Jeremiah sat behind the desk in his auto shop. The smell of old oil seeped through the walls, staining his office with the oder. He had nearly gotten used to it. Looking through reports, he rested his head on his hands, feeling the stress.
“Jer!” a man said. Jeremiah didn’t have to look up to know who it was.
“Hey, Rea,” he said flatly, raising his head. “Still fashionable as ever, I see,” he said, pointing out that Rea wore all black, as always.
“What can I say? I’m traditional. And it’s sliming.”
Jeremiah leaned back in his chair and groaned.
“Like you need it,” he said. Rea had always been skin and bones while life had made Jeremiah get doughy.
“I’m putting together a crew,” he said, straight to the point.
“I’m done with all that. And you should be, too. Aren’t you tired of feeling the heat? You just got out. I can’t go underground again.”
“We won’t get caught. At least let me tell you about the job.”
“I’ve got a line on a shipment. Should be easy, if we pull it off right.”
“Easy? Nothing is easy in today’s world. No one has been able to score in almost fifty years.”
“That’s why they won’t be expecting it.”
“Uh, huh,” he said, skeptically. “And just where is this miracle coming from?”
“You know that new train in Switzerland?”
“The incredibly safe and secure one?”
“Exactly. It’s maiden voyage is this Sunday. That’s when we hit them.”
“Impossible. Get out,” Jeremiah.
“Your cut is three thousand.”
“Three, thousand?” he asked in disbelief.
“Can’t do it without you.”
“I still say you can’t do it with me. Tell me more. You’re going to need help from pretty high up.”
“I’ve got Michael.”
“That’s big business. What about The Authority? He’s been keeping a close eye on you since that last job went south.”
“That’s the genius part. I’m going to be front and center the whole time. It’ll clear me of suspicion.”
“The three of us, then?”
“We need someone to take the fall. Everyone will know this is unscheduled.”
“Good thinking. I think that I know just the right someone.”
The three met up in secret and rehearsed until it was show time.
A thick crowd had gathered at the station. Filled with happy people, cheering and waving, excited for this new marvel of technology.
Together and looking around, they spotted their scape goat. They parted and went their separate ways, with Rea approaching that man.
“Hi Grims,” Rea say to the man that dressed all in black like himself. He donned a over sized trench coat. Rea wanted to roll his eyes at the sight, but instead, wore a fake smile.
“Don’t call me that,” he said.
“What do you go by these days?”
“Death,” he replied flatly.
“Are you the reason I’m here? Did you send me this ticket?”
“No,” he lied, “I got one to. Thought maybe it was you.”
“Well, good to see you anyway,” Rea said as he walked on. As he past, he placed a friendly hand on the man’s shoulder, distracting him, while he slipped the incriminating evidence in the coat pocket.
Without missing a beat, he continued onto the train. He was approached at once. Not by train personnel, but by two who appeared to be plain dressed citizens. Michael, his inside man, and his partner, Ralph. Ralph placed a hand flat on Rea’s chest, holding him in place.
“There’s no law against taking a train.”
“For you there is.”
“You can’t keep me from getting on.”
“No, but we can keep an eye on you. Michael here will escort you to your seat. We’ll both be watching you,” he said.
“Fine with me. I’ll enjoy the company.”
Jeremiah, dressed as an engineer, took his place in the bowels of the train. Before long, they were on their way. Only an hour into the trip is when they’d make their move. Jeremiah watched closely as the digital display that tracked the train’s progress inched closer to the sharp curve where would strike.
As the train began around the bend, Michael excused himself to monitor the isles, leaving Ralph to watch Rea. He ducted into the bathroom, and waited for the signal. Jeremiah sabotaged the engines. The train pulled hard as the emergency breaks applied themselves, even though the train was going over two-hundred miles an hour. Michael closed his eyes, and used all his will to push against the train, giving it just enough to tip. It tumbled off the tracks and down the steep ravine. It crumpled and turned, gravity suspending itself for a moment inside as passengers spilled from their seats and slammed the ceiling.
The train hit the ground hard, snapping bones and setting fires. Rae jumped up from his seat, which he had managed to stay in. The guard grabbed his arm.
“I have to get them all, before it’s too late,” he said. The man let his arm go, and he was on his way. Covering as much ground as he could, he absorbed every soul on board. No one had survived.
Michael came back to Ralph, holding Grim.
“I found him on board,” he said.
“This your handy work?” Ralph asked.
Ralph searched him. Removing a folded paper from his pocket, he found blueprints and plans.
“That’s not mine!” Grim said. “I’m being set up. It was him!” he indicated Rea.
“I was with him the whole time,” Ralph assured. “Guess you weren’t counting on having another Reaper on board. He’s already taken the souls. They’re his. And you’re going underground.”
Rea resisted the urge to smile, and instead disappeared. Hours later, the three met up, the location cloaked by Micheal.
“We did it,” Jeremiah said.
The three smiled and laughed, high-fived and celebrated. They split up the souls, with Rea getting the largest cut. Souls were currency in Heaven, and they would live well.