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Day 6: Ethereal

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Ethereal: Extremely delicate, light, not of this world.

Two hundred years ago there were less than one billion people. Today there are over 7 million. Around a thousand years ago Death retired, figuratively of course. He was getting old and there were honestly too many people for him to keep up with. That is where the reapers come in. They could be assigned to an area and would get their job done. True Death still got his hands dirty every so often, mostly with babies and young children, they were always the hardest. His reapers shouldn't have to have that on their shoulders. All these young people not yet getting to see what life had to offer them, he almost didn't want to reap them but in the end, he knew they were going to a better place. That was a cliche that humans actually got right for the most part. While he didn't get to decide where the souls went he knew these children deserved better than their mortal life gave them and they would definitely be going up.

It should have gotten better with the years yet it hadn't. Eventually, the deaths of children stopped making him cry, now he just felt a numbness when he arrived and saw the souls of those so young. Today was one of those days, Today he was reaping Alice Miller, a 4 pound 6-ounce baby that never truly had a chance, she had been fighting for days but death could tell she was tired. Picking the child up he cradled her to his chest stroking her hair back. She stared back unafraid, without a peep from the child death stroked over her eyes closing them and pulling her soul from her. He heard the machines beeping but he had zoned those our long ago. He held the small soul in his hands stroking it soothingly a few times before releasing her into the air. She seemed to pause for a moment before disappearing in a flash of light. Death sighed and glanced once more at the body of the child before moving on, there was more work to be done.