Jimmy staggered along the broken streets of London. It was night time. No one would have seen him as he fell against the wall behind the pub. He held his stomach with both of his hands. Something was seeping through the gaps in his fingers.
“Bad blood,” he whispered to himself. “Rots you to the core.”
Slowly he stood again. He walked forward and reached the end of the alley. He was looking for somewhere to hide. Somewhere no one would find him. All he needed was a couple of days sleep. He reached a pile of bin bags. The smell suggested they had been there for a long time. He fell into them. The crunch of tin echoed in his ear. He dug himself into the centre of the pile and closed his eyes.
It was one of the only times he had ever slept. The only images his mind could create were his faded memories. The black robe. The scythe. It was all there. The life he gave up. Everything he turned his back on. He remembered his father. The man he had inherited the job from. That old man who had done the job for such a long time. Jimmy remembered when he heard that his beloved father took a bad soul. Guided him towards the light. Something like that can happen to any Reaper but Jimmy’s father was weak. It corrupted him. Spoiled his insides. Rotted him to core. His skin slowly peeled from his bones and he lived. His bones stopped moving, mold and rot kept them stiff and he lived. Jimmy watched as his father become nothing more than a living doll. There was life in the eyes but nothing else.
That was the deal. Jimmy was told it on his twelfth birthday, like every other Reaper before him. Eternal life was given to his ancestors and in return, all they had to do was lead the good souls, the pure souls, to the light and then leave the bad ones to burn in nothingness. Jimmy’s ancestor was given this task after murdering his family. The great powers decided there must be eternal punishment for evil. The whole of Jimmy’s family was cursed. No matter how good they pretended to be. No matter how good they actually were. Nothing would get them to the light. As long as they only lead the good, and didn’t miss anyone then they would be granted immortality along with their descendants immortality.
That task was easy to begin with. But time drew on. Morality changed. The meaning of purity changed. A slip up was bound to happen and when it did the next in line took place and the predecessor was left to eternal stillness. This task was passed on from generation to generation, with each being shorter than the last. Jimmy had been around for at least three millenniums before his time arose, and he could see that there wouldn’t be much time for him.
He had spent a long time studying the ancient magic of the world. He was looking for some way to break the cycle before it was his turn. There is never enough time. All he found was a loophole. And it wasn’t the best loophole. He crafted a Pouch of Infinite Possibilities. The Pouch would always be strapped to him. It would become part of him. It’s appearance could change. At one point it was just a tattered rag, and others it was a leather case. One thing remained the same and that was the purpose. The bag would keep souls inside. The souls would keep Jimmy alive as long as he only took pure ones and kept the bag close to him at all times, which is why he attached it to himself.
Jimmy’s mind slowly regressed to something he had long forgotten. A winter during the early 1980s. He was travelling through England. The country he was born in and the country he most often stayed in. Being immortal he couldn’t stay in one place for too long so he would travel from town to town every couple of months. In 1981 he settled in Northampton for the second time in ten years. He liked it their better about five hundred years before, but still found himself back their more often than any other place. He was walking through Abington Park when he first saw him. A young boy, could not have been much older than ten years old was skating on the frozen lake. The ice cracked and he fell through. Jimmy sprinted over towards him. But not too help. He caught his soul as it rose from the ice. Jimmy had long ago made a promise to himself that he would only take the souls of the damned. He had created a world for them. Everything they could ever want and more.
He remembered that little child. It was just a chance finding. He caught the soul and moved on away from Northampton. He didn’t remember and he didn’t recognise him the next time he saw Nate.
Slowly the memory faded to black and Jimmy learnt to control his dreams. Once again he displaced his own soul and visited his kingdom. He didn’t want to live in his memories and remember things that he had long forgotten. He only wanted to live in the now.
He walked down the main street towards the tower in front of him.
To Be Continued…