The Reaper

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Young Fabien is in the wrong place at the wrong time, but if he wasn't he wouldn't discover the wonders of the afterlife. Secrets lie just beyond the border, but not every wonder is friend...
Can Fabien escape with his life, or will he fall to clutches of death?

Submitted: May 22, 2014

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Submitted: May 22, 2014

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~One~

Hope. Something we’re taught from an early age to believe in. Although I never had faith in it, I would sometimes secretly pray in my room for a good day, just wishing that everything would be alright. I’d lived fourteen years of my life following this track but, all my friend think it’s stupid. They don’t know that I pray, but they still insult it and I wonder if they would accept me if they knew the truth.
 I was walking home, after visiting a friend’s house, feeling moderately happy, after seeing an old friend. It wasn’t dark out yet, but it wasn’t exactly light either. I put my hands in my jacket pockets after zipping it up. It’s cold today, and I can see my breath. I’m just walking down the street, and whenever I cross a road, I make sure to look both ways, and I pass people by, some rushing home or to work, some out for a jog and some just having a casual stroll.
 I turn a corner and suddenly see the police cutting off the path I would normally take, and because I don’t really know a way around, I go over to ask why I can’t go this way.
 ‘Sorry kid, you can’t come past the line.’ The policeman said. He had dark and clear stubble on his chin and he wasn’t exactly very thin, though part of me thought it was muscle, I knew muscle didn’t overflow like that.
 ‘Why not, I always walk this way?’ I reply and he stares me down intimidatingly, and I didn’t understand why, I only asked a question.
 ‘Look Kid, you just can’t go this way, you’ll have to take a detour.’ He hissed to me, ushering me away, so I huffed and left, now in a foul mood.
 I start to take the long way round or as dad calls it the scenic route, which he takes home from work so he doesn’t have to listen to mum nagging. I don’t see as many people down this street, mainly because it’s residential and isn’t really on a main road. I walk past the only shop on the street, and suddenly hear the sound of a car. I look around and see nothing, there is no car around. Part of me wants to run and just leave but part of me want to know where it’s coming from.
 I take a few, steady steps forward, and then I turn to look in the shop window and see a car driving through the store right at me, I gasp but just at the moment my legs lift from the ground, the car flies over me, as I fall to the floor, and it skids to a stop.
 I lift my head, shaking, absolutely terrified, then I hear shouts coming from the other end of the store where the car had broken through. I turn to see a group of policemen, guns at the ready, making their way forward. I turn back to the car and see three people, one with a brief case, handcuffed to his wrist, getting out of the car. They seem to remove the ski-masks they were wearing and start shouting to each other.
 ‘Dude, you said this was easy money, not an Olympic drag race!’ One of them shouts.
 ‘Well if you hadn’t set off the alarm, it would have been!’ One of them retaliated, then I noticed one of them gazing in my direction, and I fall back on my hands trying to crawl away from them.
 ‘He’s seen our face!’ The one staring at me yells, and the other two look at me, one of them pulls a gun. I scramble to my feet and start running but I soon feel a sharp pain hit the middle of my back, something embeds itself in my spine, and I lose all movement in my body, all I feel is pain. I fall to the ground; everything seems to fade…the sounds around me, the feeling to the ground, the sight of houses.
 It hurts so much, I don’t want this to be how it ends, why me…what did I do to deserve this?

 

~Two~

My eyes fly open and I see a dangling white light above me, I turn my head to one side and see a bouquet of flowers on an end table, I turn to the other side to see various medical appliances all beeping and flashing at me.
 I slowly sit up, and feel slightly shocked at the fact that I’m able to, after the incident I just had. I see my mum walk in, with red eyes and tears still streaming out of her eyes, as she makes her way over to the bed. I jump out of bed and run over to her.
 ‘Mum!’ I shout, getting ready to hug her, when she just phases right through me, and continues walking to the bed. I slowly turn around to see myself lying in a bed, hooked up to all those machines, a tube sticking out of my mouth. Shock overwhelms the joy I felt not long ago, and I start to feel panic rise up my throat, just as a doctor walks through the door.
 ‘I’m sorry madam; we have done all we can for now.’ The doctor says, trying to comfort my mum, but she just turns around to looks at the doctor with almost dead eyes.
 ‘I want him back; I want him to wake up!’ She cries, and part of me feels guilty, and wants to comfort her, but she wouldn’t be able to hear me.
 ‘I know, but right now he’s in a coma and there’s only so much we can do, but we will do our best to keep him alive.’ The doctor replies, looking at my body and then leaving. My mum just holds my hand and continues to cry as I awkwardly stand there.
 What the doctor said, it can’t be right, this has to be a dream, I can’t actually be dead…right? I don’t want to be dead…
 ‘Technically you’re not dead…but you’re also not living.’ Claims a voice of an angelic sounding girl, and as I turn around I see a girl dressed completely in white, with short blonde hair and icy blue eyes, and she looked like an angel, matching her voice.
 ‘Who are you?’ I ask, finally coming out of my daydream.
 ‘I’m Esula, I here to help you with your little…predicament. Consider me your little guardian angel.’ She says, walking over to the flowers and smelling them.
 ‘Guardian angel? Predicament? What are you talking about?’ I ask, trying to get to the bottom of all this.
 ‘You on the verge of being dead, but not quite dead, but your also on the verge of being living, but not quite living. You’re in the middle, in a place called Purgatory, and unfortunately for you there are some nasty little rodents running around that want to eat lost souls.’
 ‘Lost souls? But you literally just said I’m not living or dead, so It’ll only make me dead, so you don’t need to be here.’
 ‘Actually if they get you, you go to the deep depths of Hell, whereas if you come with me, I can cut you a deal in Heaven. The choice is up to you.’ She says like it’s no big deal and she just skips around the room like nothing bad will come of it.
 ‘Do you not care about anything? How can you just skip around like that?’ I hiss and she stops skipping for a moment and glares at me.
 ‘I’ve been doing this kind of thing for years, so you can’t judge me, Mr Pansy.’ She retorts as she continues to fiddle with various things in the room.
 ‘Well you can still leave because I don’t intend to move on to the afterlife.’
 ‘You will at some point just wait and see.’
 ‘I won’t, I’m not moving on…’ I say, looking at my mother. ‘I have a reason to live, I have family here, and I can’t abandon them.’
 ‘You have family up in Heaven…sure they’re not as young as other people but they play a mean game of chess and scrabble.’ Esula says as though she wants me to move on but isn’t going to put in any effort.
 ‘I’m not going to listen to you, mainly because I also have friends and a general life that I’m enjoying. I’m not leaving.’
 ‘Well you can always stay here and rot in this desolate world, I’m not bothered.’
 ‘I’m not going to rot! Why can’t you just accept my decision?’ I growl before I’d realised, I suddenly felt slightly angry.
 ‘I think you need a time out. I’ll give you a few hours to run around this place, make some friends with others in a similar condition to you. Trust me; they’ll be useful in the long run. ‘She says, before suddenly just disappearing from existence. I check all around the room and even rub my eyes, wondering if that was actually real. I stand next to my mum before thinking about what she said:
They’ll be useful in the long run
I then walk out the room, but feel a strange brush against my skin and as I look down I see that I’m not longer wearing a hospital gown but one of my favourite tops, skinny jeans and trainers, along with some arm bracers. I look down the hall and see Esula smirking at me, before disappearing again, and I begin to wonder who she really is. I then begin my search for anyone who could become a friend.

 

~Three~

The hospital is busier than the TV makes it out to be, and a lot more distressful. I don’t have anything to fear though, since people seem to just phase through me, so I can move around and go anywhere I feel like going.
 I soon get bored though, there isn’t much to do around here, and I’m worried that if I interact with something, that people will just see a hovering object, which is probably not the best move. I’m just walking down a busy hallway, my hands in my trouser pockets, staring at the dusty ground.
 ‘Hello?’ Calls a voice from within the distance. It was the voice of a girl, not the one from before, a different voice. I look up for a moment, but trying to see someone in a bustling hallway is almost impossible. In a fit of panic I call back.
 ‘Hello? Who’s there?’ I shout, just waiting for a response, but I have to wait for a while.
 ‘I’m Alyssa, where are you?’ Replies the voice, and I’m still looking around, I even started to make my way down the hall.
 ‘In a hallway…somewhere…it’s filled with people.’ I say, and realise that was of no help what so ever.
 ‘Well, try flying!’ Alyssa shouts to me, and I stop dead in my track, well not literally dead.
 ‘Fly?’ I question and I look up to the ceiling. ‘How do I fly?’
 ‘You’re having an out of body experience you idiot, just imagine you’re flying, and you’ll start to rise up!’ She replies with an aggressive tone, that doesn’t appeal to me. Either way, I close my eyes and imagine myself flying around in circles having the best time ever. ‘There ya’ go!’ I hear the voice cheer and I open my eyes to see a girl with a brown, scruffy bob for her hair and was wearing a strappy top with leggings tucked into white Nike high-tops, with bracelets around both her wrists. I then of course look down and see that I’m flying high above everyone else and my mind fills with amazement, but that soon fades when I soon realise that I’m falling to the floor.
 ‘Why didn’t it work?’ I shout quickly as she flies over to me in panic.
 ‘You need to keep imagining!’ She hurriedly pants to me and I close my eyes, trying to imagine myself flying, but my mind just fills with fear, but then I manage to focus on myself flying around and I open my eyes to see that I’m just hovering above the ground. I let out a sigh of relief as I fall to the floor with a thud. Alyssa flies down next to me, and helps me to my feet.
 ‘Thanks for telling me that might have been useful to know before that happened.’ I whisper, feeling grateful but annoyed at the same time.
 ‘Sorry, about that, it’s just all these people; it’s hard to see where other are, and speaking of people, let’s go somewhere, where we won’t have so many people walking through us.’ She apologizes, as she stares at people walking through me and I stare at people walking through her.
 ‘I agree, let’s go in that room.’ I say, leading her to the open door leading into a patient’s room. Upon entering we see it’s the room of an unconscious boy, a very little boy. I walk over to the files and crouch down to read them. Alyssa stands behind me, hovering over my shoulder as she reads the files too.
 The name of the patient was Petey Lovebrough; he’s age nine and was in a fatal car accident on his way back after a school trip.
 ‘Poor child, to have to go through something like that.’ Alyssa says with actual emotion in her voice. I stand up, feeling slightly emotional myself.
 ‘Yeah, poor child, it makes me wonder why you’re here.’ I say to her, and it takes a moment to actually sink in.
 ‘Oh, me?’ She says and then scratches her head in thought. ‘I was drowning in a lake and due to lack of blood; I woke up out of my body, thus putting me into a coma. I don’t know how to get myself to wake up. Why are you here?’
 ‘I was shot in the back by some thugs; I guess I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.’ I reply, looking away and she awkwardly just stands there, looking like she’s sorry she asked.
 ‘I didn’t mean to offend you in any way, you know.’ She apologizes but she hadn’t offended me anyway, so I didn’t feel the need to acknowledge her apology but I did anyway.
 ‘Well, can I ask how old you are at least?’ She continues, and I look up at her and then have to momentarily think of my age.
 ‘I’m fourteen; I’ll be fifteen in three days, if I get out of here.’ I say, suddenly realising how close my birthday actually is, and feeling slightly depressed that if I’m stuck here, I won’t have my birthday.
 ‘Oh really, I’m seventeen, so I guess that makes me older than you.’ Alyssa says, with slight shock in her voice, she seems surprised at my age. ‘I was actually expecting you to be slightly older.’
 ‘And why would that be, exactly?’ I ask.
 ‘Well, you’re really tall for your age, and your voice has broken, not that it’s weird for your voice to break early.’ She answers awkwardly, and I just turn back to face the poor boy on the bed.
 ‘Have you seen anyone else around here, or talked to anyone.’ I question after a moment of silence, and I look back at her as she stares at the floor.
 ‘No actually, you’re the first person I have met since waking up here. But it’s hard to look for someone who you can’t really see very well.’
 ‘That’s a fair point, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.’ I suggest and she nods, but just as we are about to leave, we hear gentle footsteps behind us.
 ‘Where you going big brother…’ whines a voice from us, and I turn around to see the boy from the bed stood in front of me. The boy had short blonde hair with greenish eyes, and was wearing a slightly baggy top with black trousers and trainers, and looked like he was carrying a small teddy bear. ‘Big sister?’ He continues, looking to Alyssa. I look over at the bed and see the boy still asleep. I guess he’s like us.
 ‘What’s your name?’ I ask, kindly walking over to him and crouching down, I just want to clarify it is the boy, before jumping to conclusions.
 ‘Petey, now tell me where you’re going.’ He growls, looking slightly worried.
 ‘Were going to look for other people.’ I say, and Petey looks through the door.
 ‘There are lots of people; you don’t have to look around.’
 ‘Yes, I know there are people there, but they…they aren’t like us…you see, we’re special, very special.’ I begin, rubbing his arms as he looks into my eyes. ‘And that means that they can’t see us, because of it, so we are going to look for people who can see us.’
 ‘Are we playing a game with them, do they have to pretend we don’t exist?’ Petey questioned, but you can’t blame him, he’s only young.
 ‘No, they aren’t playing a game, they really can’t see us. Just look there…’I whisper, pushing myself up with my knees and pointing at the bed. Petey follows my finger and sees his body, and just stares for a moment.
 ‘Why are there two of me?’
 ‘There’s two of all of us, because we aren’t really in this world, we’re kind of in-between, so we need to focus on getting out of here’
 ‘Then can I stay with you?’ Petey asks, with puppy dog eyes and I’m shocked at first but soon make a decision.
 ‘Of course Petey, you can come with us.’ I reply and Petey smiles, and runs over to walk beside Alyssa, while I lead the way into the corridor.

 

~Four~

After about half an hour of walking around the hospital, we realised that we probably won’t be running into anyone, any time soon. Thankfully the noise levels and crowdedness was dying down since it was getting later.
 ‘Well, we’re clearly the only ones here. Got any ideas?’  Alyssa complains, and I just turn to her.
 ‘Yeah, just ask the fourteen year old what to do, because the person who is the oldest doesn’t have a clue apparently.’ I hiss, and she glares at me, but I’m frustrated, and I don’t know why.
 ‘Why do you seem so upset big brother?’ Petey asked, and I don’t know why but anger slowly just built up inside and burst out.
 ‘Stop calling me that! We’re not related! Just stop talking to me! I hate it, I hate everything! I just want it to end!’ I roar, and turn my back to both of them, when they just stand there, staring at me with piercing eyes.
 ‘Why don’t we just calm down, hold on a minute, you haven’t even told us your name!’ Alyssa shouts back, and my head perks up, realising I hadn’t actually told them my name.
 ‘Oh, it’s Fabien, but I don’t see why that’s so important.’ I snarl back at them, and I can see Alyssa is unimpressed.
 ‘What’s gotten into you, one minute your fairly happy, the next you’re yelling and complaining at us?’ Alyssa argues, but I pretend not to listen. ‘Oh, you’re walking to slow, oh you’re being too loud, oh you’re being too quiet, oh you can’t agree with anything I say.’ She tries mimicking me, and it slowly starts to creep up on me.
 ‘Just shut up!’ I growl at her, turning around with such force I end up throwing the nearby notepad at her, which falls apart into pieces of paper before it reaches her. Everyone in the whole hospital looks at the paper, and that’s when we realise they can see what we do, and I realise I shouldn’t have over reacted.
 ‘What’s wrong with you?’ Alyssa asks, like she genuinely worried.
 ‘I don’t know. One moment I’m feeling denial, and now anger. So much rage, I just don’t know why…’ I whisper, to myself but Alyssa is close enough to hear.
 ‘Don’t worry; it’s alright to be angry.’
 ‘But I’m angry at everything. Angry at the thugs for doing this, angry at myself for being in that position, angry at police for not stopping them in time, angry at my friends for inviting me around his house, even angry at you guys, and I don’t know why.’
 ‘We’ll get through this, just try and stay calm; I don’t think we should draw more attention to ourselves.’ Alyssa says, looking around at the nurses that were picking up all the loose pieces of paper I’d just thrown.
 I nod and try to focus on staying calm, as Alyssa takes hold of Petey’s hand and leads us to a more secluded area of the hospital where we can sit down, rest and think up a new course of action.
 We soon arrive, and find only the occasional doctor or nurse passes by but don’t stay long, it’s peaceful, and we find a seat along the corridor, leaning against the wall. We just sit and rest for a while; I guess all of us don’t really want to start the conversation.
 ‘Anyone got any ideas on where to go from here?’ I say, just to break the silence, only to find ourselves straight back in it when everyone shakes there head and stares at the ground. ‘Great.’
 ‘Well there isn’t a lot we can do, it’s not like there’s an expert or something here to tell us what we’re meant to do.’ Alyssa complains, crossing her arms and pouting at the floor. Petey just sat playing with his teddy bear, while the girl from earlier appears in my head.
 ‘But there is an expert on this, I met her…’ I say suddenly, and the others just stare at me, confused. ‘Didn’t you guys?’
 ‘No, like I said, you were the first person I meant, but you met someone else?’ Alyssa stated, staring at me in disbelief. ‘Where is this expert?’
 ‘Well she told me I had a couple of hours to run around here and find friends, because it’ll be useful in the long run.’ I reply and Alyssa lets out a disappointed sigh.
 ‘So in other words, she ain’t coming back, until a random point in time. Great. Did she tell you anything else that may be important?’ Alyssa hisses to me, and then the whole corridor seems to darken, and become cold, and a putrid, rotting smell fills the air. It makes me almost choke, and we all look up the corridor and see a creature made of pure smoke, with glowing red eyes and took the form of a wolf.
 ‘Yeah, she said there were some rodents running around…’ I state, remembering her words about the creatures that roam around here, but this thing seems more like a hunter than a hunted.
 Its mouth tears open to reveal a completely black mouth with smoke made teeth, but it let out a deafening roar that echoed off the walls, and then it starts to charge at us.
 ‘Run!’ Alyssa shouts and we all do as she says, running up the corridor with a strange beast chasing after us. We dart around corners but its fast and can keep up with us with ease. I’m starting to get tired, I can’t keep this up, then I notice Petey in the corner of my eye, he’s slowing down, and I see the creature leap for him.
 I skid to a stop and dive back, pushing Petey to the floor and the creature leaping over me, and coming to halt at me feet. Roaring at me again. I push Petey up, and get to my feet as quickly as I can and start running again, keeping Petey in front of me at all times. I realise that Alyssa has gone another way, but the creature is following us, so hopefully she’ll be safe.
 ‘Petey, I want you to head off that way and go and find Alyssa!’ I shout to Petey, and he looks back at me with worried eyes.
 ‘But what about you?’
 ‘Don’t worry, I’ll be fine…’ I say but he doesn’t seem to believe me. ‘Trust me.’ I whisper and Petey nods and I can see tears roll down his cheeks as he turns off and I come to a halt, turning around and seeing the creature charging towards me with great force.
 ‘I will not die in such a pitiful place…’ I say, not sure what suddenly came over me, but it’s almost like someone possessed me. I feel an urge of power and I realise that I’m slowly being engulfed by green flames and white smoke, only for it to shortly disappear and show me wearing a long black cloak, with the hood up, almost looking like a grim reaper, and then I feel like I’m not even in control. With the creature still charging towards me, I see my arm rise up to a horizontal position, and start to form a strange pattern within a circle.
 ‘I summon thy servant in the name of the lord, heed my call, Despair, arise!’ I hear a voice echo from my mouth, but it wasn’t my own voice, that of someone so cold and lonely, but someone with great power. Before me a tornado of green fire engulfs the corridor before burning out to reveal a large pale horse with a black mane and tail with green tips. It had luminescent green eyes, which looked like stars. It just looked at me, shaking its head before turning and noticing the creature about to pounce upon it.
 Despair turns and kicks the wolf in the face with its hind legs and the wolf goes flying across the hallways, but quickly regains its composure. It charges again, and once again Despair kicks it, and this repeats itself three times, before Despair misses and the wolf tears into its throat, but Despair just ignites in flames and disappears. I regain control of my body the moment the flames faded, and the cloak vanished with the flames. I stumble backwards as the wolf hovers over me.
 ‘Maybe you could let me live, and I won’t bother you or try to kill you or anything ever again…’ I stutter trying to get out of this situation but the wolf just bares its smoky teeth at me, and I close my eyes, waiting for this to end.
 ‘You can open your eyes now you big pansy.’ Says the voice of an angel, her voice, Esula’s voice. I open my eyes to see her, holding a long silver scythe with a clear blade, and when I look down at the ground I see black goo everywhere. ‘The rodent is dead.’
 ‘What was it exactly?’ I ask, feeling relived that I’m not dead and that Esula is back.
 ‘It’s one of Pestilence’s servants or familiars, which ever you want to call them. They are made by disease and sickness, which is why they are so powerful in hospitals and it’s also why there are so many.’ Esula explains as she holds her scythe out to the side and lets it be engulfed in white mist before disappearing.
 ‘Pestilence?’
 ‘Yes, he is of a similar power level to Death, since them once rode together and even vowed to rise again and ride alongside each other when the turning of tide leads to the apocalypse. He will also ride alongside two others but they will not harm you, they have no need to. But right now you are in Pestilence’s domain so you need to tread carefully.’
 ‘I know that now, but did you see my friends on the way here?’
 ‘Yes I did, they’re fine don’t worry yourself. Why don’t we head back to them?’ Esula says kindly, as she leads the way and I follow patiently, trying to contain my excitement to meet up with my friends again and that we may finally get some answers.

 

~Five~

I soon meet up with my friends, and we all greeted each other with relieved hugs. Esula just crosses her arms and waits for us to finish. I turn to Esula and I introduce her to my friends.
 ‘Esula, this is Alyssa and Petey.’ I say, pointing to my friends, I then turn to them and point to Esula. ‘Alyssa, Petey, this is Esula.’
 ‘It’s nice to meet you.’ Petey comments politely, looking all shy around Esula, and she just crouches down and smiles gently.
 ‘It’s nice to meet such a polite boy.’ She states, and I raise an eyebrow, believing she was hinting at my rude behaviour when we first met.
 ‘Fabien, is this the expert you were talking about.’ Alyssa asks, quietly so only I hear. I nod and she eases away. ‘Um, Esula how much can you tell is about this place?’
 ‘Like I told Fabien, this place is called Purgatory, it’s the realm in which lost souls reside since they haven’t realised that they are dead, or are trapped here. This hospital is classed as Pestilence’s domain since he has full control over who enters and who leaves, generally…unless the Grim Reapers intervene.’
 ‘The Grim Reapers?’ Petey questions, and to be honest I was shocked that, that was the only thing that he was questioning.
 ‘Yes, they are powerful beings that control and command death. Consider them the judge, jury and dictator of life and death. However they only receive power when they have soul’s captive in the afterlife, meaning that if all the souls were to escape they would have no powers. That includes me, so we have to make sure that all the souls stay where they should be and that we deal with any lost ones.’
 ‘Does that make you a Grim Reaper then?’ I say, trying to understand everything, and she looks over at me, as though she’s ashamed to admit it.
 ‘It does mean I am technically a Grim Reaper, yes.’ She claims and I see Alyssa take a step back, and so does Petey. ‘But you see, I can no longer call myself one of them.’
 ‘Why can’t you?’ I say, and she looks at me with secretive eyes.
 ‘I do not wish to speak of it at this time, all you need to know is that I fear you are entitled to be at the peak of their interest, so please be careful.’
 ‘Why would I be at the peak of their interest?’
 ‘Please, don’t question my knowledge; do not ask for more than what you have been given. I will give the information you need, but I wish to move on from this subject, perhaps to your decision.’
 ‘My decision?’
 ‘Yes, where you are to agree to come with me, so I can take you up to Heaven, or you can waste away here with only two people who may eventually leave you. I was hoping you’d have made a decision by now.’
 ‘Oh, well you see, I was actually hoping that we could perhaps make a deal?’ I say all kinds of thoughts on how I can try to convince her of a different path.
 ‘A deal?’ She replies, and looks at me confused.
 ‘Well you see, I don’t want to really stay here after that thing attacked but I also don’t want to move on and accept I’m dead so maybe you could like make it so, that we can go up to Heaven but also stay here?’
 ‘Yeah, hate to break it to you buddy, but souls don’t tell the Reaper’s what to do, you don’t get to make a deal.’
 ‘But, I don’t want to make that decision; it’s too difficult, so just a deal, a bargain.’
 ‘A bargain…um, no…just, just no. No deals…just pick one of the two, okay, no…bargains…’ Esula stutters, she seems on edge after I mentioned bargains, but I didn’t think much of it, maybe she just wasn’t used to people striking a deal with her.
 ‘Fine, then can I at least have some time to make a decision?’ I moan, looking down at the ground, feeling suddenly depressed.
 ‘Um, this may be a weird question but what feelings have you been having while being here?’ Esula asks, quietly, as she patiently waits for a response.
 ‘I’ve been feeling angry, and now depressed, I guess.’ I say and she stands up straight, pulling her top down to straighten it out. I stare at her as she walks up the corridor. ‘Where are you going Esula?’
 ‘Don’t worry, just call for me if you need me, I’m always around.’ She says kindly, before once again disappearing from existence, just like that. I’m stood here with Alyssa and Petey at my shoulders, also questioning everything.
Just what exactly is going on here, and what was with that weird question?

 

~Six~

With Esula gone, the three of us just sit waiting for her return; at least we sit here hoping she will return.  Petey is sat on Alyssa’s lap, playing with his teddy bear, and I sit just staring at my hands, still feeling down.
 ‘Are we just going to sit around and do nothing?’  Alyssa asks, and I look up at her as she glares at me.
 ‘Well I don’t exactly know what to do, I tried making a deal, that didn’t work, and I don’t know what to do now. This is it, this is all it is.’ I reply, not really caring anymore, I don’t want to do anything; there isn’t a point if there’s nothing we can do.
 ‘We haven’t tried fighting.’ Petey comments, trying to join in the conversation.
 ‘Yeah, because I’m positive fighting a Grim Reaper won’t end badly for any of us.’ I say sarcastically, looking back at the ground.
 ‘That doesn’t mean we can’t try, don’t you care about getting out of here?’ Alyssa hisses and I flick my head up and glare back at her.
 ‘There is no getting out…you heard Esula, it’s go to Heaven or go to Hell, that’s the choice. There isn’t another one, so start, stop trying to change something that can’t be changed.’
 ‘Everything can be changed; it just depends on how you change it.’ Alyssa growls quietly and gets to her feet, taking a hold of Petey’s hand and walking down the corridor. ‘We’ll be searching for an exit if you need us.’
 ‘Well, sorry but I won’t be here if you come back a failure.’ I say, getting up putting my hands in my pockets and walking the opposite way to them.


***


After about an hour or so of wandering around, my mood just keeps getting worse and worse, time seems to slow, and loneliness starts to take control of me. I hate this, I don’t want to be here, why did this happen? Just because I saw those tugs faces doesn’t mean a thing, I just wish it hadn’t been me…
  I see some people happily recovering and some people being given up on. I pass by a doctor’s office and see my mum inside, so a imagine myself phasing through the door, and I suddenly see myself on the inside of the office. I stand just behind my mum.
 ‘Your son doesn’t seem to be getting any better, if anything it appears he’s getting worse, so I wanted to talk to you about other options.’ The doctor says comfortingly. I tilt my head slightly and feel confused but my mum stands up in a flush of fury.
 ‘You mean you want to discuss letting my son die!’ She roars, and those words sink into my head, and I’m at a loss for words. They want to trap me here, even if I already am trapped.
 ‘Please madam, calm done, we’re just trying to do what’s in yours and his best interest. He doesn’t need to suffer anymore.’ The doctor claims and I stand there shocked, as my mother sits down again.
 ‘It’s painful when even your mother is willing to give up on you, isn’t it?’ An angelic voice whispers in my ear, it’s Esula again. I turn to face her, and she looks at me with sad eyes.
 ‘What happens if, if they…’ I start, but I can’t get the words out.
 ‘Then you’ll be trapped here, and be ripe for the Grim Reapers or Pestilence’s minions to grab.’
 ‘So I really have no choice right now, do I?’ I croak, tears dripping from my eyes. ‘This really is it…’
 ‘Fabien…’ Esula whispers, but I just bow my head at my mum. ‘Fabien listen to me…’
 ‘What’s the point, it’s not like I want to go to Hell, there isn’t point in trying to convince me now, it’s all over…’ I whisper and she pulls me to face her with force, she looks serious.
 ‘Fabien…’ She starts, she’s thinking about what she wants to say, but looks at me with the intent of telling me. ‘I can send you back to your body, so you can live again…’ She says.
 ‘You can…Then why wouldn’t you tell me that?’
 ‘Because I’m not supposed to do that, but seeing you in the state you’re in, and everything going on, right now, I think going back to your life is the best move. Mainly to keep you safe.’
 ‘Keep me safe?’
 ‘Yes, like I said you’re at the peak of interest for the Grim Reapers, if your dead then they can do as they please with you, but if your living, they will have to try a lot harder. So what do you say which one will you accept?’ Esula says, releasing me from her grip. I just stand their momentarily thinking about my options.
 ‘Will Alyssa and Petey be able to come back?’ I ask, and she smiles at me.
 ‘I don’t see why not, you can all go home to your bodies.’
 ‘Then I want to live again. I want to go home, and live my life, and to stay out of the Grim Reapers way.’ I state, with confidence in my voice, and she smiles sweetly at me, that warms my heart.
 ‘I hope you won’t get into any trouble again anytime soon. Good luck and Goodbye.’ She says, and I watch her smile fade with a few tears streaming down her cheeks, as my vision goes blurry to a white light, and then.
…Nothing…

 

~Seven~

My eyes fling open and I once again see the dangling white light above my head, only this time; there are doctors and nurses looming over me.
 ‘He woke up?’ One of the female nurse’s questions, as everyone looks at me shocked.
 ‘He woke up…’ I hear my mother voice call, and I looks down at the foot of the bed and see my mother in tears, staring at me, before rushing over to me and hugging me tightly.
 ‘Madam please remember what I told you before about him most likely being…’ The doctor begins, before I slowly lift my hand from the bed and grab my mother arms which are wrapped around my head.
 ‘It’s a miracle he’s not paralysed.’ One of the other doctor’s comments and everyone just watches as my mother cries tears of joy.
***
A few hours later, I’m able to sit up in bed, and back to my normal self, or so everyone says I am. My dad had made it in, and to be honest, me being in the hospital has brought me closer to my family.
 A few tests get done every so often, but right now I’m sat in my room, with my mum sat on my bed, having a great conversation.
 ‘Are you hungry?’ My mum asks, and I nod, to be honest I’m getting quite hungry. My mum then gets to her feet and makes her way out. ‘I’ll be back shortly.’ She says softly, leaving.
 I lean back against the back of the bed, and just stare up at the white light, when I hear a gentle knock on the door. I look down at the door and see…Petey?
 ‘Big brother, you woke up too!’ He exclaims, charging into the room, and jumping on my bed ‘Did big brother do something to get us out?’
 The moment Petey asks that, my mind switches back to Esula, and her crying face as I blacked out. ‘I didn’t do anything. Esula did.’ I say to him but he still seems certain I’m the one who saved us.
 ‘Big brother, will we see Esula again?’ Petey asks, and I look down at him and then I see Petey’s facial expression change, and I don’t know why. ‘Big brother…why are you crying?’ Petey’s says and I dab my cheek and see a tear.
 ‘I guess I just miss her, after all I never got to thank her for all she did.’ I whisper and then a young lady comes into the room.
 ‘Petey. What have I told you about disturbing other patients?’ She complains, leaving me to assume that she was his mother.
 ‘Mummy, this is big brother Fabien!’ Petey exclaims. ‘He was with me when I was in that sleepy thing.’
 ‘So sorry, he has an over-active imagination.’ She says, lifting Petey off the bed and leading him out the room. Petey turns around and waves to me, and I wave kindly back, smiling.
 The moment Petey leaves, another young lady with an IV drip wanders into my room, and looks at me. This woman I don’t know.
 ‘I heard that boy say you were both in a coma together.’ She whispers to me.
 ‘Depends, are you going to call me crazy if I say yes?’
 ‘No, I was in a similar coma some time ago, when I was younger. In a place called Purgatory.’ She states, and I’m suddenly intrigued.
 ‘Purgatory, you went there too.’
 ‘Indeed, I met a Grim Reaper by the name of Judas.’
 ‘Judas? I met a Grim Reaper named Esula.’ I say and she looks at the ground for a moment, before looking back at me.
 ‘Do you have a computer?’ She asks, and I nod towards one of the bags, which had my dad’s laptop in, since he left it here, in case I got bored. She walks over to it and opens it up, coming back to my bed and sitting on it. She brings up Google, and types in: Esula meaning.
 She brings up a website with a definition of her name, and she suddenly brightens up. ‘I see a connection in the meanings of their names!’ She says. I read the meaning: Banished.
 ‘Why, what does Judas mean?’ I question, now curious.
 ‘Judas means Betrayal. Banished and Betrayal. These two Reapers must be connected somehow, right. Judas told me he couldn’t call himself a Grim Reaper anymore. Did Esula say the same thing?’
 ‘Actually she did, but she didn’t tell me why. Do you think it’s because she was banished?’
 ‘It most likely is, but why she and he were banished, I can’t tell you. In time maybe we will know.’ She says. ‘I wonder how many people experience this.’
 ‘I don’t know, but something like this, I wouldn’t expect people to talk about it. But maybe one day we will have answers, maybe when were ready for them.’ I say, looking over at the lady.
 ‘May I ask you who sent you those flowers, they do look lovely.’ The lady says, pointing at the flowers on the end table next to me, the only problem was that they weren’t there when my mother was in the room. Where did they come from? ‘Oh dear, they’ll be wondering where I got to!’ She exclaims, jumping off the bed and scurrying off. ‘Good Luck with those answers!’
 ‘You too!’ I shout back, then look at the flowers and see a note attached to it; I lift it off and open it to read:
To my one and only Fabien,
I hope you are enjoying your life, because I don’t know how long it’ll last, the Reapers found out about you returning to life, and they aren’t happy, so please be careful, for I will always watch over you, Mr Pansy.
Love, Esula, your sweetheart.

That girl, I will never understand her, but if the Reapers know I’m alive, I wonder how difficult that will make life. My mum walks in the room at that moment and we get back to our previous conversation.
 But still, the experience I’ve had, I have found there is more to life than anyone could have asked for, there are forces greater than that of our understanding. It makes me wonder, how much is actually out there…



You can be a king or a street sweeper, but everyone dances with the grim reaper, and soon your souls will be mine


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