Death Deferred

Death crept on soft slippers  through the empty house. Soundlessly, he went from room to room, upstairs and down. He found no living beings. He checked the roster one more time to be sure. The list said she’d be here. Eleven PM, Sunday, December 14. The scheduler screwed up again, no one home–especially the departee. Or did a rogue reaper spirit the woman away, giving her some extra days? He’d not seen one in the small town but they were more stealthy than he was. They kept the tools of death from their former trade but used them in reverse, delaying the deaths of those whose time had come.

Heaven or hell, it mattered not to him where the souls he harvested were headed. When it’s your time to go, you’re supposed to die and he made it happen. Except when the rogue reapers got there first and interfered with his assignment—or when the scheduler got the date wrong. If it were one of the desk jockeys who screwed this one up he’d be on their case again when he got back to HQ. Not that complaining ever made much difference.

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