Read Part one here
Jason stumbled upon her website quite by accident. In his Google search field he entered “near death experience runners”. The word “runners” was different from his previous searches on near death experience (NDE) survivors. Over his eleven years of avoiding Mr. Grim, Jason felt a small connection with NDE survivors via web blogs and podcasts. He would read about their incredible experiences though they lacked one small detail; these survivors didn’t have Death itself chasing them! They all had similar stories as Jason. They died for a few minutes and were resuscitated. But that was about the only commonality. All other NDE survivors led fulfilled and meaningful lives. They discovered a deeper meaning and appreciation of life. They went on and lived life to its fullest. They loved and were loved. They married and started beautiful families. There was no mix up when they died and were resuscitated. They didn’t have their own personal Grim Reaper walking 2.4 miles per hour in their direction looking for a little touchy-feely action. Jason, at times, felt like an outcast in the NDE community. Then his NDE “runner” search was tagged by a nondescript satellite website that directed him to the main website; www.deathrunners.org . A website he never encountered before. This was when he learned he was not alone.
Her name was Kristin Olafsson. She lives in Reykjavik , Iceland (when not on the run). Kristin is the webmaster of www.deathrunners.org. You see, Kristin has her own story; she too is a death runner. From what Jason gathered, this website is a beacon for all those who are running from Death. A support group so to speak. Not a soul-searching support group, but more of a soul-keeping support group. For the first time in in a very long time, Jason no longer felt alone. He was apart a brotherhood; a sacred and very secret club. He read the many testimonials, of people from around the world who are just like him. They all had survived a NDE and were revived to witness a creeping Death following them. They were fortunate to recognize and comprehend who this blurry stalker was. They survived and understood the importance to keep moving.
From a pull-down menu he found the registration form. He filled it out giving a small synopsis of his journey including his email address and cell#. Jason received an automated confirmation via email and just like that, Jason was a part of an international community of people just like him; on the run and just trying to save their soul.
Jason soon contacted Kristin via email and scheduled a face to face meeting in one week at her apartment in Reykjavik. That meeting jibed with each other’s travel plans; Jason was on the run in Miami, Florida and Kristin was currently sequestered in Sydney, Australia. Jason knew this trip would cut deeply into his dwindling savings account, but it was a move he had to do, to get the answers to over eleven years of questions.
Kristin was a weathered woman of 78 years. The years of death running had taken its toll on her. Jason finally met her at her minimalistic apartment in Reykjavik, Iceland’s coastal capital sporting a population of 130,000. She greeted him with a warm sympathetic smile as he entered her apartment; an apartment deplete of any personal belongings or history of any family. Jason noticed Kristen seemed tired. Physically she looked gaunt and pale weighing in at no more than probably 110 pounds. Her hair appeared a tad askew as if maybe she was flirting around with a new wig that day. There was a couch, a television keyed into a local Icelandic news channel, two chairs and a table in a desolate kitchen. There were no family framed pictures on the walls. Her refrigerator held only a doctor’s appointment taped to the door. The mantel above her fireplace was home to a few Nordic figurines. Birch wood was burning below in the fireplace radiating some heat into her cold and dark living room.
They exchanged common pleasantries ending with Kristen offering Jason a cup of coffee. Waiting for his coffee, Jason noticed a world map affixed to the wall of her living room just to the right of the fireplace. The world map had a few dozen colored push pins stuck in random locations around the world. A red push pin was placed in Miami, Florida; his last known location.
Her first question was, How long you been running? Jason told her over 11 years and he began from the beginning. The car accident, his first sighting of Mr. Grim while in the ambulance, second sighting at his parents’ house and finally the third and last sighting at his apartment in Newton, MA. He glazed over his funding for affording to run during that time span then briefly went over his calculations of 2.4 m.p.h.
She began her story. “I died forty-one years ago this September. It was a drowning accident while kayaking the Colorado River while vacationing with my husband. My kayak flipped upside down and became wedged in a deep crevice between two underwater boulders. My husband Fredrick, is…I mean was a doctor. You see he passed away two years ago. Anyway, Fredrick used CPR to revive me after being underwater for approximately seven minutes. He strapped me to his kayak and continued down the river to where the downstream camp was. This is when I saw your Mr. Grim, as you refer to it as. In Icelandic Mythology our Death is actually a female. I refer to her as Hel; the Norse Goddess of Death. I saw her walking on top of the river rapids toward us as our kayak cruised downstream.“
“Did it or um, she walk slow and methodical?, Jason asked.
“Yes, at a very slow pace. I asked Fredrick to turn around and look back but he saw nothing. We arrived at the downstream camp fifteen minutes later. I looked upstream and did not see Hel. I just assumed I was hallucinating from my brain being deprived of oxygen for seven minutes. The kayak company officials loaded me into the bed of a truck, wrapping me up in a blanket and taking a few minutes to check my vitals. As the truck was pulling away I saw the same blurry figure, probably three meters tall, still walking on top of the water! Then I saw her leaving the water for the shore, walking straight toward the back of the truck. Toward me! That was my second sighting of Hel.”
“How many sightings?”
“Four times! I still was confused on what was going on but when I saw her again an hour later at a hospital in Boulder, I figured it out. She was Death and she was coming for me. There was a mistake in the process of death and soul-taking. Once this process has been “authorized” there is no turning back. I did the math just like you and waited at a sky lodge an hour away with my husband. Fredrick was a man of science, he thought I was out of my mind but he did show patience and opened up his mind to what was possibly happening. “
“Did your husband fully believe you eventually?”
“Yes, over time, as we traveled. For my fourth sighting of Hel I was ready with a 35mm camera. I am and still am an avid photographer. I develop my own photos. We traveled 40 kilometers, which is about 25 miles to another ski lodge and waited. Sure enough, around 7 hours and 30 minutes and 6 cups of coffee later, I see Hel strolling toward our cabin, walking about five kilometers per hour. We had our rental car packed up and ready to go. Of course, I saw Hel but Fredrick did not. I took a half dozen shots with my camera. I had a zoom lens, so I was able to take some close shots too. I had no idea if the pictures would show anything. I convinced Fredrick that Hel was here and that we need to leave. At that point our Colorado vacation was over. We drove to the airport and flew home to Iceland. Once we got home, I calculated that I had anywhere from 18 to 20 days before Hel arrived at our farmhouse.
“What did the photos show?”
“I still have them, glossy, 8 X 12 Kodaks, developed 41 years ago in my dark room. Let me get them now.”
Kristin returned with a large manila envelope, inside contained six 8 X 12 glossy photos. As Jason looked through each photo he really didn’t see anything that jumped out. They were breathtaking color photos taken from a professional 35mm camera, most likely a Nikon. The photos showed the beautiful Colorado landscape complete with the Rocky Mountains in the background and a pine tree forest in the foreground. There was a dirt road that led to a row of cabins that were probably packed every year during ski season. Jason saw nothing out of the ordinary flipping through the postcard-perfect set of pictures.
“Here, you’ll need this”, Kristin says as she hands him a large magnifying glass. “Look at the dirt road leading up to the cabins”.
Jason takes the magnifying glass and keys into the dirt road. He instantly sees a blemish; a smear that bends the air in the background. A background of pine trees that should’ve been straight but there was a blurred area that bent the trunks of the trees ever so slightly, the invisible smeared area on the dirt road was similar in size and shape of his Mr. Grim. Jason could almost make out an outline of arms and legs.
“Holy shit…oh excuse my language…but the pine trees are somehow warped!!”
“Look at the dirt ground, it bends too. That is Hel.”
Jason looks through the other remaining five photos, each changing a little as if it documented an actual invisible movement; movement of air.
“This is not a flaw in the film or my camera; these six photos are what convinced Fredrick that we need to keep moving.”
Kristin then explained to Jason the best she could on what she has learned over her 41 years on the run.
Kristin started the website around 2001 after she realized that there could be other “death runners” like herself and the internet might be the best way to connect. She almost gave up hope after three full years of having just 27 web visitors and none of them responding to her posted email address. Her first fellow death runner contacted her via her website email address in 2004. His name was Antonio. He was 29 years old originally from Venice, Italy. Antonio told Kristin of his NDE and his close encounters with his Angelo Della Morte; [Italian for Angel of Death]. Instantly Antonio joined the club and the Death Runners Support Group was founded. Together, Kristin and Antonio revised the website adding a forum, FAQ section, and financial tips for runners. Antonio developed an array of satellite websites that had key wording that would attract searchers to their main web site. Within two years their network expanded to seven survivors who were also on the run. They shared stories and supported each other. Kristin told Jason that these survivors eventually met when their travel plans allowed. In 2007, all seven original members met for the first time in a circled group therapy format. Two of which, Becky from San Diego and Ian from Aberdeen, Scotland met and soon married.
Kristin told Jason that her death runner membership peaked at fifty-seven; it is now down to forty-two souls. Jason was now number forty-three.
Jason then asked Kristin, “What happened to the others?”
Kristin replied, “Some just got too old to keep moving and quit. Others, I believe, became complacent and lost track of where their Hel or Mr. Grim was, which resulted in them being touched. And, sadly, there are others that just gave up. I help fund the travel expenses of some of our lower income runners, but even with my financial help, some just give up. Its lonely on the road and very expensive as you know.” Jason nodded his head in agreement.
“They just give up. I have final emails from a few who did just that, gave up. They’re tired, depressed and broke. Those emails still make me cry when I read them.”
“I completely understand. After over eleven years on the run I was ready to give up, until I found your web site and your members. I’m now in it for the long haul. I want to help the other members in any way possible. Kristin, I can’t tell you how close I was to just lying down in bed and waiting for Mr. Grim.” a contrite Jason admitted.
“I am so glad you found us. We’re all family here!”
Kristin continued, “I now track all forty-two of my children worldwide using cellphone GPS pings. I asked and they agreed to allow me to track their cellphone location.”
“Were those colored push pins on your world map a part of that tracking?”
“Yes, each pin represents a soul on the run. I re-position them every week. I also have global positioning software that finds the cellphone ping of all members and shows them on a global map where they are. It’s amazing, it’s in real time. You want to take a look?”
“Oh my God, yes Kristin. That sounds so cool!!”
They leave her kitchen and go to her bedroom where mounted on her wall was a 55” flat screen TV. She powers up the TV and a laptop nearby. She opens up her tracking software and transfers the image to the TV on the wall. She brings the laptop to her lap while sitting on her bed facing the large screen. There, on every continent, were 42 blinking red dots. Jason noticed there were five in the U.S., him being the 6th. Canada had four, Brazil three, Australia four, with the others spattered across Europe, the Middle East, Russia and China. Jason saw two dots together in Argentina and surmised it was the happy couple, Becky and Ian.
“I watch over them. Making sure they keep moving. I’d like to think I inspire them. I constantly push them to keep on going. I’ll send you a text granting me authorization to track your cellphone location so I can add you.”
Using the laptop touch pad she moves the cursor, now seen on the mounted flat screen. As she moves over each blinking dot, a name pops up.
“This is Zhuang Wang who is currently vacationing in Brussels”, Kristin says using the air quotes around the word vacationing.
She continues moving the cursor around.
“Stella Stoyanovich is in San Francisco. Malcolm McIntyre is currently residing in Montreal.
“Where’s your co-founder? Umm….Antonio?”
“Unfortunately, he was among those farewell emails that I received. Antonio gave up five years ago. He was a member here for eleven years and a runner for seventeen.”
“I am so sorry Kristin. I know he meant a lot to you and I know he did so much for your organization.”
“He was depressed and began drinking heavily. I lost him. He sent me one last email late at night while I was asleep, then must’ve powered off his cellphone. I lost track of him. I believe he gave up and allowed his Angelo Della Morte to reach for him.”
There was a long quiet moment as they both sat silent.
Kristin finally broke the silence and said, “Okay enough of coffee, I bet you need a drink. This is a lot to take in!”
Without hesitation, Jason chimed right in, “You are absolutely spot on with that!!”
Back at the kitchen table, Kristin pours two glasses of Finlandia vodka over ice. Jason feels the warmth of the spirit as he sips it. He’d like very much to be numb right now. Kristin takes a sip and looks out her kitchen window. Jason notices she’s worlds away, deep in thought of her last forty-one years. After idle banter and two more drinks, she opens up on what she thinks is going on with this death phenomena.
Death is a process; a process that has existed since the dawn of man. Elements are in place; fate, chaos and free will all intertwine. The process works for 95% of humans. But 5% have a near death experience which pulls them back. The orders from above get cancelled and they are brought back to the land of the living. But within that 5% of people who have had near death experiences, Kristin believes there is a very small percent, maybe .5% of the 5% of the “near-deathers”, that release their own Angel of Death. For some reason the order is signed off and a beacon is released. There is no turning it off. It’s a flaw in Mother Nature or a mistake by God himself. Death is homed into you because Death feels it’s your time when it really isn’t. Once the beacon is on, it cannot be recalled. Grim or Hel or Angelo Della Morte is relentlessly following that beacon, no matter how long it takes.
Since the 1960’s, with the advent of resuscitation equipment and drugs, there has been thousands of documented cases of NDE. Most of the .5 % of the 5% don’t realize Death is following. They lie at home or in a hospital bed recovering from the trauma of their near-death experience. They never see their Hel or Mr. Grim. Or if they do the patient is in such a traumatized state that they can’t mentally process what’s going on or are physically in no condition to flee. So, most NDE “mistakes” end up in death. They eventually get touched and die. Doctors, paramedics, coroner’s office pronounce the deaths are due to after-effects of an accident, blood clot, heart failure etc. Kristen did the fuzzy math and determined that on any given year, there may be 10,000 NDE survivors worldwide. Of that number there could be up to two hundred that have their Angel of Death released. Of those two hundred, there might be a handful….5 or 6 that are lucky enough to see Death from a distance coming for them. They have the faculties to process and understand what is happening and they get moving. Of those five survivors, one or two annually, stumble upon Kristen’s website for support.
Kristin and Jason ended their conversation of shared experiences two hours later. During that time, Jason opened up about his low funds. He did notice on her website that financial assistance was available. Kristen explained how she and Fredrick had made lucrative investments in Iceland and globally. After Fredrick passed, Kristin and her financial planner continued to bolster her assets.
“It’s money I can never spend….its for the Death Runner family. I normally wire $25,000 to all new members after verification of their situation.” noted Kristin.
“How do you verify?”, asked Jason
“By their story, I can tell the validity of their NDE by their story. I’ll need your bank account and routing number. I’d like to move some funds to you. You need to keep moving, you need to keep surviving!”
“Kristin…I don’t know what to say…I am so thankful.”
“Save your thanks, this is a family. We take care of each other. Each year I move $20,000 to $50,000 to each and every member. Someday, you may be in a position to help a new Death Runner…and you won’t hesitate.”
Jason provided his bank information. They hugged and said goodbye. He told her he’ll stay in the Reykjavik area for about eleven days based on his calculations. He told her he plans on traveling up and down the Icelandic coast staying at different locations each night. Jason asked if she would like to be his sightseeing escort. Kristin replied that she’s been very tired lately and respectfully declined his offer. They agreed to meet again in six days for lunch at a downtown café.
Jason left Kristin’s and checked into a local hostel for his first couple days in Reykjavik. He took to sightseeing the Icelandic port city, mostly on foot. He documented his exploration with dozens of pictures as he has done in every town and city he has stayed in over the last eleven years. He bought a Nordic figurine for Kristin that he found in a shop near a small fishing village. He hit the road the very next day to explore more of Iceland’s scenic coast, stopping in Vatnajokull to see glaciers and volcanos and hot springs in Geldingadalir.
Six days after meeting, Kristin and Jason gather at Café Babalu in downtown Reykjavik. Jason is glowing about his travels throughout Iceland. He couldn’t stop talking about what he saw. Jason noticed Kristen was a little quiet and looked tired, much more tired than six days ago when he last saw her.
“I am so glad you are enjoying your stay here in Reykjavik.”, Kristin said with speech that seemed slowed and a smile that seemed forced.
Picking up the lunch menu, Jason gave her a once over. “What do you recommend? The salmon meatloaf, salmon stew or salmon casserole?” , Jason jokingly asked; clearly looking for a reaction.
“Everything is good here. I come here all the time. It’s my favorite café.”, said a foggy Kristin; her mind not registering the salmon joke from Jason.
Moments later the server came over for their order. Jason ordered a halibut plate with a side salad. Jason noticed Kristin passed on lunch when asked by the server, she only requested a cup of coffee.
“Kristin, is there anything wrong? Are you okay?” , asked Jason.
“Umm….there is something I wanted to tell you. It’s the main reason we’re meeting. I received some tough news a few months ago. I was told that I have stage 4 metastatic cancer. I’m a little tired today because yesterday I received my 4th session of chemotherapy. I’m dying Jason.”
Jason felt the gut-punch. It took the wind right out of him. “Kristin…my God, I am so sorry…here I am bragging about my Icelandic adventures and here you are…..I’m…umm…okay…what can I do? Are there other specialists available?”
“I’ve met with a half dozen of the best oncologists in Iceland. I even Tele-Healthed an oncologist in Boston. He’s world renown and considered the best cancer doctor on the east coast.” She pauses, slowly shaking her head side to side as she continues, “They all say the same thing. It has spread to my lymph nodes and into my liver. I have maybe a month to live.”
“My goodness Kristin, I am so sorry. What can I do?”
“I actually do have a request, a favor if you will….”
“Two favors actually. I want you to run the Death Runners organization. I have plenty of savings and investments that I will bequeath to you in my will. It will be enough to run and finance the organization for many years…
“Kristin I’m not sure I have….”
“My second request is to help me die peacefully and with dignity. I don’t want to die alone. I have no family. I need you to be with me. You understand. You see, my Hel is about three days away. That’s how I planned it. I lied to you when I said I was in Australia. I was here, waiting…letting Hel close the distance.”
“I…um…Kristin…..there must be other options. Do you really want to give up?”
“Jason, please understand….I’ve lived a long, full life. I have helped dozens of runners. Fredrick passed two years ago and I miss him. I want to be with him again. I am not afraid. It’s simply my time.”
Jason hung his head and tried to process what is unfolding in front of him. He didn’t touch his lunch. Instead they both grabbed coffees to go and went for a walk by the shore. He eventually agreed to both of Kristen’s requests.
Over the next two days before Hel arrives, Kristin met with her lawyer and her financial advisor. She added Jason as her sole beneficiary to her estate. She wanted to pass with grace and dignity so her and Jason spent a day getting a new wig, fingernails polished and a pretty blue floral dress, Frederick’s favorite back when they used to go out dancing. These last days of running around the city of Reykjavik really exhausted her so they got back to her apartment where Jason made her a cup of green tea followed by some pain pills. Kristen laid on her bed for an afternoon nap, she knew…or more like, “felt” that Hel was paying her a visit by the morning. Jason spent time learning her GPS tracking software and used his administrator rights to navigate through her death runner website. He also went through his full access to her online bank accounts. A pre-written email sat unsent in her email queue waiting for Jason to send to all existing death runners around the world. The email will cover her current situation and decision to stop running and an announcement of Jason taking over the death runners organization.
At 8 o’clock Kristin woke up to the smell of a nice Norwegian meal of Medisterkaker (pork meatballs) and Sodd (lamb stew) that Jason had prepared with the help of Google and a local market. It would be Kristin’s final meal. A glass of Finlandia vodka and tonic accompanied the meal on a tray that Jason delivered to Kristin as she sat up in bed. She flashed a weak smile as she inventoried everything Jason had prepared for her. Kristin finished half her meal and the entire strong cocktail. After dinner, Jason sat on a chair next to her bed to go over last-minute instructions. Kristin did not seem scared; she was actually at peace. She asked for Jason to move her bed in front of her bedroom door facing out into her main hallway. She wanted to be able to see Hel, if she can remain awake, when she comes to claim her soul. Jason sat on the chair next to her bed and held her left hand as they sat quietly looking out down the hallway.
At about 2:15 in the morning, Kristin gripped Jason’s hand tight waking him up from a short nap. She sat up, eyes wide open looking down her dark hallway. “Hel, kom og ta meg” whispered Kristin as her hand tightened around Jason’s hand. Jason clearly heard the words and later looked up what they meant. It was Norwegian for “Hel, come take me.” Jason looked down the hallway and saw nothing. He then saw Kristen close her eyes and draw in one last breath; her grip loosened to a lifeless hold. After forty-one years of pursuit, Hel finally claimed her long lost prize; Kristin’s soul. Kristin passed peacefully and Jason truly believed, she is now with Fredrick.
Jason Turner became the administrator for deathrunners.org for the next 37 years. During that time the membership peaked as high as 521. That astronomical increase in membership was simply due to an international awareness of this paranormal phenomenon. He became the global advocate for NDE runners, often appearing on paranormal podcasts and talk shows. He single-handedly brought death running to the national spotlight, finally being recognized by various religions groups and eventually garnered attention from the medical field. After Kristin’s 35mm prints were released to the public, risky studies were conducted back in 2029, using ultra high-resolution cameras. Brave death runner volunteers allowed their Angel of Death to come close enough for photographic authentication. Jason was present during all the lab testing. These laboratory-controlled experiments, using all safe-guards available, proved to the skeptics that this rare supernatural event does exist. In 2033 it was recognized by the American Academy of Science and Medicine as a natural NDE phenomena. The medical community and universities around the world acknowledged this rare paranormal event and actually gave it a clinical name; Post NDE Pursuit (PNDEP).
It’s now the year 2055. Jason lays in his bed at his parent’s original house in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. The house he grew up in as a child. The house was fully renovated 15 years ago with smart technology, structural upgrades, fiber optic wiring and geo-thermal heating. Jason’s father passed back in 2021 and his mom soon followed in 2023. Jason received some solace that they went peacefully, knowing they did not go through 37 years of hell like he’d been through. Jason is tired, he is now 73 years old. He is tired of always being on the move. He is tired of never finding true love. He is at peace and he is ready. This past week Jason has taken care of his personal and financial matters. He asked Rosa Torres from Argentina, a death runner for seven years, to oversee the organization and to be the spokesperson for the NDE death runner community. He asked for strict confidentiality as he did not want to upset the existing members or gain unnecessary national attention of his choice. Rosa will send out a pre-recorded fiber optic hologram farewell message to all the 512 existing members and to a couple news outlets after Jason passes.
Jason positions his bed in front of his bedroom door providing a line of sight to his hallway and kitchen, like he did so many years ago with Kristen. This is the bedroom where Jason slept so many nights right up to when he left for Fitchburg State University. The same bedroom where he dreamt of being Batman at age 7, being a Red Sox slugger at ten followed by dreams of Emily Patterson in the 8th grade. The 8’ X 10’ room seems so small now. He fluffs up three pillows to prop him up. He wants to see Mr. Grim up close; he wants to be awake when he gets touched. After six hours, eight cups of coffee and ten trips to the bathroom, he finally sees Mr. Grim, his personal Angel of Death, pour through the front door of his parents’ house, slowly shuffling into his kitchen and down the hallway toward Jason’s bedroom. Jason sees the blurry, swirling maelstrom of a head, the grainy malformed body and those oh so slow feet that never quite touch the ground.
Jason extends his right hand out for the long-awaited introduction. “Hello, I’m Jason Turner, Mr. Grim I presume…” uttered Jason with a slight smile to his face. Those were his final words as Mr. Grim touched him. Jason’s eyes closed and hand fell to his side. The slight smile seemed to remain on his face. After running for thirty-seven years, Jason was finally free.
Credit: G.H. Appleby
Please Note the Author of this Creepypasta does NOT give permission for it to be used for any podcasts or narrations
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