Copyright 2012 Katherine Rochholz
All rights reserved as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976. No portion of this book may be reproduced by any means, mechanical, electronic, or otherwise, without first obtaining the permission of the copyright holder.
This is a work of fiction. Any similarity to persons living or dead (unless explicitly noted) is merely coincidental.
Dylan and Suzanna
I am Death. I mean whoever hears those words outside of a play, or now in this future most only dreamed of in 1515, movies. NO ONE! Well that is what I thought as well until I came back to my home and found a man who was about five seven or five eight with a dark tan and graying brown hair and the bluest eyes in the world sitting with my black green eye cat in my chair. My mistake was asking him who he was. Man do I regret that question. His answer was just that. “I am Death.” And to make matters worse it was followed by “and I am your father.” And that it was time for me to come home. That is how I ended up here. And where is here? Good question. Here is about five hundred years after that fateful date and I am waiting for this drunk to get into his car. I thought this day would be a total bust, after all I had twenty souls to collect that day and I was only on number five. That was until I saw his daughter. Then those human feelings I left behind five hundred years ago came rushing back. And I knew she was the one who could save my soul. But how do I convince this angel from heaven itself, when I just took her father’s life force? This is my journey to salvation, join me if you dare.
Maybe I should explain, when you are a child of death, you became a reaper yourself. It is not as cool as you think. Father was quite the ladies’ man, so to say. I have about a thousand half brothers and sisters all over the world doing the same thing. Now we are not evil or good. We are neither. We are neutral. We walk this Earth, taking the souls of the dead to judgment. But we never are judged. Each reaper has one soul that can save theirs. Our souls are in a limbo state, we could go either way. Good or bad, or stay neutral. Most of us stay reapers forever, I mean forever! There are reapers that have been here since the dawn of humans. Before there were six plus billion humans, it was just my father. He was the angel chosen to be death. It was decided by both God and Lucifer, so that way the angel would be neutral.
Well it was like that until about five thousand years ago, then my ‘father’, to use the term loosely, was tempted by Lucifer with a ‘fair maiden’ well my father fell. She had a child and when the child came of age that child became a reaper. To punish my father and to make sure he remained neutral, God came down with a punishment. That my father would never see heaven again unless his true soul mate saves his soul, the same punishment was dished out to his children. He has yet to find his soul mate. When he does a new death is chosen from the reapers who have not been saved. Which to date is all but five.
A reaper was given a gift though, to know when their soul mate enters their life. Just great that I had to be collecting her father’s soul at the time I meet her. Well not meet her but see her. For my soul to be saved I have to tell her I am a reaper and she has to accept that. That is why only five of my half siblings have been saved and allowed to live a normal life and death. People have issues dealing with the fact we are the ones who take the souls of their loved ones. How we do it would take more time then I have to explain, but basically it works like this: everybody has a certain amount of time on earth, they have to fulfill their goal, which they may not know, and they die. For example an infant, they are put on this earth to remind people how fragile life is, or for other reasons. God is not very good at giving reasons. Or a father may be taken early so that his children can go on to meet their goal. Sometimes I feel that the humans we take are God’s pawns in the war against Lucifer.
Before I thought I would just keep on reaping until the end of time and spend my time in limbo for eternity, that would be better then this life. Now I have a choice. Now I can choose to go after this woman.
After a few days of thinking, and waiting for the funeral, I went up to her and introduced myself. “Hello my name is Dylan. So sorry for your loss.”
“Did you know my father? By the way I am Suzanna.”
“In a way I did.”
“What does that mean?”
“I was there for an important event in his life.”
“Oh.” Before she could say more she was swept up by the next round of guests.
I watched her for the whole night and for the following few weeks. Making a point to bump into her when she was getting coffee or at the grocery store, of course I also had to perform my job, so I couldn’t be too much of a stalker. Which was what I was turning into. One day I took the chance to ask her out. “Hi.”
“Hi! Dylan right?” She turned to look at me, as we waited in line for coffee.
“Yes. Suzanna right?” I pretended to ask with a smile.
“Yes.” She smiled right back.
“Would you like to have dinner?” I stopped and waited, holding my breath.
She smiled and said “yes, that would be great!” So we made plans to meet up that night. That was six months ago.
We have been going strong and no I have to tell her who I am. So as we lay there watching her favorite film, I look down at her. “We have to talk.”
“What is wrong?” She looks up with me in worry.
“I have something to tell you.”
“You are breaking up with me aren’t you?”
“No. But you may leave me.”
“I don’t think so.”
“Here what I have to say first.” I move to sit in front of her, to look her in the eye.
“I am a Reaper. That is my job. You asked but I never really told you.”
“What is a Reaper?” She asked.
And I told her. Everything. About my father. How I found out. How the first time I saw her I was claiming her father’s soul. Taking him to his judgment, then making sure his judgment was carried out. It seemed like forever. I spoke and spoke never really listening to my words, just watching her face. Watching her go though hatred, revulsion, sadness, and the final one I could not name. I had never seen that look. “There is everything.” I hung my head and waited for her to leave, waited for my soul to be crushed.
“I understand. I am okay with this. Do you always have to stay a Reaper?”
“Well what did you do before you were a Reaper?”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Was she really accepting me? “I was a carpenter.”
“What do you do for money now?”
“I own a lot of furniture businesses.”
“Okay. I love you. No matter what I love you.”
I just kissed her. I couldn’t believe it. I was going to be saved. All of a sudden I saw this flash of light. My father stood inside of it and smiled. I knew that I was released from my curse. I could really have a life with Suzanna. “Suzanna, marry me?”
“Yes.” She smiled. And in that smile I knew heaven.