I'm a Part-Time shinigami


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1. Dead and Alive

I’m a Part-Time Shinigami

By- Katie Lepianka

 

Brenton is an ordinary town. The houses are not all the same but none of them particularly stand out. The stores are not all the same but none of them particularly stand out. The people are not all the same but none of them particularly stand out either. This is where Daiman lives.

 

Daiman is 19; he lives in a tidy apartment with his cat, Admiral Whisker Face.  Daiman goes to college, gets good grades, and spends almost all of his time with his brother, Stephen. Daiman is going to see Stephen again today.

 

Daiman opened up a clean white window and looked out into the streets of Brenton. He breathed in the flowery-smelling air and closed his eyes, imagining he was in a clearing of trees with sunlight filtering through green leaves. When he opened his eyes he was still in his neat, white apartment. Daiman smiled and thought to himself, Maybe one day you’ll find that place. And then he thought, What place? The place you always think about, the place you always dream of finding. It was then that he realized he thought about that place very often; in fact he couldn’t recall a day when he hadn’t.

 

Daiman felt something soft brush his arm and looked down to see a slim and silver cat with blue eyes. “Oh, hello Admiral Whisker face!” Daiman picked up the cat and ran his hands over its furry head. “Maybe once I find that place, we could both go there.” Admiral Whisker face purred and hopped onto the window sill and curled up. Daiman gave a happy sigh, picked his bookbag off of the counter and headed out of his apartment.

 

The wind was cool and smelled like flowers. Daiman listened to people laughing, chatting, and humming summer tunes. He saw a tall woman with an extremely glittery red purse with an extremely fluffy dog in it. He waved to a group of kids eating rainbow-colored ice cream and chasing yellow birds. Everything was beautiful and everything was just fine.

 

After walking halfway downtown, Daiman reached a small-ish bright-looking coffee house. As he opened the door, a bubbly young waitress waved at him and got him his regular order. Daiman looked over all of the tables looking for Stephen. “That’s odd,” he whispered to himself. “He’s almost always here before me.” Daiman assumed his brother was running a bit late and sat down at their table. Five minutes later he got his coffee; after fifteen more minutes Daiman had finished a chapter of his book. Daiman checked his watch; it had been 40 minutes. As he looked out the window he saw the skies begin to darken. “I suppose if I don’t go home I’ll get awfully wet later.” He sighed and packed up his bag.


 

Daiman looked out his window and listened to the news being played in his living room. Admiral Whisker Face was sitting on a cushion by Daiman’s feet. Sadly he picked up his phone and dialed Stephen’s number. RING

please pick up stephen,

RING,

come one please pick it up,
RING,

Stephen, pick up! RI-

Hello?”

 

Daiman yelped in surprise. “Hello?” He regrouped himself and replied to the unfamiliar female voice. “Uh, hi this is Daiman, Stephen’s brother. Is Stephen there?”

The female voice gasped. “You’re Stephen’s brother?”

Daiman’s heart sped up a bit. “Is everything okay? Is Stephen okay?”

The voice answered. “He was in a car accident.”

 

Daiman almost dropped his phone. This couldn’t be right!

“Im sorry? Could you repeat that?”

The lady on the other line was whispering to someone else

“He’s the kids brother.” She directed her attention towards Daiman again.

“Sir, your brother has been in a bad accident, he’s at the Saint Matthias hospital now. Do you want to come see him?”

Daiman could hardly speak, Stephen was the safest driver he knew!

“Yes, thank you.”

Admiral Whisker Face purred and rubbed his head against Daiman’s pant leg comfortingly. Daiman raced down the hallways of his apartment building down to the garage. As Daiman drove to the hospital rain slapped at his windows and thunder boomed in the darkening skies. Please be okay, Stephen.


 

A kind nurse led Daiman to a waiting room before the hospital staff could let him see his brother. It seemed to take hours. Finally the nurse let him into Stephen’s room. Daiman stepped quietly into the room, fiddling with a pencil to keep his anxious hands busy.

“Stephen?” Daiman whispered as he reached Stephen’s bedside. Daiman squeezed his eyes shut but felt a tear escape. He put his hand on the sheets and squeezed them trying to block out everything. “Stephen, I should have known, I should have known something had happened.”

Stephen opened his eyes slowly. “Daiman?”

Daiman opened his eyes wide. “STEPHEN!” He wrapped his shaking arms around Stephen.

“Agh, Daiman that hurts.”

Daiman let go and laughed nervously. Stephen saw tear marks on Daiman’s cheeks.

“Thank God, I thought you might be dead…” Daiman cried softly, “I thought you might be dead.”


 

When the nurse told Daiman he would have to leave Stephen’s room he decided to stay in the waiting room as long as he could keep himself awake. Hours seemed to pass quickly; he read a book and kept his hands busy with pencils and paper scraps. Sometime around 11:30 he dozed off but woke up and saw a shadow inside Stephen’s room. He rubbed his eyes and put his glasses on to see the figure clearly. The figure (Whatever it was) was taller than anyone he had seen; it seemed to have white claws in place of nails and an old leather book clutched tightly in one hand. Quickly he got up, opened Stephen’s door and slipped into the room, quietly closing the door behind him. The thing was clearly not a human but he hadn’t seen anything like it before.

 

“Hey!” he called to it. The figure turned around and Daiman could see its face. It was a dark, almost silvery color. It had black eyes and pointed white teeth. “W-What are you doing with my brother?” Daiman stammered, suddenly very afraid. The thing chuckled and stepped closer.

“I’m just collecting his soul; everyones gotta go sometime right?” Daiman clenched his fists

“Collecting his soul?! Are you insane?!”

 

The figure laughed again. “I can see you’re not familiar with my kind, I’m a shinigami.” Daiman had never heard the word but assumed it was of Japanese origin.

“A shinigami?” the figure nodded.

“It means death guid;, we take souls and lead them to the underworld. This guy-” The death guide pointed to Stephen “It’s time for him to go now.”  

Daiman’s fear left and was replaced with anger and despair.

“He’s going to die?” This was all being processed in his mind. “You can’t do that! He might still have a chance, you can’t kill him!”

 

The figure flipped to a page in the book that said Stephen Grellfont- death by car crash July 13 11:43 p.m . Daiman squeaked and covered his mouth. the Shinigami spoke

“I didn’t kill him kid, some bad driver did. If you don’t mind I’m gonna get back to taking him to the underworld.”

Daiman grabbed the book and threw it onto the floor.

“You can’t do this! He’s a good person! He- He can’t die like this!” Daiman could feel hot tears welling up in his eyes. “Please don’t take him! I’ll do anything! He’s my only family, I don’t know what I would do if he died! I’d have to kill myself!” The shinigami groaned.

“Agh, if you did that I would need to rewrite half the death book!”

 

Daiman screamed, “You’re not taking me seriously! This is a matter of life and death! How can you NOT care whether this man lives or dies!” Exhausted from screaming, Daiman fell to his knees. “Please, I would do anything for him. We’re brothers.” The death guide sighed and closed the book.

“Look kid, if you’re willing, maybe I could work something out.” Daiman lifted his head. “I’ll do anything.”

The shinigami grinned.

“Good, always nice to have a hard worker. I’ve got a job for you.” Suddenly a scroll fell out of the air. “We death guides need a little help here and there. You seem like maybe you would make a good part-time Shinigami.”

Daiman blinked. A part- time Shinigami? What would that even mean? He stared at the scroll. He said he would do anything.

 

Daiman stood up and looked the shinigami right in its abysmal eyes.

“I’ll do it.”

The shinigami unrolled a scroll; it was a contract. Daiman adjusted his glasses and skimmed over it. “Where do I sign?” he asked. The Shinigami held out a pen and Daiman held it above the paper.

“No, not like that!” the shinigami scolded, “Cut your finger with it.” Daiman blinked. The death guide groaned. “Just prick it, you need to sign with a drop of blood.” Daiman pierced his hand with the blade and winced as a drop of blood rolled onto the paper.  


 

Daiman opened his eyes to see Admiral Whiskers licking his face and meowing. “Hi buddy,” Daiman said groggily. Daiman could hear his phone ringing. He picked it up and grabbed his glasses off the side table next to the couch. “Hello?” he yawned.

“Daiman? is that you? Sleeping kinda late huh?”

Daiman yelped and fell off the couch.

“S-Stephen?” he stammered.

“Yeah, man, who else? Anyway I know I missed our coffee meeting yesterday. I actually woke up in the hospital and the nurse told me you visited me. I’m okay now though, not really sure what was wrong in the first place.

Daiman was flipping out inside. Stephen was alive and unharmed! The shinigami wasn’t just a dream, but that meant…

“Uh, Daiman? you there?”

Daiman snapped back into reality.

“Uh, yeah, yeah, we can um, we can meet at the coffee shop today if you want to.”

Stephen agreed and Daiman put down the phone. Admiral Whisker Face meowed looking up at Daiman with curious eyes. Daiman sighed and ran a hand through his messy hair. “I don’t know either Admiral Whisker Face.”

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