Tushy was a lousy Reaper, to be honest. She knew that, all the Reapers knew that, heck, probably even the dead knew it also. Perhpas that’s why she never got to nab one.
Sigh.
It had been eleven months since she’d gotten her scythe, and she still hadn’t reapt a single soul.
Competition, you see.
She was so happy that day… Receiving her scythe, she felt like the only way to go was up. They also gave her a stone, but she still didn’t know what that was. She carried it with her anyway, she’d sewn pockets inside her ragged dress so she could fit it on her person.
She got the call, it was in a stinky hotel. They all got the call. She grabbed her scythe and darted off towards it as soon as she heard the buzzer. Okay, it wasn’t a buzzer, it was like a trumpet that only Reapers could hear.
Tushy looked around the city block, she found the hotel’s sign. It said ‘Apollon Hotel’ in big, flashing letters that cut through the night. Tushy didn’t actually need the light, she could see just fine in the dark. She made a beeline for the hotel’s entrance, pushed the glass door, spotted the stairs and ran right to-
“Excuse me, miss? Can I help you?”
The woman who spoke was young, smiling with a sort of practised diligence, a brunette. She had her hair back in a tight ponytail and wore a discreet uniform.
Tushy felt really self-aware at that moment. You know, a woman in rags, barefoot, carrying an enormous scythe and storming in the building. “Uhhh…” she said eloquently.
“Can I help you with something?” the receptionist said again, her face turning into a smile once more.
Tushy pointed at the stairs. “There’s a… Um… Yeah. Look, I’m here to…”
The receptionist nodded. “I see. Are you meeting a client,” the receptionist said in a conspiritorial tone.
“What? No. I mean, yes. In a way… Yeah.” She blinked again, leaned forward, holding her scythe up. “What do you mean exactly?”
The receptionist covered the side of her mouth and whispered. “It’s alright, we get the ones that want weird sex toys every night.”
Tushy frowned.
The receptionist nodded up with her eyebrows, above Tushy’s head.
Tushy looked up, there was the scythe’s blade alright. “Oh… You think that my… That it’s a… You know what,” she puffed her chest and stood tall. “Yes. That’s exactly what it is.”
The receptionist pressed her lips together and nodded, looking sideways at her. “That’s alright. A girl’s gotta make a living.”
Tushy chuckled, blurting out a laugh. “Hn-hah! Living. Yeah.”
“Okay, go on up. I guess you know the room number. And in case something happens, just call me. I got you, girl.”
Tushy pointed at her, “Best receptionist ever?”
The brunette looked embarassed. “Aww, thanks.”
Tushy walked away and as soon as she was out of sight, she dashed upwards, climbing the stairs two by two. She didn’t know where the soon-to-be-very-dead guy was, and the hotel had a lot of ground to cover. And if she didn’t hurry, she’d lose the soul to the other Reapers.
Where could he be, where? She ran up and down the corridors, listening behind closed doors. There was a guy snoring in there, sooo… Nope. Not dead. The other door had a couple arguing, but it didn’t seem like it would escalate. The last door had two guys doing the nasty, she could tell by the whole ‘Give it to me/I’m giving it to you’ intercourse that she heard loud and clear.
And one was silent.
Not this floor then.
She ran up to the second story and it hit her. She could feel it, smell it, like springtime flowers coming in on a gentle breeze.
The dead guy’s scent.
She honed in, practically dragged by her nose, almost gliding on the cheap rug. She found the door, it was slightly ajar, and she pushed her way in.
“No, dammit!” she cursed when she saw the occupants.
There she was, a Reaper with her scythe, bony legs open wide, standing on the bed, ready to swing and reap the dead guy’s soul.
The Reaper turned to her, grinned with her toothy snarl, and said. “Tushy. Late, yet again. Tsk, tsk, tsk.”
And then she swung, reaping the soul.
Tushy shoulders slumped, she leaned on her scythe. “Dammit! I was so close this time,” she said and punched the wall.
Ow!
That hurt.
“Tushy, you pathetic excuse for a Reaper.”
“Miasma, you greedy bitch.”
Miasma put her bony hand on her waist. The bitch was doing that on purpose, showing off her thin waist. “I mean, really now? It has been what, a year since you got your starting scythe?”
Tushy glanced at the woman’s scythe. It was so much better than hers, it had frickin’ skulls and it glowed brilliant red, and there was a vial on the top in which she could see the harvested soul flitting around, glowing in light blue twinkles.
It was such and awesome scythe, but Tushy would never admit it to her.
“It’s eleven months. And it’s fine, I don’t need flashy tools, unlike some people.”
“Right,” Miasma snorted. She stepped off the bed and came closer to Tushy. “Always a noob, I see. Tushy.” She enunciated the last word, giving it the feel of an insult. Which it was.
Tushy was called that because the other Reapers bullied her for her wide tushy.
Reapers, you see, were emaciated, almost skeletal. That’s how a proper Reaper should look like, and all the other Reapers looked exactly like starving fashion models.
Whereas Tushy, while still having the same sunken face and bony arms and legs, had a big, round butt.
“Tushy, Tushy… I can’t bring myself to make fun of you anymore. You’re gonna lose your scythe in a month unless you harvest a soul. You know that, right?” Miasma said with a fake look of concern.
“Yes.” Tushy kept it monosyllabic, she didn’t wanna talk right now. She was so close, dammit!
“Oh well.” Miasma waved her away, turning towards the door. “I bet you haven’t even figured out the rock yet.”
Tushy perked up. “What rock?”
Miasma turned to her theatrically, touching her distinctive collarbones with her fingers. “The rock, silly. The one they gave us along with the scythe,” she said, and then laughed with a haughty voice.
“It’s just a rock.”
Miasma then blurted out laughing, she seemed to have stopped pretending any more.
This time she couldn’t keep it in. Tushy balled her fists and gritted her teeth. “Nobody tells me anything,” she angrywhispered, looking outside the window into the Athens night.
Miasma stepped closer, and picked up the edge of Tushy’s torn skirt with genuine curiosity. Hers was also torn, but it was an old-timey ball gown that looked fantastic on her. “Well, allow me to tell you all the things. First, your tushy is quite fat,” she snorted.
Tushy glared at her. “Is this what we’re gonna do all night? Come on, the mortals can see me, you know. I gotta bolt.”
Miasma ignored her, taking her time, driving it in. She stepped around Tushy, as if inspecting her and finding her lacking. “Second, you need to haul that enormous ass and find a soul to reap before your time is up. Frankly, I don’t know what Hades will do to you, but it won’t be pretty.”
Tushy groaned softly, shutting her eyes. She could take it. It was the same kind of body-shaming she had endured her entire life. “Miasma, dear,” she said with a calmness that surprised even herself. “What is the third?”
“Third,” Miasma said slowly, again taking her damn well time, “the rock needs to be heard from the bosom.”
Tushy jerked up. “What?”
Miasma took off like a star actress exiting stage left.
“Seriously, Miasma. Tell me!” Tushy shouted after her. She got no reply. “One time I actually wanted that blabbering bitch to speak and she doesn’t. Dammit!” Tushy cursed and turned towards the dead guy. He looked terrible, a middle-aged guy that didn’t take good care of his body, who had a bottle of ouzo right there on the nightstand and who had a serious bald spot. Tushy sighed. This would have been her first.
Bright night.
She turned to walk away.
Right there on the door, was the receptionist from downstairs. Eyes wide, hand over her mouth, an expression of absolute shock.
“What did you do?” the brunette asked, her voice shaking.
“It’s not what you think…”
“I’m calling the cops. Don’t move! Don’t you move!”
Tushy heard the trumpets right at that moment.
Another one? Could this be it? Her first? She grinned, and the receptionist screamed.
It took Tushy a second to realise what had happened. Oh, right, she looked skinny, was holding a scary-looking scythe and was grinning like a crazy person to some imaginary call to arms.
Right-o.
The brunette turned around to leave.
Tushy grabbed her, “No, stop, please!”
The brunette kicked her, and Tushy felt the pain in her waist. She realised that by chance, the receptionist had kicked her on the pocket where the rock was in.
Tushy forgot all about the brunette and fished the rock out of her pocket. She had almost forgotten about it. Sure, she tried to make it work during the first few months, but then she just lugged the damn thing around, a constant weight on her skirt. She squinted to see the texture. It was just a rock, rather dark in colour. Nothing more.
“Wait, what did Miasma say? The rock needs to be heard from the bosom.”
The bosom.
Tushy held it on her chest. Then she kinda-sorta felt something, so she slid it inside her bra, between her breasts.
And lo and behold! There it was. A light. A path, rather. It showed her where to go. Was this the soul that would soon be ripe to be harvested?
Tushy forced her bare feet to move and she ran towards the illuminated path. It took her down the stairs, and at the very bottom was the brunette. Strangely enough, the path ended at the bottom of the stairs.
Would someone die in the next few moments at that spot?
Well, if so, all Tushy would have to do was to wait around there. Oh, no! She was visible, unlike a proper Reaper. She couldn’t hang around, the receptionist would call the cops or something. Tushy extended her arm. “Hey, wait!” she shouted.
The brunette craned her neck to see behind her, then up towards Tushy. She bolted off even faster and slipped on the stairs.
The receptionist fell and landed with an audible crunch of her neck.
Tushy ran up to her, eyes wide. She couldn’t believe it. A dead body! It smelled so good! Lilacs, this one.
Her scythe hummed with power. There was a faint red light coming from it, awakening it. It was as if it could taste the harvest.
Tushy raised her scythe in the air at a steep angle, the stairs were tight. There were tears of joy in her eyes. She waited for the soul to leave the brunette’s body and then brought it down with a single, powerful swing.
She cut the silver chord and the scythe sucked the soul in it with a slurp.
A full Reaper.
What a dark night!
Tushy smiled wide, then hopped in place, doing a little victory dance. “Oh yeah, a Reaper, oh yeah, I’m a Reaper, uh-huh babe, I’m a Reaper…”
People staying in the hotel heard the commotion and showed up.
Tushy froze, and she was ready to bolt out of there when she realised that nobody was looking at her. They were looking at the body, the dead woman with the bland uniform and the neck that poked out at an angle it shouldn’t have.
“What happened to her?” a woman said, worried.
“She must have slipped on her own?” a man said. “Broke her neck. Oh, poor girl…”
Tushy stood perfectly still, but the seconds passed and they still couldn’t see her, standing there bright as day with an enormous scythe over a dead body.
Oh-goody!
She sauntered out of the hotel with a spring in her step, waving her scythe around.
She was a Reaper now.
And she had lots of work to do in this town.

The End.

Did You Like This Story? You can support me on Patreon. There is no exclusive content there but that way you can make sure these stories keep on coming. Or, you can get the Spitwrite collections which are easier to read on an e-reader.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: