Friday, August 6, 2010

Dead Rite chapter 17.05

He crossed to the doors and pushed open the smaller one, set into the thirty-foot high entrance like a tradesman's entrance in an Italian pension. They were confronted with a security desk and what looked to be a airport security arch.

"Flammables in the tray, step through the scanner." The devil on duty was young, no more than a century or two since his mortal death, and clearly bored.

"What for?" Jasfoup looked at the contraption. Tiny holes punctured the arch all the way round, though what they could possibly be scanning for was anyone's guess. The records office was hardly a primary target for terrorists. Besides, any terrorists who entered hell invariably became long-term residents. Usually in the lava pits.

"To prevent the removal of records from the Public Records Office. Can't have just anyone looking at them, can we?"

"Then shouldn't the scanner be on the way out?"

"The attendant shifted uncomfortably. "That's not for me to say, is it? Where would we be if we questioned our superiors?"

"Could you lose your position?"

"Of course."

"What's lower than the job you're doing now?"

"Shit stirrer."

"No, I just have a healthy attitude with regard to questioning the status quo."

"No. Shit Stirrer. That's a job lower than this one."

"At least you'd be out in the open air."

"Not necessarily. My brother's a shit stirrer and he has to stir from inside the pit. Only his supervisor is allowed to stay on the edge."

"Ah." Jasfoup smiled and emptied his pickets into the tray. It was made from the skull cap of a large animal to fit with the general theme. "There. That's everything."

"Is this an angelic sword? I've never seen one before."

"Yes." Jasfoup slapped his wrist. "Don't touch it or there'll be tears."

"Why? Are you that wimpy?" The guard grinned and deliberately touched the blade. A moment later he looked at the three fingers in the bottom of the tray, his face going white with shock.

Jasfoup stepped under the arch, glad he'd put his bloodberry in the tray as jets of flame from the little holes bathed him in heat. He walked out and reached back for his things. "Told you."


stephanie said...

Shit stirrer. *grins*

I did feel sorry for the bloke until he failed to listen.

Leatherdykeuk said...

The cry of beaurocracy everywhere!