Nick let out a painful groan as if he were reliving the moment, “And of course all of the ‘Team’ building meetings and seminars. I think Lucifer and Hades went nuts with the number of lawyers and corporate people they loaned Death for the task.”
The car came to a red light, “Anyway that is how it worked.”
The car accelerated when the light turned green. “And with new duties came new titles. Reapers become Collection Specialists. Saint Peter outsourced, and we then had Transit Associates to look over your records and make sure you went to the right afterlife.”
He turned down Green Avenue and headed to an older part of downtown. “And that is where we are headed.”
Tim shook his head, “But how come I know you?’
Nick smiled, “There is no way Death could collect all the spirits at once. Too big a job. So there are regions. I am responsible for the Greater Madison Area. If you were supposed to die, say north of Interstate Ten, then Bob would have collected you.”
“You know, Bob Slidell.” Nick answered, “You golf with him on weekends at the country club.”
“How come we can see you?”
“A long time ago it was decided that a friendly face helped our job.” Nick shrugged as the car stopped; he turned on his turn signal, waiting for a chance to turn. “By being neighbors and friends, you aren’t as reluctant or scared to pass over. Think of us as insurance adjusters after a hurricane.”
He said with a sarcastic smile, “You’re in good hands.”
The car turned down a vacated street and stopped in front of an old brick building. Tim looked out at it. “But this is a vacant lot.” He looked back at Nick, “At least it was yesterday.”
Nick looked over at him, “It is vacant if you are alive.”
The passenger door opened. Nick motioned for Tim to get out. “Here’s your stop. Through those doors and they’ll get you taken care of. You may recognize the Transit associate; she’s your old secretary. Sally.”
Tim gasped, “Sally was murdered years ago.”
Nick smiled, “I know her jealous husband killed her because she was having an affair. Then he shot himself. I understand that even in death he swears he will get the bastard who she was sleeping with.”
Tim paled and looked back at Nick.
Nick gave an annoyed look, “Oh yeah, I almost forgot. “
Nick made a tired face and in monotone voice remarked, “We know that you have many choices for your soul collection. We thank you for choosing Death Incorporated.”
With that, the door closed and Nick drove off. He picked up his cell.
“Sally, you have a drop-off. You’ll love this one.”
“Okay, I am on my way for my next appointment.”
He sighed, “It’s going to be a long day.”
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.