My words are: cut, collaborate, call, compare, car
I love these characters. I think that each installment can kind of stand on its own, but if you haven't and would like to, you can find the first ones within the last couple of months on the blog. I may come back and add links when my internet isn't playing with my emotions.
here's to a future Lizzy book series. i really think I want to give it a shot.
About a week into The Job, Lizzy escorted a seemingly ancient, possibly older than time itself, grammar teacher to Hel, the Norse version of afterlife for those who didn’t die in battle. Odd but still not the weirdest escort of the week. The woman was short and slightly rotund. Her back was a little rounded from age and poor posture but not quite a hump. She swished down the hallways beside Lizzy in a navy blue woolen skirt and a pale blue cardigan that almost matched her hair. She had a floral hat on her head and the peachiest lipstick Lizzy had ever seen haphazardly swiped across her thin lips but none of that old lady shit made her seem less intimidating. Lizzy started to speak a hundred times but couldn’t find the courage until they were almost at the woman’s destination.
She took and a deep breath and in a rush, “howintheotherworldlyfuckdidyoubecomeNorsepaganma’am?”
The woman stopped in her tracks. The orangish lip color making her scowl look more garish and vulgar that it possibly could have on its own. “Young lady, I would suggest you modify both your language and manner of speaking so you do not sound like such an utter buffoon. Act according to your age and title, and learn to breathe. The spoken word should be elegant, sharp, and direct not some circus sideshow of vulgarities and strings of improper syntax formed from letters cut from smutty magazines.”
Lizzy hurried her to the door and nearly pushed her down trying to usher her through the threshold. She slammed it shut so hard the frame split at the knob a little and made a move for the elevator at the end of the hall. Inside, she, in her flustered frame of mind, accidentally hit the button for the basement, before correcting and hitting the 1. A little musak played through bat speakers that hung upside down in the back corners of the space while she descended down from nearly the top of the building (not the top where The Boss stayed, though).
Once at the bottom, the doors opened onto a space she wasn’t at all expecting. Part of the floor was obviously used as the mailroom. There were stacks upon stacks of letters, mail shoots, and workers in little white uniforms running all over the place in what was probably a bit of controlled chaos. To her left though, she could see a small kitchen and seating area surrounded by glass walls. There was a water cooler and a row of vending machines and tables full of...well, beings in the middle of what appeared to be a pretty intense argument. Before she could investigate further, the doors closed on her and sent her back up a floor.
Grimmy was there waiting. And not smiling. She couldn’t see his face, but his panicked disapproval left a bitter taste in the back of her throat that almost made her yak on her new work shoes (there were at least 372 Walmarts in the Christian Hell portion of eternity and between them at any given time only 13 checkouts open).
Why were you just in the basement of all places, Lizzy? She felt his cringy embarrassment, a hot blast of sticky humid swamp air and immediately wondered what the fuck was up. 90% of their time together he spent in irritated confusion or being disgusted by something she said. Embarrassment was a new one.
“Yeah, I had this old school marm on my ass about how I talk and hit the wrong button on the way down. Elevator closed before I could get a good look, but it definitely didn’t look like any basement I've seen. Why didn’t you tell me we have a breakroom and coworkers, dude???! I need to get my snack on."
Coworkers. Ha. These are not beings worth your time, dear child. That breakroom is full of interpersonal problems and nonstop fighting. I stay away and so should you.
“Interpersonal problems, you say? Oh shit, spill the tea, sis.”
I know you have some meaning to this, so I will refrain from offering you a mug of this new ginger chamomile tea I found in the atheist eternity, but I will say it is delicious.
“Grimmy, I explained tea to you last week. Tea means, like, gossip/dirt/trash talk. Spill it. Tell me. Who are these ‘beings’ and what’s up with the fighting?”
Chronos, Idun, Dionysus, Geb, and Minerva are regulars, but many of the deity iterations pop in and other supernatural beings.
“What about Paul Rudd?”
Who is this?
“How in Hades can you not know who Paul Rudd is?! Pretty sure he is immortal. Also, I would worship him, so there’s that.”
I do not know this being. Perhaps he only has longevity not immortality.
“You really do ruin all the fun, you know. Either way, can we go to the breakroom and check out the reality tv drama or nah?”
I would prefer nah.
“Ugh. Are you going to make me beg here? Come on, Grimmy. I can’t go alone. I need my partner there to give intros. And I need some trash in my life. I haven’t watched a cat fight in way too long.”
Why does others’ misery entertain you so?
“Because it ain’t mine?! I mean, I love seeing people happy and shit. Give me a video of a little kid getting their lost dog back, and I turn to mush, but there’s also this part of me that revels in the pettiness of seeing someone else being called out for being an asshole especially when I am not that asshole or dealing with that asshole. Ya dig?”
That is actually quite a bit more insightful than I would have expected coming from you.
“ I aim to please.”
“Does this mean you’ll go?”
I suppose the only way to get you to shut up about it is to give in, but once there, you absolutely will not be able to say I did not give you fair warning about how awful it could be.
“it’s your call.”
His irritation bloomed over her like nibbling teeth. I will never understand why you must have the last word even when it makes you look utterly ridiculous.
“Whatever. Can we go now?”
We need to wait until after the lunch rush. Traffic and terrible workdays always puts the newly dead in foul moods. No point making them wait.
Lizzy turned without a word then. Her eternity’s mission was to prove him wrong every possible opportunity.
After lunch, and he had been right unfortunately about the state of the newly dead, the two met at the elevator. He didn’t say much beyond an exasperated grumble and pressed the B. Lizzy was nearly vibrating with excitement which in turn made Grimmy bristle with even more annoyance. She loved it.
The car slid to a stop. She braced herself, fixed her posture, and held her head high in the moments before the door opened, but she was absolutely not ready for the scene that played out before her.
The vending machines were broken heaps thrown around the room. The mail that had been sorted into stacks and crates was strewn across the floor covered in drops of blood, splatters of food, and swipes of mud. Hopefully mud. She didn’t want to think about what else it could be. Objects were flying across the field of her vision too fast to discern exactly what they were. Voices were shrieking in tones too loud and garbled to be heard, but she caught a few words in the mix: sleazy, two-timing, corroborate, hag, can’t compare the two. It was easy enough to put together that someone’s partner had shown up and caught two of the beings that worked in the building, well, fornicating in whatever way such beings do. And the results were not pretty. She couldn't see anyone, but they were definitely waging a personal war that would make a Jerry Springer show look docile in comparison.
Grimmy had gleefully placed a foot to hold the elevator doors open. She could feel the vindication slinking off him like a drag queen’s favorite boa come to life. He was absolutely reveling in the chaos because it meant he was right and she was wrong. Again. And he would never let her live, uh, exist it down.
She was about to mention something about his pettiness when a web of lightning bolts crisscrossed the top of the building causing lights to flicker, screams from the mailroom workers to erupt, and sparks to fly. One of those sparks happened to catch the very tip of Grimmy’s robes and next thing she knew, he was ablaze halfway up his bony legs. He screeched loudly—the only real sound she had ever heard from him externally instead of in her head—and snapped a small fire extinguisher into existence to put out the flames.
She was still laughing when the doors closed, and he pressed the 1 amidst a cloud of agitated shame.
Baking In A Tornado https://www.bakinginatornado.com
Wandering Web Designer https://wanderingwebdesigner.com/blog
Cognitive Script https://cognitivescript.blogspot.com
Southern Belle Charm https://southernbellecharm.com
The Bergham Chronicles https://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com
On the Border https://dlt-lifeontheranch.blogspot.com/
Part-time Working Hockey Mom https://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch