‘Who will the forfeit be?’ She asked slowly.
I shook my head. They always wanted to know although they knew they wouldn’t be told. She had known the conditions when she accepted the return of her life for a period of time.”
In K.W. McCabe’s Choices, a dark lord gives souls the opportunity to come back to life. However, he will come and collect payment. After a period of time, his messenger, Thomas, will appear and give them one doozy of a choice:
Return to the world of the dead OR have someone else take their place.
The narrative doesn’t say outright, but it seems as if Thomas has been doing this for a long time. Though he appears to just be “following orders” he also has his own feelings and opinions about his “job.” For instance, he harbors a bit of disdain for the souls around him—especially for the soul he has to collect.