Miri floated through the bus station with a flutter of pride. He’d learned to do it in three days with the help of the armless soul near the park. He’d been told that most took a week or two to master floating.
He stopped at the centre of the road as a bus came to a screeching halt. The driver didn’t flair his horn or try to divert. How could he dodge what he couldn’t see? Instead, he came to a halt because this was the final stop. The bus swept through him giving Miri a mild case of nausea but he’d been advised to stay put. The sooner he got used to it, the sooner the nausea faded. They’d already removed his body and now, 72 hours later, no one could tell the exact spot where his skull had been pried open by an SUV.
The light had never come for him. Some of the ghosts that haunted the place said that they had refused to walk into it but he’d never seen it or the reaper that everyone talked about.
He floated a few feet higher and hovered above the bus’s top. He lay horizontally pondering on his problem when he noticed a string floating above him. It should have been something irrelevant except the string stayed in place. A gust of wind blew and the string flitted wildly but one end held firm.
Curiosity piqued, he raised himself a foot higher then in the direction of his feet like a mechanic sliding under the body of a car. There was nothing odd about it except it held its place. He thought about ignoring it, there was a lot he didn’t understand about the spirit life yet but considering he couldn’t be killed there wasn’t much to fear. He pinched it and gave it a small tug.
The string held firm. He pulled harder and this time it loosened with a ripping sound. A light glimmered from the other side. He was about to look in when a hand shot out. It grabbed the rip and with a second hand, widened it. A cloaked figure floated out.
“Thank you,” came a deep reply. The figure stood at least six-feet-tall. In spite its thick cloak, you could tell that there was nothing but bones underneath. It turned to face Miri and he saw there was no skin on the face, only hollow sockets stared back at him as it used a scythe to balance itself.
“Miri Andiri,” it started, “your time has come and it is time for you to walk into the light.”
“Who are you?” Miri asked in fright.
“I am the shifter of souls, the holder of the hourglass, I am the equalizer among men the final chapter in all novels. You know who I am, why do you ask death for identification?”
Miri hovered a few paces back. He turned to look but all the other ghosts seemed to have conveniently vanished. Without looking he shot backwards as fast as he could. He turned mid-flight and flew into a building.
“I cannot be dodged with simple tricks,” a voice answered as death appeared in the hallway beside him, “I am not here to harm you, only to guide you to judgement you would receive after walking into the light.”
“Yes, that which awaits everyone.”
“Where’ve you been for the past few days?”
“There were problems in other realms that required the attention of the angel of death.”
“You mean like opening a portal?”
There was an awkward silence which the reaper broke, “Look, cut me some slack, I’ve been at this for like what two weeks, I’m bound to have a few problems you wouldn’t believe what the internship program looks like.”
Miri burst out in laughter, “Two weeks? What kind of eternal angel are you?”
“The newly recruited kind.”
Miri shook his head in between laughter. He would take some convincing.
Exasperated, the reaper threw his scythe down, “I don’t even know why you need convincing, do you want to stay here and start decomposing like that guy in the park?”
“Who? Armless Dave? I thought that it was how he died, railway went clean through his hands. He seems a bit too keen to tell the story if you ask me.”
“My point exactly, that’s not what happened. If you stay here you start rotting, besides I saw your file, there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to heaven.”
“Are you serious?” Miri asked, “What’s it like?”
Death rolled his eyes, “It’s everything a puny human mind could imagine and beyond.”
Miri fist-pumped, “Can I …” He whispered to the reaper as if afraid someone could hear them.
The reaped moved a foot away in disgust, “You’re one of those that will go to push the limits of … never mind yes there are weekly stonings of multi-level marketers.”
“Say no more, lead me to the light fam,” Miri said ready to face judgement.