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Grim Reaping : Chapter 7
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ashkent



Joined: 27 Dec 2007
Posts: 114
Location: Conversing with the Backside

Posted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 2:57 pm    Post subject: Grim Reaping : Chapter 7  

I always made a rule of entering Hell through the tradesman’s entrance.

Why would I need to officially announce myself to the minions and the Gate watchers? It is not as though I have ever been inclined to seek out residency. I am not one for the sticky and humid heat that I have learned humans crave, and what is, of course, delivered in abundance down there; particularly around the furnaces.

Using the backdoor means I am not forced to endure endless reacquainting with those I have issued Hell visas to over the years. It is bad enough conversing with the recently deceased, but to suffer the endless, tedious tales of working in the afterlife from a plethora of the memory deprived really makes my skull ache.

Perhaps I am being a little unfair on the past spirits and souls. They are not all a chore to listen to. I once spent a good number of non-existent hours in the company of Jack The Ripper, whose identity I am privy to but cannot disclose due to a client confidentiality clause. When you are responsible for delivering people in the correct direction it means you always know exactly who people are whether they like it or not.

Anyway, my digressions aside, the back door to Hell was unlocked as always when I arrived. As I’m sure you can imagine, there are very few who would attempt a break in and Jimmy has never been the most secure of immortals.

Then again, that does not mean the door is completely unguarded.

I poked my head around the plain iron door, scanning the room for my eternal annoyance. I found it – well, I suppose I should really say them – snoring like contented pigs in a basket by the opposite wall.

When I say basket I should probably elaborate a little. You most likely have images of quaint straw baskets, perhaps one made of wicker for the more upmarket among you. That would be entirely wrong. Items of the human world tend to look rather alien in the surroundings of Heaven, Hell or any of our offices. We need to make adjustments to them for the sake of practicality. A dry straw basket would survive in Hell about as long as a wingless bird could stay airborne.

The basket I looked at was made of wire and welded plates. It looked very much like a gothic torture device from the time humans refer to as the Middle Ages, but its noisy occupants seemed not to have noticed.

I flitted into the room and gently closed the door behind me. I looked across to the door I intended to leave through and then down to the floor. My physique is never something I spend time dwelling on, but sometimes having a body of nothing but bone has its disadvantages. Attempting to make a stealthy visit to a room with a floor made entirely of stone only serves to emphasise one of them.

With only a minor thought for my dignity, I crouched down a little and stuck my rear out. By reducing my height I was able to tuck the bottom of my robe between my toes to provide some padding for my feet. I really hated to get my clock covered in ash but in the grand scheme it was necessary. At the same time I mentally noted that I had to get some kind of footwear for these occasions.

In small steps, and thankfully without observers, I made my way across the room like an arthritis-ridden chicken. Each step landed with a light thud that seemed far too loud in my head. Knowing I had to avoid detection by three pairs of ears did not lessen the pressure.

Thinking back, I do believe that the worst thing is that I almost made it out of the room.

The door came within touching distance and I looked up to find the handle. My gaze had barely found the blackened knob when I noticed it moving towards me at some speed, and I only comprehended that someone was opening it from the other side when it struck me in the face.

The clatter of my fall was enough to wake the nightshift, so the instant I hit the floor three heads raised from the wire basket and began yapping with delight. I had no time to see stars before my sockets began to fill with drool from the three mouths of Who, You and Me; Jimmy’s Cerberus puppy.

I tried to call them off, but three thick lapping tongues smothered my mouth. If only their mother could have seen what had become of the offspring of the Hound of Hell. It was not surprising that Jimmy chose to keep them out the back rather than on the gates.

I can tell you without doubt why they act the way they do. Jimmy spoils them. Simple as that. Then there is the fact that they are in all essence three dogs that just happen to share one body, so a liking of all things bone means they love me like they love their next meal.

I pushed myself into a sitting position as You began nibbling on my finger. I couldn’t feel anything, just like I couldn’t feel the dog-drool pouring from my sockets and over my cheeks, but I could sense it. Neither could be described as pleasant.

“Ok,” I said. “That’s enough. Who, You, Me, let go. No, don’t…stop…hey.”

I may as well have been asking them to dry clean my robes.

Me tried to pull away towards my leg, but You and Who pulled him back to my arm.

“Arrr arr ar arrrrr.”

I have come to believe that sometimes Fate is a bitch. Don’t get me wrong, she is delightful and something of a pin-up to some of the more fleshed out of us immortals. She also possesses a twisted sense of humour and is forever looking of ways to keep herself entertained.

No doubt her little tweak to make Pinkie open the door at the exact moment he had would keep her chuckling for hours.

My inclination to chuckle was not particularly strong.

“Couldn’t you have waited just a second?” I asked Pinkie, his face, due to my current position on the floor, directly in front of mine.

“Arr,” he replied.

“Never mind sorry. Get their leash. I don’t fancy having to wait for my arm to grow back.”

Pinkie hobbled over to where the wire basket lay and reached for the wire leash hanging on the wall. One second before he realised, I knew he was too short to reach it. This really was one of those days that just kept on giving.

If not for the increasing number of teeth marks on various parts of my body, I would no doubt have enjoyed watching Pinkie grunting and straining as he jumped up and down in a futile attempt to reach the dangling leash. As circumstances demanded, I could not afford myself the luxury.

“RIGHT,” I said, putting into my voice the deep tone of authority I usually reserved for those I felt needed to fear me. “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.”

Unfortunately Hellhounds have little reason to fear anything. Playful, young Hellhounds fear almost nothing. Almost.

“BATH TIME,“ I said with a grin.

Who, You and Me dropped my arm and pelted across the room, leaping at their basket with utter disregard for the fact that it was already occupied by Pinkie’s dancing frame.

In the blink of an eye, the basket became occupied by the quivering dog, which had paws over two of their heads and was frantically trying to bury their third under one of the other two, and a small bin had become occupied by Pinkie.

I lifted myself off the floor and dusted down my robe. I know there is a saying that humans live by, warning against the dangers of working with children and animals. No one ever documented how much worse that becomes when the animal in question is really three rolled into one.

The day I made a trip into Hell without Who, You and Me leaving me with bite marks until the dawn of the next day would be the day I knew something was terribly wrong down there.

“Arrrrr arr?”

I looked across the room to where Pinkie struggled to remove himself from the bin.

“If I had any sense I would just leave you I there,” I said.

“Arr?”

“Don’t try me.”

“Arrrr.”

“And stop saying sorry. You just have this way of unintentionally bringing the universe crashing down around you.”

“Arrrrr ar ar arr.”

“I didn’t say it was always your fault,” I said walking over to free him. “Just most times.”

I took hold of Pinkie by the head and give him a generous yank. With a subtle pop his little brown rump parted with the metal container.

Pinkie was, and is, something of a mystery to me, and indeed to everyone. Even Johnny couldn’t say he remembers ever ordering the creation of such a being.

In many ways he is similar to Jimmy, so much so that many believe him to be the offspring of one of Jimmy’s many…erm…liaisons. I don’t believe that, but they do share a height and weight issue. Pinkie is precisely two feet high and somewhat portly for it. That is really where the likeness ends…well, other than both of them being not too easy on the eye.

Pinkie’s defining feature tends to be his vocabulary, or lack of it. We can understand him perfectly, but from what I have gathered, many of the souls have difficulty translating his dialect. Of course those who tell him to speak English receive a defiant “Arrr arr” and the gesture to match.

“Right,” I said, pushing the bin back into its place. “Come on, we have something to do.”

“Arr?”

“I don’t know what, to be perfectly honest. I’ll tell you all about it on the way.”

“Arrrr arar arr?”

“I don’t know where either, but by the time I’ve told you we’ll hopefully have worked that out.”

“Arrrr ar ar arrr arrrrr?”

“Yes, you can bring your scythe if you must. Please try not to do what you did last time though. I really don’t want to have to clean that mess up again.”

“Arrrr.”

“I know. He shouldn’t have put his head there. Now, I think someone wants to try and kill me and we need to work out who and why.”

“Arrr!”

“You picked that term up from Jimmy, didn’t you?”

“Arr.”

“Well, I suppose for once that’s my sentiments exactly. Come on, let’s do some reaping and I’ll tell you what I know so far.”

So where are Grim and Pinkie by the time Grim has finished telling Pinkie all he knows?
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Chinaren



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 8778
Location: http://www.NeilHarlteyBooks.com

Posted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 4:49 pm    Post subject:  

Hur hur. Nice one Ask.

Where oh where would they go? How about a kids birthday party? And all the little darlings think he's the entertainer?
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scissorkitty



Joined: 04 Mar 2008
Posts: 789
Location: Escaping the Hair Lair

Posted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 4:35 am    Post subject:  

I believe they head to a Goth club, above which is a vintage home decor store.. and ask the witches therein if they have any info. Of course, they only cut through the Goths... the witches run the boutique and sell matching aprons, chair cushions and half-length kitchen window curtains.
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Guest






Posted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:19 am    Post subject:  

what about where the homeless sleep and children are ramping over the sleeping dirt covered homeless and he reaps the homeless or the children ramping over the sleeping humans.

Or the birthday would work that be cool to read.
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LordoftheNight



Joined: 11 Aug 2005
Posts: 5260
Location: Hell

Posted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 8:26 am    Post subject:  

A play on Broadway, where a famous actor dies during a dramatic swordfight.
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scissorkitty



Joined: 04 Mar 2008
Posts: 789
Location: Escaping the Hair Lair

Posted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:58 am    Post subject:  

oo! I like Lordy's idea. And Grim can just walk on stage, causing the audience to marvel at the nice makeup effects.. the play goes on to win awards, but never lives up to that "one" performance.
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Ronjun



Joined: 02 May 2008
Posts: 13

Posted: Fri May 02, 2008 8:12 am    Post subject:  

Hi, great story so far, I'm enjoying it very much. I just have one comment and one suggestion. The comment: I really don't understand how is it possible that Mr. Bones knew of his upcoming demise beforehand, specially since it was partly accidental... in a way (and despite the green dude). I mean, how could he have known he was going to die? Or rather, did he know how he was going to kick it? Well, I don't know, It's sort of a loose end that bugs me, and maybe it could be addressed somehow during the rest of the story.

Now for the suggestion... first, the rationale of the idea. Pinkie is presented as a slow witted character (or so I felt he should be). Now, Grim thought explaining the going ons to him was going to be easy, but it takes him quite a bit of time and considerable effort.

So I suggest they visit various locales, reaping absentmindedly because Grim is trying over and over to translate what is going on to Pinkie, all the way getting progressively more and more annoyed with him, and at a certain point alarms go off because it seems Grim reaped the wrong souls here and there, thus chaos ensues. Or hilarity. Or what have you.
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ashkent



Joined: 27 Dec 2007
Posts: 114
Location: Conversing with the Backside

Posted: Sun May 04, 2008 3:23 pm    Post subject:  

I'll keep this open for suggestions a couple of days more.

And I'll keep an eye on that loose end. I think i know where the explanation will come in but i'll make a note to remind me about it.
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ashkent



Joined: 27 Dec 2007
Posts: 114
Location: Conversing with the Backside

Posted: Sun May 11, 2008 11:43 am    Post subject:  

Zephyr wrote: Alrighty then… you’ve come with the highest of recommendations, and I figured I’d just post ta let you know I’m TRYING to catch up to this finely written tale. I’ve read a good portion of it so far and I am indeed impressed. Unfortunately, my reading time is limited and this is one of those that fills in the cracks when I can get to it. Once I’m caught up, however, I should be able to maintain. Anyhow, very amusing writing style you have there, plenty of laughs, irony, and twisted perspective. Nice!

I skipped to this chapter hoping I’d be able to just catch on… unfortunately I find I’m going to have to read a few in between to have a clue as to what to say in regards to the dp or vote. (loved the hellhound puppy btw…)

Hey, no problem at all. I know what you mean about limited reading time. I'm in that same, seeminging very large, boat myself. I have people on a couple of different sites and it's hard to get around them all and keep up with my own work. Take your time though...I'm averaging a chapter every three weeks so there's some space there to help you catch up.
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ashkent



Joined: 27 Dec 2007
Posts: 114
Location: Conversing with the Backside

Posted: Wed May 14, 2008 1:03 pm    Post subject:  

Well voting time is almost up. It's close.
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ashkent



Joined: 27 Dec 2007
Posts: 114
Location: Conversing with the Backside

Posted: Mon May 19, 2008 4:37 am    Post subject:  

Well the poll has closed and the next chapter is underway.
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Ronjun



Joined: 02 May 2008
Posts: 13

Posted: Mon May 19, 2008 11:53 am    Post subject:  

Awesome! I'm waiting for this like crazy! I'm not reading more than two storylines because of time contstraints and I was really hoping for an update in yours!
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scissorkitty



Joined: 04 Mar 2008
Posts: 789
Location: Escaping the Hair Lair

Posted: Tue May 20, 2008 6:34 am    Post subject:  

aww! I missed the voting, but I'm excited for the next chapter!
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ashkent



Joined: 27 Dec 2007
Posts: 114
Location: Conversing with the Backside

Posted: Tue May 20, 2008 2:14 pm    Post subject:  

scissorkitty wrote: aww! I missed the voting, but I'm excited for the next chapter!

Yeah I think it seems a few missed this vote. Never mind...i think the outcome will keep all parties happy - well maybe not the Conservatives but there's nothing new there. lol

The chapter's almost done.
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Happily Angry
Guest





Posted: Wed May 21, 2008 10:03 pm    Post subject:  

Dammit, I missed the voting. Ah well, better luck next time. Enjoying this very much. Loving the humorous take on Death. Would like to see this foxy Fate of yours.
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