Today’s Deadly Destination is from Gina X. Grant‘s Kirsty d’Arc on Hell! from SCYTHE DOES MATTER, The Reluctant Reaper #2 (published on July 19, 2013 by Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star)). Want to win a copy? Enter via the widget below.
Gina X. Grant’s Kirsty d’Arc on Hell! from SCYTHE DOES MATTER
Location: Hell. Fourth Evil Dimension from the left. No, your other left.
Welcome to Hell. We play favorites.
Hi. My name’s Kirsty d’Arc and I’ll be your Reaper this evening.
Nice to meet you. Sorry about scything your ass, but your Deal with the Devil is due, and Lucy Phurr’s not big on forgiveness. That’s not part of our mandate.
No, you don’t go into the light. That’s also the other place. When it was my turn, I tried climbing on the sink to crawl into the bathroom light fixture. Didn’t work. Yes, that’s your body. Doesn’t it look dead? You do need a trim, but no need to worry about that now. When your soul pops out of your dead body, you appear as the “you” you really are. You don’t have a reflection up here anymore; we’ll find a mirror in Hell. You look fine. Completely and utterly different, but fine.
Yes, I’m sure you’re afraid. I was, too. At least I can teleport you because you’re actually dead. But when it was my turn, I wasn’t dead before I went to Hell. Yes, we’ll be leaving shortly. Just let me finish my story. Why’s everybody in such a hurry to get to eternal damnation?
See I’d jumped in front of my boss to save him from what I thought was a crazy robed terrorist. And Dante–that’s my Reaper–scythed me by mistake. Because it wasn’t actually my time to die, my body fell into a coma here on the Mortal Coil (that’s Earth to you). And FYI, when I say Dante’s my Reaper, I mean he’s my Reaper. Taken. Spoken for. Hands off!
My soul had to go to Hell, but Dante couldn’t teleport me because I was technically still alive, so we had to walk. We travelled this dusty red road that stained my favorite shoes, then through the void which looked like my hometown of Toronto in February–dirty and gray. We had a great battle with the gee-gnomes (don’t let them sting you, they alter your DNA!), and finally arrived at the slippery slope paved with icy GI*s. (*Good Intentions.)
I’ll never forget how I felt when I first gazed upon Hell.
I was a trembling mass of anxiety. Exploration, separation, free-floating, expensive-floating. You name it, I had it. Forget butterflies; I had a herd of caribou occupying my stomach, prickly rack of antlers poking my insides.
Hell wasn’t like anything I’d pictured. Or like my grandfather had threatened in his fire and brimstone sermons. It was worse: dim, alien, menacing.
Ready? Hey, come back here! Let me just grab your wrist. Careful, my scythe is as sharp as a beam of black light. Now I’m going to bob my head like I Dream of Jeannie, then we’re going to whoosh-bam like on Stargate. What? Yes, a lot of what goes on in Hell bleeds through to the Mortal Coil. Especially to Hollywood.
Okay, we’re here. See those buildings over there? The gray stone Gothic one with the turrets and crenelated balustrades? No, that brown stuff is stucco. It’s not actually… Anyway, that’s the Reincarnation Station. The shorter lines are people waiting to be reassigned. Thanks to the population explosion, they move fairly quickly. You die today, you’re reborn in a week, maybe less. If you’ve accumulated a ton of really bad karmic kredit points, you can work it off by joining the Frequent Diers Club.
Now the much longer line is for people wanting to appeal their reassignments. There are always “extenuating circumstances.”
Sure you can file a Wrongful Reapage Appeal, but I don’t recommend it. I waited a year for my Appeal to be heard and in the end… What? I am not making this about me.
Oh, sorry. Maybe a little. I have a bit of a problem with that.
I’ll take you to see my gal-pal Sybil Serpent. She’ll help you get your paperwork filled out, but you look a little gray. Let’s take a few minutes while you adjust. You might as well pull up a stone bench and get comfy. You’re going to be here awhile. A looonnnggg while.
But hey, Hell’s not so bad when you consider the alternatives.
And to you urban fantasy fans out there, thanks for taking my little tour de Hell. We’ll be seeing you all… very soon!
Gina X. Grant writes wacky books featuring crazy creatures. She is represented by Rosemary Stimola, the agent who also represents The Hunger Games. The first three books in Gina’s RELUCTANT REAPER series release Summer 2013 from Simon and Schuster’s Pocket Star imprint. Previously, Gina wrote a different brand of book under the pen name Storm Grant.
1 copy of The Reluctant Reaper book of the winner’s choice
Available on July 19, 2013 by Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star)
Be careful what you wish for; it just might get you!
Kirsty’s afterlife gets even more Hellish in this second installment of The Reluctant Reaper series when her soul-stealing ex-boss targets her beloved aunt. Her only chance to stop him? Becoming a Reaper herself. Fortunately, her hunky new boyfriend, Italian-poet-turned-Reaper Dante Alighieri, is there to help.
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