I've cheated somewhat. Mostly, I'm guilty of not completely reading the prompt before I sat down to write the scene. And I'm too excited about my characters to create something else. My eyes stopped reading beyond the word "meeting". Somehow I translated "doesn't go as planned" as "isn't what was expected" which is a completely different situation altogether.
Oh well, I'm an adult and I can take responsibility for an epic fail, especially when there's Wild Raspberry Chocolate Chunk ice cream in the freezer. YUM! It's good as a reward for achieving something phenomenal, or even better, as a consolation for an unexpected pitfall.
So, I offer the following in response: A New Career
Essie Dorely waltzed into Reaper & Associates quite pleased at her newly developed ability to locate places. She was only recently dead, but her bad sense of direction, along with arthritis pain and wrinkles, no longer existed, making her acceptance of death easy.
The office housed the furnishings she anticipated. A set of filing cabinets flanked a wooden desk while a tall potted tree stood sentry to a couch and floor lamp in the opposite corner. Unlike earthly office floors, however, the crystalline floor afforded a breath-taking view of the shifting cloudscape below.
Reaper introduced himself upon her arrival. Nothing like the ominous, black-hooded, sickle-wielding wraith she expected, he was easily the finest specimen of a young man she had ever seen, sporting a dapper three-piece suit in pristine white and extremely inappropriate flip-flops. “Thank you for applying,” he motioned for her to take a seat, “Peter recommended you with great praise.”
She imagined the absent flak-flak sound of his footwear as he walked to his chair. Some sounds apparently didn’t manifest in the Afterlife. “Well, since death disqualified me from participating in the national BRA awards this year, I find my schedule is completely open.”
Confusion tinted his smile, “BRA awards?”
“Beautiful Roses Association,” she explained. “My Martha Washingtons were sure to capture the grand prize. But I suppose I can’t complain. My death experience could have been…well, considerably warmer.”
“Why not apply for Garden duty here, if roses carry your interest?”
She sighed. How could she possibly explain the awe and inferiority she felt when the great pearl-inlay gates opened to the most beautiful garden she’d ever seen? No, it was time for a new hobby. “Well, dead is done and I see no need to dwell on roses if I can be of use elsewhere. So when Peter suggested reaping, I thought, why not?”
“Well, I’m happy you’re here. Have you any questions before I give you the grand tour? I will answer what I can, although some things I’m not permitted to discuss with apprentices.”
“We don’t kill people, do we?” she blurted, wondering where the question came from.
“No, Essie, we reap souls.” The twinkle in his eyes vanished. “People kill people.”
“That’s a relief,” she breathed. “Not that I couldn’t do it if I had to kill someone. I mean, I never had to, obviously or I suppose I wouldn’t be here but it can’t be any different than killing dandelions and I’ve murdered my fair share of those… Sorry, I guess I still ramble when I’m nervous.”
“You’ll have to work harder than that to offend me.” He chuckled, filling her heart with song. “Welcome to the team, Essie.”