Mabel; age: 25, cause of death: a car accident. Follow me, please. “Wha-what’s going on,” she cries out. I explain that she’s been involved in a hit and run and now needs to rest. She sobs as she looks towards her body, lying lifeless in the car. I block her view, “come on, follow me.” We arrive at my shop, where I counsel the souls before they depart. “What is this place anyway?” “it’s my shop,” I respond as I hand her a piece of paper. “This piece of paper is a waiver; signing it means you agree to leave your life behind and move on to the afterlife. She stares blankly, “so, does this mean if I don’t sign it, I can continue to live.” “No, that is not what I said; if you refuse to sign, you’ll just be a wandering soul.” After careful thought, she decides to sign it, and I point to the gate, which leads to beyond.
Chani; age:6, cause of death: anaphylactic shock. Follow me, please. “Where are we going?” he asked as he held my finger with his tiny hand. “To my shop”; “we’re here.
I lay down my briefcase and grab a cup of tea while watching him walk around, staring at the thousands of filing cabinets. “So, do you know why you’re here?” I ask. “No, I don’t. Who are you, by the way?”. “What’s the last thing you remember doing, Chani?”. “Well, I remember my mommy getting a phone call, and I was hungry and couldn’t wait until she finished, so I went into the kitchen and made a peanut butter sandwich.” “Well did you know that you were allergic to peanuts?”.“Yes mommy told me, but I forgot and was really hungry.” Although I don’t get very sentimental doing this job, his pitiful story hit a soft spot. The young ones always get to me. “Well, Chani to answer your latter question, my name is James, Grim James; my job is to help you leave your old life behind.” “Please take a seat.” “What’s gonna happen to me?” he states with sorrowful eyes. “I’m sorry to say this to you, Chani but your body had a bad reaction to that peanut butter sandwich. Unfortunately, you’re dead”. He begins to weep. “Please don’t cry. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and look on the bright side; you’ll be reunited with your dog”. “But what about mommy & daddy?”, what happens to them. “They stay alive of course but don’t worry, you’ll be reunited one day.” “do you know when my parents will get here?” “yes, I do but I can’t tell you, it’s private information.” I stand up to get the waiver and hand it over to him. I point next to the blank line, “please sign here.” “I don’t have a signature yet.” “oh right, I stand up and get an ink pad; “press your thumb here and back on the paper.” “like this?” he states with a little chuckle. “Yes just like that.” After his agreement, I point to the gate, which leads beyond.
“How’s work James, been busy?” my friend Tom states. “You know it’s the usual, a few souls here and there, what about you?” he continues, “Casper and I hit the jackpot earlier today; earlier this morning, a baseball team was heading to their game, and suddenly a drunk truck driver hit the bus. I mean, who drinks in the morning anyway?”, “You call that a jackpot? Sounds quite depressing to me,” I respond.“Well, you know it’s our job, right? Might as well have a little fun with it.” “sure, whatever pleases you, anyway I’ll get going first. “Wait for me, I’m leaving as well.” As we were about to depart, a sign detaches from one of the nearby buildings falling and striking someone standing nearby. “So who’s going to get this one?” my co-worker states. “you get him; I have lots of paperwork to get done,” I state. “Alright then, see you later James.”
Malcolm; age: 79, cause of death: old age. Follow me, please. “I’m sorry sir, but who are you?”. “My name is Grim James, and we’re heading to my shop.” “Grim James you say, does this mean I’m dead?” “Unfortunately Malcolm yes, but have no fear, I will properly escort you.” After walking a few blocks, we finally make it back to my shop. “Please have a seat sir, and I’ll be right with you shortly.” I point to a seat but he chooses to stand and look around. “So, sir James how long have yo-, I interrupt, It’s “Grim James sir.” “my mistake, Grim James, how long have you been doing this job?” “about 200 years” I respond. “I bet it gets pretty repetitive huh?” he continues. I place the waiver on the desk and signal him to sit down and respond to his question; “not really, the only repetitive thing about this job is the script I say before bringing you here.” “Alright Malcolm, please sign this waiver agreeing to move on to the afterlife.” “wait but we haven’t finished our conversation, ever since my wife passed I haven’t had many people to talk to.” “well you’ll be reunited with her as soon as you sign this paper” I respond. “So you’ve met my wife as well, wasn’t she absolutely lovely?” “yes sir, she was a very interesting lady with lots of stories to tell” “I’m sure she did, alright where do I sign, I’m eager to see her again” he states with a look of excitement. I point to the line and he signs. “ don’t work yourself too hard Grim James, and you might want to change your script, simply appearing is a little eerie you know.” “Thank you for the tips sir, i’ll keep them in mind” I respond. I point to the gate on the gate that appears after the waiver is signed. He follows my finger and waves goodbye. “Say hello to your wife for me Malcolm.” he looks back and nods with a large smile on his face.
As I head over to my next soul appointment, I recall what Malcolm said about changing the script. This time I approach the scene with a slight smile and address the soul with both first and last names. “ Hello Sara Lim, if you take a look over there, you can see your body and unfortuna-.” she screams before I even finish; perhaps the old script was better since I got to the point faster. I give her a moment and resume—Sara Lim; age: 30, cause of death: Cancer. “I’m sorry you lost your fight, but please follow me to a better place.