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.
Eron and Grace
This is my hell. If this isn’t hell, then I don’t know what is. From the moment I was told I was the spawn of death to this moment, when I take a young mother who just gave birth to the babies she wanted more than life. She knew carrying these babies to term would kill her, but she did it anyway. Taking souls like this kills me. It makes me want to turn against my duties; it makes me want to not take the life. But I must if I don’t then the soul rots in the body, causing the body to rot, making a demon on earth. I don’t even want to look at the little girl or the little boy, but I am drawn to them. I look at the little girl and I know, I know she will grow up to be my saving grace. Then I hear her name. Her father called her Grace. I left, taking the soul of the mother to her judgment day. Whispering to the little girl before I left “Grace, may the grace of God allow you to forgive me.”
I couldn’t get the her out of my head, I knew that I would not enter her life again until she was older, and I had a feeling I would be taking her father when I did. He was a good man, I watched him raise the two children. I watched him accept his son when he came out homosexual. I watched him fight for equal rights. I watched him fight for the rights of veterans. I watched him fight for those who needed saving. And I kept watching and waiting for his name to come to me. I waited for the fate to send the message saying to take his soul. I waited, and waited. But my jobs were never done. I didn’t get much time to watch her grow up. But I wanted to make sure she was happy.
She was so smart; she wanted to be a doctor. I watched as she worked hard in high school. I watched her face fill with excitement and joy when she received a letter stating she had been granted a scholarship. I did that, I wanted to make sure money was never a problem for her, that money would not be the reasons he had to give up on her dreams. I watched her through as she went through college and med school, as she stated her internship. Then I got a name I wasn’t expecting.
It was her brother… he was going to kill himself. He had been the subject of so much hate. I was hoping his scholarship to that fancy music school in New York City would save him. But there was more hate then love in this world. In a world that most of the time I hated the human race because of that, though I so badly wanted to be part of the human race again. So I always did what I could to help, donating becoming an activist, in so many things. I tried to make the world a better place. But I always seemed to take those that are most worthy of life from this world.
I wanted so badly to tell her. My Grace would be torn up by this, and I wanted so bad to tell her. But I knew it would only create a demon on Earth in his shell because his soul would rot, if not taken when his string was cut. I did my other jobs throughout the day. I knew when he would take his life, and I wanted to be there when it happened. It does not happen all the time, but sometimes, the soul ends up remaining with the body for a few moments after death. I wanted to be there to take his soul moments before his body died so that way he would not have to feel the pain of death. Death is always painful, always for the body, but if we get there just at the right time we can prevent the soul from feeling it.
I watched him for most of the night. I knew when it was going to happen and how, but I couldn’t stop it. Grace was going to hate me for not stopping it. I was not worthy of a soul as beautiful as hers. I watched as he said goodbye to his boyfriend, as he told him he loved him all night. I watched as he called his father, and left a message saying ‘forgive me… I love you.” I watched as he called his sister, my Grace, and watched as his eyes filled at tears of how much pain he was going to leave his loved ones in, but he couldn’t face the hate in this world any longer. He almost lost his boyfriend because of intolerance, and the hate had gotten to him. So at twenty seven he was going to take his life. He didn’t want to live in a world that would allow people to hate. I cried with him, though he didn’t know I was there, I held his hand as he lay on his bed, waiting for the pills to take his life. Just seconds before the final pain of death, I took his soul. Then I took him to his judgment, most suicides get put into limbo, until they can be reborn to try again. But I was not going to allow that to happen. It can take centuries to be reborn. I left his soul with the judges, and told them my opinion. The first time I ever have voiced an opinion with judgment. They came back with something that shocked me.
“Eron, you want this soul to have a chance at paradise, or for us to give him his rebirth in the next year, so we give you this chance. Convince your soul mate, Grace, to forgive you, to accept you, to love you, within the next year, then we will give him his rebirth, if not then he will wait his turn.” They then disappeared leaving me to go back to Earth.
I did not know how I was going to achieve this; she was a new intern who just found out her brother had died. Her twin had died. I watched her tell her father. I watched her plan the funeral, watched her fight with the Catholic Church to give him a Catholic funeral. He deserves a Catholic funeral; he was a good kid that was driven to take his life, because of the hate and pathetic people of this Earth. I joined her fight. I was timed it to be there when she came in to fight the priest for her brother’s funeral. I pretended to overhear the fight, and I joined her.
“You said his note was that he could no longer take the hate of this world?” I asked.
“Yes, his note stated that the attack on his boyfriend, and the fighting for equal rights was getting so hard on him. He was saddened by hatred in this world. Now the Catholic Church is refusing to treat him as an equal even in death!” Grace was angry, and I couldn’t blame her.
“Let me guess if I were to offer a big donation to the church you would treat him as an equal?” I said with a sneer, I was not a fan of organized religion.
“How big were you thinking?” The priest stated with greed in his eyes.
“I have one hundred thousand dollars that says that this boy and all others like him get equal rights in this church.” I stated, writing out the check, a hundred thousand was like going to get a cup of coffee for me.
“Deal.” The priest stated and turned to Grace.
“Well Miss Grace Casey, your brother Benjamin will have a Catholic funeral.” He said bringing out an appointment book. “I have this Thursday open. Is that okay?”
Grace had a look of shock on her face. “Yes that is fine.” The priest then left them alone.
Grace turned to look at me. “Thank you. My name is Grace Casey. Did you know my brother?”
I looked into her eyes, losing myself in their gold brownish color. “Yes, I knew Benjamin.”
“Are you…” She didn’t know how to ask her question.
“If you are wondering if I am gay, I am not. I just believe in equal rights. And that the hate and ignorance of people really needs to be put to a stop. My name is Eron Johnson.”
“Oh… So you knew my brother how?”
“I will tell you at another time. Let’s just focus on making sure he is put to rest. It is a shame he had to be taken so young. Your poor father, he must be destroyed.”
“Dad was always afraid of AIDS, not this, never did we think suicide. I mean, we knew he had issues, but he was getting better. He was fighting for marriage rights in New York; he was going to marry his boyfriend. Poor Lester, he is so tore up about this, he feels he should have known. But he was in the hospital he was almost killed, just for being gay. It is sick.”
We sat and talked for the rest of the day, and over the next few months I helped her deal with the loss of her twin. Our talking turned into dating, and soon I was coming up on my deadline. I was going to have to tell her the truth. One night I was going to take her out to a nice restaurant then come home and tell her all the truths about myself. But I came home and she was crying.
“Honey what is wrong?” I went up and pulled her into my arms.
“Someone told me that you are lying. That you are living a double life. That all your traveling is because you have many girlfriends in all over the country.” She said sobbing.
“I only love you, I have no other girlfriends. No other person holds my heart and soul only you. But I do have a secret. Please hear me out.” So I told her everything. From the moment I took her mother’s soul. My first words to her, my watching her grow up. My scholarships; because her family deserved them; and I told her the worst secret of them all. How I knew her brother. I told her everything, where I was when his name came up, how I stayed with him. How I took his soul so he would feel no pain. Only thing I didn’t tell her was the condition on his soul being reborn. Just that I fought for him. “I am a reaper.”
She said nothing for a long time. She looked at me; I could tell she was working everything out in her head. “So you are how old?”
“Eight hundred thirty six years old. And never once in my life have I ever loved anyone like I love you.”
“So you took my brother’s soul to judgment, you took his soul, and fought for him. Because of me?”
“And him, he had a hard life, and because of the hate in this world his promising life was cut short. He was a good person.”
“And you took my mom. You were there when I was born? Did my mom go to heaven?”
“Your mother was sentenced to five years in purgatory, limbo, and then she could enter paradise.”
“And my brother?”
“That depends on my actions regarding you.”
“I cannot tell you, until I have an answer on if you still love me, if you can forgive me.”
“Why would I have to forgive you? You had no control over your fate. And I am glad you were there with my brother, that he had someone there to hold his hand.” She turned and kissed me. “I love you, and there is nothing to forgive you for, I love you.”
I felt my soul become complete; it was like my heart starting beating again. I knew I would no longer get the messages from the fates; I would no longer have to take the souls of those who deserved life more than most of the humans that live in this world. “You complete me, my saving Grace.”
Copyright 2012 Katherine Rochholz