The group has instructed Gideon to make contact with the Department of Demons, and specifically his former messenger imp, as their best chance to get an answer to the punishment of the thirty day Regulation.
After the meeting, Gideon texted Customer Services to contact the old messenger imp he had worked with a century ago. He did not know how long they remain on the job but knew their services have been phased out, oh probably, since telephones. They sent back a form to be completed and now all Gideon could do was wait.
Thinking that the phone would never ring to notify him that his old demon friend has been found, one evening he took a walk.
The weather had turned, the wind bit into him and he smelled snow in the air.
It did not matter.
The importance of learning the answers to the group’s questions occupied his mind. If this course of action did not pan out he did not know what to do.
A red triangular hand tugged at Gideon’s elbow, starling him out of his thoughts.
“It has been a long time, my friend, so what can I do for you? My buddy said you wanted to see me.”
Gideon turned, lowered his glance and viewed a demon, though unsure if it was his old messenger imp since they all looked alike.
“How rude of me. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Memnoch, at your service,” and he bent at the waist in a little bow. The image struck Gideon as absurd. A courteous demon. He had to restrain himself from laughing.
Before the soul collector could phrase a question, Memnoche, for it was his old messenger imp, said,“Walk with me, we can talk and I will answer your questions but bear with me, after all I have work to do also and do not have time to just stand around.”
Saying that, they stopped while Memnoch inspected the crowded area, and then mumbled some words until only one human remained on the street.
But Gideon spotted another figure close by who appeared to be a homeless guy begging for spare change wearing earrings with such red, yellow, orange, and blue hair that it lit up the night. Gideon roughly pushed Memnoche to grab his attention. “What is that?” His voice betrayed his fear. And not much could scare the century old devil’s agent.
The imp whispered his reply. “It is one of The Lost, the bastard spawn of a Fire Angel and a demon from the realm of shadows, very nasty pieces of work. No kin to us,” he said, his voice reeked of disdain. “They are filled with a mixture of dark and light, one in constant conflict with the other causing a state of madness, another reason for their deadliness.
If you are going to walk on thin ice you may as well dance is their motto and they do dance on the thin line dividing reality from chaos.”
Gideon’s eyes about bulged out of his head, as the imp continued.
”The Lost collect souls also, but unlike you they absorb the innocent and that is what gives them sentience.”
The soul collector and the messenger imp fortunately escaped without notice from the creature.
Further along the street the pair encountered the same human from earlier who also had escaped from the deadly creature. Gideon watched as the man, absorbed in his Ipad crossed the street and was hit by a car and died, but since the victim was not listed on his schedule Gideon knew he was not one of his clients. However he did see an agent appear to transfer his soul to Mr D. and then disappear. He had never seen that agent before since he normally did not encounter other agents.
The imp and Gideon continued to walk while Memnoche explained.
“I have watched you many times in your role as soul collector and now I have allowed you to observe my world. As part of my reconnaissance work I ensure the location is clear for the soul collectors’ safety which is our primary function in these modern times, ensuring pedestrian and vehicular traffic is at a minimum.”
“Fascinating. I was not aware of that,” Gideon said, quirking his left eyebrow.
“No, each tier is only given sufficient information to do their job,” Memnoche nodded for emphasis.
“But we demons or imps, we go by either name, do get to see more than the soul collectors and since we live in hell, we communicate with each other and so in the end probably know more than anyone of what takes place,” his smile reflected pride in his work.
“Well someone did not do their job that day when Beth showed up in her bathrobe and a child spotted her,” Gideon’s annoyed tone shot back.
Note: Beth had been running late , didn’t realise the time and got sent to the job site in her bathrobe. Their uniform is a black business suit. A little girl at the accident scene was able to see her. Normally humans cannot see the soul collectors at work. Well Phoebe did but that is another story. When Beth returned home she was furious at Charles who had been the reason for her tardiness.
“Yeah don’t remind me. That guy screwed up once too often and he’s landed himself in the sweatshops of hell,” the demon said disgustingly shaking his head at the other’s stupidity.
“I have heard of that place.”
“Yes the sweat shops of hell is a general threat but is moot as only demons are sent there,” Memnoche explained. “It sounds good, as a punishment, but is meaningless.”
“As you realise I am the imp who helped you in nineteen hundred. I did not report you when you ignored me to be with the lovely lady, who I see is now yours. ”
The demon’s change of subject and gleeful remark stunned Gideon and left him at a loss for words.
At the next corner Memnoch held up his hand, “You stay here, I will be right back,” and he slipped into one of the little houses that lined the residential street.
A moment later he reappeared.
“Now where were we? ”
Gideon attempted to organize his thoughts in the light of this information.
“One question, the group….”
“Oh yes I am familiar with your bunch. You do have fun times” and Memnoche winked his eye, well more of a flicker, since the eye lids were not functional.
Disconcerted Gideon carried on.
“We know each of the four of us has a special skill, for example…”
“Yes, yes I know all about it so what?”
“Do other agents also have specialized skills and do soul collectors who work in the same territory know each other or is it merely a fluke that we four met?”
“Yes I can answer that,” Memnoche said nodding agreeably. “And yes it is very odd that you all made each other’s acquaintance and became good friends. Each of the many territories must have agents with those skills. It is a requirement.”
”Is there ever a problem finding the skill set?”
“You ask difficult questions my friend. That can happen in which case a demon may be promoted to soul collector. We try to pick the most senior and accomplished imp we have in that case.”
“Well I would think you could be a soul collector. You have the seniority and accomplishments.”
“Yes. Mr.D asked me several times if I would like a promotion. But I always decline. Too much responsibility.”
Thank you to Tyler Myrth and my writing group for the inspiration
Blogophilia Week 10.6 Topic: Filled With a Mixture Dark and Light
(Hard, 2 pts): Incorporate an Inuit proverb
(Easy, 1 pt): Include a mysterious phone call