This is an unedited excerpt from my newest book, The Secret Life of Death: The Reaper. I’m aware of how much editing it needs. That was part of what I was doing with it today. I was trying to read the book again to see what has to be done. That being said, I’ve done absolutely nothing to edit it because, well, I got tied up reading it. I made some notes on things that need to be addressed. I was more concerned with the story flowing than the editing errors.
Anyway, I thought I’d share it!
Her name was still on my lips as I looked below to the trodden down city of Detroit from my perch atop One Detroit Center. She had been everything to me: My best friend, my love, my life. I thought everything about her had been wonderful, right down to the way she would sometimes let out a little hum while she slept.
I pushed her beautiful blonde hair and smile from my mind and took an unneeded deep breath as my target came into view. My inhuman eyesight zeroed in on a smartly dressed balding man with a slightly soft midsection, and the brunette on his arm, both laughing like lovers often do. I shook my head in disgust at them and stepped off the ledge and let gravity pull me towards them, the speed of the fall pulling the unnecessary air from my lungs, the wind whipping through my shaggy black hair.
I landed behind them soundlessly and rose from my bended knee and glided into the backseat of the man’s Mercedes without a soul noticing me. I watched as the brunette, his young and very attractive secretary, placed her hand suggestively on his thigh. A nerve near his eye twitched and he licked his lips in anticipation as he pushed the pedal down hard and the expensive luxury sedan lurched forward in excitement.
The man drove well out of the city and I leaned back in my seat and listened as his secretary giggled and continued rubbing his thigh, her hands roaming dangerously close to the point of no return. I rolled my eyes as she leaned in and began planting gentle kisses on his neck. A bead of sweat appeared on his shiny head and his breathing picked up as his eyes flicked hungrily to her taking in the shape of her breasts and full lips.
I shook my head and looked away as I waited for the perfect opportunity to carry out my work. I allowed my mind to drift back to Katie, and I closed my eyes as I breathed in deeply remembering her sweet scent. Remembering her lies, her eyes when I caught her with him, the way they flashed not in regret at being with him, but in regret at being caught. I remembered the flash of headlights, my hand bearing down hard on the throttle of my motorcycle as I pushed it harder, eager to meet Death. I remembered the pain, all of it, right down to the last breath that I didn’t bother to struggle taking.
The car suddenly lurched to a stop causing me to snap my attention back to the occupants. We had pulled down a forgotten side road lined with trees that were bathed in their brilliant fall colors and the man eagerly leaned over and began kissing his secretary, his hands pushing her already too short black skirt up higher on her creamy thighs. I clenched my fists furiously as I noticed a flyer in the backseat at my feet for a dance recital for his young daughter. Sacrificing the trust of the ones who loved him for a quick, easy piece of ass.
Just like Katie.
I plunged my hand through the back of his seat without a moment of hesitation and curled my fist around his beating heart. I felt it stutter within my hand and I watched as the look of shock crossed his eyes as he clutched at his heart attack. His secretary screamed and grasped at him, her voice shrill from her cries. I squeezed tighter and he wheezed out closing his eyes one final time.
I pulled my hand from his chest and tried to ignore the high-pitched screams coming from his secretary as she clawed at him in fright. I chuckled when his dead body fell forward and pinned her to her leather seat, her red lipstick smeared across her face, her eyes frantic and terrified. I looked over and rolled my eyes as the man suddenly appeared beside me in the backseat, his brow furrowed in confusion as he stared mutely at his dead body.
“Come on. I don’t have all day to sit here and listen to her scream,” I grumbled, flicking my thumb in her direction.
“Am I dead?” the man asked, staring dumbly at his slumped over body in the front seat.
“What do you think?” I muttered.
“I can’t be dead! I have my daughter’s recital, and it’s my wife’s and my anniversary next week-,”
“Oh please!” I spat at him. I slid through the car door and the man immediately appeared at my side and dropped to his knees begging me to listen to him.
“Please! I can’t be dead!” he pleaded, his eyes misting over in tears.
“Like any of it matters,” I kicked him away from me. “You were cheating on your wife with your secretary. I doubt you gave a shit about your anniversary or your daughter’s recital.”
“I made a mistake! I can change! I promise! Just give me another chance! Please, God!” he begged breathlessly, grabbing frantically at my legs.
“I don’t give second chances. You had it all and you blew it. There’s nothing I can do about it so get off your knees and stop praying at me. I’m not your God, and even if I were, I’d still not give you another chance based on the things I just witnessed.” I snarled disgustedly at his quivering, begging form.
“My wife. She-she’s going to find out about Becky. Please! I don’t want to be remembered like that! I made a horrible mistake!”
“Sorry. Can’t help you,” I turned away from him as he pounded his fists into the cold ground and wept. I pulled a small black device called a scythe from my pocket and hit a button on the side.
“Jobs done. Come get him. He’s driving me nuts,” I growled into the small mic.
I was greeted with a deep chuckle, and I rolled my eyes. Figured that Louie would be hauling today.
“What’s wrong, Asher? Bad day?” Louie’s voice came from the Other Side.
“Just get here,” I sighed as I heard Louie laugh again and click his box off.
He was on the way which meant I’d be free of the balding man-child in front of me soon.
“What will happen to me?” the man at my feet asked in defeat, his gray eyes flicking up to me in fear, the question reminding me of a time not long ago.
“I’m only a Reaper. I don’t deal with tossing people into the lake or letting them through the gates,” I answered dryly, looking down at his tear streaked face.
“You’re Death,” he whispered as a statement, not a question. I nodded once and looked past him as Louie appeared through a swirling vortex of color.
“Hey man, how’s it going?” Louie asked nonchalantly, looking from me to the man at my feet. It wasn’t unusual to have a soul kneeling in front of me begging me for more time.
“It’s going,” I drawled, bored. I looked over as I heard sirens approaching. Becky must have called for help.
“You lead such an exciting afterlife, Asher. What do you think?” Louie asked looking down at the shaking man again.
“He won’t give me another chance,” the man whispered sadly, his hands trembling. I shook my head in disbelief at Louie who chuckled again, his white blonde hair falling across his angelic face.
“What makes you think you deserve one?” Louie inquired, looking over to where Becky now stood, her long brown hair spilling messily over her shoulders, her eyes red from crying. The paramedics had removed the man’s body from the car and were attempting CPR on him.
“I have a family,” the man said sadly through a choked sob.
“A family you seemed to have forgotten about as you stuck your tongue down young Becky’s throat,” I pointed out. The man opened and closed his mouth several times before answering.
“Haven’t you ever made a mistake?” the man wept, his voice wavering.
“Yeah, Asher! Haven’t you ever made a mistake?” Louie echoed innocently, his blue eyes dancing with mirth.
“Take him and get the hell out of here,” I grumbled, knowing exactly what Louie was getting at. Louie grinned at me and lifted the man to his feet in one fluid motion.
“Come on. We better go. No sense in pissing Death off even more. Hate to see him go on a killing spree,” Louie joked, his eyes shining with mischief. He really enjoyed irritating me. He reached over and gave my arm a soft punch.
“Call me if you need me,” he grinned, and with a motion of his hand, the vortex grew larger and began to dance with the brilliant light from Beyond. He pushed the man through and gave me a cheery wave as he disappeared to the Other Side.
I turned as they faded away and stared as the paramedics put the man’s body in a bag and began loading him into the ambulance. A golden leaf fell to my feet, and I shook my head sadly.
“Quia ego consumam cunctas incipit,”I whispered turning my back on the ambulance as the paramedics closed the door.
Life isn’t hard. Being Death, now that’s hard.
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