Name: Frederick Newland
Year of Death: 2013
Total Reaps: 17
Place of Residence: Seattle University
Day Job: Conman
"This is bullshit!" I roared, loud enough that the people on the other side of the cardboard walls of the tenement I was in probably heard. "Why do I have to join some dinky team now? I've been doing perfectly well so far."
"It's just the ways things go. We just had problems finding someone to lead to operation before now." Hermes answered.
Contrarily to what people though gods looked like, Hermes was rather boyish and whenever he visited the world, he didn't wear the old toga or anything. Instead he was dressed as a bicycle messenger, his bike waiting beyond the door.
I drew a long puff of my cigarette in annoyance and blew the smoke in his face.
"You know smoking is bad, right?" He asked.
"It's not like it's going to kill me is it now?" I chuckled dryly.
"Excuse me...?" A third person asked tentatively. "What are you doing here?"
I turned around, showing my back to Hermes who sighed in annoyance, and faced the man, behind him his body lightly swung from one side to the next, hanging from the ceiling fan by an extension cord.
"Aren't you the cable man?"
"Took you look enough to wake up." I muttered before wrapping an arm around his shoulder. "I my dear fellow, am the guy who's job is to help you pass. As for the cable thing, that was just to mark you. This nice little fellow here is Hermes, yes, that Hermes, god of messengers and all that stuff. Judging by the numbers of crucifix in your house that must probably come as a rather big shock but you'll get used to it."
"But... But... I..." The man babbled. "Where am I going?" He then sheepishly asked, almost afraid to hear the answer.
"I'd love to tell you it's full of fluffy clouds or heck, even tell you it's all fire and brimstone so you could prepare, but hell if I know, I'm not allowed there. Turns out, Mr. Hermes here is outsourcing his job to mortal souls. Which is nice I guess if you like being around dead people all day and work as an indentured servant for an eternity."
"Frederick..." The god said, not amused.
"Anyway, this is pretty much where we are. You dangling there and me working as a reaper. You'll see a light and want to go toward it and then you'll be in what's next. Soon enough I hope, because I have to be at a cafe in about an hour."
"What about my family?" The man asked.
"They'll be alright, you have insurance right or is your note lying about that?"
He paced around a bit, more by human habit than anything, ghosts don't need to stretch their legs, before going in front of a picture of his daughters. He tried to touch it, but his hand went trough."
"I think I'm ready..." He whined.
His eyes fixated on something I couldn't see and he walked toward it, my attention going back to Hermes.
"You could show more sympathy, you know." He reproached me.
"Not in my contract, not in my nature either." I said, walking toward the body and lifting the wallet away from his pants, pocketing it.
"See? That's the kind of things that made you end up here."
He sighed once more before leaving. I followed but he and his bike were already gone when I passed the door.
"Heartland Café." I muttered, reading the folded up note in my jacket as I closed the apartment door behind myself.