Chapter 5 - Harold Simmons

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The puff of black smoke evaporates around me. You never get used to the black smoke. I try to imagine the smell of it. The demon's black smoke must smell of fire and brimstone when they teleport. I imagine pixie farts or cotton candy as the smell of the white smoke that takes angels from place to place. I think the black smoke of the reapers must smell of blood.

I walk across the soft green grass. It is a beautiful day with birds chirping and squirells climbing trees. My cloth shoes don't collect any of the moisture that is adorning the ground like syrup on pancakes. I should stop thinking about food. I have no need of it, but I still think of.. no crave it sometimes. I use the senses I still have to look at the perfect blue skies and hear the birds chirping at each other. It is a beautiful day to die.

Harold Simmons pulls up to the tee on hole five. The golf cart skids to a stop on the concrete path. He is going to hell. I always wonder what their life will look like when they are on the list of the unclean. Harold is wearing green plaid pants with a purple polka dot shirt that is truly hideous. He must be divorced or a widower. No woman would want to have anything to do with that outfit unless they were burning it.

He hits his driver, and immediately starts throwing a tantrum. I muse to myself that he might want to calm down, or he might have a stroke. Golf is such a silly game. I don't understand why people would put themselves through such torture. If you want to enjoy the outdoors then why not take a hike or walk through nature. Much better than lugging around a heavy bag of metal clubs angry at the world because your ball didn't go in the direction you wanted. The game has evolved quite a bit, but it's effect on people's mood has not. Harold hits his next shot which skitters across the ground stopping at my feet. Again he's not too happy about it, and his face turns a deep red. The golf cart screams up the fairway, Harold clearly flooring the gas on it. He stands next to the ball, club in hand, and begins his first practice swing. He is breathing hard with sweat streaming down his almost purple face. The backswing is not steady. Harold loses his balance falling over onto the soft grass.

He clutches his chest while the other three in his group stand around him. It's OK fellas, I'll take it from here. I lean close to watch his final moments pass. Harold's life is not what I expect. He had a normal childhood, marries his college sweetheart. He cheats on her once, but quickly ends it. He tells his wife who eventually forgives him. They have two children together. I don't see anything evil about Harold. If he didn't accept God in life then he should be given a second chance in the afterlife or as a reaper. Why is he on the list of those poor souls bound for hell? I double check both lists to make sure.

He expires while I am checking the lists. Crap. I try to breathe in his soul, but it doesn't want to come out. I'll have to force it out. I open my jaw as wide as I can and concentrate on the task. My will grasps the soul and pulls. I can feel the heat in my eyes intensifying. I have seen the flames in my eyes dancing before, but whenever this happens the flames expand past my brow. Finally the soul accepts it's fate. It quivers in my hold, and inch by inch it allows me to take it in.

I aim the soul down still not sure of what I am doing. The list is the list. It must be obeyed, but I've never in all the decades and centuries of doing this had this doubt. I hesitate then I hear something deep inside.


The voice startles me. I ask it, "Who are you?"

*Don't send me to hell! I am a good person.*

"Harold? Is that you?" I've never had a soul try to communicate with me like this before.

*Yes! That is me. Don't do this. You know I am a good person.*

"Not my choice. I'm just doing my job."

I begin to exhale to project the soul down the dark path.


Startled again, I swallow the soul. I can feel it attach itself to my own soul. What just happened?

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