Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Subzero Dragon would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Grim

By Subzero Dragon All Rights Reserved ©

Humor / Fantasy

Chapter 1

Another quiet day at the banks of the River Styx, he thought. The warden of the afterlife idly leaned against the withered remains of a long dead tree, staring towards the crimson sky. He was watching and waiting. What for? The next soul, of course. He was the only one who could open the gate to the next life, after all. To escort the departed to their afterlives and harvest the souls of the dying; this was his one driving task, his duty, his fate. He went by many names and guises, the Grim Reaper, the Angel of Death, Charon, Thanatos, all mere masks invented by the mortals who feared his visage. He had forgotten his given name long ago, as he was the first mortal ever to find this passage to the various heavens and hells that awaited on the opposite bank. He gave himself permission to use all of the names given to him by the countless passing souls. The most common name he was given, the one he thought fit him best, was Death.

“Death”, he felt, was an ironic name at best. He was neither dead, nor alive at all. A vagabond, forever caught on the precipice of two planes, belonging to both and neither at once. As the first to die, he could not experience for himself what awaited those who came here, not until the last living creature, on the last of the boundless worlds, crosses the Styx. Until that day, Death would bear his infinite duty with the all stoic solitude he had become enslaved to for all these immeasurable years.

In his time watching all manner of mortals fall onto his riverbank, he was most fascinated by the races of Man: those strange little primates with such desire as to rival the gods. They certainly were the most defiant of the creations of the gods, constantly pushing their knowledge and abilities beyond their limits. Oh, how it amused him to watch them attempt to master their universe.

In crossing the river, he would relive the decedent’s lives with them, allowing the soul one last look at their former life. So often their brief triumphs and ephemeral victories would be replaced with even more ambition, and it charmed Death to no end to see their myriad deaths, to experience their tales and knowledge as they passed to their afterlives. He had seen mighty warriors, killed by the end of a blade. He had seen simple street-folk, struck down quietly by time. He had seen touted heroes and despised villains, lords and peasants, simple farmers and quiet hunters, all with different stories and ends. Indeed, the race of Man was an intriguing one, to say the least.

Then, there was that one human, that woman who dared to violate the laws of mortality. To acquire a status of godhood was a taboo forbidden to all but the most worthy of the most worthy. Though no god himself, often wondered if perhaps he was one in all but title. But even the gods cannot escape the inevitable, and their tales were almost as interesting as Man’s. Even so, in all of his time as the warden of Styx, only that one sorceress had succeeded in resisting him.

And she was standing right by him. Again. That defiant little-

“You seem angry today, Death,” he could hear her dulcet voice from his right, “Don’t you know stress is bad for your health?”

Death ignored her. He had given up on that one long ago. She called herself Famira in her mortal days, though he hardly cared what she went by now. The woman was a dark-haired, green-eyed, fair-skinned sorceress, appearing to be a young adult. Uncommonly attractive, by the standards of Man. Death was not the best at determining human age by their flesh. He knew far better by their mannerisms. Not that Famira interested him at all. In fact, she was beginning to irritate him. Again.

“Don’t be like that,” she cooed, moving directly in front of him, “You can’t hate me forever.”

He barely spared the raven-haired sorceress a glance. “I have held grudges spanning many millennia before. You have seen nothing, mortal.” He spat the last word with a venomous loathing.

Oh, how he envied her. Though now transcendent, she had retained the form and memories of her mortal time. Death, meanwhile had long forgotten who or what he was. Lately, he had adopted the form of an ancient, skeletal human male wearing nothing but a midnight-black cloak and wielding an obsidian scythe. He had used this form a lot when harvesting the souls of Man. He had hoped that this form, one that struck instant fear into Man, would convince Famira that the opposite bank of the Styx was where she belonged. She never listened, of course.

Turning away in dismay, he stared across the Styx again, following the black waters with his gaze. He flicked a pebble into the dark waters, watching as countless hands emerged and scrabbled and swiped at the stone. Staring out at the ensuing tangle of limbs, he contemplated why Famira had come here. Where had he gone wrong? Why had she and she alone defied the fate of all life? Death could think of only one answer, and he did not like the idea.

Maybe, she was like him.

Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Subzero Dragon
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

softprose: Honestly, this book already has me on my toes, I can't wait to buy the physical copy! It is like a fresh breath of air when reading this. I've already fallen in love with all of the characters! This will be one of those books I'll read over and over again without getting bored of it.

Alexis Dredd Zarcal: Overall, it's a rather thrilling piece, merging superstition, psychology, slice of life, and the usual Japanese risque fare. All the elements have rhyme and reason in being placed together.The respective background stories of the characters involved so far also give a sense of flair and thrill.I'...

Deleted User: I liked it very much. I liked how it began with the two sisters bonding like that. I especially liked how it ended. Although, i wish it had more of a plot twist, but then again, that's just me. This was my first book i read on this app, and i really like it. I'll probably read more books because ...

SPepper: I had a hard time putting this book down even to go to sleep. The story is compelling and beautifully character driven. I hope author will make this a series.

Sara Grover: Being that this is your first story and I assume first draft, a lot of little mistakes are common, we all have made them; little things like your instead of you're, missed capitalization, missing punctuation, etc. As for the plot, I have a lot of questions and I did leave comments on certain sect...

catd69: Karim is a very talented writer. When I started reading his journey it took me into the book and I was in the story till the end. I've never felt this way with any other writers stories. If you want to read a gripping adventure, this will be the one book I would suggest you pick.

Mourn8220House: When first reading "Avarice," I thought it would be another fairytale but I was taken back the author's approach and choice of ending. There is little to be said for the story and overall plot besides the sudden twists and speculation, other than that I do not want to ruin a fantastic tale, you m...

Jasmine Chow: As I read this story, I was reminded some what of Terry Pratchett, especially some descriptions of politics and economics. The sci-fic setting is quite intriguing. Writing style is quite lovely and grew on me slowly. I was also slightly reminded of Mark Twain, especially his book A Connecticut Ya...

Nymeria: Really can't get enough of this story. It flows well, it captivates the reader from page 1, and throws you into such a well-written, well conceptualized world that you'll believe it's real. Everything in the book is meshed together really well. From character backgrounds to plot twists, you can t...

More Recommendations

jessiehs: This book had me hooked from the very beginning. To be honest, I wasn't sure I would like it based on the description, but I was very wrong. The way he overcame all of his childhood challenges and managed to help others was great. There were so many times the story had me on the edge of my seat. ...

Dina Husseini: It was a good read. I love stories on fantasy and this story kept me hooked on it. If you like the genre fantasy this is a good story to read.

Shifa Gohar: this book is my first on inkitt and I love it thoroughly...but i guess this is not the end. The characters were amazing the plot too. At times it scared me more than a horror movie would. Love the plot something i had not read in a while.

ianwatson: The comedy is original and genuinely funny, I have laughed out loud many times reading this book. But the story and the plot are also really engaging. The opening two or three chapters seem quite character-dense but they all soon come to life and there is no padding, filling or wasted time readin...

JWalker: I loved this story from start to finish! It flows at a really nice pace and the story world feels so real. The fight sequences are a treat especially when Isanfyre is training to become a warrior. I found the names really cool and thankfully easy to pronounce. Personally I have always struggled w...

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral stories!
King's Lament

FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"

The Cyneweard

Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral story!
Spectra

Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."