The Reaper

A few years ago, my daughter and I developed this outline for a Grim Reaper story. It is an apprentice story with a love interest and involves an interesting figure from the Bible. I never got much further with this piece. Here’s what we developed thus far. Maybe some day we will get back to collaborating together on something like this.

Outline for story:

A young boy’s parents die in a car crash.  They are coming home from vacation when the car is hit by a semi-truck and forced off a bridge and falls below into the forest.   The boy is the only survivor of the accident but barely.  He is really close to death.  He witnesses a dark entity near his parents. It is the Grim Reaper. The Grim Reaper takes the souls of his parents.  He thinks it is a hallucination and he is trying to focus but is in and out of consciousness.

The dark entity comes closer to him. The image is burned in the back of his mind and he wonders if he really did stare death in the face that night.  Death chooses not to take the boy because he sees something special in him. The entity leaves.  

Later on, the boy goes to a foster home.  He grows up in Detroit. He later joins a gang in a bad neighborhood he lives in but he only joined the gang to survive on the streets.  One night, one of the gang members goes too far and wants to steal from a shop.  A cop comes to the store from out of nowhere.  The gang member wants to shoot the cop but the boy says no and he jumps in front of the cop saving the cop’s life.  He starts to bleed out on the streets.  The other gang members run away.  The cop is with him talking to him but the voice fades as he begins to feel the presence of some thing he felt so long ago……alone in the forest. 

He closes his eyes.  He is in his subconscious, in a Midwest field.  Death is sitting there and offers him a spot.  Death says, “Sit down, we have much to talk about.”  The boy asks, “Am I dead?”  The reaper replies, “Close, but not entirely.”  Death gives him a choice to go and rest in peace with the other retired souls or to become the next Grim Reaper, his apprentice.  In return, the Grim Reaper will retire. 

The Grim Reaper plans to go where no man can find him until he finally passes on into nothingness.  The Grim Reaper explains his origin. 

He is, in fact, Abel.  He is the first man murdered and betrayed by his brother, Cain. He was the very first person to die here and his spirit wandered in loneliness and despair until he found a place of respite for souls.  He chose then to become a spirit guide to aide other souls that have passed on. He helps them to find this afterlife. He wears the dark cloak to disguise his true identity. He has allowed the horror stories of his alter-identity to perpetuate over the years in order to protect himself and the afterlife souls. He is actually a force for good in the world.

The Grim Reaper is, in fact, essential to our planet.  There must be natural order in the world and he helps to preserve it against the evil deeds of Cain’s descendants.  He needs a young apprentice to carry on his work though as he has grown weary. 

If men could live forever, the world would be chaos……there would be overpopulation and the world would be run by old and hardened souls.  It would be a place of darkness and greed.   The world needs the younger people in order to keep the world full of light and hopeful, pure, and innocent.   

The boy apprentices and Abel disappears into retirement.  But there are men, these descendants of Cain, who want to live forever and they are plotting to destroy the Grim Reaper’s apprentice.  A secret organization plans to eradicate the cycle of life and achieve immortality.  They seek to capture death.  

The secret organization wants to rule the world.  They take the unwanteds in society – the homeless and the downtrodden and orphans – they harvest their souls in order to stay younger in this life.  The Reapers, both the boy and Abel, have seen what they do but are helpless to stop it.

The secret organization goes after the apprentice.  The apprentice meets a young girl from a house fire.  Rather than reap her soul, he rescues her. Eventually, they fall in love.  

They search for the retired Abel.  They find him but the secret organization has been tracking them.  Abel is captured and defeated.  He begins to fade into the shadows and tells the young apprentice that it is his turn now and the world needs him.    

The young boy and girl escape the secret organization but he is still not ready.  He must learn more and acquire more skill and discipline.  He must find a way to stop the descendants of Cain and in the mean time, he will continue his reaping and training.  The girl has chosen to join him on his mission.  In the final scene, the young reaper and girl head off together.