This is way overdue. Dedicated to Iris Greyfeather, 𝕮𝖊𝖑𝖊𝖘𝖙𝖊 𝕾𝖍𝖎𝖓𝖔𝖇𝖚, and Litlover (Luke). Enjoy! Also, it doesn't really have anything to do with the prompt.
"Checkmate.” I say, grinning.
The person across from me, sighs heavily, like a huge weight’s been lifted from them. They're wearing a big cloak, with the hood covering their face. Okay, maybe not the best idea to play chess with someone who looks like the grim reaper, but they’re actually pretty nice. I’m kind of desperate for friends now.
I ran away from home. Nobody cared about me there, and I didn’t want to stay.
We’re in a big temple-like building. It’s dark, except for the candle on the table beside us. I’m not sure how I got here. I was running away, tripped, and somehow found this place. This person gave me food, and asked if I wanted to play chess. Okay, yeah, that was pretty dumb.
“Thank you.” They say, standing. “It’s been two hundred years.”
They pull down the hood. Short red hair falls in their pale face. They look just a little older than me. Definitely not two hundred. They take off the cloak-I’m surprised to see that the inside is yellow-and put it on the table. They’re wearing jeans and a yellow t-shirt. “You’re a new grim reaper. Those are yours.”
“I’m what? No, no, I can’t kill people.” I say. “Wait, you’re the grim reaper? I just played chess against the grim reaper? And I won? Wow, that’s- wait, are you going to kill me?”
They shake their head. “I’m not a grim reaper. Not anymore. You are. I’m Alex.”
I frown. “Alex? I mean, okay, but I don’t think that I’m the right person for the job. I mean, I have to kill all the people in the world? I can’t do that! I mean-”
They shake their head. “You’ll have help. Come with me. And put on the cloak.”
“Uh, okay?” I say. “Where are we going?”
They start walking off, and I stand to follow. I pull the cloak on, surprised at how comfortable it is. I hurry after them, towards the big doors.
It’s dark outside, too. Fog covers the ground, surrounding our feet. They walk ahead of me, and I jog to catch up.
“Where are we going?” I ask.
They nod forward. “There.”
I follow their eyes, and see a mirrored door. Well, I think it’s a door. There’s no handle, just a piece of metal about the size of a hand. We stop in front of it.
I look at my reflection. I have curly hair I dyed blue, green eyes, and lots of freckles. I'm not tall, but I'm not short, either. I'm average, I guess.
“Open it.” Alex says.
I look up at them. “Me? How?”
“Put your hand on the scanner.” They tell me.
Scanner? Maybe the metal part?
I put my hand flat on the cold metal. It glows with green light around my hand, before swinging open. My eyes widen. There’s a path inside, leading to a big castle-like building. I turn to Alex.
“How is this possible?”
They shrug. “It is. Come on.”
I follow them. The path is narrow, so I’m walking behind them.
“So, uh, what is this place?” I ask them.
They don’t even slow down. “It’s a school for Reapers.”
“What’s a Reaper?” I ask. “What do they do?”
“There are different groups of Reapers. You’ll probably be a part of the Yellow’s.”
“Why?” I demand.
He shrugs. “Just a guess.”
We stop at the end of the path, where a drawbridge lowers. We walk across, stopping at the entrance.
There are two guards with Black cloaks at the door. They let us through when they see Alex.
The inside is a lot brighter than I thought it would be. I’m not sure what I was expecting. Maybe a dark castle with weapons everywhere.
There are people everywhere, walking through the hallways, some wearing different colored cloaks, some in normal clothes. I stay close to Alex, not wanting to get lost in the crowd. We get lots of stares, but Alex ignores them, and walks through towards a big door.
They push it open. It’s a big room split into four squares. One part has fuzzy purple carpet and lots of papers on the desk, one has books stacked everywhere, one has different weapons lying around, and the last is pretty empty.
“Where are they?” Alex mutters. “GUYS!”
“Hang on, Alex!” A voice calls. A few seconds later, three people come out of one of the doors.
“Who is he?” A girl with purple hair asks, smiling at me.
Alex opens their mouth, then closes it. They look at me. “What’s your name?”
“Ari. Ari Reynes.” I say.
They nod. “Okay, Ari. These are my teammates. Or, former teammates, I guess. They’re yours now.”
They introduce themselves.
Luke has silver eyes, with dark brown hair that covers his forehead. He's strong. He's wearing a red shirt, and jeans. His side is the one with the books.
Celeste loves purple, it's the color of her curly hair and her eyes. Right now, she's wearing a bright purple jacket, and dark purple jeans. Her side is the purple one.
Iris has long brown hair and light green eyes. She has pale skin and some freckles. She’s the best at combat, which you apparently need for this place. She has the side with the weapons.
When they’re done, I say, “I’m confused. What is this place?”
“Death is more complicated than most people think.” Luke says. He moved to his desk a while ago, and turns his chair towards me. “Lots of people die each day. It actually takes a lot of work to figure out who will die. We have to do lots of research to pick, then find a way for them to die, then actually kill them. Then, there’s everything that happens after death.”
Celeste jumps in. “There are four groups. Red, Yellow, Black, and Purple.”
“It’s Orange.” Iris interrupts. “Celeste is in the Orange group, but insists on calling it Purple.”
Celeste waves a hand. “Same thing. Anyway, Red’s do the research, Yellow’s tell the person what’s happening and try to calm them, Black’s cause the death, Yellow’s also bring the person to the next life, and Purple’s handle the things after, funerals and stuff. Luke’s a Red, Iris is a Black, and Alex is-or was, I guess-a Yellow.”
“So I'm a yellow?” I ask.
“We don't know for sure. The Grim will have to test you.” Alex tells me. They turn back to the others. “Shouldn’t you be working?”
They all groan. “We’ve been working all day.” Iris says. “Can’t we show Ari around instead? We’ll explain everything to him since you have to go talk to the Grim, anyway. And it’s almost time for dinner.”
They sigh. “Yeah, fine. I’ll see you at dinner.”
“Yeah, yeah, let’s go.” Iris says, grabbing my hand, and pulling me out the door.
I walk with them down the hallway. “What’s a Grim?”
“Who.” Celeste says. “He’s the top Reaper. He’s like, a million years old.”
“He’s only forty something.” Luke says as we turn a corner.
“Yeah, well, he looks way older-”
“Guys, we’re supposed to be showing Ari around.” Iris interrupts.
Celeste gestures to the long hallway we’re in. “Here’s one of the thousands of hallways in this castle. There’s a door that looks like every other one here. There’s a group of Yellows. There’s an Purple and a Red.”
Luke snorts. Iris shakes her head, smiling.
We turn another corner, and walk into a big room. There are tables everywhere, and people are coming in from different doors around the room.
Luke and Celeste start debating why or why not Purple would be a better name for the Blue’s, as we walk to a table. I walk by Iris.
“Do you have any questions?” She asks.
“Have you ever actually killed someone?”
She shakes her head. “Not directly. I just make sure the person dies. I can do that however I want. Also, we prefer to use take instead of kill.”
“Is it just people who deserve it?”
“It’s complicated. The Yellow’s sometimes can give the person another chance, but that rarely happens. We can’t only take the people who deserve it, or else there would be too many people in the world, or not enough. The Red’s try to make sure the world stays even.”
“So how do you choose who dies?”
“You’d have to ask a Red. I don’t get their process. But we aren’t the only Reapers in the world.”
“What else is there?”
“The Gleaners. They cause deaths where lots of people die. Disease, and stuff. Trust me, you don’t want to meet one. They’ll probably force you on their side.”
I shudder. “Uh, Alex said they’re two hundred? Is that true?”
“Yeah, being a Reaper, you get all kinds of cool powers. Immortality is one of the ones everyone gets.”
"You don't all get the same powers?"
Celeste shakes her head. "Purple's can teleport or shape shift."
"Black's can turn invisible or have telekinesis. Sometimes there's force fields or super strength, but that's rare." Iris says.
Luke appears at my side. "Red's are really good with technology, and sometimes can read minds. Yellow's usually can tell what people are feeling, or trick them with illusions. Sometimes they can heal people to help, too, but that's rare."
"How do you get the powers?" I ask, deciding to skip the subject of being attacked.
"You have to prove yourself, or something. It's usually after you complete five missions. The Grim will find out which color you're in, then you'll figure out what powers you get." Luke tells me.
Really? Cool. “Okay...why do they have separate groups? Why not just have one person do it all?”
“Uh...actually, I don’t know.” She says.
Luke frowns. “They never really said that, they just separate us, then tell us what to do.”
"Can you tell me more about the colors?" I ask.
Celeste nods. "Purple's are usually good at comforting and listening. We'll go to the person who get's taken's family, and try to help them."
"Red's are usually really, really smart, and we always try to make the most logical decisions."
Celeste makes a face. "Did you really just say logical?"
"Fine, the best decision, whatever."
"Black's," Iris says. "Are usually rebellious, and do things their own way. We aren't scared to face the consequences."
"What about Yellow's?"
"They're usually calm and collected all the time, and are good with words." Luke tells me.
“Do you think everyone else will like me?” I ask quietly.
Celeste is about to say something, when a loud bell rings. We sit down at a table, and I see others doing the same.
Finally, when everyone gets quiet, a man walks on the stage.
“That’s the Grim.” Celeste whispers.
He's tall and thin, with dark hair and light skin. He looks over the room before speaking.
“There are two announcements today.” He says. “First, one of the Yellow Reapers is leaving. Alex Jackson?”
They walk onto the stage. Lots of people yell protests, but it’s clear he’s made his choice. The Grim holds up a hand, and they fall quiet.
“Luckily, they have already found a replacement. Will Ani stand up, please?” Alex mutters something to him. “Sorry, Ari?”
I stand up uncertainly. Everyone stares at me. Suddenly, Iris, Celeste, and Luke start clapping. Everyone else joins in. I sit down, smiling.
“See? You’re already fitting in.” Celeste says, grinning at me. I can’t help but grin back. I think I’ll like it here.
Challenge: Which group would you be in?
-Red’s do the research. Red's are really good with technology, and always try to make the best choice with whatever they're doing. Always willing to learn something new. Really smart.
Powers: Telepathy or cyberkinesis.
-Yellow’s tell the person what’s happening and try to calm them, and Yellow’s also help bring the person to the next life. Usually the kind of person you can count on to always be there for you. Resourceful.
Powers: Empathy, or Hallucikinesis. Sometimes Healing.
-Black’s cause the death. Usually rebellious, and don't care about consequences. Type of person that will do anything with you.
Powers: Invisibility or telekinesis. Sometimes force fields or super strength
-Orange ( or Purple’s) handle the things after, like funerals and help the family deal with things. Good at comforting and listening. Usually the type of person that you can talk to anything about. Really creative.
Powers: Teleportation, Conjuration, or shapeshifting.
Write it in the comments!✌️