Don't Fear The Reaper

an excerpt

Chapter One

"Don't die," Jae Taylor said to his mother as she lay in a hospice bed in the nursing home. "You're all I have."

"Don't be so selfish, Jae. I told you a long time ago that I couldn't promise to be with you forever."

Jae did remember her telling him that, but he didn't take what she'd said literally. His mother was barely fifty-five years old and he wasn't ready to let her go yet. He'd been by her side for the last two days since the paramedics had brought her here and he refused to leave her. He'd never known his father and his grandparents had died before he was born. His mother was an only child like him.

"Why don't you go home and get some rest," his mother said.

Jae was bone-weary. He needed to shower and shave. "No, I can't. I wouldn't be able to live with myself if you should die alone."

"We never die alone, Jae. They send these two gorgeous angels to get you. One usually stops your heart and steals your soul, and the other one carries it to heaven."

He might be a mama's boy but even he wasn't that gullible. The doctors had been feeding her morphine to help with the pain of the cancer that was eating its way through her body. He supposed it could have her high.

"Besides it's almost Halloween and you need to go the grocery and buy a lot of candy that I'll be forced to eat."

Jae tried not to laugh. His mother loved candy. The trick or treaters were lucky if they got any. "I'll take it to the church and pass it out to kids after Sunday school." His mother stopped talking. Jae looked down. She had just fallen asleep. He walked back over to his chair and sat down.

A nurse came to check on her about an hour later. "Why don't you go home to rest? We'll call you if there's any change."

He lived about twenty minutes from the hospital. Jae wondered if he could go home and get back in time. He yawned and rubbed his eyes.

"How are you going to help her if you're exhausted?" the nurse asked.

She was right. He needed to get some decent sleep. Hopefully his mother would make a miraculous recovery and he could take her home. Jae stood up. Every muscle in his body ached.

"Are you leaving?"

"Yes," Jae answered. "Please call me as soon as there is any change or when she wakes up."

"Yes, sir. I will," the nurse assured him.

Jae took one more look at his mother before leaving the room. She looked so tiny against the pillows. She had lost so much weight. Ellen Taylor used to be a healthy and vibrant woman. He said goodbye to the nurse and left the room. Jae went straight home, showered and then fixed himself something to eat. Eventually he fell asleep. The phone awakened him around two in the morning. His mother had made a turn for the worse. He knew he shouldn't have left. Jae dressed and hurried back.

"The doctor gave her something to calm her down," the nurse said.

"What happened?" Jae asked.

"Something set one of the monitors off," the nurse answered. "Her blood pressure suddenly spiked."

"Something? Don't you know?" What was he paying these people for? He looked down on his sleeping mother.

"The doctor thinks something excited her in a dream," the nurse answered. She left and Jae sat down and closed his eyes for a minute.

"What are you doing here?" He heard his mother asked.

Jae opened his eyes. He was about to answer when two men appeared beside her bed.

"It's time to go, Ellen," one of them said. It was a tall guy, dressed completely in white. The other wore black.

Jae hopped to his feet. "Who are you? How do you know my mother's name?"

"It is okay, Jae," his mother said. "These are the two angels I told you about." She sat up in the bed like nothing was wrong with her.

"Huh?" Jae asked. He was very confused. At first she acted upset that they were there and now she wasn't. Maybe the medicine had her confused.

"Before I go, please promise me that you'll look after him, Syden. He's a good lad, but he'll be all alone in the world."

The one in white turned to him. Jae gasped. He'd never seen a guy so handsome in his life. He dug the wavy black hair and piercing hazel eyes.

"I promise," he said.

His mother lay down. "Goodbye Jae. Stay away from your father."

The one in white returned his gaze to Jae's mother. He reached over and touched her on the forehead. The monitor went off and both men disappeared.

Jae continued to stand there staring. The nurse came through the door followed by a doctor.

"She's gone," the doctor said.

"I know," Jae replied. "The angels came for her."

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