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Grim Reaping - Chapter 8
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Joined: 27 Dec 2007
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Location: Conversing with the Backside

Posted: Thu May 29, 2008 3:09 pm    Post subject: Grim Reaping - Chapter 8  

“Yes, I know these things always start very simple,” I said to Pinkie. “But I’m starting to think of these situations like humans; complications come with development.”

“Arr arrr?”

“They are. That is why I do not mind coming to this kind of party. It is very rarely one of the young ones I am here for.”

The party had been laid on in honour of a child called Nigel, who was four years old. The rather large house had been decorated in sufficiently elaborate fashion to make the equally large gathering of children believe they were not inside a normal abode but had infact been magically teleported into the heart of a travelling circus.

The walls were lost beneath lashings of streamers and banners, while a multitude of rainbow coloured balloons hung from the ceiling. Loud music of the current trend boomed from the very modern player and I wondered, not for the first time in my existence, if using my scythe on the wire giving it life would be deemed improper. Given the choice, I would always have selected something classical over something modern. A piece with lots of violins. Not exactly birthday party music.

“As I was saying, it was Boris, the unlucky gravedigger, who directed me to his employer for some answers. Mr Bones– ”


“A bit of an unfortunate name I know, but sometimes these things happen. Mr Bones was– ”


“Is it that time already?”

Indeed it was that time already. I looked across the room, beyond the banners and balloons, through a doorway and into the kitchen where Herman Crisp, one hundred and two years of age and the great-grandfather of Nigel, let out a gasp and fell headfirst into the moist icing of the birthday cake.

I moved through the crowd of children, who continued to dance, shout, pull each other’s hair and poke each other in the eye without the slightest knowledge of what had occurred nearby, though I did pause to return the curious wave of an infant.

Human’s may see me at two periods of their lives, you see. When they die, or in some cases just prior to their death, and in their first month of life. I don’t know why this is, and I have never felt the need to ask, although I do believe Jimmy once told me that very young humans are more perceptible to the strange and unusual along with a select few elders.

The soul of Herman Crisp had no trouble seeing me at all, even though the ghostly memory of white icing that clung to his spectral face.

“I fought in the bloody war,” Herman spluttered at me, “and the most dignified way you can give me for dying is face down in our Nigel’s cake?”

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I don’t decide the method. I am just a caretaker really. I clean up what is left behind.”

“Well at least you look like I expected,” Herman said, looking me up and down. “I was worried that the day I snuffed it I’d be palmed off with some dreadful excuse for a – what in the name of the Lord is that?”

“Arr?” enquired Pinkie, while his little mind probably urged him to bite the ghostly finger pointing at him.

“This is my…associate,” I said. It was the truth, I just tried not to advertise the fact. Some phantoms are funny about this type of thing; they expect tall, thin and black and would be less than impressed if they believed one day someone could be faced with short, illiterate and dumpy. “He keeps certain affairs of mine in order.”

“Arr?” Pinkie asked again.

“Yes, you,” I told him, pondering whether a jab in what I assumes to be his shin would encourage him to shut up.

“Is that all he says?” Herman asked.

“To you, yes,” I replied. “To me, he regrettably says much more.”

“I hope you’re not expecting sympathy?”

“I assume you are expecting a visa to Heaven?”

“You have my utmost sympathy.”

“And you have your visa. Sign there.”

* * * *

“…there was a strange green figure watching me from up in the tree.”

“Arr arr ar?”

“Yes, like an impossibly large West Australian Wanga Wanga Frog.”


“Well I’m sure he had his reasons for dressing that way. I’m do not believe it could be just for fun. I do wonder if he was a Wee member.”

“Arr arrrrrar?”

“Yes his suit was skin tight but that was not what I meant. Don’t you remember what I told you when we collected that inept sword swallower?”

“Arr Aarrrrrr ar ar ar arrr?”

“Exactly, but I cannot work out if he is one of them or just another red herring.”

“Arr arrr.”

“Or green herring, yes. You do try to bring a bit of humour into the job, don’t you?”

“Arr arrr.”

“I only said try. I did not say whether you are successful or not.”


“Not really.”


It seemed the right moment to take a pause in my impossible task of explaining recent events to Pinkie. Everything I said went into his head, and although it did not come out of the other ear it did not quite make it to the right place to make sense to him either.

We turned our attention to the scene being played out before us.

“And now,” the tall, golden haired hero bellowed, “it is time for you to die, foul harbinger of Death!”

“I do believe that is my cue,” I said, stepping out onto the stage.

I strolled across to where a very crude representation of me did battle with the actor intent on killing him. They do say life imitates art. I found it a little too realistic to my current situation.

I waited patiently for the quite tedious fight to end with the hero swinging his mighty prop department sword to behead the “foul harbinger of death”.

I watched the sword descend in the killer blow, and then followed the decapitated head bounce off the stage and onto the lap of a blind girl in the front row.

“I’m sure that wasn’t in the script,” the head said.

“Neither was mistakenly using a real sword,” I said. “I always find it is the minor details that matter in life. And death.”

“I said it was a real sword! They wouldn’t have it, but I told them.”

“Unfortunately, it would seem you were right. I’m sure they will comment on the quality of your death scene in the evening paper.”

“Do you really think so?”

I felt I was stating something that was blatantly obvious to all, including the blind girl who had just unwittingly pushed her finger into the head’s left nostril.

“It is certainly the most realistic death any of this audience have witnessed,” I said.

“Well, thank you,” the head said. “By the way, you look very much like me in costume. I didn’t know they had employed two of us.”

“I’m more freelance,” I replied.

“Oh, one of those. Well I suppose you can’t…what the hell is that?”

I glanced behind me to find Pinkie bobbing across the stage towards us.

“He’s not important,” I said.

“Arr Arrrr?”

“No offence.”


“Is he foreign?” the head asked.

“It depends where you class as foreign. To you I’m sure the answer would be yes.”

“I thought so, I’m sure I saw someone just like him in the Glasgow Playhouse.”

“I am equally sure you didn’t,” I said. “Now, I believe there is a limo waiting to take you to your next show.”

“I thought we only had a matinee today,” said the head.

“Just think of it as an encore performance. Just hand this in when you arrive and they will show you to the green room. Oh, and you might want to pick your head up before you go.”

* * * *

“So you understand that bit now?”

“Arr arr arrrrrr ar?”

“That’s right. They are called Wee.”

“Arr arrr?

“Yes, they are definitely not call Them.”

“Arr arrrrrr.”

“Yes it is an unusual name for a group with an intention of putting me into retirement.”

“Arrrrrrarr arrr arrrr aaaarrrr.”

“No, definitely not as inventive as the Seductive Siren Sisters of the Sierra Sanctum.”

“Arrr arr.”

“No, probably not as naked either.”

“Arrr arrrr arrrrrr.”

“Yes, she could be one of the sisters. I think she may have too many rings in her nose though.”

The girl Pinkie had pointed his stubby little finger at did have an air of seduction about her.

I do not pretend to feel love, or lust, come to that, but I understand the basic principles of the human need to intertwine their bodies and to touch each other in some very peculiar ways.

I had the impression the girl had a good grasp of the principles. She had an equally good grasp on the boy standing on the bowl of the toilet.

“Arrr arrrrr arraarrrr?”

“Why would I feel uncomfortable? I have seen more naked humans than I care to remember. At least these two have not moved somewhere private. Most of them simply start writhing around on the floor.”

“Arrr aarrrrrr?”

“I really couldn’t say. It is what they call a Goth Club, but I assume there is some rule that makes it compulsory for everyone to fornicate with each other by the end of the night.”

“Arr arrrrrrarr?

“It is what these two are about to do. How can you work with Jimmy and not know what fornication is?”

“Arrr arr arrrrrr.”

“Well I’ve never heard it called that before. I thought that was a kind of cream cake.”

I took a moment to glance around our surroundings while we waited of the inevitable inevitably happening. The style of such clubs did appeal to my darker side, and I dare say that if I did not have my role to fulfil I would have happily taken charge of such an establishment.

In the adjoining room, the dull thud of the club music throbbed through the walls. It always seems very loud for such small premises. Then again, who am I to judge these things.

I turned my attention back to the girl and her breathing lollypop. If I wanted to be dramatic I could have counted down the last ten seconds of life, but most times there is very little drama surround the actual death. It is usually the aftermath which causes that.

This was no different.

The boy, named Ian, for those who like to know such things, had always had a weak heart, and the excitement of the moment, in effect, caused his twenty-one year old ticker to cease ticking. His hand went to his chest and his feet slipped off the ceramic pot.

I have noticed that death occasionally brings with it a coincidental chain of events. Someone one holding a ladder trips over, the person on the ladder falls to his death, said person lands on the first and both perish. The failing of Ian’s heart was of a similar ilk.

When he fell forward, Ian’s very adequate erection, which had been loitering on the tongue of the girl, called Heather, forced its way into the back of her throat, plugging her airway. Ian’s dead weight knocked Heather off balance, and Pinkie and I were left looking at Ian’s bare arse beneath which another life was about to expire.

“Oh you have to be fucking kidding!”

I looked at the shade of Ian. “I’m afraid death is never a laughing matter.”

“I can’t die! Not now!”

“Well, technically you are correct. You cannot die now because you are already dead.”

“But you don’t understand!” the spirit of Ian shouted. “She was going to…She could have…You know what I’m saying. You must know. You should know everything!”

“I really don’t have the slightest idea what you are talking about,” I said.

“I’m a virgin! Are you happy now! I’ve never even seen a real girl naked and she was going to let me do her!”

I opened my mouth to respond, but a high pitched giggle interrupted me.

“What the fuck is that?” Ian yelled. “And why is it laughing at me?”

I found it funny that a first sight of Pinkie always brought the same question. No matter what the circumstances, or who the enquirer, the question always asked what rather than who. If Pinkie had seemed in the least bit indignant about being constantly referred to as a “thing” rather than a living creature, I might have been inclined to correct them. As it is, he probably suits being called a thing anyway.

“He doesn’t get out much,” I said, by way of explanation of Pinkie’s sudden fit of hysterics. “Try to ignore him if you can. Now, as for your predicament, I’m afraid there is little I can do, although in just a moment she may be able to finish what she started.”

“How do you mean?” Ian asked.

I allowed Heather to speak for herself.

“You little prick!” she screeched, in a voice that could shatter glass and instantly made by skull ache. “It’s not good enough for you to die on me, but then you shove your cock down my throat and choke me to death!”

You may remember me telling you how the souls of the dead remain as they were at the moment of death. The armless man has an armless spirit etcetera etcetera. In the blink of an eye, Heather’s annoying voice was no longer a problem.

“Hey!” Ian shouted. “Come on, I just died! Get off.”

“Mphhh mphhh mph!” Heather said.

“I will explain it as simply as I can,” I said, reaching for my visa book, “but I will warn you they may have to cut it off.”

Ok, the decision point for this chapter is as follows. Continuing on from the last DP, Grim and Pinkie go on reaping and accidentally “reap” a wrong soul. The question is, who will the soul be?
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Joined: 27 Dec 2007
Posts: 114
Location: Conversing with the Backside

Posted: Thu May 29, 2008 3:11 pm    Post subject:  

Sorry for the delay to all those who have been waiting for this chapter. I did have the best part of it completed over a week ago, but due to an unfortunate incident that saw my memory stick locked in work over the bank holiday weekend, and some busy nights since it's took a little longer than expected to get this out.

On the plus side...this is the longest chapter so far. Hope it's been worth the wait.
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Joined: 04 Mar 2008
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Location: Escaping the Hair Lair

Posted: Thu May 29, 2008 6:04 pm    Post subject:  

I think they should enter a highschool, and instead of reaping the soul of the Emo kid with the overly long bangs, and the book of sad, handwritten poetry.. they take the soul of the kid next to him, the scientist geek with a head full of cures for future diseases. Whoopsie! But now they have a genius brain to pick, and hopefully the kid has some helpful ideas.... and perhaps his glimpse of death is what sets his future disease-curing in motion, should he somehow be returned to life?

and yeah. That was long. I didn't intentionally mean to write the plot for ya but.. hardy har. I'm just happy to see this SG again! I like Pinky. I mean Death. I mean Grim. damnit.
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Joined: 01 Jun 2008
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Location: In lone corner of my mind: Imagination

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 7:23 pm    Post subject:  

I think, unwittedly they reap the soul of a Wee member. Which he begins to question so the story can continue unfolding. I've been dying to know what happens after chapter 2 and poor 'Ol Mr.Bones.
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Joined: 02 May 2008
Posts: 13

Posted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:14 pm    Post subject:  

Lol, I love Pinkie! Also, poor Heather... what a way to go...

Anyhoo, I think they should reap someone whose death lets loose a chain of events that end up in something historically significant, for example: they were looking for Mr. Politician, who was about to address the Senate/House of Commons/Whatever legislative body you fancy, he was supposed to die before he gave his speech (talk about getting cold feet!), however they mistakenly reaped the guy that writes Mr. Politician's speeches (maybe Pinkie did it? trying to emulate Grim?). So, trying to fix the mess they made (let's assume that the page with the speech was destroyed during the gruesome death of Mr. Speechmaker), they hastily write up their own speech and present it to Mr. Politician, who goes on to give the speech that ends up, I dunno, overthrowing the government maybe? Pardoning all criminals? Something wackier? Your choice.
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Joined: 02 Aug 2007
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Location: On one of a group of islands of the coast of Asia. Guess which one.

Posted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 4:43 am    Post subject:  

I like Ronjun's idea. Sounds funny. Or maybe they reap the soul of Bill Gates sending Microsoft down the toilet. I don't know how or why, but that would be cool! :D
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Joined: 24 May 2008
Posts: 92

Posted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 9:59 am    Post subject:  

i like it its funny no sergestions though sorry
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Joined: 27 Dec 2007
Posts: 114
Location: Conversing with the Backside

Posted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 1:51 pm    Post subject:  

Ok, let's more days for suggestions then a 5 day vote.

2 more days and then a 5 day vote.

There, said it.
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Joined: 24 May 2008
Posts: 92

Posted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 4:40 am    Post subject:  

reap an angels soul!
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Joined: 27 Dec 2007
Posts: 114
Location: Conversing with the Backside

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:11 pm    Post subject:  

The poll has been extended for just a little longer. Let's give it a few more days.
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Joined: 24 May 2008
Posts: 92

Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:10 am    Post subject:  

woh when did that go up, nearly missed the poll! i voted for historical eventims it makes more sense to me
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