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Grim Reaper
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ISBN-10: 1-55404-454-5
ISBN-13: 
Genre: Fantasy/SF/Suspense/Thriller
eBook Length: 333 Pages
Published: May 2007
OUT OF PRINT

From inside the flap

This epic adventure story allows its readers to witness a birth: the nativity of a most abhorred entity, Death. Immortal people once lived in a world filled with blessings. Death, whether from natural causes, aging or disease, could not touch them. With gods and magic at their fingertips, the inhabitants still felt a voidinside: an emptiness arising from unhappiness

Endless wars broke out. An unlikely team strove to insure that the five well-hidden pieces, the keys to an afterlife, do not fall into devious hands. These heroes of this forgotten world fight for the right to die so as to achieve a life after death in Paradise.

The array of adversaries the heroes face includes manipulative wizards, heretical animal people, heartless kings, notorious fairies, an apocalyptic pending catastrophe, violence, darkness, cemeteries, dark mansions with evil histories, brilliant barbarians, autocratic queens, fallen warriors, reanimated forms of the dead, sadistic experiments gone wrong and freaks of nature. The saga emphasizes the dangers that arise from a failure to learn from the past.



Grim Reaper (Excerpt)


PROLOGUE

When Jesus Christ said, "The truth shall set you free," this was not misleading, by a long ways…

It begins as most stories so often begin; with a black cloud overhead as flashes of lightning spread silently over a gray sky. The lightning winked at me during the beginning of the storm, until the rain poured and flooded the quiet streets.

Fool that I am, I decided to go out during the rainstorm, since I had forgotten one simple ingredient and needed my dinner to be perfect on that early evening. But the little simple decisions we make change the course of our lives. Life is, after all, simply the decisions we make consecutively day-to-day. At least it seemed that way to me. However, the simplicity of everything changed my entire life forever.

I’ve decided to write all this because so many people emulate fiction. Life is too dull and too many heroes go unsung. The truth of the matter is that reality is stranger and more fascinating. There are things that pass right under our noses that we fail to recognize, and so we deem life uninteresting. The course of our life, the decisions we make, might be entirely drab, but when we search for truth, and answers to the right questions, then life becomes frighteningly real, and in my case, an interesting nightmare.

I used to hate waking up in the morning. There was a time when, after terrible dreams, I’d want to return to the nightmare and confront the imaginary foe, since my daily routines were uninspiring and dull. But after that day, after the night of the storm, everything changed, and I decided to shun answers to the mysteries I didn’t even want to solve. Sometimes, when we get the answers to questions we didn’t ask, life is all the more interesting.

After my beloved mother died I decided to help the household with dinner, cleaning and doing the other matronly duties a mother would. It was in the best interest of my family of four, even though I was young, and it was a decision that wasn’t detestable--one that regretfully fell into my lap. The fact of the matter was that I loved being helpful despite knowing how frivolous a good dinner at night may be.

Therefore I walked through the rain and headed to the store. Of course I was the only idiot getting groceries so it didn’t take me long to get what I needed and head home. With my umbrella overhead, a grocery bag at my side and my ankles filled with water, I passed down the usual block, when all of a sudden a woman--the only person aside from me who was outside--came rushing towards me.The woman looked tired, and wore a kerchief clumsily on her head, so as to try to hide curlers. In her robe the woman cried to me, and since there was no one else she could possible be speaking to besides yours truly, I turned around and addressed her.

"Do you have a phone on you?" she asked. I did have a cell phone in my pocket along with loose change, but before I reached, I asked, "What for?"

At that point she walked closer to me and shielded herself from the rain under my umbrella. The woman seemed neighborly, but it was foolish of me to let the stranger come too close. Luckily, she wasn’t a threat.

"There’s a woman in the house next door that I haven’t seen in days. She’s an older lady and her cats are there crying at the window. They might be starving."

I turned to look at the cats through the window and her information was accurate. Of course being a helpful sort my heart went out to those cats. They were quite adorable. One was black and the other was pure white. She continued, "Yeah, there they are. The old lady could be dead so I wanted to call the police but the storm put out all the electric. I was waiting by the window for someone to pass with a phone. Could you call for me?"

I nodded my head and took out the phone. The lady thanked me and headed back to her house. There was no reason for her to overhear my conversation, and I think she felt all the more at ease now that the responsibility lay in someone else’s lap: i.e. mine.

While standing alone outside in the rain I was given a choice. Granted, not many would do as I did. I could have made the phone call immediately or I could have gone to check on those cats and that old woman myself. A foolish thought indeed. That neighbor with curlers next door didn’t botherto check on her. Why should I? Because, despite the loud rain, I heard them crying and tapping at the window. It wasn’t just the subtle sound of raindrops hitting the window that confused me. I heard them cry through that window, and on top of all their crying, I looked at those felines and they stared into my eyes. I felt their eyes on me: eyes filled with the hope that I might be their rescuer. Knowing how felines are--they wouldn’t be grateful thereafter--I also knew that the satisfaction of being their rescuer would be all the more fulfilling.

I moved on towards the old lady’s house and stepped onto an old, soaked porch. Through the side of the front window their cries became all the more audible. The door was locked, but the key was cleverly tucked under a welcome doormat. As no one was looking, I wiped the rain off my hand and unlocked her front door. The mat was soaked, but before going inside I still wiped my feet clean. I then entered the home.

It smelled like dank dew inside. No wonder those cats were crying. Oddly, the cats didn’t greet me. Instead they ran to the direction of the nearby living room. Animals are strange, and they do possess certain senses humans do not, so I followed where they went in their home. It wasn’t appropriate to shout out to someone just yet. I didn’t intend on frightening the old woman to death.

The cats ran into the living room and hid under an old tufted couch. I felt like an intruder after they appeared afraid. It’s not everyday that someone could explain how she feels while violating someone’s home with their presence. But my curiosity was as strong as that of those cats hiding under the couch. Before looking around for anyone, I foolishly ducked under the couch and reached for them. They didn’t scratch me, but I heard something sliding from under the couch towards me as if both felines forced something tucked underneath to the forefront.

When I looked to the side, with a handful of cat hair, I noticed an odd-looking book about thirteen inches tall and eight inches wide. The book was also about seven inches thick. I was certainly surprised that they managed to push out such a heavy book. The cover looked old and was clearly made out of carved wood. Leaves were cleanly and sharply carved on the binding. I had such an urge to open the book and read the contents! Before I did, the cats came crawling from under the couch. They looked at me while they sat in a sphinx position. I had Pandora’s box in front of me. Do I steal it? Read it? Or just leave it alone? I sat with my legs crossed on the floor and took a few moments to think about this.

The evening sky started to darken. That made reading the contents all the more difficult. There was a strange looking candelabra on the living room table with matches next to it, and so I lit it. It was awfully nervy of me to do since there was an old woman about. So I thought. After lighting the candles with the cats nearby, I took the book on my lap and gave in to the temptation. This adventure was uncalled-for, and I could easily have been fined for trespassing, but the opportunity never arose.

I turned the pages of the book and started to feel a strange uneasiness. With a crash of lightning a tremendous wind swept at the pages, as I beheld different illustrations grow animated, all at once, like a motion picture. The yellow parchment was so thin and old that I was surprised that I even managed to notice the display. I placed the book down on my lap with trembling hands and looked around. The room started to spin and my vision became impaired. I felt faint and needed to rest but my weak body reacted before I did. My body passed to the floor and the book slid off my stomach. When my head tilted to the side I heard the thunderous rain outside dissipate. While I remained collapsed on the floor, my tired eyes glimpsed the next room. Under the elegant dining room table was a face, followed by a body. The old lady was under the table in the same position I was in, with her open, dead eyes fixed on me. Fear didn’t overcome me but this euphoric faint seemed to calm me. I don’t remember if my eyes closed or not but a feeling of numbness overcame my body. The last thing I remember hearing was the rain. The last thing I saw were the faces of the two cats looking over my somewhat lifeless body.

I will never forget the amazing contents of this unforgettable book. Yet, strangely, I do not recall ever reading it entirely.

And so it was written…