Myrralis had been at this job for a long time. How long had it been? Time passed differently for such beings. If one were to listen to humans, they would say it had been a couple of thousand years. Long enough. Myrralis enjoyed watching the humans; they lived such varied and free lives.
A reaper had one job; to guide humans away from their lives and into the next. When a human died, their souls tended to wander, not knowing what to do. That’s where a reaper would come in. They had to convince the human soul that it was time to move on, leave their loved ones behind. It was not always an easy task. Some simply wouldn’t go and they would become a ghost, destined to sadness for as long as they stayed.
Reapers only sprang into existence when humans did. Animals didn’t need such beings to guide them on; their souls were not as troubled as humans. They did not feel the need to stay behind to guide their loved ones; they trusted in them to fend for themselves and make the right decisions. While they were more wild and feral than humans, their minds were freer.
Myrralis had helped people from all walks of life leave their old lives behind and the reaper remembered every one of them. Was that normal? There had been so many.
The beginning of Myrralis’ life had been such an odd sensation. Being the first reaper to come into existence, there was no one to speak to, to learn the craft from, but there was an innate knowledge present that told the immortal what he had come into being for and how to complete the job. As more and more humans came into existence, so too did more reapers. It wasn’t common for one to find other reapers however. They were a solitary being and they were always preoccupied in guiding their selected humans to their afterlife.
A burning sensation on Myrralis’ arm shook the reaper from the wanderings of an old mind. They were lucky to have more than a moment of down time to simply observe the world as it was. Myrralis looked down and read the name burned into the ethereal skin: Theresa Lichtfield. Suddenly, all the knowledge about this woman was burned into the immortal’s mind. She was a stock broker that lived in Toronto. She didn’t have any children of her own, but she volunteered on her down time to work with children and to tutor them. She had just died in a car accident.
While being a reaper, Myrralis felt no sort of emotion or attachment to any of the humans that were guided on, there was a sense of satisfaction in helping the good people of the world move on. When it came to a reaper’s job though, it didn’t matter the life of the human; they all needed to be guided forward.
Myrralis focused on the name for a moment then appeared in the middle of a busy street. Two cars were practically joined together at the bumpers and there were many cars stretched out in every direction There were ambulances and police cars and fire trucks and all of their occupants were bustling about, trying to get control of the situation.
Taking in the scene, Myrralis looked around until the ancient eyes found the glowing, transparent figure, still amongst the chaos.
“Theresa,” Myrallis’ pure, deep voice rang out and the woman’s spectre looked up, immediately finding the cloaked figure. She didn’t appear frightened, but rather resigned.
“Do I have to?” she whispered.
Myrralis nodded slowly. “Your body cannot support your soul anymore; it was only a temporary vessel. You’ve done everything you were meant to here.”
“I…” She still seemed unsure.
“You have to trust in those you are leaving behind. It’s time to let go.”
Theresa stared at the robed figure for a moment and then nodded. Some of these interactions were easier than others; Myrralis knew Theresa would be easy to coax.
The cloaked immortal waved the scythe (a mystical object that never left the hand of a reaper) gently through the air and a gateway made of golden light appeared before Theresa. The humans that still existed on the living plane had no idea of its presence. She smiled and breathed a sigh of relief as she left her world behind.
No new name was burned on Myrralis’ skin. The reaper stayed and watched the crime scene but didn’t take much of it in. Having no real body, Myrrralis did an impression of a sigh. Not a small sigh of contentment or relief like Theresa had done, but a long, drawn out sigh of exhaustion and tedium. The immortal had helped so many souls to move on, to find their end, their peace. What peace was there for a reaper? What end? Would Myrralis and the other reapers continue to guide souls until the humans became extinct? That seemed like a very long time.
Myrralis felt a hand upon their shoulder. It was almost weightless and if a reaper could feel relief and joy, this time would call for it. The reapers were all connected in a spiritual manner and Myrralis knew that their brethren had heard the silent plea.
“Are you sure?” Sojur asked.
“My time is nigh,” Myrralis answered with surety. “I can feel my years on this plane and they are long.”
“You’ve helped so many,” Sojur agreed. “Is that to mean the end for you? We do not know what will happen.”
It was time. Myrralis was the first reaper to wish for an end to their existence. There was no natural way for a reaper to perish as they didn’t really exist in a sense. No one knew what came next, but Myrralis had thought about this for decades and had come to accept whatever may await them in the land of light, even if it was nothingness.
Sojur waved their scythe through the air and a glowing silver portal appeared. Neither of the reapers had seen such a thing, but Myrralis thought it made sense that they would not go where the humans went. This was a new place. Myrralis suddenly felt things. A new understanding washed through them. The humans always seemed so at peace when they peered through a portal and the immortal was sure that this was how they felt.
The silver portal beckoned the immortal forward, promising an end to the long, monotonous life. Taking a deep mental sigh, Myrralis stepped forward, allowing themself an end. The mysterious portal closed around the reaper’s gossamer body and they felt happiness and peace for the first time in their existence.