Waiting for e-mails suck, and as much as “Inbox (1)” can be exciting and disappointing at the same time, having no little “(1)” there for several days is way worse than a rejection.
But still, things could be worse. I haven’t had the best week ever, but at least my weeks don’t look like Tia’s in AFTRLYF and HEVN SNT. So I steal an excerpt from AFTRLYF about the hope that a file brings good news and what she found on her computer instead. Some context: Tia is an Angel of Death, Shiva is a sword created by the gods that gives the CEO of Death his power, Celestia is where Heaven, Hell, and Limbo are, and Tia’s investigating Angel deaths.
The Reaper CD spun around in the CPU for a few endless moments. “Come on, come on.” There was the possibility it was corrupted or encrypted, or, as Taxet had suggested, music, but I had put all my hopes into this piece of evidence. I thought I might cry if it didn’t contain any helpful information about the rogue Angel, whom I was beginning to think of as “The Reaper.”
Finally, a file folder appeared on the screen. A single file was on it with a type of program neither I nor the computer recognized. “The Great Reap,” it said.
“Twenty bucks says this is some kind of weird music file taken from an illegal download site. You’ll click on it, and Windows Media Agent will appear playing a whole CD worth of The Reaper’s music.”
“No, I don’t think that’s it,” I said slowly. I was hoping we would find a Word document with information, but I didn’t know what this kind of file was.
“Well, go on. Let’s see what we got.”
A dull ache growing in the pit of my stomach, I clicked on the file.
The computer went black for a moment. It returned with an image of the Grim Reaper, complete with black hood and scythe. Below it was a message in white bolded font: “THE REAPER WILL BRING DOWN ALL OF HEAVEN AND HELL AND CREATE A NEW AGE FOR ANGELS THROUGHOUT THE CELESTIAL PLANE.”
“That’s not good,” I said, just before the lights went out.
Now, a little thing about the celestial plane: there were no light bulbs. No light fixtures. Nothing to explain the sudden strobing of the white light filling this room and the others in Celestia. Those moments when the room was dark, only Shiva’s light remained, inconstant as it was, casting us in an eerie illumination that made our faces turn a pale gray. I swear that for a beat a wide grin stretched across Taxet’s face, matching the one on the screen, but if it was there, he replaced it with an “oh” before the next strobe of light.
The lights returned, dulled, and I breathed a sigh of relief. My relief came too soon. Several “swoosh”s sounded around the room. I couldn’t track the first until I saw the glow around what I could only assume were doors into the study. I hadn’t imagined there were so many hidden in the vaporous walls.
“Taxet, quick, I think we’re being sealed in.”
I ran while Taxet flew towards the door to the Waiting Room, but as we passed Shiva’s case, the door to the case glowed similarly to the other doors and opened.
Shiva blinked out of the case.
“Damn, girl. What did you do?”
Like I really needed the censure to realize how badly we had screwed up. “Shut up and go.”
I gnashed my teeth together as he grabbed me by my arms and pulled me into his, flying faster, even with me in his grip, than I could run. We burst through the door before it slammed shut and sealed behind us. I hit the floor for the second time that day with only Taxet to cushion my fall.
Hope you enjoyed my first Tia-verse excerpt.
Lots of love,