Chapter 8 - Questions

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I take a quick look at my lists. I have a little time to explain the situation that Harold has attached himself to.

"What are those lists?"

Here we go. "These are the lists of souls I am to collect. One list for those who are bound to go to heaven and the other to hell."

The soul within shifts. "Why do you get to decide who goes to heaven or hell?"

I wave my arms in exasperation. "I don't. This is my job, and just like any other job I had in life I follow the instructions given to me by those whom I believe employ me."

"Show me the list for hell. I want to see my name." I pull out the list again holding it in front of my eyes. A force seems to constrict my hand causing the parchment to crinkle before I pull control back. "It can't be. It just can't."

I respond, "I don't make the list. I only do the job as it is assigned."

With anger in his voice Harold says, "Who makes the list?"

"I receive the list from different angels and demons. I haven't asked them who makes it."

"They're wrong! Why do you do this job? Why is it so important?"

I begin to feel a tingle within where Harold's soul is attached to mine. "The alternatives are heaven and hell. The freedom this job affords is appealing to me even though I don't have much free time. If I wanted idle time then I could reject this body of bones and rags to be one of the wandering souls, but I prefer to retain my sanity. I have seen what the angels and demons do to untended souls. The reapers are their only protection. We all have a choice in where we go, and my place is here. The list says that you have chosen hell no matter what you may say to the contrary."

Harold's soul shivers from within. "I have had my vices and my weak moments, but I always worshiped God. Jesus is my savior. He should be yours as well."

"Perhaps we need to take your case to the angels to see what they have to say. Harold you must be careful with them. They may not be devious like the demons, but their sense of righteousness and good can make them just as dangerous. We need to.."

That moment something strange but wonderful takes place. Like a jolt of electricity going through the bones of my reaper body. I can feel the flames dancing within my eyes expanding. I find myself on the ground. What in the world was that? I stand up and notice that my senses are clearer and sharper than they have ever been since I became a reaper.

The strangest thing of all is Harold's soul is gone. I can't feel him holding on any longer. I can still hear his thoughts floating around in my head as if they are my own. Could it be that our two souls have merged? I don't have time to contemplate what just happened. I must move on to the next name on the list.

The black smoke caresses my body and seems to have a pulse of it's own. I can feel the electricity within the cloud. The energy that is ready to explode while ripping a hole in time and space. I feel the ripping and tearing down to my soul (or perhaps now souls?), but the ripping is dulled as if I have a thin shield. The process seems to be quicker than normal as well. I look at my chest then at the bones of my right hand as if I did something differently, but I know that is not the case. I almost forget what I am supposed to be doing when I hear a woman scream.

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