A journey beyond

Oh, look at the tragedy, look at the senseless human suffering, look at all this carnage. Well, I shouldn't be jesting. It is a tragedy, it is a loss, but that's not my department. I am here to collect, for I am a Grim Reaper. Yes, I appear as a tall skeleton, dressed in black, I even have a collection of scythes. This is all theatrics though. I can reap you soul with a mere thought.
There were around 14 recently deceased waiting to be released from their broken mortal shells. Ok, there were more, but I tend only to humans, the animal cleanup group already did their part. Their job is boring. I wouldn’t trade my place with those weirdos.
When I entered the ruins of the building even I gasped, mind you only a little. I went through my list, it is sorted by age, that’s the age of the essence of the person, not the age at which they recently died. It goes from the youngest to the eldest.
With the whole reincarnation thing I’ve already met most of these souls. We usually have a laugh, ok, I have a laugh. In my defense, you should really have a sense of humor in my business and my laugh is delightful.
Where was I? Ah, yes, I started to release the dead and speed them towards their next life. It was nothing special, most were going to be reincarnated as humans once again, one was destined to be a rhino. That’s cool, every soul should be a rhino at least once.
It was business as usual until I came to my last client. The mortal body was crushed beneath a piece of broken concrete, putting it beyond me recognizing who that person was in life. Not that I cared. I extended my arm toward the smushed remains and got a hold of the soul. It felt soft and slimy, that was unusual but not unheard of. I pulled. There was the familiar glow and warmth of a soul, may be a bit too warm. As I pulled, it stretched like a piece of hot cheese. That happened sometimes, when people got overly attached to their life. Usually it’s mildly annoying. When the deceased is smushed like a bug it can be tedious. I continued to pull unit the soul snapped.
That wasn’t good. I hoped that I’d be able to pull it in one to. Instead it was time to start scrubbing. I could sense the remaining piece stretched across the form it used to inhabit. It felt unfamiliar, with tiny limbs stretching in all directions, grasping the mortal shell it once inhabited. After I finally managed to unclench this stubborn spirit I gasped, again, and that time it was very audible.
It was the most ancient soul I’ve ever seen. I wasn’t even familiar with it. This smushed person had been hanging on to its life for a very long time, longer than I’ve been reaping. I looked at my list. Instead of a description of the next life there was a tiny Red Cross.
“What have you done to deserve that.”, I mumbled, loud enough for the doomed soul to hear. I doubt it was able to understand, it was barely holding any semblance of existence.
I like my job. I’ve sent to their next lives a number of people beyond count. I never cared who they were, I always wished them the best on their next journey. My service had to do more with life than with death, because I knew, that wasn’t really the end. Yet here I stood before a soul of a person that had no other journeys ahead of it. It had traced its path along its destiny and I was here to perform the vilest of deeds. I had the power and obligation to extinguish that spirit forever. I shuddered at the thought. Yet, that creature, in life had done things so against the natural order of things that it had damaged its spirit. For the most part the soul of a saint and the soul of a psychopath aren’t all that different. Most f the time errors in the flesh turn people bad, yet they retain an sark of innocence that can be nourished into a new and better life. Not that spirit in front of me. That had openly invited evil and chaos into its essence. Yet I left sorry for it. It was vaguely aware of anything, so profound was the damage.
I reached towards it. It felt so normal, as any other spirit I’d send off to their future life. In the end it wasn’t at all different. With a gentle tap I guided that tired spirit into oblivion. It I hoped it was relieved.
My job is never finished. My enchanted list had changed with a new set of souls. I looked at it in horror. There were ten new items and all of them and red crosses next to them.
“What the hell is going on…”, I wondered.