"HURRY WHITNEY!" Grim shouted in her head.
Whitney jumped a bit at his booming voice and told the red spirit to follow her. It solemnly did as she said and they entered the portal. She noticed it stayed open figuring she had to go back out once she delivered the soul.
She looked down at the lava and her eyes widened as it parted like the Red Sea. The ground opened up and there were millions of souls at the base; all of them fighting to get out of the fiery encasement.
Whitney ushered the spirit down into the ground. As she watched it go she noticed one soul doing a marathon run up the backs of the others. What the hell?
"Whitney, get out of there before he reaches the top. The ground will not close up until you have left the realm." Grim told her.
Whitney moved swiftly to the portal but not before looking over her shoulder at the soul attempting to escape. She froze in her tracks as the soul was now inches from her. She jumped through the portal but the spirit grabbed onto her robe and followed her out as the portal closed.
Within seconds Grim appeared before them both. He gave the soul a disapproving stare.
"James, must we go through this every year? Get your ass back into Hell." he commanded to the soul.
James let out a fit of laughter and shot a bird at him. "That's what you get for letting some amateur take over your job. Death shouldn't take a vacation."
Whitney watched James take off and head down the street. What was that all about?
"Fuck." Grim whispered.
"Care to explain?" Whitney asked as she removed her hood.
Grim sighed and explained to her that the portal was a link between Hell and Earth and if a soul escaped before it was closed they could cross over.
"Now I have to track him down before..."
"Before what?" Whitney inquired.
Grim sighed. "If James encounters a body that has recently lost their soul he can enter that body."
"What did James get sent to Hell for?" Whitney inquired once again.
"He was a convicted murder of twenty seven people, back in 1928. He received the death penalty and was electrocuted in 1932."
Whitney's mouth dropped. "Damn! Let me guess, he wants to break his record from over eighty years ago?"
"That won't happen because I am going to find him and drag his ass back to where he belongs."
"Wait, Grim. I have the names of everyone who die today. So we already know where he's heading." Whitney tells him.
She had a point. Great, he was going to spending his vacation with her. She would be annoying him the entire time. He took her list and saw the next person was expiring in four minutes.
"All right let's move." Grim stated and took her hand.
They instantly appeared at the destination and Whitney wondered how they had gotten there so fast.
"I've still got some juice doll." Grim smirked.
They were at the house of a drug abuser who was snorting a massive amount of cocaine. Whitney still felt jittery as they stood there waiting for him to die.
With only a minute to go Whitney saw James enter the house. She nudged Grim.
"There is he."
"He can see us." Grim informed her as James hissed at them both.
"What do we do?"
"You escort the soul to Hell and I'll take care of James."
Whitney grimaced. "Grim, I can't. What if another soul escapes? I don't think I can do this."
"You have to." he stated and began to move toward James.
James didn't waste time as he darted through the walls. Grim followed after him and Whitney blew out a breath.
The clock ticked down and Whitney pulled up her hood as the druggie passed away from an overdose. His spirit glowed red and Whitney prepared to escort him to Hell.
She opened the portal and the two made their way through. The lava parted and the ground opened up. She looked to the spirit and told him it was time to go.
"Wait, can't I like repent or something and go to Heaven?" the druggie spoke.
This shocked Whitney as none of the other spirits talked to her. She didn't know how to answer him since Grim hadn't given her a crash course on this.
"Go." she told him and pointed toward the millions of tortured souls below her.
"I don't want to. Dude seriously, it's Hell. I can like bargain with you right? I watched Bill and Ted."
Whitney suppressed a laugh. She had seen the movie too. Keanu Reeves as an airhead; classic.
"No, go." she said after fighting the laughter.
"Whitney, stall him. I've got James! I need the portal to stay open to bring him in." Grim's voice echoed in her head.
Whitney sighed. What was she supposed to? Play twister with him?
"Okay, repent for your sins and if God forgives you then you will glow blue and I can take you to Heaven." Whitney told the spirit.
He seemed to beam and began to state his sins aloud which started with him killing his sister's cat at ten and ending with him sleeping with his best friend's wife an hour before scoring some coke to snort.
Whitney looked at him in disgust. He belonged in Hell for all that shit. When he was done he continued to glow red.
"Hey, I'm not blue." the spirit pointed out.
"Maybe you had to repent while still in your human form. Sorry." Whitney shrugged her shoulders.
"You fucking liar. I am not spending an eternity in Hell!"
As soon as the words left his mouth the ground beneath their feet began to shake. Whitney panicked as she tried to keep her balance.
"Stay calm. Whenever a soul refuses to enter Hell, the demons get agitated. They'll come up and drag him down." Grim explains.
Sure enough three demons appeared seconds later. Whitney was scared shitless as they each had dark red skin, black horns on top of their heads and had distorted faces. Their hands, which were disfigured, grasped the spirit and dragged him into Hell.
Whitney placed her hands on her ears as the spirit screamed the second the demons had grabbed him. Minutes later Grim appeared alone.
"Where is James? I thought you had him." Whitney stated.
"I did but he escaped. He does this every year but I always get him in the end."
Whitney sighed. "Well, let's move on to the next one."
They leave the realm causing Hell to seal back up beneath the lava. Grim and Whitney travel to the next person on the list; a husband and father of three who had been battling cancer.
As his last seconds dwindled Whitney didn't see James.
"Where is he?" she pondered.
"He would prefer to inhabit a red spirit's body." Grim told her.
The terminally ill man passed and Whitney escorted him to Heaven. When she returned to Earth she met up with Grim and they went on their way.
Monday, October 31, 2011 8:22 PM
It had been over twelve hours since Whitney and Grim had encountered James. Grim was a bit frustrated that he had blown his one day of vacation searching for him. But Grim knew James would appear at the next death as a woman was planning on killing her husband and then committing suicide.
"I hate this." Whitney huffed as she and Grim watched the wife load a pistol.
"You'd hate it more if James got into this woman's body." Grim stated.
They had four minutes and they followed the wife as she walked into the room where her husband was watching TV and drinking a beer. He placed his beer down and Grim levitated it towards him, making sure the wife didn't see.
He noticed Whitney give him a disapproving stare as he grabbed the beer and took a sip. He ignored her as he watched the TV as well.
"Is this why you wanted to come early?" she scoffed.
Whitney shook her head and noticed the husband saw his beer was missing. She hoped that wouldn't make him turn around and see his beer floating in mid air.
"Louise!" he hollered over his shoulder. "Get me another damn beer will ya?"
Louise meekly walked into the kitchen and returned a minute later with a new beer.
"Now get outta the way! Your big ass is blocking the TV!"
Louise began to cry at the verbal abuse and made her way right behind her husband. She pulled the gun out and placed it at the back of the recliner he sat in. Seconds later Whitney saw James appear through the walls.
"James, why must we go through this every year? Why don't you just come with me quietly and I'll think about not kicking your ass?" Grim stated and finished off the beer.
"Why don't you stop letting pathetic humans take your job for a day allowing me to escape?"
Whitney took offense to that and just as Louise pulled the trigger, killing her husband, Whitney threw her scythe toward James. This was not expected so James didn't have time to dodge the attack.
The scythe hit James his mid section cutting him in half. He didn't scream as he felt no pain. He looked up at Whitney as he crawled toward his legs.
"You bitch." he hissed.
Grim looked at Whitney and threw her a half smile. "Nice."
He walked over and grabbed James's upper body in one arm and his lower body in the other. The spirit of the murdered husband appeared and even though he was a lousy husband his spirit glowed blue.
"You better take him to Heaven. You've got about two minutes before the wife kills herself." Grim tells her and situates James on his body. "You mind making a portal for me?"
Whitney grabs the scythe and slices the air to make a portal for Grim.
"Thanks. I'll take care of this piece of shit and I'll see you in a bit."
Grim walks through the portal and Whitney takes the soul of the murdered husband up to Heaven. She returns back to the house just as the wife pulls the trigger on herself. Her spirit is of course red and Whitney takes her through the portal. Just as they walked through Grim is lowering James's body into Hell.
"I guess I'll see you same time next year buddy." James smiles.
"You never give up." Grim smiles back.
"Someone has to keep the Grim Reaper on his toes." he laughs as two demons grab his upper and lower body and pull him lower into the depths of Hell.
The wife's spirit is taken into Hell and Grim and Whitney leave so the portal can close. Whitney dropped her hood as soon as they were out.
"Looks like we make a pretty good team huh?" Whitney smiles at him.
"You've only got three hours before the day is up. I guess I can release you early for your help." Grim sighs.
Whitney grows angry at his words. "Wait a fucking minute. You could've changed us back at any moment?"
He begins laughing as Whitney pounds her boney hands on his shoulders. It was the first time he had laughed...well ever.
"I'm sorry doll, but like everyone else even I need a vacation."
"There are a lot of souls left on the list. What happens if they're not escorted?" Whitney pondered.
Grim could still read her thoughts so he realized that for all the hell he put her through she wanted him to attend a Halloween party that her company was hosting.
"Oh, no. I'm not the partying type." Grim stated and threw his hands up.
"You so owe me and it will only be for a few hours since my time is almost up." she smiled sweetly at him.
Grim groaned. "All right. You lead the way."
"So what happens to the souls?" she asks her questions again.
"Oh. The blue spirits will just follow the white light to Heaven and demons will come collect the red spirits." Grim reveals.
"So why did you have to switch bodies with someone every year if they can do that?"
"So I won't have to share my commission with the bastards." Grim states.
"You get paid for this shit?" Whitney says in amazement.
"Uh, yeah. It's a job."
"So, what's my cut?" Whitney jokes as she and Grim make their way to the building where her boss and co-workers have gathered for a Halloween party.
Monday, October 31, 2011 9:00 PM
Whitney and Grim walk through the door and they see dozens of people on the dance floor dancing to Michael Jackson's "Thriller". Whitney sees her boss, George make his way toward her. He was dressed as Dracula.
"Whitney! So glad you could make it. You must've gotten over that cold." he stated and danced to the music while he spoke.
Whitney had no idea what he was talking about and she thought he would be pissed since she didn't show up to present her report.
"And I got the email with your report so don't fret about missing the meeting. Who's your friend?"
Whitney gave Grim a suspecting stare. "This is Grim. Grim, this is my boss George."
George hissed and showed his fake fangs. "Uh uh uh. Tonight it's Dracula. Blah!"
Whitney giggled and notices George's wife, dressed as Marie Antoinette, appear behind him.
"Honey, let's dance before the song is over." she whines and then looks at Grim."Oh, my word. You look just like Hugh Jackman! Very handsome."
George notices his wife about to flirt so he swiftly pulls her to the dance floor.
"Enjoy the party!" he calls over his shoulder.
Whitney pulls Grim to a table where there is food and drinks. Grim digs in as if he hadn't eaten in years. Whitney pulls him onto the dance floor after she has a drink.
"So, when will I see you again?" Whitney asks, seeming to enjoy his company the last few hours.
"Oh, I'd say in three years." Grim stated.
Whitney gasped in shock that she was going to die in three years.
"I'm joking Whitney." he teased.
Whitney smiled that he called her by her name instead of doll. She danced around him and asked him when she would see him again.
Grim pulled Whitney to him and ran his hand over her cheek. "Sooner than you think." he whispered.
He looked into her eyes and surprised her, and himself, by placing a soft kiss on her lips.
When he pulled back Whitney's eyes were wide. She definitely did not expect that.
"I thought the Grim Reaper didn't have emotions." she stated repeating his own words.
"I don't but I can bend the rules once in a while." he smiled.
"Well, don't go getting any ideas buddy. I like my men living and breathing." Whitney laughed.
The next two hours were spent with Grim escaping the dance floor to eat and Whitney dragging him back. He pulled her from the building at eleven thirty to switch their bodies back.
"It's time." he told her.
Whitney took a deep breath and he reached his hand out to touch her head. He looked in her eyes when she grabbed his hand and stopped him.
"I'm going to miss you Grim." she said in a weak voice while holding back tears.
"Hey, you spent more time with the spirits than with me."
She laughed and released his hand. "All right. I guess I'll see you later."
He nodded and touched her head.
Whitney felt like he had punched her as she went flying back. She gasped when she stopped and shook her head. She was wearing the clothes she had on the previous day and her hands and arms were back to normal. She lifted up her shirt and saw the smooth brown skin of her stomach.
She breathed a sigh of relief and then noticed she didn't see Grim. She then figured that he was probably still there but was invisible to her eyes.
"Grim, if you're still here; when my time comes can you look like Hugh Jackman when you appear to escort me to Heaven?"
Grim heard her and let out a chuckle that Whitney heard.
She smiled and walked to the curb. She hailed a taxi and headed back to her apartment. As soon as she walks in she sees that her computer is still on. She looks at the screen and sees an email to her boss that was sent at 3:57 AM.
In the contents it is explaining that she got a cold and wouldn't be into work that morning. An attachment was added in the email and it was the report she was working on before the day's events had taken place.
She smiled as she shut down her computer and went into her bedroom. She plopped down on her bed and fell fast asleep.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012 5:28 AM
Whitney got out of bed and stretched. She slipped her feet into her slippers and left her room. She entered her kitchen to start on breakfast when she heard a doorbell. Who was at her door at this hour, she thought.
She made her way to the door and opened it. Before her was a tall figure in a black robe carrying a scythe.
"You're kind of early for Halloween pal." she smirked.
He didn't say anything but glided into the apartment. He sat his scythe against the door after she closed it.
"So, who'd you switch with this year Grim?" Whitney asked as she placed her hands on her hips.
Grim removed his hood and Whitney was pleased to see Hugh Jackman's face and not the skeleton from last year.
"Some college kid. He just delivered his first soul into Hell." Grim informed her.
Whitney laughed as she figured he was having a hard time like she was. When Grim touched her head last year to release her from being the Grim Reaper, he allowed he to keep all of the memories from that day.
"Let me guess, James escaped."
"Like he does every year." Grim smirked. "Up for a little adventure?"
Whitney smiled. "I thought you'd never ask."
"And your job?" Grim questioned.
"I used some vacation time. I figured you would show up sometime today."
Grim smiled brightly. "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."
"Just as long as you don't turn me into a damn skeleton again. I haven't forgotten that." Whitney stated and grabbed her coat.
Grim laughed heartily and extended his hand to her. She took it and they walked right through the door.