Nimbus clouds covered the whole sky as a majestic lightning cracked through it. A roaring, rumbling sound followed. It was deafening to the ears, but one man sprawled on the grassy ground, covered in filth and blood didn’t so much as care.
This man was named Jacob Arnold St. Fair. He only cared one thing and that was his family—his wife and daughter—probably sitting cozily inside their house just a few walk away, clueless of his current dire situation.
He was just inside the tool shed at the back of their house when the heavy rain started. The plan was to ditch what work he had left of the customized dog house and run as fast as he could to the main house, be with his family, and enjoy the evening meal together.
However, an unexpected visitor standing and waiting for him at the entrance of the tool shed exactly interrupted that plan.
The visitor had a hulking frame, wearing a baseball hat and a large coat that covered his body. The collar of the coat stood stiff, framing his pointed jawline and shielding any uninvited inspection of his face.
Fear gripped tightly on Jacob's nerves then. He knew exactly what this visitor wanted, but he couldn’t possibly give it. He couldn’t when so much was at stake. No, not only for his family, but for all of humanity.
Displeased, the visitor decided for an alternative payment instead: his blood.
And blood indeed gushed forth from the many blade wounds inflicted on Jacob a couple of minutes later.
He tried to fight back, using what skills he knew best, but even with those, it couldn’t contend with the visitor.
Until something appeared.
An image materialized behind the visitor just as he was about to deliver the final blow to Jacob. By this time, the rain had ceased and it effectively showed what or who the interruption was.
The image first was distorted, fine ripples surfacing and breaking the continuity of reality. Jacob couldn’t believe his eyes when in a second, another man appeared from the ripple dressed in all black, in his right hand a scythe—the thickness and sharpness of the blade screamed of terror.
The new man had the most lustrous blue locks cascading all the way down to his waist. It seemed it was the only color he had other than black. But then again, it wasn’t. Another color—a swirl of red and green—filled his irises.
They were beautiful, captivating, but to Jacob, entirely deadly, the same as the scythe he was wielding.
The next second came by as a surprise.
The visitor, unbeknownst of the new arrival, was hurled away, gained airtime for a millisecond and then crashed into the tool shed. The cracking of bones and a blood-curdling scream followed, cutting through the air and mixed with the sounds of thunder and raindrops.
“Halpas, ” the scythe-wielding man said, his voice dripping with authority. He ignored Jacob and went to the one named Halpas—his hulking frame now sprawled on the destroyed wall and tools.
Jacob watched as the two exchanged words. His breathing was uneven and he felt lightheaded from the heavy blood loss. He knew he’d die soon but not now. He couldn’t pass this opportunity. He needed to know who this unknown man was who—although not intentionally—would exact revenge for him.
“Your death has been long overdue. How had you eluded me these past few decades?” the scythe-wielding man said as he crouched down near Halpas.
“If I tell...you how, would you...spare me then?” the latter asked in a raspy voice, blood spilling over the corner of his mouth. He was no weak man. Heck, he even got his supernatural abilities thanks to a generous friend, but it seemed this wasn’t enough to fight his way away from this Creature of the Night.
The scythe-wielding man considered his offer for a moment, or maybe, he was just acting to look like he was considering it.
“You joke. Of course,” he answered and saw Halpas’ eyes lit up. “Not,” but then he continued. Upon hearing the unsavory word, those said eyes dulled again.
“Then you...wouldn’t know how I was...able to dodge death all this time!” Halpas negotiated, a flood of fear started filling from deep within his gut. He wanted to use what useful limbs he had left—one right leg and two arms—to scramble away, but an invisible force held him down.
“Oh no, I disagree, ” the man holding the scythe cocked his head to the side and grinned. “I already know who helped extend your petty little life, Halpas. I was merely testing you. You could have made it into the Valley of Cleansing if you squawked his name, but now, hmm...I think I’ll put you in Gehenna instead.”
This time, Halpas cracked. Terror reigned over him and he quickly clawed his way out of the mess of the tool shed.
“No. No! Not there! Please!” he cried out in desperation. “I don’t want to go there! Give me a chance!”
The scythe-wielding man stood up and tsk’d.
“I’m afraid it’s already too late.”
He raised his imposing weapon and the curved blade shone brightly thereafter. He didn’t hit Halpas with it but the man screamed in pain as if he was slashed down to pieces.
“Your soul is mine, ” the scythe-wielding man said as his eyes glowed of bright red.
With this, Jacob realized who this unknown man was. He was an Angel of Death, a Collector of Souls, The Executioner.
The Grim Reaper.
With no energy left, Jacob fell down and hit his face with the wet grass. Despite this, he pushed himself to watch the next scenes as the Grim Reaper collected Halpas' soul and literally vacuumed it into the blade.
When this was done, the Grim Reaper waved his hand and opened up another distortion in space. He was ready to leave the mortal realm until a voice, although weak and helpless, caught his attention.