At Deaths Door

'Oi you, come here we you something' crooned the well built boy as he chortled to his similarly built friends

'No thanks' called the slight brown haired boy, hands in his pockets as he meandered down the alley

'Ok, thats fine... BOYS LETS GET HIM' said John Davies menacingly as he started to run after 13 year old Jake Sullivan, his gang chasing. Jake saw them as they came down on him, their arms encasing him. Jake rolled his eyes at this regular occurrence and he quickly wriggled free due to years of practice.

He dropped to the ground and crawled quickly out of the group. He leapt to his feet and took off running, straight out of the alley and onto tarmac. He hesitated for a moment and looked back, he saw John and his group staring in horror, some beginning to shout something. Jack scrunched his brow confused. At the sound of an urgent horn Jack whipped his head round and his eyes lighted on a lorry. He shared a look of shock with the driver and suddenly the lorries grill was in front of him. The smell of rubber and the sound of breaks squealing round in Jacks ears as he tried to brace himself for the impact, he felt a violent flash of pain and then it went black.

Jake slowly opened his eye's above him, he saw a man in a black cloak waving at him cheerfully. Jake squinted, trying to discover this strangers identity but the hood they were cloaked in made it too dark too see who it was.

'I don't know what your 'appy about mate ' Jake said rubbing his head as he gingerly sat up.

'Well my mutilated mate, you've been chosen to be my apprentice, and I assure you that you will be unhappy and curious. Now lets get going, questions will be answered on the way'

'but who the hell are you?! And mutilated?!' Jake said alarmed as the man began a fast pace in a seemingly meaningless direction.

'youngsters these days' he mumbled. He slowed to a halt and turned 'Are you coming Tommy?'

Jack quickly scrambled to get up, stumbling slightly, his head still spinning as he hurried to catch up with the figure.

'Now the answers. First, I AM DEATH...well a version of it anyway... But you can call me George' He turned slightly 'which ever takes your fancy even though my real name IS George but still... Death is a much more..' George frowned 'cooler? Name... cooler is a word right?'

'yeah... yeah its real. Are you serious? In that case I'm Elvis Presley' said Jake amusement evident in his voice

'no, I will have to refute that statement, I put him up there years ago, it was a real privilege. He was quite the entertainer'

'look im going wake up, probably in hospital, be waited on hand and foot whilst being a hero and forget this ever happened like a NORMAL kid'

George slowed to a stop and turned to Jake 'you can't'

'why not?'

'well ummm how do I put this your ...spirit has departed...gone,poof,done in. Your well...dead'

'are you blind?, im here see' said Jake waving his hand infront of Georges face.

'your not... Your body is hanging around back there'

'whoa...thats me?' Jake turned and rubbed his neck

'yep sure is' George put a hand on his shoulder 'Dead like Fred'

'whoa I should look in the mirror often, my hairs a mess...' said Jake chuckling nervously, still shocked by the sight.

'enough about hair cuts and beauty queens, would you like to say goodbye? you can. not that it is much use'

'what do you mean?'

'they cant hear you,see you or feel you,like I said its not much use. Kinda stupid really but some people like to' George shrugged

'well I suppose I can see that… lets go'

'are you sure?' George sounded surprised

'yep, nothing good will come out of it. So where are we going exactly?' said Jake starting to walk forward

'to my place I suppose but first to the spirit office with the other reapers and apprentices'

'Ok... so.. if I heard correctly there is more than one grim reaper and you have a house'

'Well we all do don't we? Houses are a necessity, Even us grim reapers need one'

'I thought only one reaper did all of that... you know reaping'

'one grim couldn't do it all by his or herself now could they! well the times getting on so you can ask questions later? now lets go' he said before stopping suddenly and standing majesticly infront of empty space and muttering what seemed to be a some sort of gibberish. slowly a glowing door of black opened out of nowhere


the black doors opened to show a lift of some sort

'thats kinda easy' said Jake eyebrow raised

'if you have a hard password and forgot it you'd be grid locked somewhere, not good for a dead man mind you so its good to have an easy one get in'

he said stepping into the lift Jake in tow

'so what's your name didn't quite catch it'

'Jake Sullivan and you know this is bacially a lift right?'

'what's wrong? Expecting something more flashy?'

'yes I suppose'

'kids these days its as if a living dead man is not enough anymore'

Jake smiled he liked this guy already 'your not bad for a dead guy I suppose' he said

George chuckled

'so...' Jake said 'who where you anyway? You know before this... reapy stuff'

'I was a captain in world war 1' he replied sullenly 'took me years to get over the flash backs. Nearly back to normal well as normal as the living dead can get'

Jake could see the animosity surrounding the subject so he thought of something else quickly

"why did you choose me? I mean there are loads of others"

"well lets say this was destined to be your job since you were born"

"so I was chosen from birth?"

"it was random so it could have been anyone, virtually"

"ok so technically it could have been my sister or cousin or ..."

"yup anyone, completely random"

"you know your pretty happy for a dead guy"Jake said the grim reaper looked at him "are you jealous of my amazing charisma?" he replied

Jake looked at him with a frown and said sarcasticly "well at least I have a great personality!"he said,

the grim reaper replied chuckling "what a pair we are"

Jake laughed as the lift pinged and the doors slid open to reveal a strict looking office lady with her hair in a tight bun

"hello Doris up to level 50 please"

she sniffed dismissively and pressed a button and they teleported into a room with a desk at the back and piles of paperwork every where and at that desk was a thin, pale man with glasses desperately scratching away with a quill

"Bob"the grim reaper called out the man didn't seem to hear so in the end the grim reaper went up to him and poked his nose sharply.

"HEY what did I tell you about the poking George?" he then noticed that Jake was there "new apprentice?"

"yeah, got the papers here you just need to sign them"

Bob quickly scratched his signature on the papers and nodded to George

George thanked him and muttered something,once again teleporting but this time to a room full of other grim reapers and apprentice's. He saw George wave to different reapers as they passed down the line, when they reached the end of the line a reaper came up to George and sneered"new apprentice? I hope he doesn't end like the other one"

"he was suicidal and had problems. I believe he tried to kill you twice? That is if I rember correctly" George replied disinterestedly

Jake turned to George wide eyed "how DID he die exactly?"

"oh he jumped into a pool of nothing, nasty business really"


"nothing is what the universe was created by and what it will be destroyed by if it comes down to it. very dangerous stuff in large amounts and can kill anything easily"

"why did he jump into it then?"

"I have no idea I told him not to but he said the reason he committed suicide in the first place was so he could die. But he came here instead, I guess he was still haunted by something so he ran away to try again and this time die, die. Not rare round here especially with suicide victims. As I remember our dear friend Charles here had one like that too"

the other man fumed "that was a century ago!"

"I think we are fair in this subject as yours lasted how many days Charles? 5 and a half I believe?"

the man growled and walked away muttering curses

"what's his problem?"

"I punched him in face once... for bringing up some... touchy subjects"

"you should get some anger management or something"Jake said the reaper replied "that was 87 years ago"

"I guess grim reapers don't get over stuff quickly then?"

"no it's just him, he's easily offended I suppose" said George shrugging non-committally

Just then a woman and a girl came to join us at the back of the line

"Hello Little Eve "

the woman replied in a velvety voice, her Irish lilt became soothing

"Stop calling me that, its Eavan! Anyway, I saw Charles storming off again, what did you say this time George?"

"he was talking about my... last apprentice so I mentioned he had a similar... urm... incident"

"what is it with you two?

"I don't really know...I think he's still angry with me punching him"

"that was what... 87 years ago? Fair play to you then"while the two grim reaper's talked, Jake looked over at the smaller girl standing next to Eavan. She had brown hair and bright green eyes that were curiously watching him.

"hey" said Jake smirking eye brow raised

"hello" she replied the soft American accent evident

" did you die?" she asked stepping away from her reaper.

"Lorry"Jake replied shrugging "You?"

"Pneumonia, it was all gross"

"Did it hurt or anything?"

"not really I was high on morphine and that so I just slowly... you know...went"

"I only had a flash of pain like when you step on Lego, didn't last as long though so I guess it was pretty instantaneous"

The girl suddenly started giggling

"what?"Jake said confused

"im thinking how strange we sound just talking like y'know we just died, nothin special"

Jake started laughing too the grim reapers looked at them in surprise

George said "well I suppose its good spirited to laugh after dying" he nudged Eavan "see what I did there? Spirited... we're dead... no?..."

she just glared at him and George slowly came to a halt. "I thought it was dead good" he chuckled as Eavan sighed shaking her head.

Once the apprentices laughter had subsided Jake smiled and looked back at Delilah"so I forgot to ask for your name..."

"Delilah Roberts" she smiled

"Jake Sullivan, at your service" he said, bowing over dramatically

"nice to meet you to, Mr Sullivan" she said curtsying

"it's an honour, miss"
"no I must insist it is my honour"

they grinned at each other, by this time they where nearly at the front of the line. George and Eavan shared a look , George sighed amusement still evident in his voice looking over to Jake

"enough with the flirting, time for more paper work and some cracking stares, saturated with disapprovement!"

Jake blushed and quickly shuffled over and stood next to George as they neared the desk.

Behind him he could hear Eavan loudly stating that Delilah had "taken a reddener"Jake scrunched his eyebrows in confusion and made a mental note to ask George what that meant.

George had quickly filled in the paper work whilst Jakes eyes wondered around the lobby searching for his new acquaintance, her eyes were so green it was kinda cool... He only awoke from his trance when George poked his shoulder

"wake up Tommy lad, we gotta walk home from here"

"My names not Tom... wait walk home?"

"yes now getta move on"

"why can't we teleport?"moaned Jake

"it's forbidden here lad"

"fine"Jake sighed and started slowly meandering after the grim reaper down an isle. This lead to a door which opened onto a street a lot like his estate back in London

"follow me closely don't want you getting lost in space and time, Lad" Jake then stated to pick up his pace

"can I still get tired?" he asked questioningly

"yes, im afraid we are bound by our human qualities"

"do I still need to eat?"
"no, but you can, your now kinda like a bottomless pit. Eat as much as you would like you can taste it but it wont feel like anything" said George

"oh...thats kinda cool I guess, so how can you see in that hood? I've been wondering"

"its woven with necromancer magic I can see you, the universe and everything perfectly but no one can see in"

"wow when will I get one? Can you chose the colour?"
"soon hopefully and no... but that is a nice idea Tommy"

"awesome... Can you stop with the Tommy thing.. I mean seriously"

George just shrugged and ignored him. Jake sighed and walked closely.

They soon reached a posh Georgian looking house

"home sweet home" George said as Jake looked up at his new home, George opened the door by pressing his thumb against the door handle which slightly glowed at the touch he swung open the door and walked in "your rooms upstairs first left can't miss it" Jake wondered upstairs and opened the door to his new bedroom it was spacious with a big window looking down on the street. The room was plain it only had some draws a bed a bedside table and light and at the end of his bed was a fire place, he felt instantly at home, he looked in the draws to find a sets of his favourite clothes he closed them and opened them again there where different sets now he smiled and went down stairs he saw George without his cloak on he was sitting at the table reading a newspaper he looked to be mid 20's or 30's strong face and slickly muscled with raven black hair and blue piercing eyes with stubble he was wearing grey cotton trousers a white shirt and black breaches. When he heard Jake enter he smiled and looked up "hello mate wanna cuppa?"

"if you wouldn't mind thanks"Jake answered as George poured him a cup from the kettle and set it down in front of him "thanks"

"you look like you need it"he replied

"you didn't mention I had magic draws"said Jake

"oh yeah they kind of respond to what clothes you want" said George with a smile Jake looked at him "why do you wear those clothes?"

"are you mocking my fashion sense?" he said in pretend hurt

"really I mean why not wear jeans or something"

"us oldies stick to our century's clothing because it's impossible to change your century's clothing for regulation reasons unknown"

"oh" said Jake draining his tea "im gonna go to bed" he added sleepily

"night" said George with a small wave. Jake stumbled up to his bed clumsily pulled his pyjamas on and flopped into bed and almost instantly fell asleep.


Jake woke up in a state of alarm until he remembered the night previous "ugh I died man, I thought I wouldn't die at least until my 60's"said Jake out loud to himself then he smelt the frying of bacon and eggs and quickly forgot about despairing over his death and ran downstairs to the source of the smell, he saw George at the stove with a frying pan in the same attire as yesterday, he looked up in surprise "you look famished matey boy" said George putting some bacon and eggs on Jakes plate "thanks...I thought we didn't need to eat" Jake said as he tucked into his breakfast,

"yeah but we still have taste buds so I make use of them"he said with a smile. When they had both finished eating Jake asked "do I still have to go to school? y'know being dead an all"

George looked at him with a smile "yes but luckily your new friend will be there as I recall she was called … Delilah, it will be her first day as well"

Jake groaned "ugh do I have to?"

"yes if you want to become a grim reaper" replied George

"when do I have to go to school?"

"not today I do believe"

"thank god"Jake sighed in relief

"but we do have to go and get school books, luckily no uniform though"George added

" books? Ugh" Jake moaned

"yes really" George said with a smile

After shopping Jake collapsed onto the sofa "did we really have to go with Eavan she went into 15 shops no joking"

"stop feeling sorry for yourself I had to carry the bags"George moaned

"we are never going with her again I refuse"Jake said

"im right there with you Tommy"George agreed. But then George's face lit up and he turned to face Jake. "but you and Delilah ay" he smirked "ay ay"he continued wiggling his eyebrows suggestively

"George no George no,no"said Jake covering his face with his hands

"I could give you some tips if you want, I am quite the Lady's man" he smirked

"George we are not having this conversation" said a mortified Jake

"are you sure?" George said barely controlling his laughter
"George I'm leaving"Jake said throwing a cushion at the reaper and standing up "on second thoughts I have been crippled by too much walking and lady's fashion, not mentioning the lingerie section" he said shuddered and collapsed back down on the sofa
"do you have a TV by any chance?" he asked with hope in his voice

"nope I'm normally too busy and we get bloody bad reception in the spirit world y'know"he said with a small frown "and I usually just do magic to entertain myself"

"wow could you do some to show?" he asked excitement filling his voice

"sure Tommy" he said with a small smile he cracked his knuckles and muttered something under his breath and Jake saw a magnificent black lion with bright amber eyes the shade of honey emerge from nowhere and circle around him he looked almost solid now, so in curiosity Jake reached out to touch him and what he felt was the silky hair of the lion,he jumped "he's real" he breathed in amazement the lion settled at Georges feet "wow...will I be able to do that?..." he said curiously

"yes its shall I say... spirit animal" said George distracted by stroking the great beasts head

"as you can see their not all cute and cuddly"he added slightly amused

"can you teach me now?" he asked hopeful

"...nope..."he said hesitantly

"why?" he said looking like a wounded puppy

"because your under age and I can't be bothered frankly" George replied looking at him with slight amusement.


Charles looked gleefully at the rite written upon the stone surrounding him as he knelt in the middle of the room.

"just this and then I will be able to be a god! Everyone will bow down and George" he chuckled menacingly "George he would watch and at the end, he would suffer as did I. As he allowed me to" he looked around at the candles and symbols littering the floor

"yes everything is ready" he smirked to himself, slowly he cut his palm deeply with a patterned dagger. Watching as the blood dripped slowly into the metal bowl in front of him,the blood dribbling slowly down his wrist. He quickly wiped his palm with a dirty rag, hurriedly shoving it deep into his pocket and began chanting slowly at first but quickening the pace as he got nearer the climax and suddenly a burst of wind came out of nowhere. It swooped around him, giving him a rush of energy which he dispersed into the ground below him it had started cracking