I’d let Ravi plant a wet smack on my cheek at the door after he’d fixed my air conditioner, but that was it. He’d been hoping for a lot more, but he was respectful I wasn’t up for it. I’d suggested we have dinner sometime, and he’d left with a silly grin on his face.
The breakfast hadn’t been a total loss. Darla, the waitress, was meeting me later with a key, plus Ravi had moved from being a person of annoyance to a person of usefulness. The human tech-stuff that I was now forced to deal with was rage-inducing. It turned out that Ravi was tech savvy and clever with his hands…on mechanical things. Having the A/C purring was worth something. Besides, Ravi deserved a better job. First though, I had to figure out how to finagle that happening without showing off too much. It would take some research, and probably a casino field trip. Money made the world go around, and that was never truer than in Las Vegas.
My Cross Roads project had started off as whim, but was growing into a viable business. When I’d chosen this spiritual wasteland, I hadn’t thought it through. Money was something I had no experience with. But since Daddy dearest expected us to play mortal games, like a dutiful Goddess I was up for a bit of slumming. That was before I realized that money wasn’t optional and my expensive tastes required a lucrative job. Sure, the vet night job allowed me paid time to steep in streaming media, but it didn’t net enough ‘scratch’ to pay for the apartment, clothing, and my jewelry obsession. I liked my silver heavy, so mad money was essential. Besides, I wanted to do something meaningful that would leave an impression. It didn’t escape me that the goodwill I sent out might also gain me a little favor with Daddy.
Collecting keys was my main objective, and seeking out the needy helped pass the time. With the keys came enough extra cash to keep me floating and the box under my bed was filling fast.
Keys are special and not because they open doors, but because they hold an impression of both the door and the opener. A bit of mortal life force clings to an opening, and that is enough spark for me to connect with the human. Call it magic. It’s the energy that drives the magic, but to mortals it’s basically the same thing. I discovered it’s also a way to gather up extra fuzzy goodness for my ascension back to the Pantheon. Plus, in the process of helping with their problem-du-jour, I infuse the mortals with a bit of magic to hold onto. For a final touch, a swift kick in the right place turns their future a little more moonlit. It’s a win-win, which is a rarity in Vegas.
The booth at the Swap-o-Rama costs a small fortune, but beyond it being an easy location for mortals to find me, the trinkets I sell help with my cash flow. That’s where the pawns come in. Vegas is a hotbed of people going through the win-to-lose phenomenon. I’m not judging, but the pawns are full of interesting stuff easily turned into quick cash.
I’m more than happy to re-home the best pieces and then re-envision them into amulets. You might think this all beneath me, but as I said, I’m doing this for Dad. At the same time, I like seeing the worthy mortals improve their destiny options. And I’d just moved Ravi from a pass-by into the ‘worthy’ category.
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