2.1 The Reaper


When my daughter looked out the window one Saturday morning, there were two men at the door. She told me so, tugging on my sleeve, before joining her mother at the breakfast table.

I waited for a knock, but none came. Frowning, I opened the door.

And froze.

There was an old man collapsed on my doorstep. And behind him-

The Grim Reaper, in a long black robe, with his hood drawn up over dirty blonde hair.

The Reaper looked at me, and his eyes met mine- they were black and flat; an endless void. It was too late to look away. He smirked as if to say, oh look, he can see me, then said lazily, “Odin D’Lancey. Born 16th July, 1712. Died 10th October, 1761. Cause of death: myocardial infarction, brought on from overexertion when subject walked across town from the nursing home to the house he believed to be his own.”

I flinched as the Reaper raised a gigantic scythe that materialized in his hand and brought it down upon the man. Nothing happened- his body was still intact. It was his soul that was leaving.

The Reaper turned back to look at me. I stood rigid, like prey caught in a bright light. I remembered the Reaper that had sat with my mother. I remembered his auburn hair. This was not the same Reaper. He pulled something from his robes- a list- and his eyes flicked to it, then back to me. “Well, well, well. An alchemist. Leo Winter. Is that what you go by these days? No wonder I didn’t recognize you. Heard you moved away.”

“You’re not the same Reaper,” I said.

“The one before has moved on to… other places,” said the Reaper. “Now I’m the one that has to deal with a greater alchemist.”

Despite everything, my mouth twisted into a lopsided smile. “I’m a greater alchemist?”

“Don’t flatter yourself,” snapped the Reaper. “You, by nothing but pure chance, happen to be the last of the Oaksley alchemists. Well.” He paused. “Not the last anymore.”

My hands had gone cold with sweat.

“I like what you’ve done with the place,” the Reaper continued. “I suppose it’s not Oakenstead anymore, now that the Oaksleys died out. I should call it Winterstead now.” The way he said it made it sound like ‘Winter’s dead’. “Now that you’re back in my jurisdiction, I’ll be watching you, alchemist.” Without so much as a dip of the head, the Reaper disappeared in front of my eyes, as if he melted in the sunlight, leaving me alone to regard the space he had occupied a moment ago.

17 thoughts on “2.1 The Reaper

  1. My dearest, I’m so happy you decided to share this delightful story with everyone, may this endeavor give you that small confidence nudge to get more comfortable with your work and keep at it 😀
    So, thus far I’m immensely enjoying the read, Leo is so much more of a sweetheart than I ever gave him credit for at the start and Yuki is indeed, as you put it later, quite underappreciated. At least, speaking for myself, I’ve never even seen the girl around in my games :/
    The feel of the story is fantastic, it’s really serene and nightly-sit-beneath-the-moon-and-relax feeling. Does that sound strange? Yes. But it’s the atmosphere that I enjoy and it’s replicated right here, with exceptions of the snarky chapters, which brings me to the fact that this right here is my second favorite chapter. This Reaper is quite a piece of shyte but dang it if he’s not a likable piece of shyte.
    So yeah! I think so every time you share your stuff with me, but I think you’ve got something special here :3 thanks for putting it down on paper (digital paper?) for us. I’ll be here for the ride.
    Much love, Note.

    Liked by 6 people

      1. I’ll be sure to check that out! One thing I so, sooo love about Sims is the depiction of the Reaper. They’re so humane xD But mine’s a jerk. I made him a jerk, I hope he comes off as a jerk 😀

        Liked by 3 people

  2. — Fragile creatures, we are taught to fear the Reaper
    Ever running, we are dead before we meet Her —

    (I am a huge nerd, pray forgive me. This chapter just reminded me of a song from a game I adore.)

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I like most of them, actually, though I’ve never played FFXIV due to terrible internet and the fact you have to pay monthly. I DO know the soundtrack, however, my favourite song being Answers :3

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Ah, cool! I am knee deep in FFXIV right now, have been for well over a year. It’s my first MMO and my first touch to the franchise. I’ve searched up the other games, too, just to know something.

        Answers is one of my favourites, too. I do prefer the Dragonsong, though.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh goodness that dead man xDDD He left me quite speechless. In the end I took his tombstone into the back yard and fenced it off so people stopped crying over it. Unfortunately it got lost further generations down during a house remodelling. Still, he got a burial!

      Liked by 2 people

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