Nataliya Turpitko/

Once I see the motes of light flash across her cobalt eyes, I know my Earthly journey is complete. I have no regrets. I enjoyed my time as a human and will carry the experience with me into the life beyond.

“Are you ready?” the reaper asks.

I can already feel an invisible energy mounting inside of her. Like static electricity, it makes the hairs on my arms stand on end.

“Does it matter?”

“No,” she says, “not really.”

I shrug and nod my head, saying nothing.

I peer into a starless midnight sky and watch the gathering storm clouds swallow the moon. During the day, such a sight would provoke mass hysteria. It’s the reason reapers only walk the world at night. Their work is necessary, but humanity has an innate fear of the supernatural and such events are better off occurring when most of the world’s population is asleep.

Her eyes are blazing now, punching holes through the deepening darkness. I take long and measured breaths, savoring the sensation, knowing this is the last time I’ll feel the rise and fall of the lungs in my chest.

I lived my whole life believing I was nothing other than human, and only when the reaper came to call me home was I able to recall my former nature. That’s the way this thing works. My kind discovered long ago that there are certain lessons only mortality can teach us. Without physical constraints and the ever-looming threat of death, there can be no impetus for growth, and without the impetus for growth, there can be no driving force for change. Humans, for all their faults, possess something altogether unique, and it is only after having experienced their ephemeral nature that we can realize our full potential.

“Will it hurt?”

Now it’s the reaper’s turn to shrug.

“I don’t know.”

Her eyes emit a bright and feral red, and a moment later I close my own, afraid of what must come next.

“Goodbye,” she says.

A flash, so bright I can see it behind closed eyelids, followed by heat. I’m on fire, I think just before my human mind shuts down. The light gives way to a deeper darkness, and for a moment I’m floating, suspended in a timeless void. Then I feel a tug, followed by a pull.

Like a butterfly yanked from its cocoon, I launch from my blackened mortal shell into a different life altogether.

Goodbye, I think, though the reaper can no longer hear me.

I turn away, not mortal anymore but still human in spirit, and fly away to my home beyond the stars.

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2 thoughts on “Reaper”

  1. I love what I’ve read so far. A LOT of thought went into creating a believable description of how to he passage of life ends. I KNOW there’s more to come ….

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