentle goodbyes to his daughter, trying to reassure her that everything will be alright. The daughter shrieks back at him, not wanting to hear any word of a goodbye.
With seconds to spare, I grab the daughter, easily restraining her as her father watches her go for the last time. He gives her a sad smile as she fusses, kicking every which way to get out of my hold. I push her to the side to get aim and as she steadies herself, I already have the gun pointed at the ropes above. She looks at me and screams, "NO! Why have you come here?!"
"I simply come from Death." I shoot and the ropes break, the horrible crunching sound radiates for a brief second as it crushes the man. Dust brushes up and blinds the surrounding area in a cloud. It only lasts a minute before it begins to clear.
The pacing sensation in my heart breaks free again and I feel the familiar wave of the Reap take over me. I drop the gun and hold out my hands in front of me, my skin going from a light cream color changing to a grey. Black spider veins creep through my body and I feel many subtle changes happening through my body at once. Honestly I have never had the courage to look in the mirror when this happens, I know I would be revolted if I did. Black-purple smoke surround my legs and wrap itself around my body, making me feel as if I were on air. A small sickle seems to materialize where I clench my hand and the blade, as sharp as any of the sharpest blades on earth, and swipe it around me to where it fits me in a comfortable position.
I see the girl drop to her knees, looking around at the mess and know she cannot see me. Nobody sees me in this state unless they are about to die. She walks over near me, unaware that I wait here patiently. She looks at the gun with tears before moving strangely to one of the Salvatore brothers. She digs into their pockets and shakily picks out a cellphone. She makes two calls, one I assume is the police, explaining that she had been taken and brought to her father just to have a random girl come save and then kill him; that she had disappeared after the initial dust cloud dissipated. The second I hear her talking to an Ellen. What an affect I have on lives. They seemingly seem like they are all connected.
I ignore the girl, knowing the police are on their way and I make my way to the brothers. A glow only I can see radiates from them and their expressions remain frozen with the dread of death. A familiar mist seems to wrap around me and enveloping everything around me. I noticed on earlier jobs that I may see through the mist blurrily, the dead cannot.
I see the girl wrapped in on herself crying, barely making the shape of her and I can distantly hear her crying even though I know in reality she is near myself. I finally begin the reaping. I take the sickle, engraved with many ancient symbols and a language long forgotten to man, in all its simple glory, I strike Antonio first. The sickle goes through the body, getting caught on the soul, I fish it up with a strength I have seemed to acquire since I died, myself. The force of the attachment on the soul is strong but not strong enough to make me work up a sweat. He is ready to go to the beyond.
With a final push his soul, a ball of glowing light is caught on the tip of my sickle. It flashes in colors or rusty red, a sign of murder and death, shades of gray and black, signs of dark intentions and despair of his own. He truly had an eventful life, full of murder and hate. I don't feel bad about reaping his soul and continue, taking the could from the sickle and throwing it on the ground until it manifests into a glowing Antonio.
He finally comes to a second later, and looks around, a dark abyss surrounding us. "I died...I really did die." he looks at me in horror, recognizing me for the brief second he knew me and the sight of me now must really spook him.
"You're a demon! Stay away! Get away from me!"
I stare at him with slight frustration, did he really think I was the monster after what he was about to do? Ironic coming from him.
"I...please don't take me away, let me live!" he grovels to the ground, bringing him hands clasped together as if in prayer and begs. He must realize what I am after his glance at my sickle.
"You're already dead, I don't have the power nor will to allow you to live." I state, as if he were asking a stupid question. Finally, I grab into my leather bag, strapped to my side and take out an hourglass with his name written on it. I open the top up, two single pieces of sand seemingly falling to the bottom, making the top empty. He tries to cry and I take my sickle and slash his soul right through, dissipating it into a glow streak as it makes it's way into the hourglass, the sand turning into glowing colors of his dark soul. I close the hourglass and set it deeply into the bag. Next up: Enrio.
I hover over to where his body is, the black mist spiraling around my legs. I strike him and begin to pull his soul out from his very being. He doesn't put up much of a fight, seeming to resign rather quickly, almost as if his soul were tired from living. I get that sometimes.
I pull it out at the end of my sickle and his vary in three shades. A light static blue, intertwining with rusty red, a sign he feels some remorse for his murders. The rest is a simple dark shade of dark gray, showing his evil ways through life. I take it and throw it to the ground, manifesting it into his own glowing self. His eyes widen in fear at the sight of me and I can't blame him either. I bet that was how I was when I died. I don't remember my death, just waking up from it and feeling...empty.
"What... Are you the Grim Reaper?"
"No." I reply shortly. "I just help him reap, for Grim is everywhere." I say.
He nods, taking it in and remains silent, awaiting for me to finish the job. I slice right through him and reach in and pick out his hourglass, opening it to allow it to catch his soul. The colors of the sands turn to that of the colors of his soul.
I set his hourglass back into the bag and continue my way to our poor crushed Jeremy. In this reaper world, the only things aloud in are myself, Death of course, and the dead. What I see is a crushed body and I strike his too.
His is the hardest to get out and when I do bring it out, I am left with a varyingly colorful soul. Vibrant colors of green, blue, reds, purple even. Then the dark streak of black in the middle cracking its way through. He lived a relative good life with a streak of bad, to what I would guess is mostly this incident.
I throw his down until his manifestation appears and he looks at me in shock. Can't say I'm surprised by now... "Who are... Are you the girl who...?"
"Yes. I'm sorry, but you needed to die tonight."
"Who are you?"
"That's a complicated answer since I'm not who I used to be. The answer I give now is... I come from death."
His eyes widen but he soon accepts it. "Please don't harm my-"
"You have no need to worry, Jeremy. It is not her time, yet. Hopefully it wont be for a long time."
"Is she ok?" I look over to my left and see blurry flashes of blue and red, moving figures all around taking a look at the area. He looks over as well and I know he cannot see anything.
"She is alright."
He seems to take that as an assurance and looks at me, "What happens now?"
I sit a moment before I answer, trying to be as calming as I can. "I saved your soul from committing this sin...I believe Death will give you to a good place."
"Heaven?" he asks.
I smile and raise my sickle. He closes his eyes and holds his hands together, emitting a last pray before I swipe him through, his soul emanating through the hourglass in colorful stands of sand at the bottom.
"I still have one more to do."
I make it over to Ellen's about forty-five minutes later, knowing it's a little late, but better timing than previously intended. I walk into her apartment, the door unlocked as if she wanted someone to find her. I cautiously walk around, looking into the kitchen and living room, separated by a half wall. I open the door in from the living room to the bedroom and notice a broken picture frame on the bed with tear stains and blood drops.
I look towards the next door, opened a peak to let the steam through. I walk slowly over and open it, peeking my head through. I find Ellen laying in her bubble bath, her face in a relaxed position as she seems to look sleeping. I know better though. I trace my eyes down to her hand that is tipping over the side of the bathtub and see blood poured from her wrist all the way down to the floor in a messy puddle.
I try not to let the sadness wash through me as I take deep breathes to calm myself. Immediately, though, my heart paces and I begin to feel the reaper in me transform. I cover the mirror with a towel in the bathroom cadi and let it take over me. The darkness around me envelopes me into the abyss, her body lay in a slouched heap. I rip her soul out as I did with the rest, the soul coming out easier than the previous ones. Her soul is a mix of a passion red, orange and different hues of blues. She lived a life of love and ambition but was weighed down by sadness.
I open the last hourglass of the night from my bag and throw her soul to the ground. It materializes into the glowing woman.
"What- Where am I? I thought... I thought this would be different?!" she looks to me with confusion and a belief that something is wrong.
"This is how it ends for everyone." I say. "I don't decide what happens to you, I just come to reap you."
She looks at me in disbelief and stares at her wrists, the cuts remain, empty and mended into scars. "It isn't open?"
"It is how you died, therefore it stays tethered to your soul, but you soul isn't flesh. It can't bleed."
She nods, trying to take it in. "What now? Will I see Jeremy again?"
"Now... I take you to Death."
She stares at me in confusion but I use my sickle to slash her, forming her into those same colored streaks before they dissipate into the sands at the bottom of the hourglass. I close it snug and put it back into my bag. Before long I appear back into my normal skin, or as normal as it can be after my death.
I leave the apartment, hearing distant sirens in the back round. I'm not worried that they will think I'm a suspect, for I don't have a need to hide. I am apart of death and mundane things don't concern me, even where the law is concerned.
Walking along, trying to make all the images disappear in my head, I roam around the bridge hanging over the Grimmy River. It's ironic, the city pours lights over this and buzzes with life, while millions of cars pass along it day by day, night by night, and it almost seems barely hidden from this River, overlooking the entire city. This River is the way to Death in itself.
I climb over the cement ledge of the bridge and balance. I take out the Journal and take out a special instrumental pen. I take it and push the hollow point to my skin, pricking my finger. I open the journal and cross off everything in the recent paragraph, dipped in my own unearthly blood. The pages hum and I set the journal back into my bag. I take a deep breath and look up to the moon, luminous and elegant in it's own way. It is the last thing I see before the wind pushes me to jump down into the abyss of the Reaper World.251Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡz2xFdFb1Ht