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Literature / The Grim Reaper's Apprentice

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The Grim Reaper's Apprentice is a story written by Hal Rose and published on Tumblr. It follows Jax Nightingale, who answers to a rather unusual ad in the newspaper, causing him to become the apprentice of the Grim Reaper, lovingly called "Grimmy" by Jax.

The story is divided into 9 chapters, in which Jax learns the basics of his new job, meets the gods and the devil, and uncovers some mysteries about his past.


Can be read here.

The Grim Reaper's Apprentice contains examples of...

  • Cliffhanger: Several at the end of chapters, and a big one at the end of Chapter 9.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Jax decides to yell at the angels and gods. It goes about as well as one would expect.
    Jax:"I think I’m going to go fight the Gods."
  • Dragged Off to Hell: Happens to the family in Chapter 3.
  • Extremely Protective Child: Jax in the later chapters; learning that Heaven is forbidding his parents to meet as a punishment prompts his Rage Against the Heavens.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Chapters 1 to 8 take place on the same day, only a few hours apart; Chapter 9 takes place the next morning.
  • Fallen Angel: Samson, who masquerades as Jax's father is revealed to be this.
  • The Grim Reaper: Jax's new boss.
  • Human Mom, Non-Human Dad: Jax's father is the Grim Reaper, which is why he was drawn to the newspaper ad; his mother used to be his apprentice, though she seems to be a normal human for all intents and purposes.
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  • Rage Against the Heavens: Jax is not amused learning that the gods punished the Grim Reaper for loving his mother.
  • Really Royalty Reveal: When Jax keeps asking for answers, the Grim Reaper sends him to talk to his mother... Who explains that his father is the Grim Reaper himself.
  • Satan: The ruler of hell.
  • Satan is Good: Pointed out by Jax, the Devil is an old friend of the Grim Reaper and has a rather pleasant chat with Jax when he comes to introduce himself.
    Jax:"You know, you’re really classy for being The Devil."
  • Switching P.O.V.: The last chapter is told from the Grim Reaper's perspective.
  • Wonder Child: Jax's conception had to be helped along by the Devil himself, though it's implied it's not because his mother is infertile, but because his father is the Grim Reaper.

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