(SNN) - Halloween enthusiasts are all in a twitter, speculating where the Grim Reaper and his family will be trick or-treating this year. According to legend, Grim and his family choose among communities anywhere in the world where Halloween is celebrated. The Reaper and family go door to door, freaking out the occupants while collecting as much candy as they can before returning to their home in the Depths of Despair.
How does the Reaper family choose where to appear? And what tricks do they play to get all those sweet treats they don’t have back home? Our Editor, fascinated by a legend he has never heard of, sent this Sage reporter to investigate. “That’s a pretty scary assignment,” I told him. “I do not plan on coming into contact with The Reaper anytime soon!” When I brought this up, he just told me that I only had to stay long enough to get the interview. Oh, that’s reassuring! So, grabbing my courage, my notebook and my imagination, I went out on assignment.
Meeting The Reaper
Diving deep into my imagination, I caught a glimpse of a big, foreboding door with a frightening, Marley-like knocker; I was certain I had found the entryway to the Depths. Nervously, I grabbed the knocker, turning my head away because I did not want to see a glaring Jacob Marley come to life. Ok, so I have the wrong holiday. But I swear it was Marley’s ghost in that hardware!
There was The Reaper, instantly appearing in the doorway, all dressed in his stereotypical long black robe with oversized hood. He sighed when he saw me. “Oh, you’re the reporter I saw in your imagination. You’re a brave one to come down here!”
I was shaking like a leaf. “It’s not my idea. I’m on assignment!” He glanced at my lanyard. “Sage News? Oh, yeah! ‘Canada’s Best Source of Opinion & Misleading News.’ I’ve read their stuff. Pretty funny! I’m honored. Come in!”
I Know Why You’re Here
I started to explain what it was that I wanted to know, but he stopped me, his mood changing from cheerful to grim. “I know; it’s that damn legend. Isn’t it enough that you humans dress up in cheap knockoffs of my hooded-self around this time of year? Now, you want to know where The Reapers are going to appear this Halloween. That’s our secret. Besides, we’re not going this year.”
“No, all I want to know is how you decide where to appear and exactly what you do when you get there, besides scaring people shitless,” I shuddered. “ For me to reveal this year’s appearance would be very bad. I am not ready to be a permanent guest in The Depths! Wait, you said you’re not going to make an appearance this year! Why?”
Grim explained, “The story you seek must not be revealed. It must remain a mystery. But your time will not be wasted here. I get tired of always being ‘on’, you know. Being all grim and everything gets old. Reading The Sage makes me laugh and lose the hood for awhile. Come, meet my family. Not only will you have a story to take back, but an understanding of why we are not going to make Halloween this year.”
I shrugged; I was disappointed, but curious. “I guess I have no choice. Lead on, Spirit.”
Meeting The Family
First up were Grim’s youngest kids, fraternal twins Slim Keeper and Trim Weeper. Slim and Trim are morbidly skinny. Weighing in at 85 and 88 lbs. respectively. We found Trim lying on a cot in her dark, dank bedroom. As I pulled out my pen and adjusted my night goggles, I heard a barely audible sob, “I just had my daily weigh in,” whimpered Trim. “I was hoping to make 87 lbs., but I am still a whopping 88! It must have been that little lizard I ate last night.” She promptly threw up.
Her twin brother, Slim, skulking nearby, gave her an evil grin. “I told you not to eat that dewlap,” he gloated. “All it takes is one extra bite and you blow it!” When he started bragging about his svelte 85 lb. frame, Trim threw up again.
I didn’t know what to do next, Slim just kept strutting around lording it over his distraught sister, who kept heaving into what Grim called her ‘vomit bowl.’ One thing I did know, I was definitely going to lay off the candy corn once I got back to Minnesota. Talk about feeling fat!
I left Trim and Slim to their arguing and followed Grim down further into The Depths to speak with his oldest son, Dim Creeper, who was being punished for making off with his father’s best scythe; the one studded with glow-in-the-dark rhinestones; the one Grim had planned to take to the now cancelled Halloween adventure. He figured his father had plenty of scythes and he wouldn’t miss it. Dim sold the prized scythe to Satan in exchange for his Soul, which was already doomed anyway. A scowling Grim told me his son was grounded for eternity.
Dumbfounded, I asked, “Isn’t that a little harsh?”
Grim shook his head. “What that boy doesn’t realize is that he was next in line for my rhinestone scythe. One of these days, I will get tired of taking souls and I’m just going to lay down my scythe and binge watch zombie shows on Netflix. When that day comes, someone has to take over. My son is so dim!”
We made our way back up the steps to find Nim “Jack” Leaper, the athlete of the family, repeatedly jumping over a candlestick. “It’s his punishment for missing work,” Grim explained, “He is in charge of keeping the Fires of Hell burning. He failed to go in on Friday and Hell froze over. I was ticked. But then I thought about that group of old, stubborn Newfies from that godforsaken part of Canada. Those grizzled Canucks told me, in no uncertain terms, they were not going anywhere until Hell froze over. I got ‘em now!”
So, What’s The Story? Reporting Back to the Office
Walking me back to the door with the Marley knocker on the front and an equally frightening Ghost of Christmas To Come knocker on the inside. Grim thanked me for coming, extending his bony hand into which I quickly placed the night goggles.
“So, Grim, tell me how I am going to face my Editor and tell him I failed to get the story he is expecting? He’ll just say something in exasperation, “We had the exclusive on the Reapers and you couldn’t get the story to support this legend I know nothing about?” Or, “WTF!”
I anxiously asked Grim, “So, I need to know; just what story am I suppose to be taking back?”
Grim just rolled his eyes. “You are the first human who knows I have a family and you’ve met them. We are all in your imagination. You’re a writer with a minor in Psychology. You figure it out. Now, I must go find my wife, Glimmer. I would introduce you, but you see Glim ran off with my brother, Jim….”
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