((Michael Maxwell continued from Greater Expectations))
Michael wandered into the Warehouse from the Administration Building. He just left Jerry lying where he was. No need to do anything about the dead. Or maybe there was. He didn't know. He found it hard to think about being the Grim Reaper if he didn't even know what he was supposed to do about it. The Reaper's domain was Death right? Wouldn't that include something about doing... something about dead bodies.
Best not to dwell on that. He was pretty proud of himself. He hadn't freaked out like he had expected to upon killing Jerry and then talking to his corpse. Surely that meant he was fine and totally sane. Of course. He laughed to himself. Of course he was sane. He was the Grim Reaper, and the specter of Death was completely sane.
"Huh, not here huh?" He was disappointed. As the Grim Reaper he needed a kick-ass black robe or something and there was none to be found. He shrugged. Something in the back of his head was reminding him that this was stupid. He killed one person, mostly in self-defense, with a weapon that just happened to be a scythe. Coincidence, nothing more. He wasn't the Reaper.
That part of his brain could go to the hell. He was totally the Grim Reaper. No, more like the Nazgûl. Yeah. Like the damn Witch King. No man could kill him. Yeah. He was invinci— "Don't be an idiot Michael. Thinking you're invincible only makes you stupid. You're not invincible. No... you're just going to make yourself very hard to kill. That's it. Yeah."
"First things first, find someplace to rest for a bit." Another announcement had come and gone, and boy he felt tired. Surely a little rest couldn't hurt. There was no way that could turn out to be a mistake. Fate was on his side today. How else could he explain Jerry being dead and him being alive?
Yep, things were finally going his way.
He dozed off, trying to get some sleep while he still could. For a moment before he drifted off he wondered how someone could actually fall asleep in a place like this. That though lasted only a moment, as he soon fell into his dreams.
Or rather, a memory.
Pain. Sharp, stinging pain was all he felt. Tears ran down his cheeks. Muffled sobs escaped his mouth despite his best efforts not to let them.
"Stop your crying!" His father's voice was terrifying. The smell of his breath confirmed what Michael had hoped against hope that it wouldn't be. He was drunk, again. And he was taking out his anger and frustration on his boy.
What had he done this time? He desperately tried to think. Could it have been his homework? No, he had finished it early. Maybe he'd left something out? He didn't know. He never knew. There wasn't a reason. He just didn't know.
His father kept at it. He didn't stop. Even when Michael cried and pleaded and begged for him to stop. It hurt so much. It hurt so much that he couldn't believe it was real. But it was. Because that was his life.
Another blow to his back. He didn't try to get up off the floor this time. He just kept bawling and babbling.
One more, screaming at him to shut up. He did.
"Why are you...?"
More pain. More yelling about how it was all his fault. How everything was his fault. How it would all be better if he were never born.
"WHY ARE YOU HITTING ME!"
The blows stopped. Michael got up, completely renewed. Without a scratch. Because he wasn't the same. He was older, he was more informed as to why this was happening. Most importantly, he was armed.
With a scythe. His father never saw it coming. His expression was that of shock, and remorse. Too bad for him. Death forgives no one. Michael stood over the corpse of his father. It was cut up all over, blood oozing from every conceivable location.
He smiled. He grinned and and chuckled. Jerry Aarons lay dead before him. And while he was being himself saying meaningless things and doing more meaningless actions, Michael knew inside of him that this was the beginning of the rest of his life... short as it would be.
But he wasn't going to give up the rush, the feeling of power that came with that weapon. With the ability to kill anyone who dared to lay a hand on him. He wouldn't relinquish it. It was his birthright. It was justice, divine retribution for all the suffering he had in his life before.
Fate had chosen him. He was Death. Not the anthropomorphic personification, because that was stupid. No, he was Death to all who would try to hurt him. Now he had the power to hurt. TO KILL.
He woke up. He had been asleep for a very short time. Short enough so that he wasn't really rested at all. Long enough to know that he had spent too much time in one place. The Warehouse wasn't safe anymore. But he wasn't ready to move on. No. Fate, it seemed, had chosen this place for him to confront his demons, his most feared memories, and realize that in this place he had nothing to fear.
The memory of helplessness that blended into the more recent memory of power was proof of that. He had to stick around and see. He couldn't wait to find out what else fate would tell him. He was the protagonist of his story, and his story was much more important than anyone else's. Why else would he have actually been able to kill someone?
It was true. It had to be. A grin formed on his face as he got up. It had to be.