You see, I was once like Eddie, too. Too green. Wet behind the ears. Insert whatever cliché you like.
I almost botched my first job.
As soon as the soul is severed from the body, you have to grab it immediately or risk losing it. I don’t know what happens if a soul gets lost, but in my boss’s words, “It ain’t pretty, son.” It ain’t pretty, son. Those were the words I carried with me my first time. Looking back I realize they went easy on me, it being my first time and all.
My first assignment was an 88 year-old woman from Italy. She died the best way a human can die, peacefully, in her sleep. So there I was, standing over this old woman in a rocking chair, her arthritic hands clutching her rosary as she nodded off, my hands shaking so hard I could barely stand still, and then her soul came wafting out, so feather-light and quick it almost slipped right through my outstretched fingers.
I caught her in the nick of time. But that feeling of stomach-clenching near-loss has stayed with me to this very day.