January 2020 Storytime Blog Hop

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Once again it’s time for a fun adventure. Enjoy my story below, then follow the links to other stories of participating authors in the blog hop.  Leave us comments.  We love hearing from you!

Grim Failure

Everything they taught us in school failed to change my mind.

I hate death.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not completely opposed to death. It’s just too widespread.

Death should be for the vilest, those who want a way out, and for the elderly as a way to keep the world from overpopulating. Too many good people die too early. The current system is flawed and unfair.

But my profession does not allow for judgment. I am to be an unbiased servant of the system. That’s what they taught us during training. Doesn’t mean I have to like it

Plus, death mades me sick to my stomach, literally.

I persevered and graduated at the top of my class. After surviving Grim Reaper school and…ha ha! See what I did there? Surviving Grim Reaper school? I supposed that’s the type of humor only Reaper School students appreciate.

The deaths I had encountered during my training were simulations. What I now faced was the real thing.

Grim Reapers in Training always received their first assignment in a nursing home or hospital. None of the assignments were difficult, but still, drawing a 96-year-old heart attack victim in ICU as my first patient didn’t come cheaply. I had to agree to go out with Dale’s ugly sister. She looks like death warmed over.

Oh…my… I..can’t..stop..laughing! I’m sorry. I did it again with the Reaper School humor.

Now, where was I?

Oh yes, my first death assignment. It was an easy mission, but I was nervous. As the top graduate of my class I felt pressure to succeed. My professors had high expectations, so if dating Dale’s gross sister helped me get off to a good start, well, I thought it was what I had to do. If I could face death certainly I could handle one date. I hoped.

Thankfully I found the subject alive—only with the help of tubes and machines. I feared I might be late.

I tried repeating the mantras they taught in school to remind us of our responsibilities. As a youngster I had always thought being a grim reaper had to be the easiest job. You show up, escort the soul to its final destination, repeat. Simple.

I had been so naïve.

There were so many regulations on what we could and couldn’t do, could and couldn’t say. Then the paperwork. Wow! How can a job that literally lasts a few seconds create so much paperwork?

A nurse entered and adjusted the covers. She copied data from the machine onto a chart and replaced it on the end of the bed. A waste of time since he would be gone any moment. But she didn’t know that.

Two ladies—probably the subject’s wife and daughter—sat in silence. The elder’s eyes were shut. The younger one read a book.

The beeping turned to a steady hum and I turned from the subject. In class I had to face death to look strong and in control. I would have lost points and wouldn’t have finished highest in my class if the professors noticed my aversion to death.

I had always faced simulated deaths with my eyes tightly shut, or if the professors were observing us, I stared beyond the unreal body.

But now, with no one observing me, I had the freedom not to watch. I focused on the women. The younger one dropped her book and gasped.

She shook the older lady. “Mom. Mom!”

The lady startled awake, panic across her face. She glanced at her husband and screamed. Her daughter embraced her as they made their way to the lifeless body.

Still queasy, I couldn’t avoid the subject’s death forever, so I approached. Where was his soul? It was supposed to come out as soon as…”

Oh no! In my effort to avoid watching him die, his soul must have roamed away. I darted up, then down, then searched all of the surrounding rooms.

The nurse and a doctor tried to revive him.

“Come on, you can do it!” I cheered, figuring my only way of finding the lost soul was to have them bring him back to life. Surely that would suck his soul back into his body, right? I didn’t know if it was possible, but I had no other plan.

Finally, they called it.

“Time of death, Nine fifty-eight.”

I had failed! All that work, training, and switching and I still screwed up.

I thought of the humiliation when everyone found out. Then I thought of the extra paperwork this would cost me.

Then I realized I now had to take Dale’s sister out on a date for no reason at all.

I was going to be sick.

Continue reading GRIT’s adventures:

GRIT – Part 2
GRIT – Part 3
GRIT – Part 4
GRIT – Part 5
GRIT – Part 6
GRIT – Part 7
GRIT – Part 8
GRIT – Part 9

Thank you for reading! Now enjoy some more great stories from my friends…

1. Secrets by Gina Fabio
2. The Daughter of Disappearing Creek by Karen Lynn
3. The Gynnos Seeker Project by Juneta Key
4. Mugging Morpheus by Vanessa Wells
5. Shores of Lamentation, by Melanie Drake
6. Syrojax Lends a Claw by Nic Steven
7. Culture Sharing by Angela Wooldridge
8. Sisters by Barbara Lund
9. Rogue Ring by Katharina Gerlach
10. A Little Off the Top by Tyler Vawter

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30 Responses to January 2020 Storytime Blog Hop

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  14. Karen Lynn says:

    I’m so glad to hear there’s more to come! I wanna hear about the date with Dale’s sister.

  15. Juneta Key says:

    You made me smile. Great story.

  16. Lovely. Now get hi out and about to fetch that soul. That short story will be worth reading. 😀

  17. You slay me! Such a cute, funny story. I worry about that poor old man’s soul, wandering lost in the hospital.

  18. Vanessa says:

    That’s adorable! I love these little grim shots.

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