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The Aftermath of GRIT’s Interference
What had I done? I had just violated my Grim Reaper oath and interfered with the human world and saved a life. This meant big trouble. I turned to see Stand and Rick, the collectors.
Rumor had it that Rick only smiled when something horrible had gone wrong. He was grinning from ear to ear. “You’re going to need to come with us.”
‘Um, I’m here to collect a soul. Can it wait?” I lacked the conviction to convince even myself.
Rick closed his eyes in a look of exasperation. “Do you know what the penalty for interfering with a death?”
“Death!” Stan cheered.
“It’s not death,” Rick shook his head.
“It should be,” Stan argued.
What had I done?
“Death is a little extreme.”
“Soul for a soul,” Stan shrugged. “Only seems fair.”
“You would kill a Reaper for saving the life of a human?”
While they argued over my short-term and eternal destinies, I contemplated my escape options.
“He broke the rule.”
“You do realize that technically, saving a human life is a good thing.”
Stan shrugged, like what’s the big deal.
Rick starred him down, the smile long gone. “You’re warped, you know that?”
The mother and child were now in the pool, playing together, and I wondered what they would think if they could see us.
Stan turned to me, ignoring his partner. “Since you’re a rookie, how about we help you out? I’ll distract the mother and you can drown the kid, make this all go away, like nothing ever happened. We can take the soul as scheduled and no one will be the wiser.”
I gaped because he was dead serious. And yes, I realized I had just wasted perfectly good Reaper School humor. This was no laughing matter.
“You can’t do that!” Rick’s composure had disappeared. He was losing control of the situation and starting to panic.
“Because it’s breaking the rules!” Rick paced. I didn’t know if he was thinking or fuming.
Rick stopped. “You just said that you would kill him for breaking the rules, but now you’re offering to help him break a rule? I don’t understand you.”
“Look I’m trying to save his life.”
“His life isn’t in danger!”
“You can’t say that for sure.” Stan remained as calm as the now empty pool water. “The disciplinary committee has discretion in deciding the type of punishment divvied out. I, for one, will recommend the death penalty.”
I’d had enough. “I wish you two would stop, you’re frightening me.”
“You should be scared,” Stan said matter-of-factly.
Rick moved between me and Stan, with his back to me. “The most the committee will do is permanently ban him from being a Reaper. Maybe since it’s his first offense and he’s new he’ll get probation. They’ve never given that extreme of a penalty for interfering in human activity in a positive manner.”
“So if you go through with your plan to help G.R., should you get the death penalty for interfering?”
“All we are doing is setting things right. Besides, it would be doing him a favor. The law he broke by saving the life of an appropriate death is a first-line rule break. The rule for interfering with people to make right a past mistake is an indented rule. You know what indented means?”
“Yes I know what indented means!” Rick spat. “What does that have to do with rule breaking?”
“The indented rules are underneath the first-line rules. They’re less important, thus should be less of a penalty.”
“Oh good grief!” Rick turned away and approached me.
I had blown my chance to escape, but I didn’t know what line of the rule book that rule sat on, so I stayed.
“Last chance,” Stan offered as Rick roughly grabbed my arm. “I can keep Rick quiet, so don’t worry about him.”
“I wouldn’t undo what I did,” I said weakly.
“Then I’m recommending they throw the book at you.” Stan grabbed my other arm.
“You don’t get to make a recommendation,” Rick said.
“Well, I just did.”
Surely disciplinary court couldn’t be much worse than dealing with these two.
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