I wrote this one night last year- it will be expanded and go into one of my future 'Meddlers In Time' series.
Collecter of Souls
Sandra was dying.
At 3am the body ebbs lowest and Sandra was having to concentrate on her breathing. The cancer was in it’s final stage, having long since metastasized and the Morphine pump was no longer keeping pace with the pain. She instinctively knew that her time was near.
Sandra knew that the end was inevitable- even welcome at this time, yet still she fought with what remained of her fading strength. Each new breath a battle against pain, each new breath the tiniest bit harder than the one before. Nothing remained but to breathe. There was no capacity left to think, to speculate- to reminisce.
At 3am, there was little activity in the hospice, but Sandra felt a presence in the room and forced her eyes open. She was correct- a man stood at her bedside. She had never seen him before- a tall, powerfully built man of an indeterminate age looked silently down at her. He had the look of a person who knew exactly what he was doing and gave off an air of quiet competence.
He raised what looked like a medical instrument to her neck and there was a soft hissing noise. Beyond belief, her pain melted away for the first time in months! It was a sensation as if cool, pure water had been pumped through every part of her body, washing away the agony.
Able to speak now, she asked “Who are you?”
He gave a quick smile. “I’m a… consultant that they sometimes use here. Do you feel better?”
“Yes, thank you- I feel quite better now!”
“It won’t last” he replied. “The injection will only work for a short time, in which I need to talk to you about your future”
“I’m dying” replied Sandra flatly. “I have no future”
The stranger gave that little smile again. “Your body is dying, but that is of no consequence. I’m here to make an offer for your soul!”
Sandra’s eyes widened. “Who are you- the devil?” she whispered.
Again the smile and a chuckle. “That would really depend on the circumstances under which you met me. Let me introduce myself- Wayne Jamieson. An angel to some and indeed- the devil to others!”
Sandra remained silent
Wayne continued. “You are dying- you will be unconscious in six hours and will be dead within two days. I want what is colloquially known as your soul- the intangible you. You have something I want and I have something you need- more life. But it’s your choice and there is a price for you to pay.”
“I want more life” Sandra exclaimed “The cost I will pay.”
“But don’t you want to know the price?” Wayne quietly asked.
“What matters the price for more life?” she replied.
“Good answer! And it’s not forever, as the legends might have it- in your case, the price is ten years service- a standard contract with us.”
“Then I accept!”
“Before you accept, I shall inform you of the terms, which are not onerous. Firstly, your soul will be relocated into a new young adult body as you once had.
Secondly, you will do my or my associates bidding for the next ten years.
Thirdly, given that you are dead, you will never return to this world unless by approval of myself and this will not be readily given.”
“Where will I go?”
“To another world, another time and you have my assurances that it is a most hospitable place.”
Again Wayne gave that enigmatic grin and added “It has be described as heaven by some and your presence may help to make it more so!”
“Oh really!- I’m just a hairdresser!”
Wayne gently took her hand. “A hairdresser is just the sort of person to make my home into a slice of heaven- for my lady associates. Will you come with me?”
“And why not!” said Sandra, now thinking she was in an opiate dream.
Wayne unfolded a case and removed what looked like a platinum tiara. Placing it gently on her head, he opened another larger case. "This will be like a dream”, he cautioned, “In time you will awake in a new body- now remember this- for a while you won’t be able to make your new body do anything- you have to establish the new connections, but this will only take an month or so.”
Raising another injector to her neck, Wayne activated the doser, shooting a cocktail of hypnotic drugs into Sandra’s bloodstream, then started the upload. He sat quietly for a time, watching Sandra sleeping peacfully, then removed the tiara and closed the two cases. Picking them up, he walked to the nurses station.
The duty nurse looked up to see the familiar face. By now she was well used to the enigmatic Wayne’s Jamieson's comings and goings. He handed her an envelope. “By way of thanks” he said.
“Sandra’s time has come then” Elenor stated.
“Yes” he quietly acknowledged.
“I’m glad you came for here- I really liked Sandra! 48 years old- she was too young to die!”
“They all are” he replied.
Wayne picked up his cases and headed back to Sandra’s room, where Elenor knew he would disappear from.
“Goodnight, my angel of death” she whispered. “When my time comes, I just hope you will come for me…”
***Back in the hospice room, Sandra’s body slid even faster towards it’s final moments, now free from all pain. Her children would be comforted by the peaceful appearance of her now vacant body. Wayne paused briefly by the body, then passed though the gate field with Sandra’s soul.
Into a new place, a new time and a new beginning.