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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/2210571
by Eric
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Action/Adventure · #2210571
The Reaper no longer claim lives personally. Instead he has to rely on the people to kill.
I tried. I tried so desperately hard to leave the apartment complex. Concealing the mark, I made my way out of the main entrance, and onto the bustling street. I never knew how vital it could be living on the first floor. Making my way down the block, I notice the mark starting to escalate its growth. From being the size of a marble, it has now expanded to the size of a lime. I quicken my speed, only to get caught in a large horde of people. They nodded their heads and gave loud, highlighted greetings. I made haste and scampered away.
I looked back down at the mark, and it had taken over most of my forearm. In a hurry, I took off my coat and wrapped it around the blackened areas of my arm. The cold and bitter air nipped away at my skin, but that was nothing compared to the pain that could come next. I reached my car, swearing to myself because the keys were in my coat pocket, which is now wrapped to cover my arm. Thinking quickly, I broke the window. No one around but a few children, and they didn't know any better. Getting in the car, I unwrapped the coat slowly. The light tone of my skin had faded into black splotches, and the chase had just begun.
The first one to notice was an older man, looking of the age of 40. Apparently, one of his kids noticed me breaking into my car. I knew that was going to cause a scene, so I swiftly pulled out of the parking lot behind the apartment. In the rearview, I could see him jogging towards me, pocket knife in hand. I had no worries for him, for he did not appear to be my biggest threat. Making my way out of the alley, I saw him yelling towards other people. Not many like to participate in this function, but there had to be about 10 to 12 people now following my little Hyundai.
Passing streets, restaurants, and little local shops by the minute, the group of people began growing. There were men and women of all shapes and sizes, there seemed to be a few minorities in there as well.
The mark had grown over my shoulders and started heading down my right arm. I was not surprised when I lifted my shirt, and it was a quarter of the way down my torso. Surprisingly, my car was slowing down to a speed that was little faster than the pace of the people chasing after me. The cars in front of me were the cause of this. The crowd was gaining on me. I had to think fast. I decided to jump out of my car, going much slower than what my Accord was taking me. I had no choice. The fall didn't hurt as much as what one might think it would, but it hurt especially on the marked areas of my skin. The mark was halfway down my stomach and my right arm only having the hand left to go.
I kept running down the street, a few people already knew what was going on, and tried to grab and lash at me. I hate what the government did. Since this was the only way people died nowadays, they decided it would be best to have the killings as quick as possible. Thus, leading them to give permission for news stations to have it broadcasted. This gives people an idea of where to find and take a life. I could hear the helicopters above me, they were keeping their sights. I had to make them lose me, the harder it is to track me, the longer I'll have to get away. I cut a corner and headed into an alleyway.
These alleys haven't had a good clean in a few years, and the garbage trucks haven't seemed to be making their rounds at a fast-enough rate. Trash crammed in dumpsters and graffiti everywhere.
I lost a good amount of the chasers, they had to split up among the maze of brick and trash.
As I continued to rush through the twists and turns of the maze-like alleyway, I collided into another person. A girl; a girl with the same black splotches as me. We stared each other in the eyes, knowing very well what we could do to each other. We sat there. Sitting patiently, each waiting for the other to make a move. She swiftly got up, grabbed a large broken glass shard and took a swing. The girl could pack a punch. She slashed my leg, quickly pulling back with the bloody shard close at hand. The shard gave me a huge gash, but I grabbed her arm and shoved it in her gut. I almost felt a little guilty, but I heard some upcoming approaching footsteps and many voices, so I darted away.

The mark was already halfway down my thigh. I could now feel the locations of the mark. It was a needling pain, but all over my body. I couldn't stop the pain. It was getting horribly bad, but I kept on running. I started to get dizzy, my body aching with every step I took. With no other choice but to rest, I took a ladder up to a rooftop.
I store at the sun fading away in the distance. Hearing a pair of footsteps, I crept to the edge of the building to take a look over the edge. It was a man. A man who had a look of anger and despair written all over his face. The man looked up; he saw me.
"It was you!" he screamed from below. The madness in his eyes blowing up into rage. He started to climb the ladder. The man seemed to know the building well, because there was no other escape. Most buildings in this city usually have 2-3 ladders to gain access to the roof. His head peered over the edge, along with a gun. I jumped behind an air conditioner as he fired a shot.
"What is it you want from me?" I yelled, not moving a muscle. "Look man, I have money, name a price. You'll have it. Just leave me alone!"
"What about my daughter?" he hollered. It hit me. I knew what I had done. I stood there in utter shock.
"I know you had to..." he started.
"She fought me! She tried to kill me! How am I supposed to avoid that? You just expect me to leave her alone and let her chase me among the 500 other people on my trail?" I started tearing up. The man brought guilt upon me. Now knowing she had a family and people who cared for her, it hurt me to have that on my mind.
"She told me it was you! She was crying for help, begging for you to have mercy upon her!" The man shouted. I could hear him creeping closer, but I didn't care. Fists don't win in a gunfight. I knew the truth, but that doesn't matter. This is my fate. There was no escaping this. "Now I shall I'll steal your life the way you stole hers!" He popped around the corner and put me in a headlock. I didn't resist, there was nothing I could do. I heard a loud pop, and then everything was gone. Black.
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I had woken up. Curiosity filled my mind as I gazed around the pitch-black room. It was indeed an odd room, for I could see myself as if I was fully illuminated.
I was fully clothed, with a new shirt and pants, they were also black. I turned around, and I stared in astonishment. I knew exactly where I was. The fires of hell were flooding my eyes with light. I couldn't believe what I saw. People were falling from the skies every couple of seconds or so. I'm guessing those are people who have already reached their final destination, but my destination was the only thing that puzzled me.
"Welcome, welcome!" I heard an unfamiliar voice behind me. Very scratchy, but I was able to make out the words. I turned around and my eyes widened. It couldn't be. No. I thought that he was just a myth, a lie! - But I was wrong- I was froze at the sight of the grim reaper.
"Please, come on over, have a seat!" I was too busy staring at him to notice that he had refurbished the room, and a fireplace had been added. There had also been a coffee table placed, with what looked like hot tea.
I saw no exit or way to escape, so I made my way over towards him, slowly. I was trying not to express the terror that I felt on my face. I sat down on the chair across from him, attempting not to stare, but it was so hard not to.
"Wh- Why am I h- here?" I stuttered. I couldn't see his face, but I knew he had to be grinning under that menacing hood of his.
Wonderful question," he said, almost relieved that I asked, "Your here today because you died!" What a sarcastic dipstick. I knew that already. I haven't been here for that long, but I figured I wasn't at an earthly location.
"I'm Just messing with you. The real reason your down here is because you have set a new record for survival time!" He exclaimed. That shocked me. I had no idea that I had survived that long, the only thing that was occurring in my mind was trying to live.
"Well who did I beat? This has only been going on for about 15 years now. I learned in my World History class that something to a similar extent happened as well hundreds of years ago, but why it has started again, I have no idea..."
"Silence!" He snapped at me, cutting me off as well. "I can't answer all your questions at once, nor can I answer all of them in general! Most of your answers will come over you through the next years or so!" There was a long pause. I sat there looking back at him, waiting for him to continue. He finally cleared his throat with a raspy ahem.
"I... am the one you have beaten," The reaper started, "I used to be just like you, young and painless. But just like you, I gained marks at an early age." He started to soften his speaking. "I had a wife, pregnant wife. I never got to see my kid. He had died already, that was many, many years ago." He continued on, through his low, deep, and softened voice "I had to take the life of my son, but that's when I could take lives. In the past 15 years, I have lost my ability to take lives, because grim reapers age too." The room was quiet. It was still. My fear had dialed down to a sympathetic sadness. I had to break the silence.
"So, you only brought me down here to tell me I set a new record?" I asked. I probably should've put that in a nicer way, his pain seemed to be overflowing him very much already.
"No, that is not the only reason." He sighed. "Since I have reached the right age, and you have set a new-record, you are now able to follow me for a 5-year apprenticeship to become the next soul-snatcher." My eyes widened.
"Do I have any other options?" I asked.
He motioned to the opening towards the field of fire. "Unless you really want to spend eternity down in that hellhole, then I'd say no."
{Once again, quiet invaded the room. We sat face to face. Nothing being said, and no one moving.
"What about the girl? Was she anywhere close to me?" I murmured, trying not to withhold the never-ending stillness.
"Not even within minutes. She had only had the marks for 37 minutes, then you took her life. You lasted a full 12 hours and 54 minutes. That's pretty amazing."
         "Yeah, I guess if you say so." I felt my adrenaline rushing, and the blood rushing to my cheeks. "How long did you go for?" I hesitantly asked, not knowing if that was something he would've wanted to share.
"Oh, you beat me by a long shot. I only had 11 hours and 3 minutes!" He exclaimed in a more delighted mood. But even though he had a good time saying that, the room became voiceless again. I feel if he were to actually have eyes, he would've been shedding tears, but how would I know?
I didn't know what to do now. We sat there for what felt like hours, upon hours. He was motionless. It wasn't an awkward time, just very emotional, mostly for him. I had to break the silence.
"What will happen to you, if I take your position." I asked. He laughed to himself, which then faded into a sigh
"I don't know kid, I really don't. Will I end up in a void of emptiness? Will I reincarnate? Will I be reborn into another life without any memories or experience from my former life? I have no idea." He raised his voice as he said that. I gave him a second to calm down. He continued "What I do know is your probably going to be the only one near surviving the amount of time you did survive. I don't know if anyone else will beat it. It's a great time. I'll give you some time to think about it.
I walked over to the hellish landscape, and looked at all the souls burning. All the pain and anguish. I spent about an hour there, feeling the heat of the fires hit my face as they grew, and feeling the cool dryness of the room when the fires started to die down. I turned around.
"So, about that apprenticeship..."

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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/2210571