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The Reaper In Me
“Are you sure you’re dead?” she asked me. I didn’t know who she was, although she seemed vaguely familiar. She had asked me the same question three times now. Each time I gave her the same answer.
“What’s it to you?” I asked.
The girl looked up at me and her eyes were wide and fascinated.
“How did you die?”
I rolled my eyes and turned to walk away from her. She was seriously starting to annoy me.
“Please wait!” she yelled to me, grabbing onto my sleeve. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you. I’ve just never met a dead person before.” She paused. “I mean, sure, I’ve seen them and heard them, but I’ve never actually met a dead person.”
At this I turned and looked at her. “Repeat.”
“Repeat that!” I said.
She looked at me warily and said, “I can see and hear dead people. I’m sorta psychic…”
I raked a hand through my hair, which was already messy from a bad day’s work. “Great,” I said.
The girl cocked her head to the side and said, “May I ask who you are?”
I looked down at her, but then I closed my eyes and pinched the bridge of my nose, where a headache was slowly forming.
“My name is Sam. And I am a Grim Reaper.”
The girl’s eyes grew wide again and she looked at me with even more fascination than before.
And that was when I remembered who she was.
The girl in front of me was my best friend’s sister, Kayla. I had spent so much time at his house when I was alive that I saw more of his sister than I would have liked. I mean she was alright; she just overreacted about a lot of things.
“Why is that so surprising?” I asked her.
“Because I never would have expected my brother’s best friend became a Reaper,” she said, taking her phone out of her pocket.
I grabbed the phone and said, “Don’t you dare tell anyone.”
“I won’t, I won’t. Sheesh, I was just checking the time.”
Then all of a sudden, something whizzed past my ear, narrowly missing Kayla’s shoulder. She screeched and dropped to her knees, noticing that it was a bullet.
I whirled around and saw a Hunter standing on top of the ambulance (I was assigned to the hospital that day for work) we were in front of (By the way, a Hunter is a psychic who has been trained to kill Reapers. I’m not sure why people want to kill Reapers, but they do. The only thing that can kill Reapers is Mercury. The bullet that was aimed at me was filled with Mercury).
“Come on!” I yelled to Kayla, grabbing her arm and hauling her to her feet. It was hard to move her because, for one I’m a Reaper, and for two she wouldn’t move.
She finally snapped out of whatever she was in and looked up at me. “W-what’s going on?”
“Someone is attacking us. We need to run,” I told her.
She nodded and together we ran as fast as we could away from the Hunter. Every now and then a Mercury Bullet would whiz past me, but I always managed to dodge it.
I didn’t really know where to hide, because a Hunter can track my movements, but when I was about to turn a corner into the residential district of the city, Kayla stopped me and said, “No. My apartment.”
I nodded and let her lead me to her apartment. We ran up three flights of stairs and then into her one bedroom apartment.
When I concluded that we were safe, I turned to Kayla, who was watching me. Then her legs seemed to give out and she plopped down on her couch.
“What in God’s name was that?” Kayla asked me, pushing her bangs away from her face with a shaky hand.
“A Hunter,” I said. At her blank stare I said, “A psychic who is trained to kill Reapers. They have unnatural strength for a human, but they have no mercy whatsoever for Reapers, or a living human who is with them. Apparently, a Reaper is a being that was never supposed to exist, according to their texts. I have managed to read one or two of them. They aren’t pretty.”
“I didn’t think Reapers could be killed, because technically they are already dead,” said Kayla.
I sighed and looked out the window. “It’s complicated,” I said, “So I’ll give you the short version. The first Reaper was born from the corpse of someone who had killed themselves, and in doing so, sent their soul to Hell. Their punishment for this is collecting the souls of people who are about to die, for two thousand years. All Reapers after this were born the same way. Over time, they created a headquarters for all the Reapers, and each Reaper was given a specific place each day. It is called the Reaper Society, the people I work for. And as to your confusion, Reapers are, in fact already dead, but they can disappear for good. Since we are basically reflections of our living selves, we can disappear at will, but if a Hunter’s bullet hits a Reaper, that said Reaper will disappear forever, going to Hell for the rest of eternity.”
Kayla stood still the whole time I was explaining this. She didn’t say a word, or react. She just sat there. Then she said, “So, if a Reaper…is born from someone who killed themselves, which would mean that…you…committed suicide, right?”
I looked at her, and eyes must have betrayed how I felt, because her eyes widened, and she said, “I’m sorry, Sam. I didn’t mean to…”
“It’s okay, Kayla,” I said, giving her a half smile, “I didn’t expect anything else…I gotta go. Reports and all.”
She nodded and was about to go to the door when I smiled and shook my head. With that, I disappeared.
Three days after I left Kayla in her apartment, I was still thinking about her. I couldn’t figure out why, but all I knew was that I was.
“Quit spacing out, Sam!” one of the other Reapers said.
I blinked and saw that I was about to hit someone with the cart I was pushing. I carefully swerved around the guy and continued pushing the cart to the Paperwork Room.
That day I was working at the Society, so I didn’t have to do fieldwork, so therefore I didn’t have to see Kayla. I knew that she would be looking for me. I remembered that much about her from when I was alive.
When I was done work that day, I decided to kill some time by going to see my mom. I wasn’t allowed to talk to her, or let her see me, but could see how she was doing. And she just happened to be at the hospital, with my brother, who was sick at the time.
I hadn’t even made it into the hospital when I heard the screams. Everyone around me was running and screaming. The only words I could make out were “gun” and “psycho”.
I walked through the chaos and tried to understand what was going on, and that was when I saw the Hunter, aiming at Kayla. I was shocked that she was standing there in front of me, looking as scared as I’ve ever seen her.
“I…I don’t know what you want from me,” Kayla said, dropping her bag.
“Tell me where the Reaper is,” said the Hunter.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Kayla said, obviously protecting me.
“The Reaper! Tell me where he is!”
That was when I ran forward and then in front of Kayla.
“I’m the one you want,” I said, “Take me instead. Don’t take her. She didn’t do anything. It’s me.”
The Hunter lowered his gun and nodded. Seeing that his defenses were down, I whirled around and wrapped my arms around Kayla. “Hold on tight and keep your eyes closed.” Then I closed my eyes and used all of my strength to disappear.
When I reappeared, I could hear the ocean. Kayla was still in my arms, but I had no strength left. I collapsed onto the warm sand of the beach.
Kayla knelt down next to me and looked at me.
“I…I’ve never disappeared with another person. I feel so weak,” I told, barely able to speak.
“It’s okay, Sam,” she said. “Don’t say anything. Just rest.”
I tried to get up. “We need to move. The Hunter could be here any minute,” I said, struggling, but Kayla pushed me back down.
“Oh, no, you don’t.” she said, “We are on the other side of the city from where the hospital was. It will take a long time for him to find us here. So you rest, and after that, then you can bring me home.”
I sighed and sank back down into the sand, letting the warmth of it sooth me. After a few minutes, everything faded and I passed out.
When I woke up again, I was still on the beach, and I could see Kayla standing in the shallow water.
Her pants were rolled up and she was barefoot. The moon was high in the sky, and everything seemed at ease. I sat there watching her stare at the sky. She didn’t notice me at all. Kayla was in her own little world.
“Funny how every time I see this guy, whether he is alive or dead, he always manages to make me smile,” I heard her whisper. She clasped her hands behind her back and whispered, “On a night like this, it makes me wonder if any of this is real at all.”
I walked up behind her and said, “It’s real. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t be here right now. You wouldn’t be either.”
Kayla whirled around. Her foot got stuck in the sand and she lost her balance. I caught her, but in doing so, I fell to the ground.
“Oh,” Kayla said, pushing herself up to her knees. “I’m sorry.”
I laughed and said, “Its okay.”
I looked over my shoulder to see my boss standing behind us. I got to my feet and waited for him to continue.
“Do you want to become human again?” he asked me.
I blinked and said, “Yeah, but you know that is not gonna happen.”
My boss smiled and said, “There is a way. But it’s complicated. It might take a while.”
I looked down at Kayla, and noticed for the first time that I loved her. And I could see from the look in her eyes that she felt the same way. “What do you think I should do,” I asked her.
“Go for it,” Kayla said, smiling.
I turned back to my boss and he said, “Okay, then let’s get to work.” He turned around and started to walk. When he noticed we weren’t following, he turned and said, “You two coming or what?”
We both smiled and then followed him back towards the city.