Like many many families with no room in their hearts; they abandon their children in a secluded forest. No one can hear their cries, for they are completely alone in this cruel world. The children cannot survive on their own, so that is when the grim reapers arrive to take their soul to send it off to another beginning in another body. Maybe when they are born again they will have a kind family to take care of them.
One night, a mother who just gave birth drove into a forest where death lurks in the air. She walked out of her car with a naked infant boy in her arms. The smell of cold and pine made the woman’s nose change from a pale white to a light crimson. She glared at the boy in her arms.
“Disgusting thing.” she growled at the infant.
“You pushed my husband away from me.” she said in anger. She does not want the boy, he had changed her life and she hated it. Her husband, never wanting a child, left her alone with the boy. She wanted revenge.
The woman rested the baby down on the cold earth and rushed back into her car. She drove off without looking back.
In the woman’s absence the baby boy cries, but, like all children who were left alone with no chance of survival, a grim reaper would sense his struggling soul and take it away from his body.
Helena, one of the many grim reapers in this area, heard the cries of the infant child. She sensed the situation was clear, the environment the child was in is against his health and there is no help nearby.
Helena took a deep breath, she despised pulling a soul out of a child, but if she didn’t do the task simply another grim reaper will arrive to perform the deed.
Helena jumped high in the air with a death scythe in her hand. She transports to the child’s location and lands in front of him.
“Hello my dear.” she hummed with a frown on her face as she watched the little one cry like a rabbit with an injured leg.
The boy quieted when he saw the grim reaper, eyes large and observant.
Helena dropped her scythe on the ground and picked up the human infant and cradled him in her arms. His warmth spreading to her cold hands. Though she was supposed to take his soul and leave his body behind, she couldn’t help but think it wouldn’t hurt to get a taste of what motherhood might feel like.
“It will be okay little one.” she said quietly.
The child only observed Helena’s every move. He grabbed her chest in search for a breast to suckle on, but Helena had none.
Helena sighed as she watched the boy’s huff in defeat. His little fingers clinged to her green dress. Helena took off her white coat and wrapped it around the baby to keep him warm for she has no human heat to provide for the child. The boy calms down and snuggles close to Helena’s chest. His green eyes filled with hope look up at Helena. Beautiful green eyes that Helena knew for sure would be intelligent if he grew up.
Helena greedily pressed her forehead against the child’s. He was so beautiful, so innocent. Helena only wished she was born with a womb so she could have had children of her own.
The baby sneezed on Helena’s face and she pulled back instantly.
“Goodness.” her brows furrowed as she wiped the snot away.
The boy giggled at Helena’s reaction, and she fell in love instantly.
“Oh, you think that’s funny little one?” she raised her eyebrows and smirked down at the child. He only laughed more seeing her expression.
Helena sighed and shaked her head gently,
“Little one, you cannot survive on your own. I must take your soul away.”
The baby did not understand the darkness behind her words and began pulling on her curly brown hair.
Helena takes a breath, picked up her scythe from the ground and smiled at the child sympathetically.
“Goodbye little one.” Helena was about to press the blade against the boy’s heart, but his wide eyes stopped her. He doesn’t know what the scythe means, his previous mother gone from his memory. He only knows Helena now.
Helena dropped her scythe.
“You are so young.” she choked.
She held the baby into an embrace,
“You know, little one, I wish I could take your mother’s place.” she said.
Helena knew she could not move the child’s soul. She just couldn’t. She held the boy close and jumped high in the air to transport home. She landed in front of a cottage that was abandoned long ago. Grim reapers don’t need to eat and sleep is only optional, but Helena lived there so she could get a glimpse of the humanity she once had.
“We’ll stay here little one. Until you are old enough to take care of yourself.” she promised.
Helena took care of the boy and called him her own. She named the child Taegan and she loved him unconditionally.
Helena knew very well she cannot be caught taking care of a human. Before she allowed Taegan to play outside, she scoured the forest with her inhuman purple eyes to check to see if any grim reapers were nearby.
Taegan was getting older and Helena remembered his first steps. He was wobbly on his feet and walked towards her hurriedly. She remembered his first words. When she came home one day Taegan said to her, “Hi mom.”
Time stopped and Helena’s dead heart seemed to swell back to life.
“Hi Taegan.” She grinned back at him.
Helena would take some nights off of reaping and would steal books so she could teach Taegan how to read. His words were at first babbles, but soon he could repeat after Helena as he looked at the pages.
One night when Helena tucked Taegan in his crib and turned on the baby walkie talkie she stealed from a shop, and grabbed her scythe as she walked out the door.
“Helena.” said a man that she knew all too well.
“Oh! Gosh, Jacob! You scared me.” Helena hid her baby walkie talkie quickly behind her back, “Do you need something?”
“Yes. I need the soul of the child you are taking care of.” Jacob holds out his scythe that was much bigger than Helena’s.
“H-how did you know?” Helena’s eyes dart to the ground and back up at Jacob. She knows the punishment of breaking the rules, and that is a trip to Hell. No grim reaper ever came back the same. They had no pupils and they never spoke of the horror that struck them. It was unheard of for a reaper to break the rules purposefully.
“You never came to see me, and when the report of a missing child’s soul was not collected, I only thought of you.”
He took a step forward, but Helena refused to move.
“He is my son.” she claimed.
“He is not your son!” Jacob argued.
“You cannot bear children,” he pulled up Helena’s chin up slightly with his pointer finger.
“Not only because you are dead, but because you were not born a woman. It’s time to let go, Helena. If you wanted children so badly, you should have not killed yourself. This is who you are right now, and I don’t want you going to Hell because of a child.”
Helena hiccupped and began to cry, “I don’t want to lose Taegan.” she gulped.
“I love him so much, I want him to be safe.”
“Then I will collect his soul.”
“No!” Helena pushed Jacob’s hand away.
“There has to be another way.” she begged and wiped the tears away from her face.
“You were my first real friend, Jacob.” she combed her hand through her hair.
“Surely you can help me keep Taegan safe.”
Jacob sighed and dropped his scythe to hug Helena, “There is a foster home nearby.” he said.
Helena sniffed as she held Jacob tightly, “I’ll never see him again.”
“It’s for the best.” Jacob assured.
Helena wrote a letter to Taegan that night and sealed it in an envelope for him when he would turn sixteen. The next day, Helena held Tagean on her hip and kissed her cold lips on his forehead. She then jumped in the air to transport and she landed in front of the foster home. She knew Jacob was watching out for any grim reapers nearby, so she had to act fast.
“Hold this Taegan.” Helena gave Taegan the sealed letter and he held it. She sat him down on the porch and knocked on the door. She kneeled down in front of her son and hugged him tightly, “Mommy is going away for awhile, okay? I want you to take care of yourself.” she pulled away and forces herself to keep a calm expression.
“Where are you going, mom?” Taegan asked, his green eyes looking at her curiously.
“Where I belong.” Helena bites her lip.
“I love you Taegan.” she cradled his cheek before she dashed away and out of the boy’s sight.
Helena hid herself up in a tree’s branches to watch the humans open the door and pick up Taegan. She had to cover her mouth to quiet herself. It was like a blade pierced into her stomach and stayed there. A new weight of loss Helena now had to bear.
Jacob appeared next to Helena and offered her a shoulder to cry on.
“It’s for the best.” Helena choked as her tears were soaked on Jacob’s shirt.
“It’s for the best.” he repeated.