Jimmy sighed and looked down at his lap. He remembered the deal as if it was only the day before that he struck it. It was a few years before.
It had nearly been a week since Jimmy had collected a fresh soul. He could feel it wearing hum down. Usually it wouldn’t be hard to find someone on the brink of death but the longer Jimmy waited the less he could sense the death around him. He needed something. He was walking along a dark road in Manchester. His trench coat blowing out like a cape behind him. He walked in the middle of the road. There were no cars around him. He reached an alley and walked into it. Slowly he leant against the wall and then collapsed. Once again he visited the world he created. A little rest would give him enough of a boost to find someone.
He appeared on the outskirts of his great city. Once again he looked upon his creation, and he smiled. In his mind he wanted to create paradise. He wanted a place where everyone could be safe forever in their own time period. They wouldn’t feel their death as it approached in the real world. They would soon forget the real world. They would be happy. Whenever Jimmy stood on the outskirts of his great city and heard the laughing and cheering from within, he knew he had accomplished what he set out to achieve. He only wished more people could be invited. It saddened him to think of the people he couldn’t collect throughout the years. But he believed that people needed to live the fullest lives they could before they entered the city. When Jimmy took his human form it also became impossible to collect more than one soul at a time and he only collected those that were close to death. He often wondered about those that entered limbo. What happened to them? Deep down he wished he could leave his human form but the higher forces would soon catch him. He wouldn’t escape them. And then everything he had created over those centuries would be for nothing.
Jimmy took his first step into the city and he already started to feel better. A pulsing calm flooded over him. He couldn’t take the smile from his face as he walked down the main road towards the tower. It had been along time since he had walked down that street and things had changed. He occasionally thought about the tower and met with those that ran it. They told him how they had changed the world. They would update and grow. Jimmy had a vision. A vision of every era. Every culture. Everyone together. It was nice to see how things changed.
“Jimmy.” Someone shouted at him from his right.
The word made Jimmy stop dead. He had never revealed himself to anyone and no one would recognise him. It was impossible to remember the last seconds of life, and most spent years just accepting the fact they were dead. Jimmy turned to the person walking towards him. He had greasy blonde hair, a trench coat similar to his own, but he wore gloves.
“Do I know you?” Jimmy asked.
“Don’t you know all of us?” Nate laughed back.
Jimmy wasn’t sure what to say. He looked at Nate. Trying to remember if he had any contact with him. Finally he thought of a question.
“When did I collect you?”
“A long time ago. I was still a kid.”
Jimmy didn’t realise that people still aged while in the city, but he guessed that they didn’t age must past adulthood.
“Can I help you?” Jimmy said with an upward inflection. He didn’t speak to many people and copied a girl from a coffee shop he had been a few days before.
“I think so. You’re weak aren’t you? It’s the only reason you’re here.”
“It’s been a slow week, but things will pick up. They always do.”
I can help.”
“If I bond with you. You take my soul completely. I will become part of this city. You will regain your strength.”
Jimmy was shocked.
“How do you know that?”
“I speak with those that know.”
“I can’t do that. If anything ever happened to me this world would collapse. I allow you all to keep enough of yourselves to move on if that ever happens. I can’t take that away from you.”
“You can. You can do something for me.”
“You are going to make a deal with me?” Jimmy smiled. “It’s been a long time. But I am no fool. Once you have agreed there will be no backing out. You will become part of me. Part of your personality will be gone forever. You will belong to me and you will die with me.”
“First, what I want.”
“You don’t get to barter here. You either agree or reject. I will look at your terms after.”
The sky above them started to darken and people of the city all looked up, joined in wonder. Nate looked worried. It took him a couple of seconds to decide.
“Yes. I accept.”
The sky lightened up.
“Good. Now your terms?”
“I want my brother. And his family. Don’t look so smug. I know you. Their son was just in an accident. It isn’t looking good he’s started drinking. It’s only going to be so long before something happens. Make sure you’re there. And then collect the others.”
“I’ll see what I can do.”
Jimmy walked over to Nate and placed his hand on Nate’s forehead. Nate dropped to his knees and jerked around a little. And then he stopped moving and stood up. Something was missing. He just didn’t know what.
Jimmy finished projecting his story into Tony’s mind. He looked up, revealing his old decaying eyes once more.
“There. You know it all. I’ll collect your family soon.”
“No. You can’t. Keep me. But don’t take them.”
“A deal is a deal. It cannot be undone.”
To Be Continued…