I know I would probably go stir crazy after a decade or so (okay maybe ten minutes) and would want something to do. But what kind of job would there be in heaven?
In Death's Name is Ira, Ira is given a noble job of helping other people to cross over. He's the first person they see and I can't think of a more helpful job. But for Ira, it's about more than the job...
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For Ira Collins, death presented a far more purposeful alternative than life. Serving as one of the proud members of the Reaper Corps, he found meaning and fulfillment in the process of helping those who have died adjust to their new existence in the spiritual plane. For Ira, the work was so rewarding that it was even worth forgoing reincarnation for.
However, when he is tasked with reaping the reincarnated soul of the woman he loved back when he was alive, Ira finds himself in a very difficult situation. Should he betray the Corps for the sake of the woman he loves, or live up to his responsibility to the rest of the reapers, and let her die?
And as if this was not complicated enough, Ira must also help solve a disturbing mystery plaguing the spiritual plane, involving the disappearances of souls…
“You see, Mr. Campbell, what I have to tell you may be difficult for you to accept. I only hope you’ll listen to what I have to say with an open and unbiased mind. I realize that may be difficult, given how outlandish my claims will seem, but I promise you that I am telling the truth. You may be skeptical or, more likely, disbelieving, but if you would just humor me until I can finish my explanation, I think eventually you’ll realize I’m being completely and utterly honest with you.”
He paused again, offering Campbell a second opportunity to speak if he wished to. Campbell frowned and did not say anything, but gave the stranger a slight nod of consent.
“Thank you,” Ira said, solemnly. “I’m here, Mr. Campbell, because you are dead.”
He said the words so matter-of-factly that for a moment Campbell was sure he had misheard him. “Dead?” he repeated and then gave a small, scoffing laugh. “How can I be dead? I’m sitting here right now, talking to you.”
“Yes,” Ira allowed, nodding, “but I’m something of a special case. As far as every other living being on this planet is concerned, Michael Campbell died in his sleep a few moments ago, just as I walked through the door. You died of a heart attack, the result of complications from your surgery.”
“The surgery was a success,” Campbell said, shaking his head, for a moment allowing himself to believe this stranger in his room was not the madman he obviously appeared to be, if only for the sake of argument. “I spoke to my doctor a few hours ago— he told me everything went well. I’m supposed to be going home tomorrow for chrissake!”
The man gave his small, gentle smile again. “Unfortunately, Mr. Campbell, doctors are often wrong. Reapers, on the other hand, are scarcely ever.”
Brian Sheehy studied English Literature at the College of William & Mary, where he graduated in May 2017. He has had multiple poems published in literary and collegiate magazines, and has been composing original works since he was sixteen. Brian grew up in Syosset, Long Island, and continues to reside there while pursuing a career in writing and marketing.