The sound of the rusting chains echoed as my numbed, shackled feet slowly walked their way towards the end of the icy cold, dark space. My dark, hooded eyes focused at the bright light which shined from the very end of the agonizing path.
‘Which universe will come to an end today?’, I pondered. ‘Which one shall I throw to oblivion for eternity?’
My pale hand’s grip tightened around a piece of paper where the instructions for today’s agenda was written. Contrary to popular belief, grim reapers didn’t actually have scythes and we didn’t look like a skeleton wearing a robe. In reality, our appearances were the same as the ones we have when we were still alive.
We weren’t born as one and our days weren’t ensured to last forever.
Even though I was quite ashamed of it, reapers like I had led a very sinful life of varying degrees; some of us who have sinned lightly were assigned to put an end to beliefs and ideas, some destined to take the lives of heroes, while the others, tasked to put an end to planets and the lives within it. Basically, the greater the sin, the greater the job.
I… have committed quite the list which I still regret even if a thousand years had passed. I could never forget them no matter how many deafening tick and crushing tack of the clock resonated within the empty cell I was kept into whenever the time for me to go out didn’t come.
You see, with every step of my feet, the memories of when I was still alive and the burden of my failures—my mistakes—haunts me. With every click and clack of the chains that binded me, the lives of those within the universe I had ended flashed before my very eyes.
Each second felt like forever and I could barely hold my sanity as all their screams and pleas vibrated at my ear while their faces of anguish and despair stared at me from every angle.
Inches away from the light, I struggled and did my very best to remain as silent and calm as I could be. The angels were watching my every step; a single mistake was all that was needed to capture a pass to go straight down to hell. Compared with the severity of my punishment at the moment, gehenna did sound alluring. At least there, I didn’t need to ruin the lives of millions of beings… right?
No, I shouldn’t.
I was promised by the gods above that I could still be saved. I still had hope. All I needed to do was to focus on my job, ignore the torture, and keep my sanity at bay.
Closing my eyes to prepare myself from what I was about to do, I stepped through the source of illumination and felt the warmness of life greet my frail, thin body. Opening them, I saw a very familiar universe in front of me; one that had the exact same scenery from within my memories. Shaking my head in disbelief and shuffling backwards, I tried to deny my reality.
It was the very universe I lived into.
It was the same place where I dreamt and pleaded the forces above to allow me to walk upon once again. It was where I was born, raised and taught of things that made me who I came to be. It was where I loved and was loved; the place where I felt that I owned the world as the joy overflows from within and it was where I nearly drowned from all the sadness and the grief which life had to offer. It was my source of hope… my salvation from this endless suffering and torment.
More importantly, it was my home.
I didn’t want to but I had no choice. I couldn’t stop my cracked lips from repeating the mantra which I had said a million times in the past.
I wasn’t able to control my arms from reaching out for the thin, red thread of light that swayed from side to side with billions of other threads in space.
I failed to suppress the urge of pulling it and breaking the connection from the other threads bundled together.
The deed has been done. This universe was to come to an end.
I struggled and fought and begged myself not to only to come upon the realization that I had become a prison of my own self. I could’t disobey the orders. I wasn’t able to do a single thing.
The stars which sparkled like jewelry started to explode one after the other as the planets shook and trembled from deep within; scaring the life forms that they housed to no end. The heat from the sun grew greater and greater with each moment and soon, it, too, has succumbed to the hands of death. Everything reacted as expected—just like what had always happened after performing the act. This time, however, I could only watch as a blinding light engulfed the whole universe and reduced everything it came in contact with into nothingness.
I could only stare at the sight with an expression of emptiness as my last set of tears fell from my ocean blue eyes as if there was no tomorrow. Perhaps for me, there wasn’t.
My home was forever no more.
Turning around and returning to where I came from, I felt every part of me die along with the memories of the past. Bit by bit. Inch by inch. The murder of my last shred of humanity was a success—it was a perfect crime.
The sound of the rusting chains echoed as my numbed, shackled feet slowly walked their way towards the other end of the icy cold, dark space. My dark, hooded eyes focused at the metal door at the far end of the path and as I made my way back to my cell of solitude, I welcomed the lips of insanity to swallow me whole as I listen to the cries and weeps of the dead for all eternity.