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Chapter 14: Squawking Raven


Shannon’s soul lifted into the air, I caught it with my scythe, and I pulled her next to me. She stared at me, her face contorted with confusion. I knew she had no idea what was going on, I breathed in and explained who I was. I gave her my speech and she nodded very slowly.

She was strong I could feel that, with each passing minute she grew calmer. I tapped my scythe revealing the door to the next step of her afterlife. I did not tell her anything I knew, I was a comfort and she did not need to know what killed her. I put an arm around her shoulders, I remained The Reaper to Shannon.

I helped her into my wooden boat, I clapped to turn my lamp on. I felt I knew her, but I know she did not know me. I kept things how I would for any other soul.

We approached the white arch doorway and Shannon walked into it slowly. My boat took me back to the earth doorway, I needed to find Rosalie now. I wondered If she knew of Shannon’s passing. I stepped into the earth doorway, I found myself in a park.

It was full of people, groups sat at the large clear lake just a small distance from the sandy path. I put my scythe in my pocket. As I walked past humans, some nodded at me. I was not accustomed to being seen. I walked along the path, the vibrant green grass waved as the wind blew softly. The large trees created a perfect mix of shade and sunlight. I felt the walk was calming, yet I was impatiently waiting for that raven to return.

How long would it take?

A bell rang, echoing in my ears. My frustration grew, with each ding. I am reminding myself I am The Reaper, I am the ferryman. This is what I do, I help, I am the comfort, I am the final friend for each passing soul. I cannot grow frustrated with a job I have done and managed since the dawn of time began.

I grabbed my scythe out of my back pocket, tapped it on the ground, and waited for the world around me to disappear. The world disappeared and I was now just waiting for my eyes to clear.

I found myself at quite an obvious scene. Two cars had collided head-on, glass was glittering all over the black tar road. A red sedan type was crushed up until the front windshield, I watched men in yellow shiny clothing trying to open the door. The man inside was folded over the steering wheel. The man had a large bleeding gash on his forehead. His heartbeat was slowing but had not stopped yet, he may still have time. I walked over to the other car a green Ute, tools were scatted over the road.

I could only assume he worked in some type of construction. He had been unlucky, a metal pole that had not been tied down properly was now protruding through his chest. I stood close as his heartbeat was faint. A short minute later, his heart had stopped.

No one had been able to save him. That is okay, I am here to help him into his afterlife. I still have a job, even if my heart was wanting to find Rosalie. I could not find her on my own, so for now I needed to sit tight.

I caught the man’s soul, his information was slow to filter in and process. But eventually, it did. Jonathan Ickly, twenty-three years old. His memories were filtering through just as slow as his information had been.

I look up at my dad, I am four years old. I am playing with my trucks in the sandpit. My dad smiles at me, he is covered in a strange white substance after a hard day at work. My mum brings him a cup of water. She then leaves to get my brother from school. But she never comes home that night.

A squawking on my shoulder pulls me out of Jonathon’s memories. I could not follow the bird yet, but it stuck on my shoulder refusing to move. I tap my scythe, turn to Jonathan who is staring at the raven on my shoulder strangely. I give him my speech.

The very one that ties every question, confusion, and fear into one calm wave. He walks into the doorway, I follow. I wonder if the raven can survive the doorway. But he remained on my shoulder as noisily as he had been before, I could only assume the fact he was a gift from Gaia meant he could survive.

Jonathon was an easy-going soul, he wandered into the doorway with ease. I walked back to my boat with a squawking raven on my shoulder. I wondered why I saved it, it was not doing anything good for my ears. But I reminded myself that it would find Rosalie, usually I respect all Gaia’s creatures.

Then again one had never been on my shoulder squawking like it had lost its mind. That was something I had no intention of getting used to. I arrived at the doorway to earth and walked through it. I waited for my eyes to clear. Finding myself in the park once again, but the noisy raven had flown and began to circle the lake. I mumbled some complaining words and kept my scythe out so I would remain invisible.

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