Subway hellMature

Name: Frederick Newland
Year of Death: 2013
Total Reaps: 18
Place of Residence: Seattle University
Day Job: Conman

*****

I was starting to think that Homer was full of shit when he wrote his hymn to Demeter.

"He caught her up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. Then she cried out shrilly with her voice, calling upon her father, the Son of Cronos, who is most high and excellent. But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave, and the lord Helios, Hyperion's bright son, as she cried to her father, the Son of Cronos."

But then again the Greek gods were a whole plethora of self-obsessed sociopaths. Hecate was simply on par with the course. They had this whole thing with hubris, which hadn't exactly improved over the last two millennium.

The train station devolved into utter pandemonium as people freaked out. Public suicides weren't pretty. I pulled both of the rookies by their clothes, dragging them away to a corner of the station, safely away from panicking mob. While Alexander seemed slightly unsure of what to do, the girl, Beatrice was at a complete loss, on the verge of panic herself. It seemed her partner hadn't felt like clueing her in.

"She killed that guy!" She said, her voice altered as she held her bleeding nose. Reapers can't die, but they can be hurt, badly too.

"Jesus fucking Christ, you want to scream any louder in case someone didn't hear you?" She lowered her head in what I guess was shame and I felt like an asshole. I put a hand in my pocket and pulled out some tissues, handing them to her. "Alright, sorry about that. I know it'll sound like bullshit, but we don't kill anyone, we just snap the connection between spirit and body. If the person isn't going to die, it doesn't do much to them, they'll look like sleep walkers for a few minutes before the connection is reestablished. They'll do what they were going to do regardless."

I pointed at Charlotte with my chin. (I am not using their alias unless I have to.) she dodged the stream of people running effectively.  On the platform, the shade of Mr. Deadguy coalesced into it's new form, looking very much like his old self but palette swapped to a grayscale color scheme. She began to speak with it, not that we could hear any of it, and the the newbies watched intensely.

I looked at my phone for the time. Usual police response in the neighborhood was nine minutes. Two were already past. Suicides were a hit and miss thing, some had already booked themselves clean, others had left so much untangled issues behind they couldn't be sent away quickly.

"Where do dead people go when they don't become reapers?" Alex asked, holding tightly to that little sickle he'd brought.

"I don't know, it's one of those things they don't tell you." I said with a sigh. I spent a moment examining him, wondering what he'd done to get stuck in this limbo. It was the same with the girl.

Charlotte Cole hadn't been hard to dig out from the archives of history, she had been our version of Al Capone half a century ago. There was even a movie about her. By the scars she bore and her calloused hands, I could tell she hadn't been the kind to sit atop her empire or court favors, she was a woman of action. Of course, her reaper mask looked much softer. Maybe it was some kind of irony, showing us as opposite of what we'd been. I even had piercing scars on my lip and nose.

I stirred from my dreaming, seeing that Charlotte was coming closer, having gotten rid of the shade. 

"There's still three hours before the next reap, how about we go to Alex's place and I cook something up for us?" I offered. "After getting groceries." 

The End

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