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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.

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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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