Mr Reaper: Coiled Fates

Chapter 2

Colors of nature everywhere mixed in the sturdiness of brown bark and fallen leaves that carpeted the slippery roads, sidewalks and other surfaces reached. The wide trunks of kapoks and coast redwood were riddling the scenery around the rather quiet road with vines around the tall bodies of the oxygen-infusing giants which towered high in the sky. Their shade cast with majestic crowns that in the autumn would look like thin gold paper, yet autumn never could reach this place of control and eternity chosen by those with the rightful tools of power.

Tree houses were everywhere around those same giants and inside their bodies, while bridges of rope and wood moved left and right with people passing through them. Water was practically far and wide as the humidity was just almost at a peak, while small rivers flowed around lower levels and linked into where swampiness rested with lilies and other fauna that had taken refuge tight amidst this breathtaking biome of wilderness and tameness.

Rain didn’t seem to have much of a kick today as it lightly dropped on the lively windshield of a red coupe that was moving fast through the thick curtains of hidden evaporation. The wheel of the vehicle hit an inconveniently sleeping rock on the worsening road that seemed to be reaching its end, where a large part of the swamp echoed in frog choirs and mosquito frenzies, chanting a single unintelligible word: food!

The inside of the car crunched hard from the impact which got Reil’s teeth to snap in reflex, while his friend was holding onto the roof handle with a sheer expression of haunt as Reil drove them closer and closer to the end where the uneven asphalt changed into gravel.

The gravel was spat from behind, something that would’ve definitely translated into disaster if somebody was idiotic enough to follow close with intent of outdriving the small red speeder.

Reil’s mind was plagued in prayers that nothing else would happen to the already stained car, as Nas would just make him wish he was never born, due to him promising her he needed it to get to the DMV for some… documents. Yet, he couldn’t move his foot away from the gas as that’d mean they’d miss their transport. It was the only way of getting to where they were heading, and the transport was already blazing fire close to the roofed construction with its long, wooden dock.

The space for parking was clear, some cars here, one specific vehicle completely overtaken by vines and other vegetation that the forest had ordered to advance and retake the lost. Reil’s eyes chose the closest spot to the front of the sheltered walkway, and he hit the brakes as hard as he could, the car flashing through the opening with puddles-agitated forced to flee their comfortable holes of home.

The screeches of brakes, in mix with the yelps of his blood-drained friend, spaced through the surroundings, while the wheel Reil was handling wasn’t listening to him. The tires tried to slip into a drift that was going to definitely send them into the swamps where they’d dine with the frogs, crocs and other creatures that had found a home in this new and colorful world.

The rear of the car tried to give way into an uncontrollable spin and nearly grazed a slumbering jeep’s bumper of blue steel, but luck had a say in this fateful day. Luck wasn’t usually pushy but today it appeared needy to show superiority over the two men’s lives.

Reil’s heart squeezed like the grip of his hands, while his feet were floating in stress with crippling stingy nerves that wanted to stop this disaster. But there wasn’t anything else to do, yet he did when he rotated the wheel to the other side in resistance to the calamity.

It got the car on the straight path, while the speed lowered to the point where it ceased existing, with something slipping from behind him and falling in between the seats.

He managed to make the stop perfectly in the marked space just in front of the sign No Swimming Allowed! The clutch was prematurely released and the car choke silent. This surely had ground the transmission, but he didn’t care anymore and just dropped his head on the wheel in relief.

The horn protested loudly that got another surge of panic to flush his body, while his head slowly realized the fault for which he didn’t have time to murmur himself at.

With a harsh turn around, he noticed Tristan still holding for the assist grip on the ceiling with trembles of doom. Reil didn’t find that amusing as the fire in the distance was making his teeth to chisel.

Reil’s hand flung at the rear deck behind him and pulled down both the coats that were blocking the rear-view mirror pretty heftily. He grabbed his and threw the other at his still-shocked friend’s lap.

“Come on, pineboy!” Reil blurted out, pushing his hands through the sleeve holes in the small space of the extinguishing warmth of the car. Reil knew they could forget something in the rush, but then again, what were they even carrying more than that briefcase and their own bodies… Oh wait, and the umbrella on the rear deck, behind his head rest that he had strategically snatched cheap for exactly this of an occasion.

Pulling the briefcase out of the middle with ease, the patters of rain on the ceiling increased, which lowered Reil’s distrust at the possibility of leakage getting through the black briefcase. He hadn’t put them in punched pockets after all.

“We w-were… g-going to… d-die…” Tristan whispered, making Reil to notice him in clinch’s encasement of navy cloth.

“Don’t be a drama queer,” the comment phased out Tristan’s shock that turned into a glare, stopping Reil’s hasty preparations for the exit.

“You drove like a savage madman!”

“Thanks to you!”

“Wh— you said there was time— I didn’t ask you to.”

“Exactly my point,” Reil returned in a grin to Tristan’s falter in nervousness to determination’s stomp, so he just put on his coat and straightened out his lapels with a hard yank. The swampiness ahead appeared alive in the disturbance of droplets, and then Reil’s nostrils flared in air, the exhale deciding his mind, “Let’s get it started.”

His hand reached for the door and he pushed it open, which vacuumed in humidity that mixed in with the car’s air and got his nose to tickle. The drops of rain reached for his wrist and got his exit to increase in haste, the briefcase hitting the door and getting stuck as he tried to shut it absentmindedly.

Reil’s lips curled up and he fixed the mistake as fast as possible, while the key to the car agilely went into the lock and almost twisted shut if not for a gray realization that stood out through the rainy window and inside the car, waiting patiently to be forgotten and left alone in the dryness and cosy surroundings.

The suitcase was thrown on the roof of the car with fragments of Tristan exiting on the other side as quickly as possible, while Reil pulled open the door to which the keys jingled inside the lock. The gray umbrella was taken and opened quickly to the humidity.

Reil flung the keys across to his friend who managed to barely catch them and lock the other side of the door, while Reil grabbed the damp briefcase and plopped through puddles made from the uneven gravel of the unfinished parking lot.

The squelching coolness bathed his shoes, drops falling hopelessly from the rim of the umbrella and tiresomely on his trousers by luck. He pressed on with the same vigor as failure was hanging by threads off his eyelashes.

The overgrown dock had wooden roofs, sprouts happily leafing away in harmony with big leaves of elephant ear plants. They were caressed gently by the soothing breeze, while boats below were submerged enough in evident composure to the environment. Many of those looked like homes with tarps around the windows, mastheads and additional construction welded or fitted. Some of it even looked like Larrylon’s living situation…

But Reil didn’t even peel a glance at those details, as the main goal was before him in the form of a big basket with a giant-orange balloon above that. The middle of it had the signs of flames, the dancing and fading colors of warmth and attraction. They were increasing in size and in sound as the turbulent burning bounced around the region.

Reil ran.

Wait up!” came a desperate yell from behind him that sounded rather distant, but Reil knew his friend would be able to keep up, the streets hadn’t given him a chance not to be ready. Reil finally reached the base of the dock where dryness was actually present with trails of footsteps on the sides and middle. He withdrew the umbrella and just rushed like hell.

The moldy wood beneath him creaked defiantly, yet it wasn’t overgrown like the rest of the supports that kept the roof over him from plummeting down aimlessly, although leaves and twigs riddled parts-unclean, while small tubing with wires could be seen in spots of disrepair, usually meant to be hidden.

His muscles heaved his body amidst the intoxication from the adrenaline infusion. They had to make it, the balloon was getting closer but a vine hanging from the top pushed against his sweaty face and tried to hook itself on his coat, his body almost toppling onto the moldy floor below his racing feet.

The only thing keeping destiny-wronged people from meeting their doom were the railings-green which created that safe barrier from plummeting into swampiness of different life. The basket above the heightened end of the dock-unsheltered kept those inside in place, different ethnicity and belongings.

But the door to the convenient district-transport was shut and the roaring fire was now burning hard with hotness filling the air of the balloon above, getting levitation to take its slow but sure course.

Tiredness wasn’t yet able to come to terms into his body due to its suppression, and all he had to do was to take a leap and dig his nails into the knitted surface of the basket. He knew they could make it even if the balloon was gaining distance from the closing peak of the dock’s higher platform.

The elevation increased suddenly and rain again hit his nose and ears, yet he couldn’t open the umbrella as that’d just be the worst choice possible. The overtaken railing on his sides almost hid the distance from the water, but there were spots of degrading control.

Those spots would usually make anyone gulp in tingle, yet Reil’s aim and goals were before him, which got Reil’s shoes to dig harder into the wooden elevation between the spaces of the planks. The slope became even which gave view to the end where more barriers stood with labels of LED. They showed the next arrival that was to be in an hour, time too long and impossible to wait out. It needn’t happen, they were there and the jump was possible, nothing was damn impossible.


Reil’s head shot in a glance for assurance to himself that the plan would be met in success. But the moment his eyes grazed the dust behind him was the moment a whirlwind of emptiness bludgeoned forth his mind and limbs, with speed and spirit entirely crushed. His hands grabbed a vine’s moist end that saved him from a swim with the crocs, while a view of missed opportunities flew away, burning into the distance from his remorseful eyes.

Oh, what had they done? The disappointment was different, as it didn’t hold only sorrow and discouragement, but somehow… a touch of ireful maddening at the idea that maybe there had been a possibility for them to hoist themselves above the stereotypes? Such ludicrous thinking, fate had shown him yet again the impossibility of such a desire, the futility in trying to be something else than a shifty lowlife…

He glued off his angry eyes that softened under the weight of his sigh. The discolored green waters and brown tall trees were replaced by a panting man from below the elevated dock. Tristan didn’t have an umbrella and was disgruntle-soaked, as similar to Reil who had surrendered to the fate of rain and loss.

Such a sight would’ve been entertaining if not for his seed of destructiveness that had sprouted in the center of his soul due to failure met head on. Frowny acceptance to the written fate came about as he opened the gray umbrella above his head, because the iciness streaking from the drops was really aggravating as hell for his hot vessel of flesh and blood. But instead of waiting for Tristan to come to him, he did so instead at a faster and bouncier pace.

The shrill dismay on his friend’s face spiked the feverish ire down to just sheer disappointment without inclusion of any additions. It was obvious Tristan was going to go overboard if not stopped, so bodies collided and the two men were now huddled under the only protection from the artificial environment, small feathers of light piercing through the giant green leaves of the massive trees.

“We… w-we m-misse— missed it!?” Tristan whimpered through pants which in turn were wanted by Reil’s own body, but he was forcing himself contained, while the body of his shivering friend pushed harder against as if his eyes didn’t believe the sight of opportunities-escaping from under their noses. His own hands were pre-occupied. Reil had to tell him it was over, to rid him of the shocked trance… “We c-ca— could it be…”

But a thunk came to life next to Reil as he dropped the briefcase and put his hand around his friend’s shoulder. “Is alright… another time’ll come, pal…” But Tristan struggled hard and hints of desperation came to Reil’s ears.

His better judgment got him to release the hold with Tristan stumbling away and into the rankly rain that at least had lowered a tiny fraction. An attempt was made to shield the irrationality, but it was like repulsion of atoms.

“Who knows when that’ll be! All because I wanted to see the stupid trees! Because of my selfishness— we ar— It’s my damn fault, dammit!” Tristan cried out through agony. There wasn’t much more to be said.

Yea, they had seen the whole forest this district was based in and the sea of green was an alluring moment in time, but if they just had abstained from wanting to get the experience, their bodies would’ve been in that basket, today. Sure, it had evidently cost them a great opportunity, but it didn’t mean another wasn’t going to come with time…

There was no need for feeding rage’s guilt. “Tris— hey!” Reil tried to grab Tristan’s attention, but the young irrationality turned his back and rushed off, hence, he had ran with hands pulling down on his bright-brown hair. But Reil wasn’t having any of that, so he dashed quickly in front of Tristan, and stared confidently at the face of burning madness.

“Leave me alone!” Tristan snapped and took a stance of threat, but then his eyes fell and the ire just disappeared. How could it be kept in the wind of reality? Reil for a segment found pain at the behavior he was a victim to, but understanding got him to brush it aside. All was said and done in the heat of the moment.

It wasn’t like they didn’t talk to each other like that, but right now it just felt real and personal with a nagging for Reil to protect himself and just let go. Nonetheless, with Tristan’s reaction to his own behavior, he decided to not take the easy way out.

“Hey… hey, come here,” Reil pleaded and motioned a brotherly hug into calmness of nerves. The touch of bodies and the closeness of trust and familiarity had a great impact upon both of them.

“Come here, that’s right,” Reil reassured and tapped on his friend’s damp back, moving aside shortly after. “You just wanted the umbrella, is that it?” Reil joked lightly, and Tristan snorted, grabbing hold of Reil’s coat and shoving him playfully.

“I didn’t me—”

“You’re an asshole, I know,” Reil interjected humorously. The boats around the dock quietly shuffled above the water. People could be seen moving in the distance from bridges of tree to tree, the sky hidden by the thick groove of nature’s kingdom.

“Lets… sorry, R… ehm… just go back…” Tristan murmured as he glanced away with disappointment evidently aimed at himself, so Reil sighed and was to head back, when his ears spoke something… something almost forgotten.

“Yea…” Reil nudged Tristan’s shoulder and pointed with his finger at the poor briefcase-wet that was dropped forsaken in front the labels where they had missed their chance of a better future. Yet Reil’s mistake didn’t seem to do much of a change but only an annoyed sigh that got the two men to go closer to the object of past interest. This didn’t mean Reil had surrendered, as his mind was still trying to find some way to get to where they were heading, even if the area was unreachable by road, but only air or…

The moment he grabbed the case off the moldy planks was when his eyes shot around the swamp and caught sight of something that got his raging heart to squeeze in excitement, with his restricted disappointment changing into one of glee for the impending. So he put his hand, holding the umbrella, around Tristan’s neck and steered him to the side of the platform.

A camera above on one wooden lamp post oversaw in vigilance for any misdoings that shady people would try and incite, which surely two young men weren’t of any suspicion at all…

“Nah, dude… c’mon. I don’t want to… please,” Tristan begged, but Reil was having none of it and harshly pushed him towards the edge where the hanging overgrowth of railing was.

“Never liked this district. Too much rain if you will, ehh,” Reil spat as they stopped against the damp barrier, his head scrutinizing the giant trees overpopulating the swampiness.

“At least it’s not salty and full of smog,” Tristan murmured and propped his elbows on the protective barrier, patters of rain dropping over the gray shield above their heads.

“I’d prefer that over soaked clothes and friendly animals in the water,” Reil continued the small talk as he looked over the lilies and discolored green, where he knew some ancient beasts were lurking under the disguise of big fish, ancient beasts that had survived for more than anyone else on that matter. The picture of teeth and scales got his instincts to appear like a parody-misplaced in the form of consternation-new that was of consistency to the natural order of dominance.

“I don’t think the animals are scary… people are way worse, R,” Tristan countered dolefully with a glance held for a moment as to show his troubles, while Reil’s tongue moved around in attempts of trying to add something that would ease upon the surroundings. But the pessimistic words that came out only showed how Tristan truly felt, which wouldn’t have been a problem if it were coming from himself only…

“You’re just moody, cheer up!” Reil poked Tristan’s neck and shook him playfully, but Tristan groaned in frustration to the manner of handling and huddled his shoulders closer to himself. Small waves came below the dock that shooed the lilies away with the opportunity coming at a passage to Reil’s ridiculous grin of certainty.

It was an average-sized ship-which mostly consisted of a container in front where trash was scattered in a mountainous pile, while at the stern was the bridge-high, where the blinds were dropped and the people steering the vessel-floating couldn’t be glanced at. The deck was clear apart from a few personnel on the other side of the ship.

“Avast, ye ass!” Reil chuckled aloud, waiting for an opportune moment to do what was on his mind, while Tristan’s gawking at the moving vessel turned petrified.

“Ar— wh— you insane??!” But Reil was having none of that as he tck-tcked patronizingly and tried to see how this was going to play out. The ship was going to cross close to them, as the passage between the platform and the large tree on the other side was kinda narrow. Alas, the captain had definitely done this many times, otherwise they wouldn’t be risking getting sued by the government. Or worse, damaging their own ship.

“Move your lanky ass,” Reil ordered and pushed Tristan to climb over the railing and onto the edge, while eyeing the vessel below that had already passed half of its length by them. Tho Tristan struggled against Reil’s wishes, it seemed that he was accepting some part of the insane suggestion that was scrapped in an instant.

“I don— it’s k-kinda high, R-Reil…” Tristan whimpered as he held onto support.

“Aim for the net,” Reil reassured without giving any time for contemplation, and pushed hard against his friend’s back, which got Tristan to slip his grip from the wood and to fall down screaming.

This was the only way. Of course, that didn’t mean his own heart was devoid of emotion, as the cry of putrid dismay had sneaked across his valves and stung him hard with anxiety, if something was to go wrong and if this had been the right thing to do.

But ropes creaked from below and Reil found Tristan perfectly safe in the grip of the trash net. He shot a sigh of relief and threw his holstered umbrella and briefcase close to Tristan, but the umbrella didn’t reach and fell on the planked surface with a thud below.

Reil climbed quickly on the edge but failed to catch the moment, the moment when he would jump safely onto that same wide net. Rain was now hitting over his head and body. The edge of the planked platform was slippery and the vessel of need-to-board was now a fallacy-probable. This had happened too fast…

Hesitation, limb-freezing hesitation festered in his brain of control, because now he had only the rear of the deck to leap down to, and it was a narrow gap. If he did the jump wrong, he could break something, like a spine or leg, even fall into the swamp… There was no time, he was going to miss his chance and leave his friend alone on that course-unknown ship.

His knees lowered and sprung him into a leap above the misty green, gravity pulling him down to the moving mass of steel, wood, rope, rubber and trash. Seconds stretched thin and everything was racing, as if he had broken the sound barrier.

He wasn’t going to reach the deck, so his hands rowed the air desperately as if trying to make him fly the extra meters, which would’ve appeared to any non-senile person like a ludicrous idea.

Images of him underneath that slimy sludge shot primal horror through him in jolts, and his mind sought for anything to help him, to save him. But the jump was already made.

His body collided with the rim of the deck outside, pushing all air out of him.

What was left was the plunge down.