It was the reaper’s day off. He was in the guest cottage that he had temporarily rented. He was walking bare foot, as always, with a bowl of porridge in his hands. His jersey was on the floor, he kicked it away and it disappeared to where it wouldn’t be considered untidy.
He plopped down onto the beige sofa and started changing the TV channels.
Sport. Sport. News. Food. Sport.
He sighed and decided to throw the remote onto the sofa. He ate a spoonful of the porridge and then spit it out. It didn’t taste as good as when he was with Denise. He wasn’t even hungry, so he put the bowl on the table in front of him and then laid his head on the sofa and outstretched his legs.
Most of the time on his fourth day he would go back to the Unknown Realm —that is the place where all reapers lived—and go meet up with his colleagues and talk about their marks. He did not feel like it though. He just wanted to see Denise.
Why? Why did one human affect him in such a way?
He could go to her house and watch her, like he used to, but that couldn’t happen anymore considering that she could see him. Which was strange.
He perked up from the sofa. That is strange.
Denise. There should be a reason as to why she could see him when all the other humans couldn’t. Maybe she wasn’t human.
Denise van Blou.
As the reaper sat and thought about Denise, he started to feel an emotion. Growing from the pit of his stomach. It was a feeling that he had never felt once before. His stomach turned and churned in the most uncomfortable manner. He felt as though he would throw up, but he didn’t. He touched his stomach and tried to get off of the sofa, but ended up kneeling on the floor instead.
His throat was dry and his breathing turned strained. He coughed violently. When he finally stopped he saw blood splatters on the floor. His vision blurred. He tried to stand up to call his senior, but only ended up falling back down. He clutched his stomach as he fell on his side.
Reapers do not get sick. He coughed. His head was on the cool tile which calmed his sudden feeling of nausea, but only a little. Reapers do not get sick.
He stared at the blurry lightbulb as he kept on passing out and waking up again. He was dying. That was the only explanation. There was no other logical explanation.
Because you see, as a reaper that has been alive for hundreds of years, when something that you’ve never heard of happens the obvious answer is death. I could be wrong, just like the reaper was on that day. I mean, it was still the fourth day. He still had a mark to take to the other side.
So as the reaper slept like the beauty he was. He was woken up by the smell of soup. He sniffs. Chicken soup. He tries to raise his head, but his whole body aches. He goes back down and stares at the white ceiling. He heared footsteps and looks towards the door of the bedroom.
“Denise?” His voice is coarse when he spoke. He was both bewildered and excited at the sight of her. She was wearing black shorts and a plain white T-shirt.
“You’re awake.” She smiled, causing him to be even happier about seeing her there. “I thought that you were dead for a second there.” The reaper blinked as Denise smiled at him. How did she know where he lived? It was strange. How did she know that he was…sick?
“How did you find me?”
“You called me.” The reaper furrowed his brows in the most cutest of ways as he frowned up at Denise. He was actually confused for once. “Yeah, when I arrived here you were out of it. But I called the house keeper and he helped me take you to bed. He then called the doctor and well…you owe him some money.” Denise looked at the reaper seriously. He was smiling. He ended up laughing, but was also holding his stomach due to the pain.
“Mark, this is a serious situation.” Mark calmed down. He nodded.
“What did the doctor say?” Denise walked closer to the reaper and put the back of her hand on his forehead. The reaper looked up at it and smiled. He liked the feel of her hand there. She made a face and removed her hand.
“It looks like a cold, but it is not. He’s pretty useless for someone who has a PhD.” Denise seemed worried for the reaper, which as much as it made the reaper happy, also surprised him. Why would she be worried about someone she barely knew? “You had a fever when I came here. You’re fine now.”
“Thank you.” The reaper took her hand in both of his. “I don’t know what actually happened, but thank you.” Denise smiled.
“I also made soup. Do you like soup?” The reaper nodded. “I googled the recipe though because I am such a bad cook, but I promise you that you won’t die.” The reaper laughed.
“I believe you.”
Denise was there for a while before she left. It was getting dark and the guest cottage was at the edge of the city. Too far away from her home. The reaper wanted to walk her out, but couldn’t. He was still not feeling well. Denise gave him some pain medication and made him a dinner sandwich, because she really was, a bad cook.