I woke up in my bed, my hair tousled and my dress gone. I swore as I checked the sheets and thankfully did not find anything that said anything happened. I found a note on the nightstand, ‘After you passed out, I called Cat for your address. You made a mess of your dress, so I put it into the laundry. I waited until you were sleeping peacefully before leaving.’ “Thank Hell nothing happened.” I saw a post script, ‘P.S. Check your right hand.’ I looked at my right hand and saw the tri-colored gold leaves interleaved creating a ring. I looked back to the note, ‘P.P.S. If the date went well, I want to continue dating you. This will show people that you’re currently dating and let us enjoy each other’s company.’
I looked at the note then the ring then back to the note. “Mother Hell.” I tried to call my umbrella to me, but it was not in the room. “No…” I bolted out of the bed, continuing to try to pull the umbrella to me. “NoNoNoNoNoooooo…” I hit the ground, landing on my knees. “Damn it!”
The umbrella was gone and I do not know where it is. I heard my beeper go off, I reached onto the counter and grabbed it, refusing to get off the floor. I read the message, ‘I have your umbrella on my porch. Next time, leave it in your apartment. Erick said he never wants to see it again.’
I sighed in relief before the beeper went off again. This time it was from Naoribi, ‘You’re late.’ I looked at the clock and felt my insides become jelly. I grabbed some clothes, my top hat and bag, before flying through the door and down the stairs. The First Circle was where the residents of Hell lived. I shared the townhome with Cat, making it easy to grab the umbrella from the front of her house. I ran to the Second Circle and the First connected.
Naoribi was standing at the entrance, staring at her watch. I looked at the giant clock on the wall, as it showed me two minutes early. “You said I was-”
She cut me off, “If you’re fifteen minutes early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late.” She clicked her pencil against she clipboard she was holding. Her button up shirt was barely holding back her cleavage, even if it did not cover the top crack of them. Her pencil skirt was short and tight, accenting her perfect features. Naoribi was a succubus that rose through the ranks to become a manager and her heritage did her well.
I stood there waiting for her to finish writing her report on my tardiness. “Ma’am.”
She thwacked me on the head with her pencil, “Silence!” I stood there waiting for her to finish. She finally looked at me over her clipboard, “This is your target.” She showed me a picture of an elderly couple as a glamour shot.
“Where? When? How?” I asked her the required questions.
She read the report she had on the couple, “Car accident. Ten minutes. Just outside of town.”
“Anyone else involved?” I asked because it could up her quota if there happened to be someone else who was seriously injured enough to have them easily make the pass to Death.
She showed a picture of Erick. “This man.”
I gulped, “Yes, ma’am.”
She glared at me, “You seem to have some issue with the extra.”
“I had a date with him last night.” I admitted.
“You…?” She gawked then looked at the glamour shot picture. “You had a date with this hot human?” She laughed at me until she started to tear up.
“It’s true. Cat set us up on a blind date and this morning he gave me this ring.” I showed her the ring and I watched her look at it with interest. She then started to hiss and back away from it.
“I’m telling you this as a supervisor. Stay away from him!” She growled lowly. I only heard her in this tone when I seriously screwed something up, like destroying Atlantis on accident.
Puzzled by her reaction, “Ma’am, all due respect, but as my supervisor, you can’t stop me from seeing him.” I could feel myself give a stupid smile, “Anyways, I really, really like him. I most likely won’t be reaping him today.”
She was at a loss for words, something I rarely ever saw. I turned and left her in her silence, clicking the handle of the umbrella on the ground. The handle became the sharp end of my scythe, the rest of the umbrella becoming the handle. My black cloak appeared on my body, the hood blocking my eyes from people, but still allowing me to see everything. I sat on it side-saddle, as I was taught to do in training, “Because I’m not a witch who can ride it like a horse.” I mumbled to myself as I rode to the accident.
I arrived just before the accident and saw Erick’s car coming around the bend. I saw the elderly couple’s car veering left and right across both lanes. They were coming into oncoming traffic and from my perspective, I knew they were going to hit Erick, before careening off the edge of the coastal cliff. I saw them get closer and I did what I knew I would get in trouble for. I dove towards Erick’s car and flashed in front of him, causing him to veer into the other lane, just as the elderly couple drove into where his car was.
Erick was safe, but I had to fix my folly and get the couple off the cliff. I flashed in front of their car and the gentleman slammed on his brakes, but there was still enough momentum for the car to break through the guardrail. I waited but the car was stuck with only the front part of the car hanging off the cliff. I sighed, hating this part of my job. I jumped off my scythe and pushed the car until the front tires were hanging off the edge.
The people inside screamed and screamed and it broke my heart. I could not push the car off the cliff and finish the job. The screaming stopped and I walked to the passenger side of the car. The two of them were in the midst of heart attacks, the two near death experiences being too much for their frail human bodies to bear. I waited for them to die, when I heard my name, “Sori!”
I looked to see Erick running towards me. ‘Mother Hell, not now!’ I jumped on my scythe and vanished from the human’s view.
He kept calling, “Sori! Sori! I know I saw you! You saved my life…”
I smiled at him, until he started to call for an ambulance. I could not the call continue, or else I would get in huge trouble. I landed on the other side of the car, pulling my hood down, revealing my face.
The phone fell to the ground, “What…? What is going on, Sori?”
I looked at the phone, pointing my scythe at it. A bolt of electricity shot out and the phone’s circuits were fried. “I am a Reaper and it’s time for these people’s final moments. I cannot allow a human to stop what has been ordained. The Bell tolls for them.” I turned to the people in the car; they were finally dead, allowing me to take their souls. I replaced my hood and spoke to the souls, “The Bell has tolled and has chosen thee. Arise from your Death into your Rebirth.” I watched the souls ride from the elderly couple and glide next to me.
I nodded once to Erick, vanishing again from his sight with the two new souls. He called out, “This won’t stop me from wanting to be with you!” I thought he looked directly at me, but I knew that human eyes could not see through the Reaper’s power.
I looked over to the two souls. “I’m sorry. I am here to escort you both to the underworld.”
The old lady asked, “Could we go somewhere first?”
I knew what she was going to ask, “Humans can’t see or hear you, so visiting relatives is no use.”
She shook her head, her silver hair glinting in the sunlight. “We want to see the place where we met.” She smiled at me.
I smiled to her, “Places we can do. How did you meet?” I knew that Naoribi looked down on me because I was merciful to human souls. I wanted to hear their stories and add them to the collection I had.
The elderly gentleman started, “I was on vacation to Africa, wanting to hunt a zebra or maybe a lion.”
The elderly woman grinned, “You would have been no match for a lion.”
They continued and I took them along their journey before delivering them to Naoribi.
She sent them along their way before she started to yell at me, “What were you thinking!? You deliberately disobeyed my orders and above that, you showed your true form to a human?!”
I listened and knew better than to say anything. She would write her report and I would write mine. Reapers, Demons and Angels were not supposed to protect humans nor were we supposed to show our true forms to them. Doing so could bring the end of our kinds, or at least that is what we were told by our Bosses.
I waited, before she finally sighed, meaning she was done with her rant, “Here is the next target.” She head up another picture and it was back to work.