So. Gonna start this post out with something you likely won’t believe, and that’s fine. I just need to get this off my chest. I’ve kept it all to myself for a long time. I’m that guy they call the Grim Reaper. Crazy right? You probably always thought of me as that skeleton with a cowl and a scythe who kills people. Funny, I used to dress that way, the boss wanted me to wear it. Something about uniforms. But ya know how hard it is to get work done like that? Especially nowadays, with these kids and their smart phones. Nah, I’m just a guy you might see in passing. I still like the hood though, brings back memories.
But I’m not here to kill people. I’m just here to bring them where they think they are supposed to go. Reincarnation, “heaven”, “hell” (lotta people don’t believe they should go to hell but you’d be surprised), “Paradise”, all that jazz. They don’t get to choose when, or how, but they get to choose where they’re going. A redeeming quality for me I guess. One of the rules that doesn’t make me seem like a total s**t head. Let me tell ya about my rules. Boss won’t mind. He’s supposedly making some changes upstairs and I don’t know how long I’ll be doing this for. About time I retired anyway after all these years.
So I don’t actually kill people. I’m just there, at some point, before they go. Sometimes it goes ugly, sometimes it goes peaceful. And you’re all probably like “well damn Reaper, that’s gotta s**k.” And it kinda does, sometimes. I don’t have any control of how they go, that’s not on my pay grade.
But I usually do something nice for them beforehand. I spend a lot of time at bars, whether I’m working or I’m not. Hell you may have seen me at some point, sitting by myself with some whiskey. I’m not the best company so you just saw me as a bitter drunk. There’s a reason I reside there. People often drink before they go, whether they know it or not.
Usually I’ll just buy one of their drinks. I try to be anonymous but some bartenders just don’t get it. So if I have to talk to them, I just tell them “have a good night” or some generic b******t like that. I’m not allowed to try and talk em out of driving or whatever it is that’s gonna proceed their departure. I often plead with myself that somebody calls them, or somebody talks to em, but it’s always the same.
I can’t interfere, and somebody usually let them down. So they’ll go on their way, I’ll close out my tab, and go to work. Sometimes I gotta pull double duty if there are multiple patrons involved. Hell a few times I had to deal with the bartender at the same time, whether they were getting robbed or doing something stupid when they got off.
I spend a lot of time with murderers too. Usually it isn’t hard to earn their trust or stay hidden. They are usually so consumed by their intentions that I don’t have a hard time disguising myself as a friend or a family member. I’ll usually find the victim and pay em some kind of compliment, like how nice they look that day or something. Sometimes I’ll drop off anonymous flowers, or help them win some money on the lotto. A small gesture, hopefully to make their day before it all goes downhill.
I’m always there when they go, so I can show them the way. Some people accept it, others get confused, some try to pretend it didn’t happen. I’ve gotten to the point where the sympathy angle just isn’t my schtick. Ya gotta be firm with them or you’re gonna be stuck there with them for a while. I’m sad to admit that I’ve taken the form of somebodies parent just to get them to move, or promised they’d see somebody important. But it’s a job, somebodies gotta do it. I ain’t perfect or I would be making the big decisions.
Ya gotta get em to go towards the light. Sounds cliché I know, but the light makes them feel better about what’s happening. Can’t have people looking around or they’ll DEFINITELY see some s**t that makes it even more difficult. I’m not the only one doing my job and a lot of em went straight tragic before their transition.
The cardinal rule for us Reapers is we cannot interfere in death. Usually that’s grounds for immediate dismissal. We can only guide them, we can’t make it go faster, we can’t make it go slower, and we especially can’t prevent it. I’ve been doing this for a long time, and eventually some of us break down.
Get a person who was particularly pleasant or died rather unfortunate and some of the guys turn em around and send em back. Which poses a problem, because technically people aren’t supposed to know about the light until they go wherever they have to. Then they either forget or they find themselves in a place where the rules no longer apply.
The reason I’m writing this is I think I’m next on the chopping block. Tried to do it real subtle like, didn’t let them get too close to the light.
She was a mom, had two kids, no job. I had been watching her for a while because she could be ready to go any day. We don’t always know the exact time, we just know when it starts to happen. This lady had a rough time, I spent years with her.
Between her ex trying to get back at her and her drinking problem she was somebody I had to really be on top of. But those damn kids. She loved em so much. Even for somebody whose been around for the years I have, ya felt for her. And it got me caught. She’s the only one who ever didn’t ask questions that I couldn’t answer or try to make advances (yeah, chicks have tried to get with the Grim Reaper).
She was a great mother, even with her fight for custody. Those kids got everything she could muster. I never really felt any kind of attachment to any of my assignments, but this one was just different. She needed a break, and boss just couldn’t seem to give it to her. She believed that her fate ended with hell, one of few who truly believed that. And because of that she was going to burn in eternal damnation.
The way she went didn’t help either, her ex kicked her down a flight of steps after she told him she wasn’t doing drugs no more. She lay crumpled there, a person with so much good in her and it all came crashing down. A fitting metaphor, as f****d up as it was. I picked her up, and explained the situation, which is rare because usually you just corral em and get em going.
But the craziest s**t happened. She just accepted it. No fight, no questions asked, almost like she saw through me the whole time. It’s very rare I see somebody accept it, but I’ve never seen somebody fully accept f*****g HELL as their destiny. She truly felt she needed to atone, and that she was ready for it. And I just couldn’t do it. For the first time since I took this job, I felt something. I hadn’t felt something for decades. So, I got caught, and I broke. I grabbed her arms, and hugged her. I told her she’d spend the rest of her life atoning by being a good mother to her children. Stop drinking, let things work their course, accept that there’s a plan for her, and that would be how she atones.
She would seek redemption for her past by being a better person than she was ever supposed to be. She needed a shot, and I made an executive decision, one well beyond my authority. She didn’t believe me, so I told her to turn around, and pushed her away from the light. Luckily, I got out of there before anybody saw, so I’m here now, typing this up with a double in hand at my favorite bar.
You see, there’s a plan with the universe. Nothing can change what is supposed to happen. However, we can alter the circumstances in some ways. But we gotta sacrifice things for those changes. While the plan may be set in stone, we may not all know all the details. And that’s where I take my final sip and hit post for this. I see Johnny over there, he bought me this drink. Johnny was always a good worker.