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THE GRIM reaper stood on top of a building across the street and watched his target close the coffee shop.

The guy was Jonathan San Miguel, a twenty-two-year-old self-supporting student who works as a part-time barista.

He fished the death card on the inside pocket of his suit. It was written there that at exactly twelve midnight of Christmas day, Jonathan will die. There were only a few minutes left before he escorts him to the afterlife.

He jumped from the rooftop when he saw Jonathan rode his motorbike. He followed him swiftly, and no one will ever notice. After making sure that Jonathan will take the collision route, he teleported to the accident’s exact location.

The grim reaper stood near the intersection and waited patiently. Soon he heard the sound of the motorbike approaching the area. He looked in the opposite direction and saw the red car that will collide with Jonathan’s motorbike. A girl was driving it, but unlike Jonathan, the lady driver will live.

The death bell started ringing. Only the grim reapers could hear that sound because it was an indication that death is about to come.

And then… the accident took place.

The moment the motorbike exited the alley, the car appeared. The two collided. The impact was too strong, Jonathan and his motorbike flew several meters away. At the same time, the lady driver lost control of the steering wheel and bumped into a post.

The grim reaper walked towards Jonathan’s body that was now bathing in his blood.

‘Ah, you’re not even wearing a helmet.” He kicked his head to check if he was dead.

The grim reaper wondered what kind of man he was. Jonathan has such a tragic ending.

But wait… where the heck did his soul go?

He looked around the area. There was no sign of Jonathan’s soul. Supposedly, when a person dies, its soul should be staying near its body. But Jonathan’s soul is missing!

The grim reaper tried looking farther, but he still could not find it.

He brought out the death card once again. He scoffed upon seeing that the date and time of Jonathan’s death had been erased. And that phenomenon only meant one thing. Jonathan cheated death! People may call it a miracle, but it was equivalent to penalty and additional work for grim reapers like him.

The thought of the penalty that he had to take already made him cringe. Ah, he will make sure to give Jonathan a good beating before he tosses him to the afterlife.

A messenger appeared in front of him afterwards.

‘Reaper 2011-20005, you’re being summoned to the court of the Afterlife,” the messenger informed him.

SHE CHASED the man in a black suit with a matching fedora hat who walked past her. There was no way that a grim reaper like him would not be able to notice someone like her—a wandering soul. Maybe the grim reaper tried to snob her this time because he grew tired of her. She kept bugging him each time she would see him.

‘Grimmy!” she called. Grim reapers were nameless. So, she decided to give this one a name. ‘Grimmy!”

But the grim reaper did not bother to acknowledge her. He continued walking away from her.

Wait. Why am I running after Grimmy when I could teleport in front of him?

And so, she did.

The grim reaper halted from walking when she suddenly appeared in front of him. He let out an exasperated sigh and looked at her as if she was some sort of an annoying organism.

‘It’s you again.” He adjusted his fedora hut and looked around them.

There were times when grim reapers pretend as humans. During those times, they could be seen by naked eyes.  That evening, it was one of those days that Grimmy co-exist with the living.

‘Tell me, Grimmy… are you deaf now, or by any chance, you’re blind?” she asked somberly. ‘Ah! Let me guess… You’re just ignoring me!”

His brows furrowed.

‘What do you need from me?” he asked coldly.

‘Gah! I bet you know. I’ve been begging you to help me leave the living realm. I need to go to the afterlife.” She screamed in frustration.

A cold wind blew around them. It must be her energy.

‘How many times do I have to tell you that I am not the grim reaper assigned to you, dumbhead,” he said firmly.

‘Then who’s assigned to me? Where is he or she? Why is it taking so long? Is there also a traffic jam going back and forth to the afterlife? Or is there some sort of a problem taking me? What the heck is wrong with you, grim reapers?! I am so willing to go, and yet no one is taking me away from here! Maybe you have favoritism. No, no, no, you can’t be unfair when it comes to death. It’s a serious matter.”

Usually, if a soul cannot go to the afterlife a year after its death, it will be trapped in the human world as an evil spirit. She was worried anytime soon she would turn into one. She was way past her forty-nine days grace period on Earth. She had been wandering the living realm for almost five years now. But luckily, nothing is happening to her. Was there an exemption, and she was chosen?

‘I can’t remember anything about me. I don’t even know if I have a grudge or unfinished business…” She started crying.

‘Listen…” Pity crossed his eyes.

She was not expecting that. Grim reapers were emotionless beings.

‘You don’t need a grim reaper,” he said afterwards. ‘You should be looking for someone who can help you.”

‘Wait. What? I don’t get it.” She hates mind games, really.

The grim reaper sighed.

‘I should not tell you this because I am not allowed to interfere. But you’ve been bugging me for so long. I am sick and tired of it.” Grimmy shook his head. ‘Find a person. Someone who can communicate with someone like you.”

And just like that… the grim reaper disappeared.

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