To the (mostly) living, by J.D. Harlock

I hope this letter finds you ill.

I write to you today having finally succumbed to the weariness that has plagued me since you stumbled upon nuclear fission all those years ago. I can no longer keep up the pretense of the godly (and very attractive) reaper that you’ve come to cherish and adore. So, the time has come for me to come clean about what exactly my position in this charade we call life is. Now, you may know me from my work on the Black Death of 1346 or either one of those two world wars (whose names seem to evade me at the moment), but the truth is I had absolutely nothing to do with any of them.

For you see, humans have grown so adept at killing each other that I have become both obsolete and redundant. I’m afraid that there’s just no need for a grim reaper in a world where fast food and multinational corporations exist. My days are now mostly spent dancing (on my own for once) and fishing on my ferry with the odd chance that I may reap a soul or two if I’m lucky.

So that’s it. I’ve had it.

I’m retiring from soul-reaping and taking up farming. It’ll take some time getting into the swing of things, but I already have some lovely chrysanthemums growing in my garden, so it shouldn’t be too hard. The best part is that I get to keep using my scythe (which I’ve gotten rather good at handling with all the practice).

I know, I know. I have a long road ahead of me on this crazy adventure you call life, but I’m just glad I’ve finally told the truth. I feel a relief I haven’t felt since I first put on the cloak (I was insecure about my body).

Obviously, it’ll be unbearable without Death in your life, but I think if you try hard enough, you just might make it through all right.

And before I sign off, I just want all my fans out there to know that this is not the end of Death. I’ll always be there for you, and you can bet that I’ll be the first one there when the time finally comes.

Always by Your Side,

River Styx

J.D. Harlock is a Lebanese writer based in Beirut. When he’s not (completely) miserable, he’s usually enjoying a nice cup of absinthe. You can follow him on Twitter @JD_Harlock. 

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