Death Co [Extended]

death_co

I’ve gone back and fixed up the first chapter of Death Co., giving it a proper ending, and fixing some grammar. Take a look, let me know what you think, and subscribe if you like it! Also follow me on Twitter / Facebook

Let’s see, job qualifications: 1. Must be dead, they’re a real stickler about that one. 2. Preferred to have some legal experience, they’ll let that one slide occasionally if you’re a ‘people person’. 3. Must be just desperate enough to live forever, but also apathetic enough to spend that forever doing paperwork. 4. This one’s the most important of them all, must have a strong constitution when it comes to blood, otherwise the first day would be a real drag.

I don’t even know where to start. What I did, what I still do in a way, is quite a lot to take in. The topic of death tends to conjure images of eternal rest and the infinite abyss, not so much an office building just on the edge of time. Years back they had the aesthetics redone to look a bit more imposing, but honestly, it’s all a bit Wall Street for me.

The origin of the supernatural mega conglomerate known to most as Death, is a simple one. When shop was first opened all those eons ago, there was only one. The world was a lot smaller, and the dawn of man a much simpler time. Let’s just say the primitive Neanderthal brain didn’t have a handle on writing, much less appeals paperwork. I didn’t come on the scene until much later, but it’s important to know history so that we don’t repeat ourselves.

Before the dawn of man there wasn’t much need for death. Don’t get me wrong, it still happened quite often, but there wasn’t a need for the abstract concept of it. To be frank, God didn’t give much of a shit about the dinosaurs, see: Giant asteroid, molten rain, etc., and as a result, their afterlife was almost non-existent. That worked well for a while, unless you were one of the pea-brained brontosauruses floating in the inky blackness confusedly chewing their last pieces of grass.

Whatever your opinion on the subject, dinosaur rights advocates need not apply, the system worked. Things didn’t get messy until humans came on the scene. Higher order brain functions led to higher order questions. Suffice it to say, the powers that be: Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, have never been very good with questions. Rather than answer them, they voted to create a buffer. It was the only way to keep a watchful eye on the humans while still managing to get uproariously drunk at the inter-departmental parties.

The first question humans asked that the divine sought fit to answer was a simple on. It’s the same question that drives many to the brink of insanity and the cusp of creativity. What happens to us after we die? Ever since the inception of humanity, questioning what lies beyond infinity has been one of our driving characteristics. The truth is rather sad; it involves a lot of math on the part of the divine and they’re too busy mucking about with climate change to bother explaining.

As a result, the institution known as Death, now incorporated, was formed. The first employee in the company of Death was a simple man by the name of Ug. He wasn’t a man of many words, being of the Cro-Magnon persuasion, but could follow orders exceedingly well. God found Ug after he had fallen off a cliff after an unfortunate mammoth drive accident. When the creator found him, Ug had broken just about every bone in his body and was drowning in gore.

This was understandably not a great way to go. Understandably, Ug, unable to express his complex questioning of the creator, but could do no more than scream bloody murder and wave his hands. God happened to be paying attention to Ug that day, he had caused the mammoth drive to go south, and honestly felt quite embarrassed by the situation. Rather than deal with the awkwardness that was hearing out a primitive’s complaints, God appointed Ug as Death. This solved the problem of all the unresolved questions surrounding the end of life, and left God free to work on his concept of warring, dogmatic religions.

Ug was snapped back into shape, rather painfully I am told, given a black cloak, and made immortal. God tasked Ug with the job of acting menacing, collecting the souls of the recently deceased, and answering one question from each of them before the end. Whether Ug understood this was beside the point. Before he could utter so much as a confused grunt, God was gone, and Ug was left to his morbid job.

For the first few centuries, he was a terrible death. The powers of the divine were difficult to master, and as such, more than a few deaths slipped through the cracks. This led to the half-dead returning to terrorize the living, and more than a few zombie outbreaks that put ethereal egg on the creator’s face. Still, this arrangement continued to function for a few hundred years, and eventually, as time wore on, Ug got better at it. He learned to teleport to the location of death, the secrets behind freezing time, and the most painless way to escort the soul from the land of the living, to the realm beyond.

The real problems started when civilization continued to grow, something that none of the powers at be had expected. Humans were created as incredibly combative and prideful creatures, and it surprised everyone when they began to cooperate with one another. This in turn led to wars, which increased Ug’s workload significantly. Purgatory literally overflowed, raining bits of decomposed flesh and bone into both Heaven and Hell. This led to the expansion of Purgatory, which should be finished in another hundred million years when the contracts go through, and Death getting a horse.

Why the high angels decided it was a problem of transportation and not understaffing is something we may never know. Ug, who had since learned a few basic words, named his horse Buttercup, and the world continued to spin for a little while longer. Unfortunately for the heavens, Earth’s population continued to grow exponentially, and things got complicated.

At our present pace, we get about 155,000 souls a day. That’s quite a few, and with the demands of our newly technological society, the demands of the dead have become complicated. Needless to say, it was far too much for poor Ug to handle by himself. At one point, he tried to kill himself, but when you’re already dead, that doesn’t do a whole lot. In the end, it made an awful mess, Ug was retired, and the corporation we know today.

The first team was a group of recently deceased therapists, but they talked to much and fell behind schedule. It was a nice sentiment, trying to help the dead cope and move on with their afterlife, but ultimately, it’s not our job. Mostly, the recently dead are stuck in the bargaining stage until they realize that the agents of death have no true authority. That’s when they tend to get uppity.

Speed is a prized commodity in the realm of death, as long lines of the deceased tend to smell. So, the corporation needed a group of people who were good at paperwork, divorced from their emotions, and ruthless. That’s where I come in. My name is Jon, I’m an ex-lawyer, and I’ve been dead for about sixty years. My business is death, and business is good.

Chadpocalypse 1:5

It’s been a while, but here’s the latest chapter of Chadpocalypse! Sorry it’s been slow,  but working on the Whiteout publication takes time! Also, if you like my work, give me a follow on Facebook/Twitter!

For those looking to catch up:

Parts 1-2
Part 3
Part 4

1:5 B’s Diner

When Chad awoke it was to the pounding fury of the hangover to end all hangovers, and a woman, brandishing a lamp, screaming about an intruder. From the moment his eyes fluttered open, it was clear that something was very wrong with the world.

“What the hell are you doing in my bed?” shouted the woman, swinging the light through the air making dizzying streaks.

At first Chad couldn’t think of a single reason why anyone would be so upset with him, and then, in the dim light it dawned on him; this isn’t my apartment. The furnishings were far too tasteful, and aside from the smell of his own vomit, there was nothing familiar about the place. “Woah, woah, woah,” he stammered, trying his best to ignore the bass drum that had begun beating inside his skull. “Let’s all just calm down.”

“Don’t tell me to calm down,” the woman screamed. “You’re the one in my bedroom! Get out now, or I’m calling the police!”

“Alright, let me just get my,” he looked down at his feet noticing his shoes were still on. “Never mind, I’m going.” With the grace of a drunken acrobat, Chad tumbled out of the bed, and dodged around the woman’s vicious lamp swing. It collided with the wall, sending a shower of sparks over the room and plunging it into darkness. Chad maneuvered behind the woman, flung open the door and crashed into the hallway, which now almost certainly looked unfamiliar. He took off at a dead sprint.

Several apartment doors were open with concerned denizens poking their heads out to get a good look at the source of the commotion. What they saw was a red-faced youth, curly brown hair flying every which way, stumbling down the hallway at an impressive pace, and trying his best not to vomit. To Chad’s credit, he succeeded in the last, right up until he burst through the door leading outside. At the confrontation of what could only be the brightest sun he had ever seen, Chad immediately doubled over and vomited on the concrete.

Instant relief spread over him in a wave as the previous evenings toxins were expelled in one fell swoop. He wiped his mouth, glad that the worst was over and then vomited again. It took him a few moments after to trust that things really had ended, but when they had, he straightened up, brushed off his tattered jeans and started off in search of brunch.

For Chad, this was nothing more than a typical Sunday morning. The air outside was humid and smelled like stale cigarettes. Such was the charm of the city of Midway he supposed. What a crazy night, he thought, unsure of what exactly had happened. The fact that he had blacked out, in his mind, meant that it had likely been a good time, and worth the pain he was now in. Chad tried to remember the dream he had been having before the woman had so rudely woken him with her shouting. “Even if I did break in, I wasn’t hurting anyone,” he muttered.

A couple passing by gave him a disgusted look usually reserved for rich aristocrats observing the profoundly homeless.

Chad ignored them, he was too busy thinking about the visions of Hell and the horseman that had appeared at the foot of his bed. What a crazy dream. Wouldn’t be a bad idea for a book, he mused, thinking that he might pick up writing again after he had found some food. Chad’s creative works consisted of a series of one-page story openers that had long since been abandoned in the search for a good time. All the same, he fancied himself an artist.

Up ahead was B’s Diner, one of his favorite establishments to frequent after a night of heavy drinking. B had opened it up some fifty years ago, and they’d been serving the finest starches smothered in grease ever since. It was an institution in the neighborhood, but judging by the angle of the bright light feeding his hangover, Chad had woken early enough to beat the morning rush. Chad looked at a street sign and grinned, his uncanny talent of passing out within a few blocks of the diner had come through again. He took a left turn and his stomach rumbled in anticipation. Just a block down the street, were the silver-paneled walls of the diner.

“Hallelujah,” he exclaimed, taking the remaining distance at a brisk walk. Inside he was greeted by cool air-conditioning, Don’t Fear the Reaper playing through the restaurant’s jukebox, and his favorite red vinyl booth, unoccupied. He slumped down in the seat and pretended to read over the menu. He would have eggs benedict, as he did every time he visited the diner, but the illusion of choice was important to keep the spice in life.

“What can I get for you darling?” asked a sweet voice that Chad almost recognized, but couldn’t quite place.

Strange, George usually takes the morning orders. Chad peered over the top of his menu cautiously and was surprised to see that it was Mrs. B herself taking his order. His face went pale and a chill swept over him as if he had been dunked in ice. A year ago, Mrs. B coming out to serve the customers would have been nothing out of the ordinary, but given that she had died of lung cancer a few months prior, it came as a bit of a shock…

Death Co

I’ve been working on one of my oldest stories and rewriting it for later submission. This is the first of many chapters, but chime in and let me know what you think of the tone/content. If you like it, subscribe to get notifications when I post more!

death_co

1. Job Description

Let’s see, job qualifications: 1. Must be dead, they’re a real stickler about that one. 2. Preferred to have some legal experience, they’ll let that one slide occasionally if you’re a ‘people person’. 3. Must be just desperate enough to live forever, but also apathetic enough to spend that forever doing paperwork. 4. This one’s the most important of them all, must have a strong constitution when it comes to blood, otherwise the first day would be a real drag.

I don’t even know where to start. What I did, what I still do in a way, is quite a lot to take in. The topic of death tends to conjure images of eternal rest and the infinite abyss, not so much an approximation of an office building just on the edge of time. Years back they had the aesthetics redone to look a bit more imposing, but honestly, it’s all a bit Wall Street for me. The origin of the supernatural mega conglomerate known to most as Death, is a simple one. When shop was first opened all those eons ago, there was only one of us. The world was a lot smaller back then, and the dawn of man a much simpler time. Let’s just say the primitive Neanderthal brain didn’t have a handle on writing, much less appeals paperwork. I didn’t come on the scene until much later, but it’s important to know history so that we don’t repeat ourselves.

In any case, before the dawn of man there wasn’t much need for death. Don’t get me wrong, it still happened, quite a lot of it in fact, but there was no need for the abstract concept of it. To be honest, God didn’t give much of a shit about the dinosaurs, see: Giant asteroid, molten rain, etc., and as a result, their afterlife was non-existent. That worked out pretty well for a while, unless you were one of the pea-brained, brontosauruses floating in the inky blackness, confusedly chewing their last pieces of grass.

Whatever your opinion on the subject, dinosaur rights advocates need not apply, the system worked. Things didn’t get messy until humans came on the scene. Higher order brain functions led to questions. Suffice it to say, the powers that be, Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, have never been very good with questions, and rather than answer them, they voted to create a buffer. It was the only way to keep a watchful eye on the humans while still managing to get uproariously drunk at the inter-departmental parties.

The first question humans asked that the divine sought fit to answer was a simple on. It’s the same question that drives many to the brink of insanity and the cusp of creativity. What happens to us after we die? Ever since our inception, questioning what lies beyond infinity has been one of our driving characteristics. The truth is rather sad; the divine powers haven’t got a clue and are too busy mucking about with climate change to bother trying to figure it out.

So, rather than devoting years to the scholarly pursuit of ethereal knowledge, the buffer of Death was introduced. The great institution of a specter on a white horse was started with a single man, Ug.

 

A Man of the Mountain – The News

The News

Jonas returned to find an unmarked, brown, paper package on his doorstep quickly gathering snow. Without a second thought, he picked it up and brought it inside, setting it down next to his chair. By the warmth of the fire’s embers he took his boots and placed them into plastic bags, along with the rest of his clothing. They would all have to be burned as a precaution. The police never looked far when they suspected an animal attack, but Jonas was a careful man.

Sure, the first few times he had messed it up, and they had gone searching, but never far enough into the woods to find him. He always covered his tracks, and the trail to his cabin, if it could be called a trail, was largely thought as impassable. More often than not the police would claim a bear attack, even though bears were not known to frequent the area. Scientists would invariably call it a result of climate change adjusting natural hunting patterns, and Jonas’s work would get tossed by the wayside.

He picked up the bag of clothing and walked it to the back of the cabin where there was a large metal furnace disguised as a hot water heater. As the tossed the clothes in, he took a moment to breathe. The clothes caught fire, sending black smoke billowing up the chimney. Despite the number of times he had done it, the job never got any easier. There was a grey lump of sickening fear growing in his stomach, but he went to the kitchen, remembering that he had promised himself to drown it.

He poured an unmarked bottle of brown liquid into a dusty tumbler and carried it over to an easy chair that sat in front of the television. Getting working reception without a paper trail had been tricky, but it had been Jonas’s one condition upon leaving the city. He clicked the TV on and switched to the History Channel. Any news of mythological creatures or strange happenings were found there.

It had been the History Channel that had first sparked the idea of moving in Jonas’s head. That had been many years ago, but he still followed their cryptozoology programs religiously. As the program began Jonas took a long sip from the tumbler and savored the burning sensation as it dripped down his throat. The lump in his stomach disappeared instantly leaving nothing but a reserved calm. The worsening snow storm and howling gale outside were no longer ominous, but calming. “We’re doing the work of legends out here,” he remarked to the empty cabin.

Jonas turned his attention to the TV. “Tonight, mysteries of El Chupacabra. Rick Mansen and his team of cryptozoologists are heading out to the Mexican desert in search of a creature that has been killing local livestock and kidnapping children.” The program continued with some of the history of the chupacabra legend. Jonas could not help but feel a little jealous.

A few years back there had been a special on Bigfoot in the Pacific Northwest and even a TV show called Squatch Hunters, but it had long since been cancelled. The man operating out of the Cascades was a hack, and easily spotted as forgery. The samples he had left behind were mostly composed of dog hair, and dismissed quickly as such.

“Hi, I’m Rick Mansen, and today we’re looking for signs of El Chupacabra,” boomed a handsome man in a ridiculous khaki suit. Even in the heat, his hair curled perfectly off to one side, and there wasn’t a drop of sweat on him. “My team and I have triangulated the most recent attacks to this region in the desert of Northern Mexico.” As far as Jonas was concerned, the Chupacabra had an easier gig. All he had to do was kill a few goats and kidnap some children. The children always turned up alright, their memories blurry of course, but their imaginations ran wild. This lent credence to the Chupacabra legend that Bigfoot had never had.

It didn’t help to see the organizations making a fool out of it either. Most Bigfoot enthusiasts were regarded as insane, and promptly terminated from any academic communities they operated in. This made chasing after the legend a dangerous career move, and one only the truly insane were apt to take up. Jonas sighed, the deck was stacked against him, but he would continue to do the job no matter what. Anything was better than going back. The thought of it made him drain the glass.

As a distraction, he opened the cardboard box that had been on the porch. Inside were a new set of boots, gloves, a new suit of fur, as well as other provisions for the week. Below these gifts was a rolled up newspaper with a note reading, ‘Keep up the good work.’ Beneath the note was a copy of the only tabloid willing to promote the truth about the attacks on the mountain, and Jonas could not help but grin at the headline.

Killings on the mountain continue to go unnoticed.’ Jonas opened the paper and continued to read. ‘Authorities report yet another attack on the mountain and signs of bears moving into new hunting grounds, yet no hikers or scientists have spotted anything. All signs indicate that the bear populations have not moved, with little evidence of their presence. Once again, we urge hikers to use caution when out late into the day and evening, as this is when most of the attacks have occurred.’

The paper went on to speculate that the beast may have been a sasquatch. The fur found at the scene of the attack matched no species of bear, or animal for that matter, but the authorities were far more comfortable writing it off as an adolescent prank than trying to investigate any further. The unbelievable nature of the true answer left it ignored.

Jonas’s heart raced with excitement at the end of the article. The author called for a full team of ‘monster hunting experts’ to come out and explore the area. That would be the day, thought Jonas. A team like that would finally draw more legitimate attention to the myth. Finally, at the bottom of the article was a picture of the female hiker who had been attacked, and a small tribute to her. Jonas tore this piece of the paper away and used it to stoke the fire.

He took one more look at the paper and noted the name of the author. ‘Shirley Codwell, senior correspondent for the Local Eye.’ “Thank you, Shirley,” murmured Jonas, getting up from his chair. He doused the lamp in the kitchen, threw his tumbler in the sink and collapsed into a creaky bed next to the furnace. He slept well, with thoughts of fame and glory creeping into his dreams.

Fast and the Furious – Rohan Drift

I don’t know how to preface this, other than here’s the first page of a really dumb script combining Transformers, Fast and the Furious, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings… Yup, this is how I spend my time. Am I sorry for it? A little bit. Is it proper script format? No. Is there some sexual tension between Dominic Toretto and Aragorn, probably at some point.

poster

LORD OF THE RINGS: ROHAN DRIFT

SCENE 1 – Open on a peaceful shire street where hobbits go about their business, smoking pipe weed, admiring their pretty garden flowers, having large feet. The war for the ring is long since over, the fires of Mount Doom have been quenched for good, but in its absence, the realm has taken to a new form of sport.

SLOW PAN TO A WIDE SHOT OF A TWISTING SHIRE ROAD LEADING PAST MANY HOUSES.

In the distance we see two mechanized ponies careening across the Shire streets, knocking over baskets, and causing hobbits to jump out of the way in fear. We zoom in to find that the first rider is FRODO BAGGINS, wearing fingerless gloves, tastefully cut so as to play down his deformity. The second rider sits upon a black and yellow pony that is instantly recognizable by the audience as Bumblebee, and is driven by none other than ANAKIN SKYWALKER.

CUT TO A CLOSE UP OF THE RACERS AS THEY JOCKEY FOR POSITION ON THE NOW CRAMPED ROAD.

ANAKIN

Now this is pod racing!

The crowd will recognize this reference and feel kinship towards ANAKIN (because of their infinite love for the prequels), despite that he is our story’s villain.

FRODO

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the Nazgoul, it’s that sometimes you have to get off the road.

It’s clear to the audience that FRODO has started lifting, as he flexes a massive bicep at Anakin and winks. FRODO turns his pony into ANAKIN’S, sending him flying off the road, and straight through the front door of SAMWISE GAMGEE, who runs out to see what all the ruckus is about.

SAMWISE

Oh no, not again.

PLAY LAUGHTRACK AND SAD TROMBONE.

FRODO turns back and laughs, but feels the humor catch in his throat, as a roaring, NOS-fueled, 1970 Dodge Charger comes flying over the hill. It is of course driven by DOMINIC TORRETO

CUT TO CLOSE UP OF DOMINIC TORRETO

DOMINIC

Should have gone with the elves kid…

DOMINIC presses the NOS button on his car, and rockets after FRODO, closing the gap in a matter of seconds. DOMINIC looks deep into FRODO’S eyes, asserting dominance

DOMINIC

You can’t live your life a quarter inch at a time kid.

The finish line is less than a quarter mile away (DOM’S preferred distance), and waving a checkered flag is race babe, ARAGORN. DOM gives him a loving smile, which is returned, albeit subtly. Meanwhile ANAKIN and BUMBLEBEE come flying out of the now ruined house of SAMWISE to join the race again. Loho dear readers, the battle has just begun…