CREATIVE NON-FICTION | HERMIT CRAB PERSONAL ESSAY

For Forty-Nine Years I’ve Had the Reaper Breathing Down the Back of My Neck

So I put on my big girl pants and flipped him the bird

Sandi Parsons
Inspired Writer
Published in
7 min readAug 15, 2021

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Grim Reaper next to a grave stone. Text reads: Office of Scythes and Reaping
Photo Credit: Sandi Parsons. Manipulated in Canva

1st February 1973
Mr. Morrigan

We are pleased to inform you that the department of Scythes and Reaping has accepted your application for the position of Grim Reaper. Your robes and scythe will be couriered.

During your apprenticeship, Reaper Kalinda will be your mentor. You can expect your first assignment soon.

Yours in scything
Head Reaper Ernaline

3rd February 1973
Head Reaper Ernaline

Baby girl born late in 1972 with Cystic Fibrosis (as yet undiagnosed). Mother has seen several doctors. They all have the same message for her — you’re just a ‘nervous new mum.’ This could be an easy first case for my apprentice.

Thoughts?
Reaper Kalinda

28th February 1973
Apprentice Reaper Morrigan

Your apprenticeship case has been assigned. DF508, a baby girl with Cystic Fibrosis. The current life expectancy…

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Sandi Parsons
Inspired Writer

Sandi Parsons lives & breathes stories as a reader, writer, and storyteller📚 Kidlit specialist, dipping her toes in the big kid’s pool.