Santos Building, Tank Street
You’re a bit winded, partly because of that kick to the belly, you tell yourself. Lissa’s run effortlessly beside you. The pull of MacArthur’s Chambers has passed. Now there is only the chase.
“You have to keep in shape in this job,” she says.
“I’m getting into shape, I promise.” Your voice is a gaspy whisper.
The Stirrer turns, and, for the first time it pays attention to Lissa.
“You,” it says.
Lissa laughs. “Yes, me. I don’t like rogue Stirrers.”
“And we don’t like you!” It charges towards her, and before you even think about it, you have tackled the Stirrer around the legs. It’s a good quality tackle, State of Origin quality. The Stirrer lands hard. You’re kind of proud of it.
“Your palm,” Lissa yells.
And you remember.
You slap your bloody palm against its leg. There’s a bit of skin showing at the ankle.
The Stirrer groans, it shudders, and then you feel… you feel its soul (or its anti-soul) crash through you.
The body stills, and you’re squashed beneath it. Most undignified, and it smells!
Lissa lifts you up. She does it easily. “I don’t need saving,” she says. “I am Death. I’m far more robust than you.”
You look down at the body.
Lissa clears her throat. “You better call it in.”
You reach for your mobile phone. The work one. The number’s programmed in. You press the icon called Cleaner. The phone rings twice.
“I’ve a body,” you say.
“We know,” is the answer, very officious. “We’ll be there ASAP.”
“Thank you,” you say.
There’s a sigh down the line. “First day on the job, eh?”
“I wish I could say it gets easier. Now, never say thank you. You don’t need to say, thank you.”
“Ok, tha-” You stop yourself.
There’s laughter down the line. “You’ll do,” the voice says, and the line goes dead.
You stare at your phone. You’re not sure if you can handle this. You’re bruised and sore, the people you’ll work with are…odd to say the least.
“They’re very busy people,” Lissa says.
You look down at the corpse, it looks very peaceful. But it wasn’t a moment ago.
“I don’t know if I can do this,” you say.
“It’s normal to have doubts,” Lissa says, “you have a sense of what we do. But the day isn’t over.”
You drop to your knees. Almost drop on the corpse itself. Lissa rests a cold hand on your shoulder.
“Look, if it’s too much. That’s OK. Maybe you’re not right for us. I don’t have much time for weakness.”
“I’m not weak,” you say.
Lissa walks around and glares at you.
“Then grow a backbone!”
You scowl, but you’re still not sure. You slowly get to your feet.
“Look,” Lissa says. “You can stop here, and leave, or follow me across the river. There’s still plenty to do, and I won’t have slackers on my payroll.”
One: If you stay here, you’ll still get a day’s pay and there’s still that accounting Job. If this is your choice, click here.
Kurilpa Bridge: or you can walk onto the Kurilpa Bridge and continue your lesson at the look out on the South Bank side of the bridge near the Emergency Button – Being with Death is always an emergency, isn’t it?