The Grim Reaper

July 26, 2008
By Krista Wahlgren, Brier, WA

The temperature dropped several degrees, as time seemed to freeze. The last breath almost gone from his body, the glow in his eyes almost out. He was pale and distant, already gone.

A hooded figure, a scythe in his hand, appeared between two trees. The black robe that clothed him seemed like a long cloth flowing as one with the snow covered ground. Slowly he glided over to the man whose life was almost out.

As the man's last breath left his body, Death reached down and clasped the hand of the dying.

Shaking his head, Death reached into the folds of his robe and pulled out a piece of paper. On this simple piece of paper were written three names: Nathan, Leena, and Jessy. A line appeared through the name Nathan as an orb of light rose from the breast of the man, who's life was stolen by time.

His face was shadowed, but the way he sat, his shoulders hunched, his head bent down, you could see that Death was mournful. He used his scythe to point the way for the orb to travel. Slowly the light slipped away from Death, out of the snow, through a door, and into another world.

Death stood, his hunch slightly larger, his head bowed a little more. He walked through the snow towards a woman.

Her eyes were gleaming, a tear trickled down her cheek as she saw the hooded figure approach her. She took a deep breath, then let it out mumbling in a voice barely audible.

"I'm ready." She closed her eyes and extended a hand towards Death.

He took it lightly and squeezed as she drifted off, her rosy cheeks growing pale. Death looked at his slip of paper, a line was now drawn through the name Leena.

As another orb appeared, he watched it cautiously as it came up next to his hood. The light from Leena’s orb was sucked into the black hole beneath the hood. There was no face. The hood seemed empty and cold. Quickly she retreated away, frightened by the sight.

Death pointed again with his scythe the way for the orb to go. Slowly the orb moved away from him, towards the door, out of the snow.

Death walked only a few feet this time before stopping. He leaned down and brushed snow away from a pale face. Jessy's eyes were already glassy, his stare empty. Death held his hand, waiting for the orb.

Smaller than the previous orbs, it looked at Death, helplessly.

"It wasn't your turn yet, Jessy." Death spoke, his words shaky and strained. He thrust his scythe towards the door, but the orb wouldn't leave. He kept pointing, but the orb refused.

Death took a step towards the door, knowing he could never go there. The orb followed, but wouldn't go any further.

"Jessy, you have to go. You have to, even though you're scared, you're a child. It's alright to be scared." Death soothed the orb with gentle words and watched the orb move away slowly towards the door.

Two orbs greeted him as he went through to the other world.

Death turned around, heading for the trees to return home. He pulled out the list and checked to see that Jessy's name was crossed out. It was crossed, and as he went to put the paper away he saw a white rabbit.

The rabbit stopped in the snow, almost invisible. It stared at death, its ears flat against its back. Death watched it silently as the rabbit froze sensing danger. A wolf walked out of the trees and darted after the rabbit.

Grasping it in its jaw, the wolf bit hard and there was an audible crunch. Death slowly moved into the trees, being replaced with another Reaper.

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