The Grim Reaper Diaries

-Death Rides a Unicycle-

Ramiel was a man who didn't like to be kept waiting. Therefore, it was only proper that he himself attempted to be as punctual as possible at every function throughout his devastatingly long life.

He dropped out of the sky and onto East Reynolds Street at exactly 11:39PM. A full three minutes before his scheduled appointment. It was raining - just one of the myriad of things he hated about the earth - and moments after landing he found himself pausing to wipe the fog off of his glasses.

The road was empty, aside from the wreck, which disappointed him, because he'd been hoping to test the handling of his new unicycle.

"Ah, well," he said with a sigh as he carefully rubbed the fog away with his handkerchief, "I suppose the rain is enough of a challenge for today."

And with that, he slid his glasses up the bridge of his nose, tucked away the kerchief, and pedaled towards the smashed up car, his black tailcoat trailing out behind him. The sound of a single wheel cutting across the pavement was all but drowned out by the incessant sheets of rain that fell. He was a slim man of average height, with dark eyes and hair that contrasted against his golden frames.

He reached the car in slightly less than eighteen seconds and paused to consult his dossier. He slipped the small card from an inner pocket of his suit coat and shielded it from the rain with his other hand. His blue eyes scanned over the information printed onto the card: Steven Webber, 47 years old. Time of Death: 11:42PM, April 22nd. Cause of Death: Vehicle Accident. Others Notes: N/A. Accompanying it was a head shot of a tired looking man wearing an atrociously coordinated two-toned dress shirt and argyle tie. The corner of Ramiel's cheek twitched at the eyesore, but instead of lingering on it he merely slid the card back into his pocket and pedaled towards the driver's door of the totalled vehicle. The damage to it was immeasurable. He couldn't understand why humans still insisted on attempting to tame those monstrosities. They seemed to be responsible for nearly half of his cases.

Glass littered the ground around the door and Ramiel maneuvered carefully, so as not to run over it. It was a brand new wheel, after all. He carefully steadied himself by placing a hand against the door and peered inside the wreckage. There was the man at the steering wheel, slumped over it, covered in blood and glass, and now rain water. He was bleeding from the head, his hand was crushed, and from the looks of it his legs were caught in twists of metal and fiberglass somewhere under the seat.

Ramiel carefully took out his notepad and pencil and flipped it open to Steven Webber's page. He glanced again at the driver's face to make sure it matched the photo he'd been provided with, and then began to fill out his report. On a routine appointment like this, there really wasn't much to do. Just confirm the identity, the death, the time, and the cause. That was it and then -

"W-who are you?" the man asked in a rasping voice suddenly, causing Ramiel to flinch and nearly lose his balance. He regained it at once and pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose.

"You can see me?" It was more of a muse than a question. "How strange." He'd have to file a separate report on that.

"P-please," the man again, cringing and shuddering, "call - call 911."

For a moment, Ramiel regarded him blankly. This had never happened before. He checked his watch. The time read 11:43. He was most certainly on time. The man should've been dead for a whole minute by now. Had Araqiel tampered with his watch again?

He would never voice these concerns aloud, though. Instead, he kept his unfazed demeanor. "No, I'm sorry," he replied. He glanced at his watch again, then returned it to his pocket. "This is it."

At this, the man began to squirm and grunt. "W-what? Please, call - "

"There's no one to call," Ramiel interrupted, keeping himself from grimacing. Watching the man writhe in pain was far from a pleasant sight. He looked to his notepad again and pretended to focus on something written in it. "Please stop trying to move and let it come in peace," he mumbled after a moment.

The man seemed oddly sated by that. He slumped back in his seat, his shoulders loosening. He stared Ramiel in the eyes with a desperate look, and fumbled with his words before they properly formed and came out. "This isn't... how they said it would be."

"Well of course it isn't." Ramiel snapped the book shut. "Every culture has their own theories. They can't all be right."

"Yes, but - "

"You thought yours was the right one?" Ramiel's brow raised and he watched as the man managed the weakest of nods. "But doesn't everyone think that?"

"I think..." the man began, his mouth falling open. It seemed to happen in slow motion. He sank even further back into his seat, and then was still.

Ramiel carried on watching for much longer than necessary before deeming that the man was indeed dead. He opened his notebook again and filled the report out in silence, aside from the sound of rain pelting against metal and asphalt. He put the notebook and pencil away and then pulled the pocket camera from his vest coat and snapped a photo of the man. The camera immediately grew heavier with the weight of his soul. He carefully tucked it back into his pocket and promptly wiped the fog from his glasses again.

"Well, I suppose that's that," he said to himself as he reached for his watch. He peered at its face. "Oh dear." The time read 11:45. "It seems you've made me late for my next appointment."