“Docket number 666 the 9 circles of hell vs Grim Reaper.
How do you plead?”
“Um question for you, your dishonor”
(sigh) The old lava judge was getting too old for this “Approach” He said, wishing he could get back to his kiln for a nice long nap.
The black figure floated across the floor towards the dias, the robes lightly billowing as it moved.
“My union rep is supposed to be here. I think she might be running a little late.
The judge cracked his head free, allowing the red glow of lava to erupt from each crag on his face. He slowly turned, sending a blast of heat out in all directions as he circled the room in full, until once again he was staring back into the dark, deathly hole returning his gaze.
“Who’s that?” Two obsidian fingers fused together pointed towards the back. There sat a small girl in pigtails, each clamped down with wrought iron bows, she was much too small for the chair, propped up by her favorite copy of the codex gigas.
That’s my friend Susan, she’s actually like a minor duchess of one of the interdimensional demon realms. Her father is…” Grimm trails off. “Not someone you care about. She’s just a friend, your dishonor.”
“The judge pondered the situation for a moment. A blob of molten rock fell from his head onto his robes. He picked up the annoyance and placed it back where it belonged, returning his orb to its proper shape.
“Hmm, i’ll give you five, four, three, two”
The door opened and in stepped a tall skeletal figure, who, to be fair, was in fact a skeleton, with horned rim glasses and a little pandora’s box necklace her father had opened for her when she was young.
“I’m not too late am I?” She asked
“Just in time actually” The judge grumbled.
The robed figure glided to the chair, the skeleton clicked herself up next to it. She leaned in and whispered “Good luck” and positioned herself in the visitor’s booth ready to begin. The smoking judge leaned over in order to get a good look down upon his prey.
“You, Mr. Grimm Reaper, have been found guilty of failing to deliver subjects to the afterlife. Seven children were able to come back to life and are now leading happy fulfilling lives because you did not do your job,” You may now plead for your death”
“Ahem” The skeleton said.
“Oh fine,” The judge huffed and sat down in his chair, all his rocks cooling over into a solid block
“Because of a bunch of heavenly namby pambies, I am forced to allow the defendant to say something before we announce its guilt.”
“Silence” The judge yelled as fire erupted from the top of his head.
The Grim Reaper stood awkwardly, having been stripped of its scythe. “Thank you, but I can’t defend myself.” It said with a sigh. “I am guilty. I didn’t lead those children to the afterlife. I admit it”
Susan clapped again but the judge didn’t care.
The sentence was swift. As you can’t torture a grim, nor can a grim be kept locked in a cage, the judge had only one option, to demote the Grim reaper back to stage one. Giving it the quotidian job of leading the sick and elderly on their last journey of life.
Susan walked along the sunny path under tall old shade trees, skipping with one hand on the cloak of her friend. It was lighter and happier than it had been in a long while. Kids were no fun. They took the joy out of death.
“I told you it would work” She said, smiling up at her friend as they entered the sliding doors of the Grim’s first assignment of its demotion.
A cool wisp of air conditioning and the silent sigh of the door behind it was a welcoming hello, a return to the way things should be. Stale air swirled around it’s cloak filling the grim with a sense of closure, a long path coming to a close.
The portly aged woman at reception waved at the little girl, slightly puzzled by the opaque fog gliding along next to her. The young man she was training smiled at the girl, unable to see the fog at all. They walked along the corridor passing by quiet rooms and a melange of the old and decrepit walking the halls of Little Pines nursing home. A few turned their heads to stare, but others went along as if there was nothing there but a little girl come to see her grandmother. They stopped right in front of room 137
“Well, good luck” Susan said to Grim. She hugged the robes and skipped off down the hall. The black robed figure glided into the room, and saw an old woman, nearly a hundred years into her prime. She smiled up at it like an old friend.
“Is it time?” She whispered. It heard her perfectly well.
“Yes it is time” The Grim Reaper said back to her.
He took her hand and they walked off into the light. It was a walk it had taken many times, and for the first in a long while, it finally felt right.