Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Ferryman's Task

               In today’s world, not everybody believes in the souls of the dead.  Some don’t even believe in an afterlife, others believe that the afterlife is either full of bliss or torture.  I do not believe in souls or the afterlife, because I know they exist.  My name is Charon, Ferrier of souls for Lord Hades. 
                Most of the time my job is pretty simple, the souls of the deceased come to me and I send them on their way to the depths of the underworld.  In Hades’ realm it doesn’t matter what you did during your life, everyone pretty much ends up in the same place, unless you pissed off the gods big time, in which case you’ll be damned to the pits of Tartarus.  There are times however, when my job gets complicated.  There are certain souls that don’t accept what happened or feel that they still want to hang around on Earth for a while longer.  There are also times when the mutt Cerberus at the gates falls asleep and lets a few dangerous souls back out.  This goes against the natural order of things, so as the connection between this world and the next; I have to go fetch them.
                My latest task, and the reason I’m now stuck in this awful smelling human conglomeration known as New York City, is because some soul from the late 1800’s has escaped and started increasing the population of the underworld.  I think it’s good business, but Hades says it’s too crowded already so I have to stop this soul.  Jack somebody I think his name is, I don’t much care for human history.  He has proved to be a difficult catch however; I have been tracking him for a few weeks now.  One of the perks I get for being so close to death is that I’m allowed to use some of the lord of the dead’s abilities, including talking to the recently deceased on this earth and shadow walking.  Shadow walking lets me travel unseen by mortals in places where light doesn’t completely reach.  It is useful for snagging souls and not raising awareness of the humans. 
                My sources have been the most recent victims of this Jack character, and together they gave me enough information, through panicked tones and pleas for renewed life, to track him to one of the least attractive parts of this wholly unattractive place, known by residence as “The Bronx”.  A benefit of chasing souls is that they tend to follow what they did during life, and they can only travel at night.  It makes sense that a resident of Old London would choose to haunt a city with narrow streets and an absurd number of humans walking around. 
                Treading carefully in the shadows, I listen over the rumbling trains for any sign of ghoul activity and take out my soul hunting tool of choice, my scythe Harvester. Finally, I hear what I’m listening for, footsteps to light to be human and just slow enough to indicate a predator stalking his prey.  As I turn a corner into an alley way, I see a tall man dressed in an overcoat and bowler hat cornering a blonde, unnaturally thin woman who is so scantily dressed she may as well not be wearing anything at all.  The man, who is immediately recognizable as the soul Jack, being as his feet weren’t quite touching the ground, raises a twelve inch blade and starts laughing.  The woman screams for her life, but before Jack can strike I swing Harvester to send that bastard back to Tartarus where he belongs.  I didn’t give the damned ghoul enough credit though, and he heard the swing a moment before it would have got him, and he just managed to avoid a fatal blow. 
                Furious, Jack turned to face me his hand grasping the relatively shallow wound that Harvester had given him. 
                “Who the fuck are you?” he screamed at me his eyes bulging in fury. “How the fuck can you hurt me?! I’m supposed to be invincible!”
                Technically, he is right, most metals can’t hurt souls that are on Earth, but Harvester is made of an ore found only in Hades, designed to entrap or destroy the dead.
                “Answer me you fucker!”  Jack continued to scream.
                “I am a simple Ferry man, and I’m here to take you home.”  I replied as I took another swing, missing Jack by a hair.
                “Fuck you! I’m having too much fun to be taken back to Hell by the devil’s bitch!”  he said as he grabbed the woman who was still cowering in the corner, holding the knife to her neck.  “You let me go and I’ll let this whore live.  Then we’ll both just go our own way, and I’ll be no more fucking trouble for you.”
                “Humans are so predictable. You always think that hostages will guarantee your freedom.  Too bad that doesn’t work against the agents of Hades.”  I told him as I stepped backwards into the shadow so becoming invisible to any mortal living or dead, sending Jack into a panic that gave me just enough time to slide the blade of Harvester in-between his ribs from behind, sending him back to the tortures that await murderers in the bowels of Tartarus.  

The Beginning

So, this first post isn't seen by many I assume, but for those who I convince to follow I'll lay out my expectations for this.  I'm starting a blog because why not, in the internet age it's probably the best way to get some writings and thoughts out in the collective conscious.  I'll be posting writings and random thoughts, and I would appreciate constructive feedback (please don't just say "I like it" or alternatively "I don't like it") and if you want me to write an expansion for certain stories I will be glad to put my mind to work for things like that.  I won't be offended if you don't like stuff, so don't be shy to tell me if something sucks.  I will be posting my first story real soon so enjoy my Attempts at Prose!
                           Sincerely, Mark