James was feeling a bit dead, so he went to the doctor, who screamed. People did that a lot; perhaps it was because he was not the most alive person, or perhaps it was the glowing eyes and tendency to suck souls out of them, but whatever the reason James felt hard done by. Even the souls were scant consolation, being thin and rather watery in most cases.
‘Why are you screaming?’ he asked the doctor in annoyance. The doctor continued screaming. ‘All I want is to know if I’m still alive, and all you can do is scream; at least the nurse isn’t doing that.’ The nurse in question was sitting there hollowly, her body trying to work out what it should do now it didn’t have a soul. The doctor continued to scream, so James sucked his one out too; this had the pleasant side-effect of stopping the unholy noise. Annoyed, James went to the hospital, where they confirmed that he had a heart beat every few minutes, and – after thanking him for solving their bed-blocking crisis – they discharged him with a note for the Angel.
‘Not dead, eh?’ said the Angel, tapping its nose knowingly; ‘you half-daemons are hardly alive.’
‘Doesn’t matter,’ said James; ‘I’ve got the note so there’s nothing you can do.’
The angel nodded.
‘True enough. But you made enough work for me for the moment, so I’m not going to complain.’ And he flew off in a flurry of raven-black wings.
James breathed a sigh of relief and went home. After all, he didn’t want to die; he enjoyed his work for the taxman far too much for that.
Severely Odd writes odd flash fiction under the pen-name Severely Odd. More of his work can be found on Amazon .