Love, loss and the ultimate sacrifice. A tale of life and death that will leave you breathless.
The Grim Reaper is a figure who strikes fear into the hearts of mortals. He is known for his dark robes, his scythe, and his cold, emotionless demeanor. But what if the Reaper could come among the living, as if on vacation, and experience the joys and sorrows that mortals endure on a daily basis? This is the premise of Meet Joe Black, a story that explores the boundaries between life and death, love and loss, and the power of human connections.
Chapter 1: The Grim Reaper’s Proposal
Bill Parrish was a wealthy businessman who had built a vast empire from scratch. He was a man who knew what he wanted and was not afraid to go after it. But when he met the mysterious stranger on the street one day, he could hardly have imagined what was about to happen. The stranger was tall and thin, dressed in black from head to toe. He had a pale complexion, and his eyes were deeply set in their sockets. Parrish sensed something otherworldly about him, and he felt a shiver run down his spine.
“Hello, Mr. Parrish,” the stranger said, his voice deep and resonant. “I’ve been looking for you.”
Parrish raised an eyebrow. “Who are you?”
The stranger smiled. “I go by many names. You may call me Death.”
Parrish felt his stomach clench. “Death?”
“Yes, that’s right,” the stranger said calmly. “I have come to collect your soul.”
Parrish felt a cold sweat break out on his forehead. “My soul? What do you mean?”
Death’s eyes seemed to glitter in the dim light of the streetlamp. “Your time is up, Mr. Parrish. You have lived a long and successful life, but now it’s time to move on.”
Parrish felt a sense of panic rising within him. He couldn’t believe that this was happening. He had so much more to do, so much more to achieve.
“Wait,” he said, holding up a hand. “Can’t we make a deal?”
Death cocked his head. “A deal? What kind of deal?”
Parrish took a deep breath. “You said you’re here to collect my soul, right? What if I could offer you something in exchange? Something that would make your journey easier, more enjoyable?”
Death looked intrigued. “Go on.”
Parrish cleared his throat. “I have a proposition for you. How about you take a little vacation among the living, using my body as a host. You can experience all the joys and sorrows of human existence, and in return, you spare me for a little bit longer. Just a few more days, maybe a week. What do you say?”
Death seemed to mull this over for a moment. Parrish could see the gears turning in his mind.
“A vacation among the living,” Death said slowly. “I must admit, that does sound enticing. And you’re willing to give up a few more days of your life for this?”
Parrish nodded vigorously. “Yes, yes, anything. Just give me a little more time.”
Death seemed to consider this for a while longer, his expression inscrutable. Finally, he nodded.
“Very well, Mr. Parrish,” he said. “I accept your offer. You shall live for a few more days, and I shall experience the joys of human existence through your body. It shall be an interesting experiment, to say the least.”
Parrish felt a sense of relief wash over him. He couldn’t believe that he had managed to strike a deal with Death himself. But he was also aware of the risks involved. If Death didn’t like what he experienced, he could always change his mind and take Parrish’s soul anyway. But for now, he was alive, and Death was inside him, ready to explore the world of the living.
As they walked away from the streetlamp, Parrish couldn’t shake the feeling that he had just made a deal with the devil himself. Little did he know that his life was about to take a drastic turn, one that would leave him questioning everything he had ever known about love, loss, and the power of human connections.
Chapter 2: A New Guest
The arrival of Joe Black had caused a ripple in the otherwise serene life of Bill Parrish and his family. The stranger’s presence had become more frequent, and he had begun to take part in the family’s daily routine. Meanwhile, Parrish’s daughter, Susan, had grown suspicious of the stranger’s real intentions. She began to question her father as to who he was, and why he was so interested in spending time with them.
One morning, as the family sat down for breakfast, Joe Black walked in, wearing one of Parrish’s robes. The family looked up at him in surprise, and Parrish chuckled before introducing him. However, Susan remained cold, barely acknowledging him. Joe Black sensed her unease and took a step back, trying not to intrude.
As the days went by, Joe Black became more and more entwined with Parrish’s life. He accompanied him to board meetings and charity events and was always by his side, assisting him in his daily tasks. Susan, on the other hand, kept to herself, avoiding him at all costs.
Joe Black tried to break the ice with Susan several times, but she remained aloof. One evening, when Parrish was busy with work, Joe Black decided to take Susan out for a walk. They strolled through the park, and Joe Black pointed out the beauty of the surrounding nature. Susan remained silent, and Joe Black tried to start a conversation.
“Your father is a remarkable man,” he said. “He has done so much for this city.”
Susan remained silent, and Joe Black felt like he was losing ground. He tried again.
“You know, I used to think that life was predictable. That we all had our destiny set in stone. But spending time with your father has changed my perspective. He has shown me that each day is a gift, and we should make the most of it.”
Susan looked up, surprised by the sincerity in Joe Black’s voice. She scrutinized him, trying to read between the lines.
“What is it that you want, Joe?” She finally asked, looking him in the eye.
Joe Black paused, taken aback by her directness. He hesitated, unsure of how to answer.
“I want to spend time with your family,” he finally said, choosing his words carefully. “To get to know them better.”
Susan remained silent, still scrutinizing him. She was trying to figure out who he was and what he wanted. She wasn’t sure she could trust him.
As they walked back home, Susan’s mind was racing. She couldn’t shake off the feeling that there was something off about Joe Black. She decided to do some digging and see if she could find out more about him.
The next day, Susan visited the library, browsing through old newspapers and archives. She searched for any mention of Joe Black, but found nothing. She widened her search, looking for any record of a stranger visiting the city, but came up with nothing.
Frustrated, she returned home and confronted Joe Black.
“I can’t find anything about you, Joe,” she said, her tone accusatory. “Who are you, really?”
Joe Black sighed, realizing that he had to reveal the truth.
“I’m the Grim Reaper,” he said, his voice barely above a whisper.
Susan’s eyes widened in shock, and she took a step back.
“The Grim Reaper? The one who takes souls?”
Joe Black nodded, his eyes filled with sadness.
“I’m here to take your father’s soul,” he said, his voice breaking.
Susan felt a lump form in her throat. She had heard of the Grim Reaper before, but never imagined that he would come for her father.
“Why are you here, then?” She asked, her voice barely above a whisper.
“I wanted to experience life, Susan. To see what it was like to be alive. Your father offered me a chance to do that.”
Susan looked at him, tears forming in her eyes. She was torn between anger and compassion.
“You’re staying with us, pretending to be someone you’re not, all in exchange for a few more days of life for my father?”
Joe Black nodded, ashamed of his deception.
“I’m sorry, Susan. I didn’t mean to deceive you. I just wanted to experience what it was like to be human.”
Susan shook her head, trying to come to terms with the shocking revelation.
“You have to leave, Joe. You can’t stay here anymore. My father would never have agreed to this if he knew who you really were.”
Joe Black nodded, his eyes filled with regret.
“I understand. I’ll leave tomorrow,” he said, his voice barely above a whisper.
Susan watched as Joe Black walked away, his shoulders slumped. She couldn’t help but feel sorry for him, even though he had deceived her family. She couldn’t imagine what it was like to be the Grim Reaper, tasked with taking souls. She knew that she had to confront her father and find out why he had made the deal with Joe Black. She needed to know what was at stake, and what the consequences of the stranger’s presence would be.
Chapter 3: Love and Jealousy
As Joe Black spent more time with Parrish’s daughter, they grew closer and closer, and their relationship blossomed into a passionate love affair. Joe was a very charming and mysterious character with a dark and brooding edge that intrigued her. He had a quiet confidence that was magnetic, and she found herself drawn to him more and more every day.
Parrish’s daughter was a beautiful woman, inside and out. She was intelligent, independent, and strong-willed. She had a successful career of her own and was fiercely protective of her father, who was her rock and confidant. She had never been in a serious relationship before, and the intensity of her feelings for Joe both exhilarated and scared her.
Parrish, on the other hand, had mixed feelings about Joe’s growing closeness to his daughter. He was jealous of their relationship and felt left out of their intimate moments. He was also concerned about the age difference between them and worried that Joe was taking advantage of his daughter’s vulnerability. He felt like he was losing his daughter to this mysterious stranger who refused to reveal his true identity.
Despite Parrish’s reservations, the relationship between Joe and his daughter continued to blossom, and they grew increasingly inseparable. They went on romantic walks, picnics, and long drives to remote locations where they could be alone. They shared their deepest thoughts and feelings with each other, and their bond grew stronger every day.
As their relationship deepened, Parrish became more paranoid and possessive. He began to resent Joe’s presence in their lives and thought that he was trying to steal his daughter away from him. He started to interfere with their time together, and the tension between them grew more and more palpable.
One night, Parrish confronted Joe and told him that he was no longer welcome in their home. He accused Joe of being a manipulative and dangerous man, and he demanded that he stay away from his daughter. Joe tried to reason with Parrish and explained that his feelings for his daughter were genuine, and he would never do anything to hurt her, but Parrish wouldn’t listen.
The tension between them reached a boiling point, and Parrish’s daughter was caught in the middle. She was torn between her love for Joe and her loyalty to her father, and she didn’t know what to do. The situation became even more complicated when Parrish’s health started to deteriorate rapidly.
Joe remained by Parrish’s side during his final days, and the tension between them slowly began to ease. As Parrish became weaker and more vulnerable, he realized that he needed Joe’s help to take care of his daughter after he was gone.
One day, while Parrish was resting, Joe took his daughter for a walk in the park. They talked about their future together, and Joe told her how much he loved her. She was hesitant at first, but her love for him was too strong to ignore. They kissed, and it was a moment of pure magic.
When they returned home, Parrish saw the loving look between them, and he knew that his daughter had found her true love. He was happy for her, but he also felt a pang of jealousy and regret that he would never get to see her marry and have children.
As Parrish’s health deteriorated further, Joe took on more and more responsibility in the household. He cooked for Parrish, ran errands, and took care of his daughter. He became a true member of the family, and they grew to rely on him more and more.
In the end, Parrish passed away peacefully, with Joe and his daughter by his side. As they grieved, they found solace in each other’s arms. Their love was strong enough to withstand the challenges they faced, and they knew that they would always be there for each other, no matter what.
But as Joe’s holiday came to an end, he knew that he would have to leave. He had fallen in love with Parrish’s daughter, but he knew that he could never stay with her forever. He had to leave and return to his true identity as the Grim Reaper, the one who takes life away.
Chapter 4: A Fatal Diagnosis
The news was devastating. Bill Parrish had just received a diagnosis that could not be cured. He sat in his doctor’s office in silence, trying to comprehend what he had just been told. Cancer. He had cancer. Parrish had always been a man of great strength and unwavering resilience, but this news took the wind out of him. Death was no stranger to him. He had been a close acquaintance of it in his line of work. But now that it was knocking at his door, he felt fear and uncertainty.
Parrish drove home in a daze. He couldn’t believe this was happening to him. As soon as he arrived, he went directly to his study and poured himself a drink. The fireplace was roaring in the background, casting a warm glow across the room. Parrish sat in his leather chair, staring at the fire, and taking occasional sips of his drink.
Joe Black arrived a few moments later, and he could see that something was wrong. He asked Parrish if he wanted to share what had happened. Parrish hesitated for a moment but then decided to tell him. He explained his diagnosis and how he had been given a few months to live.
Joe Black listened in silence, his heart breaking for Parrish. He had grown fond of the man and didn’t want to see him suffer. Parrish was like a father to him, and he felt responsible for him. Joe Black knew that he had to do something to help him.
Joe Black tried to comfort Parrish as best he could. He told him that he was there for him, and he would do anything to make his remaining days easier. Parrish was grateful for Joe’s support and kindness.
Over the next few days, Joe Black became more involved with Parrish’s life. He spent more time with his daughter, Susan, and tried to make her happy. Joe Black and Susan had grown closer and had started to spend more time together. Parrish noticed this and felt a pang of jealousy. He knew that his daughter was falling in love with Joe Black, and he didn’t want to lose her.
One evening, Parrish called Joe Black into his study. He looked him in the eye and asked him to make a promise. He wanted Joe Black to promise him that he would take care of Susan after he was gone. Joe Black looked at him with tears in his eyes and made the promise. He would never let anything happen to the woman he loved.
Parrish’s condition worsened over the next few weeks, and he became increasingly anxious about leaving Susan behind. He knew that he had built a successful business empire, but he also knew that his daughter needed more than just financial security. She needed love and companionship.
Joe Black did his best to be there for Parrish during this difficult time. He took care of Susan and made sure that Parrish was comfortable. Yet, as time went on, he could see that Parrish was slipping away. The once strong and determined man was now frail and vulnerable.
One evening, as Parrish was lying in bed, Joe Black sat beside him. Parrish looked at him and said, “Joe, can I ask you something?”
“Of course, Bill. Anything,” Joe Black replied.
“Promise me that you’ll always be there for Susan. Promise me that you’ll love her like I did,” Parrish said.
Joe Black felt a lump in his throat. He knew that he didn’t deserve to love Susan as Parrish did, but he also knew that he would do anything to make her happy.
“I promise,” Joe Black said, holding Parrish’s hand.
Parrish smiled weakly and drifted off to sleep. Joe Black sat there, tears streaming down his face, feeling helpless and afraid.
As the days passed, Parrish’s condition deteriorated. He was in and out of consciousness, and his breathing became labored. Joe Black hardly left his side, watching over him and holding his hand.
Then, one morning, Parrish passed away. Joe Black was devastated. He had lost someone he loved like a father. He knew that he had promised to take care of Susan, but he didn’t know how he was going to do it. He felt overwhelmed and alone.
Joe Black knew that he had to be strong for Susan. He would do anything to make her happy, just as he had promised Parrish. But deep down, he knew that he was in love with her, and he didn’t know how to deal with those feelings. He had to find a way to push them aside and focus on taking care of her.
Chapter 5: On The Edge
Parrish’s condition continued to deteriorate, and he was becoming increasingly anxious about his daughter’s future once he was gone. He was beginning to regret his decision to host the Grim Reaper’s vacation in exchange for extending his life. As he lay in bed, he couldn’t help but think of all the things he wouldn’t be there to see and experience with his daughter.
Joe Black tried to keep Parrish calm and distract him from his worries, but he could see the fear in the man’s eyes. He tried to comfort him and reassure him that he would take care of his daughter.
“She won’t be alone,” Joe Black said. “I’ll be here for her, and I’ll make sure she has everything she needs.”
Parrish nodded weakly, grateful for Joe’s reassurance. He knew he could trust the stranger, but he still felt uneasy about the whole situation. He couldn’t shake the feeling that something was off.
Meanwhile, Joe Black was beginning to feel the weight of what he had agreed to do. He knew that once Parrish was gone, he would have to take on a much larger role in the household. He would have to be a father figure to Parrish’s daughter and make sure she was safe and taken care of.
Joe Black had never been in love before, but he was beginning to feel a deep affection for Parrish’s daughter. He knew that he could never fully have her, but he couldn’t help the way he felt. He tried to push his feelings aside and focus on the task at hand, but it was becoming increasingly difficult.
As Parrish’s condition worsened, the household was in a state of chaos. His employees were scrambling to keep his company afloat, and his family was in a state of confusion. His daughter was becoming increasingly angry and lashing out at those around her.
Joe Black tried to keep the peace and take on more responsibility in the household, but he could feel the hostility of the people who blamed him for Parrish’s death. He knew that he had to be strong for Parrish’s daughter and do everything in his power to make sure she was taken care of.
Days turned into weeks, and Parrish’s condition continued to decline. His daughter’s anger and frustration were beginning to take a toll on Joe Black, and he was becoming increasingly exhausted. He knew that he had to keep pushing forward and stay strong for her.
One night, as they sat together in the living room, Parrish’s daughter turned to Joe Black and said, “Why did you come here? Why did you have to take my father away?”
Joe Black took a deep breath and looked at her. He knew that he had to be honest with her.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I didn’t want any of this to happen. I came here on a vacation, and I didn’t know what was going to happen. I never meant to hurt your father, or you.”
Parrish’s daughter looked at him, tears in her eyes. “But you did hurt us,” she said. “You took away my father, and now we’re all alone.”
Joe Black reached out and took her hand. “I know,” he said. “And I’m sorry. But I’ll be here for you, and I’ll take care of you. I promise.”
Parrish’s daughter looked at him, considering his words. She knew that she couldn’t change what had happened, but she was beginning to see that Joe Black was trying to make things right.
As the night wore on, Parrish’s breathing became more labored, and Joe Black knew that the end was near. He sat with him, holding his hand and offering what little comfort he could.
When Parrish took his final breath, Joe Black felt a sense of sadness and guilt wash over him. He knew that he had played a role in the man’s death, even though it was unintentional.
As the weeks passed, Joe Black tried to keep his promise to Parrish’s daughter. He stayed with her and tried to help her through her grief. But he knew that he couldn’t stay forever. He knew that he had to leave and make sure that she could move on with her life.
One night, as they sat together on the porch, Joe Black turned to her and said, “I have to go. I have to leave.”
Parrish’s daughter looked at him, confused. “What do you mean?” she asked.
“I can’t stay here forever,” Joe Black said. “I have to move on. But I want you to know that I’ll always be here for you. I’ll always be watching over you.”
Parrish’s daughter looked at him, and she knew that he was telling the truth. She knew that he had to leave, but a part of her wished that he could stay.
As Joe Black disappeared into the night, Parrish’s daughter was left to pick up the pieces of her life. But she knew that she was stronger because of her father’s love and the love of the stranger who had come into her life and changed everything.
Chapter 6: Confusion and Chaos
Parrish’s death leaves a gaping hole in the lives of everyone around him. The people closest to him are left to pick up the pieces and make sense of what has happened. Joe Black, the mysterious stranger who had been living with Parrish and his family, is now the target of blame and hostility from those who believe he is responsible for the man’s death.
The company that Parrish had built from the ground up is now falling apart without his leadership. The employees are in a state of confusion and are uncertain about their futures. Meanwhile, Parrish’s family is left to deal with their own grief and confusion.
Joe Black finds himself in the middle of this chaos, trying to hold everything together. He takes on more responsibility around the house, trying to help Parrish’s daughter cope with her loss. However, she is unable to forgive him for what she sees as his role in her father’s death.
Despite his efforts to be helpful, Joe Black can sense that he is not wanted at Parrish’s house. He feels increasingly guilty for what has happened and is unsure of what to do next. He knows that he is somehow involved in Parrish’s death, but he is unable to remember how or why.
One day, Joe Black decides to take a walk to clear his head. He wanders through the city, taking in the sights and sounds around him. As he walks, he begins to remember bits and pieces of what happened on the day of Parrish’s death.
He remembers being with Parrish at the time of his death, but he cannot recall exactly what happened. He begins to feel a sense of panic as he realizes that he may have been involved in causing Parrish’s death. He rushes back to the house to confront his guilt and try to make amends.
When Joe Black returns, he finds that Parrish’s family is in a state of turmoil. They are arguing over the fate of the company and the future of Parrish’s estate. Joe Black tries to intervene and help them come to a resolution, but his efforts are met with anger and hostility.
Finally, Joe Black decides that he must leave. He knows that he cannot stay in this house any longer, knowing what he now knows. He tells Parrish’s daughter that he is leaving and that he is sorry for everything that has happened. He promises to watch over her from afar and protect her from harm.
As he walks out of the house, Joe Black feels a sense of isolation and loneliness. He knows that he has made the right decision, but he cannot help feeling a sense of emptiness. He wanders through the streets, feeling lost and alone.
Finally, Joe Black comes to a realization. He has fallen in love with Parrish’s daughter, and he cannot bear the thought of leaving her. He decides that he must make a sacrifice for her happiness. He knows that he cannot stay in her life and cause her more pain, so he decides to sacrifice his own existence for her well-being.
With a heavy heart, Joe Black disappears into the night, leaving behind a legacy of love and sacrifice. He knows that he has done the right thing, but he cannot help feeling a sense of sadness at the thought of never seeing the woman he loves again. As he fades into the darkness, he knows that he has made the ultimate sacrifice for love.
Chapter 7: Sacrifices and Love
Joe Black had fallen in love with Parrish’s daughter. He was conflicted, knowing that he could never have her fully. As he had promised to Parrish, he would take care of her after he was gone, but he felt guilty for taking away her father from her.
One day, Joe decided to walk by the lake, where he and Parrish’s daughter would often spend time together. He wanted to say goodbye and explain why he had to leave.
As he approached her, he saw her sitting by the lake, staring out at the water. Her face was pensive, and Joe could sense her sadness.
“May I join you?” Joe asked, sitting down next to her.
She looked at him, surprised. “Joe, I thought you had left.”
“I will be leaving soon,” he said. “But before I go, I need to explain something to you.”
“Explain what?” she asked, her eyes filling with tears.
Joe took a deep breath before he spoke. “I’ve fallen in love with you,” he said, his voice breaking. “But I know I can never have you fully. Your father would never approve, and I can never escape my fate as the Grim Reaper.”
The woman’s eyes widened in surprise. “What are you saying?”
“I’m saying that I have to leave,” Joe said, his voice choking on emotion. “I have to sacrifice my own existence for your happiness.”
She looked at him, stunned, and then, slowly, she began to understand. “You’re going to leave me forever?”
“I have to,” Joe said, tears streaming down his face. “I have no choice.”
The woman reached out and took his hand. “Don’t go,” she said, her voice barely above a whisper. “Please don’t go.”
Joe looked at her, his eyes full of love and longing. “I have to,” he said. “But I promise you, I will never forget you. You will always be a part of me.”
They sat in silence for a few moments, watching the sunset over the lake. The woman’s tears flowed freely, and Joe’s heart ached for her.
Suddenly, she turned to him, her eyes shining with determination. “I don’t care what anyone thinks,” she said. “I want to be with you, Joe. I love you too.”
Joe looked at her, shocked. “But, it’s impossible.”
“Nothing is impossible,” she said, smiling a sad smile. “We may not have forever, but we can have now. And that’s all that matters.”
Joe looked at her, his heart bursting with love for her. “I love you too,” he said, taking her hand in his.
They stood up, facing each other, and Joe gently wiped away her tears. They kissed, their lips pressing together with a deep, passionate longing.
As they pulled away, Joe knew that he had to leave. He would never forget her or the love they shared. But he had to go – it was his fate.
“I have to go now,” he said, his voice low and sad.
The woman nodded, her eyes filled with tears. “I’ll never forget you,” she said.
“I’ll never forget you either,” Joe said, taking her hand in his. “Goodbye, my love.”
“Goodbye,” she whispered, watching as Joe turned and walked away.
Joe Black disappeared, but the woman knew that he had given her the gift of love – a love that would last her a lifetime. She looked up at the sky and knew that somewhere, somehow, Joe was watching over her.
She smiled, knowing that she would always carry the memory of their love in her heart. It was a love that transcended time and fate, and it would always be a part of her.
Chapter 8: The Aftermath
Days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months. For Parrish’s daughter, life seemed to be at a complete standstill. She couldn’t shake the feeling of emptiness that consumed her every day since the passing of her father, and the disappearance of Joe Black only made things worse.
But eventually, she came to realize that life had to go on, even without the two most important men in her life. She looked back at everything her father had accomplished, and everything he had taught her, and she knew that she had to honor his memory by living a purposeful life.
She started volunteering at a community center, just like her father had done many years before. She found joy in working with children and making a positive impact on their lives. It wasn’t long before she realized that she had a calling to become a teacher.
As she pursued her new dream, she met a man who shared her passion for teaching, and they fell in love. He was kind, gentle, and supportive, everything she had ever wanted in a partner. She knew that her father would have approved of him.
One day, as she was walking home from a long day at work, she saw a figure in the distance that looked familiar. It was Joe Black, and her heart skipped a beat. She ran towards him, but as she got closer, he seemed to fade away.
Confused and heartbroken, she went home feeling lost once again. But that night, she had a vivid dream. She saw Joe Black standing in front of her, with a solemn expression on his face.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I had to leave, but I want you to know that I love you. I will always love you.”
Parrish’s daughter woke up with tears in her eyes, but for the first time since her father’s passing, she felt a sense of peace.
Over time, she came to realize that the mysterious stranger who had entered her life all those months ago had given her a gift. He had shown her that life was precious, and that love was worth fighting for. He had taught her to cherish every moment, and to never take a single day for granted.
She knew that her father would have been proud of the person she had become, and the life she had built for herself. And though she would never forget the love she had shared with Joe Black, she would always treasure the memory of her father, and the lessons he had taught her.
As she looked up at the stars on that fateful night, she felt a sense of closure. She knew that even though the two most important men in her life were gone, their legacy would live on through her, and the lives she touched every day. And for that, she was eternally grateful.
Some scenes from the movie Meet Joe Black written by A.I.
EXT. BILL PARRISH’S MANSION – DAY
The magnificent mansion is surrounded by a vast garden. The trees are swaying gently with the breeze. We see BILL PARRISH, a wealthy and respected businessman, standing by the fountain in the courtyard, watching his reflection in the water.
A MAN, dressed in a black suit and hat, approaches him.
Good afternoon, Mr. Parrish.
Can I help you?
Well, that depends. You see, I came here today to offer you a proposal.
What kind of proposal?
Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Joe Black.
Bill looks at Joe with confusion, not knowing what to think.
I’ll cut to the chase, Mr. Parrish. I’m the Grim Reaper, and I’m here to offer you a deal.
Bill’s face turns pale. He’s in shock.
I know it might be hard to accept, but you’re dying, Mr. Parrish. Your time is almost up. However, I can offer you a few more days if you let me stay with you for a vacation.
Bill gives Joe an apprehensive look.
What kind of vacation?
Just a little break from my work, spending time with the living. I promise I won’t meddle with your affairs…much.
Bill, thinking it over, looks back to Joe.
(with a sigh)
Alright, Joe Black. You have yourself a deal.
Joe nods and leaves Bill at the courtyard looking back at him.
EXT. PARRISH MANSION – DAY
Joe Black steps out of a limousine and looks up at the imposing Parrish Mansion, a vast estate surrounded by lush greenery. He is greeted by Bill Parrish, a tall, imposing man with a firm, commanding presence.
Welcome to my home, Mr. Black. I hope you find everything to your liking.
I’m sure I will, Mr. Parrish. Thank you for your hospitality.
Bill leads Joe through the house, introducing him to his family along the way. They stop in the living room, where Susan, Bill’s daughter, sits reading a book.
Susan, this is our guest, Joe Black. He’ll be staying with us for a while.
It’s a pleasure to meet you, Susan.
Susan eyes Joe skeptically, but doesn’t say anything. Joe begins to feel a little uneasy, sensing the tension between Bill and Susan.
Well, I’ll leave you two to get acquainted. I have some business to attend to. Joe, feel free to make yourself at home.
Bill exits the room, leaving Joe and Susan alone.
So, Susan, what do you like to do for fun around here?
Oh, I don’t know, Mr. Black. Maybe I like to hunt humans for sport.
Joe raises an eyebrow, taken aback by her response.
Well, that’s certainly an… unusual hobby.
SUSAN (rolling her eyes)
I was just kidding. I don’t really do that. I like to read and play the piano. What about you?
Oh, um… I don’t really have any hobbies. I’m kind of boring, I guess.
I doubt that. You seem like a man with many secrets.
Joe looks at her thoughtfully, intrigued by her statement.
And what about you, Susan? Do you have any secrets?
Plenty. But I don’t share them with strangers.
Joe nods, understanding her reluctance to open up.
Fair enough. Well, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go explore the rest of the house.
Joe stands up to leave, but before he can, Susan stops him.
Mr. Black, wait.
Joe turns back to face her, curious.
I just… I hope you understand that my father means everything to me. I don’t want anything bad to happen to him.
I understand, Susan. You don’t have to worry about me. I’m just here to enjoy my vacation.
Susan nods, still looking uncertain.
Okay. Well, I’ll see you around, I guess.
Joe smiles at her and exits the room, wondering about the secrets that Susan is hiding. He can feel that there is more to her than meets the eye, and he wants to find out what it is.
INT. BILL PARRISH’S MANSION – LIVING ROOM – NIGHT
Bill Parrish’s daughter, SUSAN, sits on the couch in the living room, flipping through a magazine. Joe Black enters the room, dressed in a suit.
(sitting down next to Susan)
Mind if I join you?
(looks up from her magazine, surprised)
Sure, I guess.
Joe takes a seat next to Susan, and they sit in silence for a few moments. Susan glances over at Joe, who is staring intently at her.
Nothing, I was just thinking about how beautiful you are.
Susan blushes and looks away, but Joe continues.
JOE BLACK (CONT’D)
You know, Susan, I don’t think your father fully appreciates what he has in you.
(raises an eyebrow)
What do you mean?
I mean, you’re smart, independent, and beautiful. You have a bright future ahead of you, and he should be proud of all that you have accomplished.
Susan looks at Joe, speechless. She’s never heard anyone speak so highly of her before.
Thank you, Joe. That’s really sweet of you to say.
Joe leans in, and their eyes meet.
I mean every word.
Susan leans in, and they share a passionate kiss. They pull away, breathless, and look into each other’s eyes.
I think I’m falling in love with you, Joe.
Joe smiles, his heart beating faster.
I know I am.
The two continue to kiss passionately as the camera pans out of the living room and fades to black.
EXT. BILL PARRISH’S MANSION – NIGHT
Bill Parrish is sitting on his porch with Joe Black, who is smoking a cigar. Bill is staring up into the starry sky.
“I know this isn’t easy to hear, Bill, but I’m not here to cause you pain. I’m here to offer you a chance to extend your life for a few more days.”
Bill looks at Joe, bewildered.
“How is that even possible?”
“I’m the Grim Reaper, Bill. I have the power to give you more time in exchange for a vacation among the living. Host me for a few more days, and I’ll give you more time.”
Bill considers the offer for a moment.
“And what will happen to me after the vacation?”
Joe Black takes a puff of his cigar before answering.
“You’ll die, Bill. But you’ll have a chance to say goodbye to the people you love, and you’ll have a few more days to make amends for any mistakes you’ve made.”
Bill stares ahead, deep in thought.
“And what do I have to do?”
“Just be yourself, Bill. Live your life as though I’m not here. Show me what it means to be alive.”
Bill nods in agreement.
“I agree to your terms, Joe.”
Joe extends his hand, and they shake on the deal.
“Welcome to your extended vacation, Bill. From this moment on, I’m Joe Black.”
Bill nods, and they both take a puff of their cigars, staring up into the sky.
Scene 5: On The Edge
INT. PARRISH RESIDENCE – DAY
Bill Parrish is sitting in his study, staring at a picture of his daughter on his desk. His phone rings, and he answers.
Mr. Parrish, this is your doctor. I have your test results.
Bill’s face falls as he listens to the doctor’s diagnosis.
I’m sorry to say that the cancer has spread. You have maybe a few weeks left.
Bill hangs up the phone and stares off into space for a moment. Joe Black enters the room and sits down across from him.
Bill, what’s wrong?
(turning to Joe)
I just got off the phone with my doctor. The cancer has spread, and I don’t have much time left.
Joe looks at him with concern as Bill takes a deep breath.
I’m worried about my daughter, Joe. She’s not ready for me to go. She needs me.
Joe puts his hand on Bill’s shoulder.
I understand that, Bill. And I promise you, I will take care of her when you’re gone.
Bill looks at him skeptically.
How can I trust you, Joe? You’re not even human.
Joe looks down, feeling ashamed.
I know I’m not the best company to keep, but I care about your daughter, and I’ll do whatever it takes to make sure she’s okay.
Bill nods, feeling reassured.
Thank you, Joe. I trust you.
Joe smiles at him, grateful for the opportunity to help.
I won’t let you down.
As they sit in silence, Joe begins to consider the weight of the responsibility he’s taken on. He knows he’s not invincible and that when the time comes, he’ll have to say goodbye to Bill and his daughter forever. But for now, he’ll do everything in his power to be the support they need during this trying time.
EXT. PARRISH MANSION – DAY
The once pristine mansion is in disarray. The garden is unkempt, and the door is ajar. We hear the sounds of crying coming from inside.
INT. PARRISH MANSION – DAY
Parrish’s daughter, SUSAN, is slumped on the couch, sobbing. Her mother, QUINCY, is trying to comfort her.
(sighs) Susan, please try and eat something. You haven’t eaten all day.
(voice trembling) How can I eat when my father is gone, and Joe Black has disappeared?
Quincy sighs and walks to the kitchen to make Susan some tea.
As Susan sits on the couch, she notices something strange outside. She looks out the window and sees a group of reporters gathered outside the mansion.
(voice rising) What the hell is going on outside?
Quincy rushes back into the living room, looking worried.
(irritated) The press. They won’t leave. They think Joe Black killed your father.
Susan stands up, her anger boiling over.
(angrily) This is insane. Joe Black loved my father. He would never do anything to hurt him.
They hear a knock on the door, and Quincy heads to answer it.
(irritated) What do you want?
BEN, a journalist, stands at the door, a look of smugness on his face.
(smiling) I just wanted to ask if you have any updates on the investigation. We all know that Joe Black was responsible for Parrish’s death.
Susan gets up and walks towards the door, her anger visible.
(firmly) You have no proof that Joe Black had anything to do with my father’s death. Leave us alone.
Ben scoffs and walks away, but the damage is done. Susan sinks back onto the couch, tears streaming down her face.
Quincy puts her arm around Susan and tries to console her.
(softly) It’s going to be okay, Susan. We’ll get through this.
Susan nods, but it’s clear that she’s not convinced.
FADE TO BLACK.
EXT. CEMETERY – DAY
The sun beats down on the cemetery as BILL PARRISH’S daughter, SUSAN, and JOE BLACK stand by Bill’s grave.
Why did you leave without saying goodbye?
Joe looks away, his eyes sad.
I had to go.
You didn’t have to leave like that. You could have stayed and helped me through it.
Joe turns to her, his eyes locking onto hers.
I couldn’t stay. Not after what I’ve done.
What are you talking about?
Joe turns away, his voice cracking.
I took your father away from you.
Susan’s eyes widen in shock.
What are you saying? You didn’t kill my father.
Joe looks at her, his eyes haunted.
No, but I made a deal with him. And as a result, he died. I can’t stay here, Susan. I have to pay for what I’ve done.
You don’t have to go. We can work through it together.
Joe shakes his head, his eyes determined.
No, Susan. I have to leave. I have to make things right.
Joe pulls out a small pouch and hands it to Susan.
This is for you. It was your father’s. He wanted you to have it.
Susan takes the pouch, her eyes filling with tears.
Joe starts to walk away, his shoulders slumped.
Joe turns back to her, his eyes questioning.
Can I see you again? Just once?
Joe nods, his eyes filled with emotion.
I’ll be here.
Susan nods and watches as Joe disappears into the crowd.