The Reaper's Smile
The reaper was old, if old is a word that can be used for something as ageless as a bringer of death. It had seen most things in its long existence and certainly wasn't easily phased, but this, this was wrong.
It didn't have much of a sense of right or wrong. You couldn't refuse to take someone because it went against your moral code. What it didn't like was that it was forced to take people before their time. Actually before their time, not what humans fooled themselves into believing was before their time. It wasn't right that the people should have confusion written so plainly on their features as they went. People usually had some inkling as to why they were dying, be it the strange twinges they'd been feeling in their heart recently, or the terminal illness they had, or the bullet that was lodged in their chest. These people hadn't expected death at all though, and they had no reason to. The reaper didn't like it but it couldn't change it.
A life had to be taken, there was no two ways about it. There couldn't be one too many people walking the Earth just because one woman had taken it upon herself to play God. In the long term it didn't really matter, anyway, they'd all end up dead one way or another.
Still, it couldn't shake that feeling of wrong.
Another thing was that it had better things to be doing. It was tiresome being called back to do this woman's bidding. If it had a notion of pride, it probably would have been insulted that a mere woman had it, an ageless bringer of death, at her beck and call. But it didn't, so it wasn't. All in all, the reaper was very much looking forward to an end to this arrangement. It knew one would come, an end always came, it was a master of endings, after all.
It waited and waited and was finally rewarded.
The reaper was going about business as usual, or as not so usual as it had been ever since that woman came along. It was to be taking the male she had marked out for it and there he was, waiting. He wasn't confused or scared, he knew what was coming, he was expecting it. He wasn't expecting it to be so painful, though, that much was plain. He should have, really, growing a brain tumor of fatal size in the matter of a few seconds was hardly going to be a walk in the park.
He was on the floor, life almost gone when it happened. The reaper felt the binding break.
It let the life flow back into the male's almost spent body and went to the woman. This was right, it was so right the reaper let a very rare smile cross its face. It positively grinned at the woman that had tormented it for so long. For the first time in a long while things were feeling right.
The reaper was owed a life and the woman knew it but she didn't try to run, you can't outrun death. The reaper put its hand to her face and drained her life. It was quick, it was simple and it was very painful but that couldn't be helped, it was the reaper's job to bring about the end, not decide the manner in which the end was achieved.
The reaper looked around, everything was finished here and it had ends to be bringing elsewhere. It was glad. Everything was right again.
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