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Summoning the Reapers By: John Miller

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Summoning the Reapers
By: John Miller


She died with a contented smile. We’d just made love.

Just like that, with no warning, she was gone. We were at Lookout Point. My fiancé sat next to me in my car, snuggled close, and her hand brushed my cheek. She murmured, “I love you,” and her eyes closed as her head rested against my shoulder.

“Tina?” I said after ten minutes of letting her rest. “It’s getting late. Your parents expect us to make curfew this time. And I’ll be damned if your father—”

Tina slipped off my shoulder and fell into my lap. I laughed because I thought she was horsing around. “Seriously, Tina!”

She didn’t respond. She became limp, and I shook her shoulder. Worry raced through my veins as my heart pounded. “Tina!” I pulled her up and turned her toward me. Her eyes were shut, and I shook her a little too hard, but I was scared.

“Tina!” I dropped her and leapt from my car. “Somebody help us!”

Five or six cars were parked in the gravel lot. Darkness swallowed the abandoned gas station that had closed five years ago, and I couldn’t see it. Light shone from the city below, and the five cars parked close to the drop-off’s edge reflected ghostly light. The cool air fogged their windshields, and one car’s stereo played too loud.

I knocked on the car door closest to us, a Pinto. No one responded, so I opened the door. A young man toppled out. His eyes were rolled up in his head, and his girlfriend lay in the front seat in her bra.

They both were dead.

“What the hell is happening?” I ran to the next vehicle, a Ford Ranger. “My fiancé needs an ambulance. Do you have a cell phone?” They didn’t respond. “Are you okay?”

I tried the door, but it was locked. Desperate, I picked up a large rock and smashed the window. The third swing shattered the window, and the glass cut the man’s head as it lolled out. His head hung at an odd angle, and one of the cuts was deep, but the wound didn’t bleed fast. The blood ran slow… almost as if he was dead.

“Oh, no,” I screamed. I ran into the nearby woods, blinded by terror, confused and alarmed at the knowledge that my girlfriend and the others were—

Something snapped in the darkness. I was behind the abandoned gas station, shrouded in shadows. I heard my labored breathing and forced myself to stop gasping.

A branch snapped again.

“Who’s there?”

Black light lit the woods. I don’t know how to describe it other than that. Though it was black, it allowed me to see. It was not a black-light… but rather the light was the color of black—if that makes sense.

The source of the light was a figure in black robes. A heavy cowl hung over his face, and boney fingers pulled his hood back. Skeletal features grinned at me, and red light glowed in the skull’s hollow sockets.

“Are you a Grim Reaper?” I asked as I spied others behind him dressed the same.

It nodded its head and opened its jaws, but no words were spoken as it reached for me. I stood frozen in terror as its skeletal hand passed through my shoulder harmlessly.

Through an opening in the canopy of tree branches above, I saw shadows dart above the town, and I knew the air was filled with the Reapers—as I thought of them. Each one, Death itself!

“Have you come to claim me?” I asked. Tears stung my face, but I was ready to join Tina. “If so, get it over with.”

It tried to speak, but again no words came out. It gestured at the city below, and then placed its boney hands against its chest. I knew what it meant: they had come to claim the world.

He stepped through me and flew into the air in eerie silence. I found my way into the abandoned gas station and huddled behind a counter. I hid and prayed all night long.

In the morning I came out. The Reapers were gone. I checked on Tina, but she was still dead—couldn’t it have just been a dream? I opened each locked vehicle, smashed the windows and checked pulses—they were all dead.



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About the Author


John is a single father with full custody of three sons. His stories/poetry have appeared at The World of Myth as well as other publications: The Horror Library; Monsta Productions; Red Pulp Underground, and he is in two anthologies. His family jokingly attests to his writing addiction.

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