| 03.17.2018

Friday Fiction: Dead like me: a Grim’s tale


What happens when you die?

Does your spirit rejoice at being reunited with the almighty Creator, or lament at the never-ending torture in a brimstone underworld? Does your soul drift through the world and, based on your karma, cause you to be reborn as a nymphomaniac hare in Omaha, Nebraska?

Danlin Li | Rawr

Danlin Li | Rawr

If you’re like most people, none of this happens. There are never any heavenly voices singing or evil demons cackling with pitchforks. There aren’t even other hares to have sex with. You’re going to die. It doesn’t matter who you are, how good or bad you’ve been in your life, or whatever religious sect shoved its faith down your throat — you’re going to die.

You want to know something? You’ll die by my hand too. Whether you go peacefully or in a twenty car pile-up in the Sierra Nevadas, and it’s all based on the information I receive on a yellow post-it note. Or sometimes I’ll get a text message. No joke.

I have been given many names through the ages. Everything ranging from scurvy to the Black Plague, or King Henry VIII to Adolf Hitler, but I’m best known as the Grim Reaper. My friends just call me Lex.

I don’t want to talk myself up, but I’ve single handedly killed many great people. Don’t judge me, it’s my job. I was the one who sent King Tut to his early resting place and drove John Wilkes Booth to assassinate President Lincoln. Not to mention my wonderful act of playing the sacrificial lamb, also known as Jesus.

If there is a Hell, I’ve got my ticket booked for first class. Then again, I’m just doing the job assigned to me by the Boss. Whoever he is.

On second thought, I should revise my previous statement. I wasn’t actually Jesus. I was the guy who drove him to be the “messiah” and give the good people hope. The experience made me realize two very important facts — martyrdom is about the most idiotic, pointless thing in the world, even if it is to save everyone’s “damned souls.” All of our souls are damned at some point anyway, right? Also, humans are extremely gullible. Make glowing lights and pretty looking white wings and you could shag any girl you wanted if you say her child would lead the downtrodden people and become the great “messiah.”

Pray for my eternal soul, if you’re a good Catholic. If not, what the hell?

At this point, you’re probably wondering why I don’t just get on with it. Truth be told, I have no idea.

I do want to say just one last thing, though. Despite the incredible amazingness of my abilities, there was one person I could not kill. No matter how many times her name was put on a post-it note on my nightstand, or how often my cell would buzz continuously for hours with her name in a text, I just couldn’t do it.

This is what I wanted to tell you about. The day she changed my life, er … eternal life? No … existence! The day she changed my existence forever.

I knew from the start that day was going to be a crappy one. Thick, gray smog clung to the atmosphere. It made it nearly impossible to breathe, let alone actually get up and get something done. Then I saw I had six post-it notes on my nightstand and five text messages. Eleven jobs in one day. How is any mortal supposed to do that? Oh, wait.

Each job was within an hour of each other, and they were all across town.  To add icing to the cake, I had to be five blocks from my apartment in less than 10 minutes. In Manhattan, this is almost impossible unless you’re some wizard who can change all the traffic lights as you approach them. Luckily for me, this is one of my many adapted talents.

I must say, I definitely do not recommend sprinting down the street at 10 a.m. dressed in ripped jeans and an unbuttoned shirt flapping behind you like a cape. People get worried. But hey, a deadline is a deadline. Get it? Deadline? I crack myself up.

Anyway, there I was sprinting down the street when my phone went off. I flipped it open and answered.

“What the hell do you want? I’m busy.”

The silence on the other end of the line drowned out the noise of the street.

“Mr. Grimwauld?” asked a hesitant voice.

No, not Mr. Grimwauld. I’m Johnny Cash using the same number Mr. Grimwauld is using.


“You have a doctor’s appointment at noon.”

I mentally ran through the 11 names and times on my schedule. One was listed at 12:30 somewhere near a hospital.

“Thanks for the reminder,” I oozed kindly before snapping my cell shut.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the red haze marking someone who has an appointment with whoever their judge will be. I watched the haze closely, and started closing in on it when I crashed into some bum with a shopping cart. The crazy old coot started shouting that I had smashed his Mercedes and how I needed to pay for the damage as well as his mistress Glitter’s hospital bills. Since there was no one else around, I assumed his “mistress Glitter” was the well-groomed rat terrier barking at me. By the time I could actually turn my eyes to the street again, the red haze was gone. I stopped, searching somewhat frantically. Where was it?

When I did finally locate it, my stomach turned over. Of all the places this person could go, it had to be there. Of course it did. Doesn’t the Boss know how dangerous it is in there? I mean, seriously, sending Death to someone in a fortune teller’s place is not good. However, when I think about it, the irony of the whole thing is hilarious. In fact, the idea was so funny to me, I doubled over laughing right in front of the place. Slightly embarrassing, actually. I had a job I had to do though, so after I regained my composure, I strutted inside.

To be continued …

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