My job, was to take your life. But not in the sense that you're thinking. I was no hired assassin. I was just dead and I wanted you to join me.
I was a Reaper. My address was Hell and my phone number was D-E-A-T-H. I was born in Austin, Texas when I was 17 years old. Born, I meant, as in died.
So I became trapped in a 17-year-old's dead body forever. I didn't complain though. They put me back together--well, sort of. The car accident had left me a bloodied, mangled mess. Unfortunately, it took me three long hours to die. It was a relief when I finally did.
I went to Hell as I knew I would. Trust me, for the wrong I'd done, I deserved to go there a hundred times over. I was a lying, murderous criminal during my short life as the former Bryce Gambit. There was nothing I wouldn't steal. There was no person that I wouldn't kill. So Hell? I fit right in.
Hell was not the place you are picturing in your mind right now. It was not some fiery pit of treachery under the ground where evildoers burned for eternity. The location of Hell changed depending on the evil deeds of the living. So that meant, Hell was right here on Earth. In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Detroit, Michigan; Baghdad, Iraq; Cape Town, South Africa; and my fated hell, Bogota, Colombia. Overrun with drugs and years of political turmoil, even the children there carried guns––given to them by their parents. It went without being said, Bogota was a form of hell to the dead and the living.
When I died, I woke up there. I wasn't sure how I got there, but it didn't really matter. As soon as I opened my eyes, I knew I was dead. How did I know? Because the most frightening being I had ever encountered in life, or ever would encounter in the afterlife, was staring down at me.
I named it Evil. Its face looked like any living man's, except for the fact that it was hollow and by far, the most evil thing I had ever seen. I could see right through it, straight to its brain. I could see the muscles and the bones in its face move. Its teeth were so rotten and worn, that the nerves were exposed. Its rancid breath would have brought tears to my eyes if the dead were allowed to cry. The numbing pain of my accident still wracked my body with convulsions, but I couldn't cry. Not from the pain, not from the stench, not from anything.
Its eyes were coal black and it had no hair that I could see. A long, black cloak blanketed the rest of its body, but its transparent hands were exposed. Evil raised its decrepit arm and my body raised up from the concrete slab I was lying on. I was drawn to its malicious sneer, so I stepped forward and offered my arm to it willingly. Its touch was like acid. It laid a crooked finger on my arm and wrote out a name. I wanted to scream, but nothing came out. I tried to feel around in my mouth. I felt nothing but emptiness. I had no tongue. The dead did not talk. But trust me, we didn't need to.
The spot where the being engraved the word into my arm has burned for the last fifteen years. At least, I thought it had been fifteen years. I forgot sometimes. The dead had no need to keep track of time. Eternity was the only appointment we had to keep.
Every time I looked down at the name: Reaper, burned into my arm, I forgot things. I forgot about being alive, though all the evil that I did while oxygen was still useful to me was forever burned into my memory; however, the good times had vanished.
I forgot what I looked like a long time ago. The dead had no reflections, but that was a good thing. I was sure I was a treacherous sight to see. I touched my face one time long ago, just to see what it felt like. I never forgot that. My skin was hard, cold, and cracked, and almost every inch was riddled with scars. One side of my jaw was still smashed in, though the gaping hole that had been there had been sewn shut. Severe damage had been done to one of my eyes, but they had fixed it so that I was only left with slightly blurred vision. They hadn't bothered to set my nose back into place. Guess they figured since I didn't breathe anymore, there was no need to fix it. And my teeth, though teeth were useless to me now, well, several of them had been knocked out. A few had been shoved down into my gums and cut at the insides of my mouth every time I moved it. Having no tongue made it impossible to scream like I wanted to. I was glad then that I had no reflection and I hadn't touched my face again since.
I examined my battered limbs from time to time, tried to remember how I got the scars, tried to remember the accident. As time passed, the memories became fuzzy, but the wounds still hurt. After all of those years, the wounds still hurt.
I could tell the accident scars from the ones that were made when they sewed my skin back onto my broken skeleton. I must have been in bad shape because the scars are everywhere, and I was missing a few things. I only had one ear, and I was minus a few fingers. I knew half of my ribcage was gone because my skin sunk in on that side. I didn't have any hair. It must have all burnt off in the accident. But these were all things I could do without.
The death of others was all I needed…and as fate would have it, the death of another would turn out to be my only salvation.
Copyright © 2012 By Diantha Jones
Copyright © 2012 By Diantha Jones
Check back next month for the continuation of...The Reaper of Bogota!