Reaper:Chapter 1

April 16, 2013
“If you don’t play with fire, you’ll never get burnt,” he said softly, eyes gleaming out from underneath his black hood, melancholy shimmering in those ocean blue depths.
I was puzzled until he dropped the hood, revealing a dark scar that covered nearly the entire left half of his face.
“Oh my God,” I whispered, absolutely horrified.
He smiled sadly and opened his mouth, but was cut off by a hand on his twisted shoulder.
Matt stepped out from behind Mello and sing-songed teasingly, “In the beginning, I tried to warn you, you play with fire, it’s gonna burn you.” His hand tightened on Mello’s shoulder. “And here we are now, same situation. You never listen,” he whispered in Mello’s ear.
“I never listen,” Mello answered, the fear of God in his eyes.
“This has gone on long enough.” I reached into the strap on my thigh and pulled out my scythe, currently in an unassuming position.
“What, are you going to beat me to death with your baton?” Matt sneered.
I smiled at his ignorance and, with a flick of my wrist, opened the scythe to its full length of seven and a half feet.
Matt instantly grabbed Mello and pulled him closer, creating quite an effective human barrier between my blade and his flesh.
I paused, torn. I could kill them both and beg Jack to send them to different places, or I could let them go and pray that Matt didn’t kill Mello. No matter what, Jack would most definitely go Ripper on me, either for letting a soul live past its designated time or for reaping a soul before its designated time.
But for once, I ignored everything I had ever been taught as a Grim Reaper and let my human emotions decide for me. Mello was just staring, begging me to end it all. And so I did.
I lifted my scythe easily and brought it down, slicing Matt’s jugular and burying the head of the weapon deep in the junction between Mello’s neck and left shoulder.
Matt staggered backward, letting go of Mello and clutching desperately at his neck, futilely attempting to stop the blood spurting from his vein.
Mello smiled his thanks as I ripped the head of my scythe out of his shoulder. He fell to the ground unceremoniously, and I waited patiently as his soul took the form of Mello when he was happiest. Not surprisingly, it was when he was most powerful, when he was a Mafia leader.
He glanced back at Matt, who was still hanging on to dear life, annoyingly enough. “Will I ever see him?” he asked.
“Not if I can help it,” I replied vehemently.
He opened his mouth to say something else, but our attention was drawn back to Matt, who was close to death. The blood was flowing freely now; he had long since stopped trying to avoid the inevitable. He grinned at me as if he had a secret, and if I played my cards right, he may just let me in on it.
Sudden, inexplicable anger filled me as he fell to the ground, finally ready to be reaped. I screamed silently in frustration.
Mello smiled distantly, not really noticing me, and stared in fascination as Matt’s soul took its form. It was, of course, his most recent physical shape, when he was able to overpower Mello.
I knew I could search his memories and find out exactly what his little secret was, but my gut told me I didn’t want to know. I simply popped open the cap at the end of my scythe and held it out invitingly to the souls. Mello entered willingly, trusting that I would take care of him. Matt was much more reluctant, but he couldn’t resist following Mello.
I snapped the lid shut and closed my eyes. When I opened them I was standing before Jack’s desk, surrounded on both sides by the other Reapers of my rank.
Marz, the eldest, clutching at his precious chainsaw as if someone had threatened to steal it.
Jen, Marz’s fiancée, staring at me like she couldn’t believe I was real.
On my right, Anne and Michela, the only married couple of our rank and the newest additions.
And sitting before me was the man himself, one of the most elite Reapers in history, second only to the infamous Undertaker, Jack the Reaper, more commonly known as Jack the Ripper. Also known as my boss. He was glaring at me, and I knew that word of my premature reaping had reached his ears.
“Jai, please step forward,” he boomed, voice impossibly loud in the circular office.
I obeyed, and when he held out a hand expectantly, I relinquished the death-like vice on my scythe, albeit reluctantly.
He popped the cap, and not a single sound was made as two demons led Matt and Mello’s souls away.
When I reached out to take my scythe back, Jack shook his head. “No. You directly disobeyed orders. I sent you to reap and retrieve the soul of Mail Jeevas, alias Matt. But you returned with two souls, Jeevas’ and also that of Mihael Keehl, alias Mello, who wasn’t due for another thirty years.”
I opened my mouth to protest, but Jen’s hand on my arm silenced me.
Jack continued, “Because of your misconduct, you are going to be stripped of your scythe.” He folded it up and dropped it in the bottom drawer of his desk. I flinched at the dull thud it made when it hit the wooden bottom. “And you will be chaperoned on all missions until further notice.”
I was outraged. “Why?! All I did was bring back one extra soul, it’s not like I massacred thousands of people. And take away my scythe?! What in the name of Lucifer and I supposed to use?!”
Jack smiled sadistically and pulled a kitchen knife, roughly twelve inches in length, out of his desk. “You are to use this.”
I took it out of his hand, unbelieving at first, but I soon realized he was dead serious. In a childish display of rage, I threw it at his head.
He dodged easily, and the Undertaker, who had been lurking in the shadows behind Jack, caught it.
“Uh-uh-uh,” he smiled, shaking the knife teasingly. “You better calm down, because I’m your chaperone and we have two teenagers who are texting and driving.”
I glared at him as he came around the desk and held out the knife. Snatching it out of his outstretched hand, I turned away. “Let’s get this over with, yeah?”
As Undertaker took my arm and we prepared to leave, Jack called, “Oh and Jai? You may want to ask your little friend Backup what it’s like being a rogue.”
I started shaking uncontrollably, but Undertaker pulled me into the portal before I could reply.

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