I left Aunt Demeter’s office and my head was swirling. The girls were right beside me and still growling about being scolded by her. I scratched them both behind the ears and hushed them.
“Both of you stop being bitchy. We have a job to do.” They both yipped and half-ran to the elevator, then turned and looked back at me.
“I’m coming, I’m coming. Just settle down,”
We took the elevator up to Nana Hera’s office. The doors opened and we were staring at some…thing.
The girl’s hackles stood up and both let out another string of low growls. I just stared for a second before I could compose myself.
“What the fuck are you?” I said as I stared at what can only be described as something I’d never seen before.
It spoke to me in a rather flat monotone.
“We. What the fuck are we.”
“We, I am we. Our name is Aphaid and we are Madame Hera’s personal assistant. We assume you are Dinlas?”
“We, I mean I, yes, I am Dinlas and I’m here to get the body.”
“Right this way then.” He, she, they led me to Nana Hera’s office and the body laying on the floor. Well, what was left of his body.
Aphaid stood quiet. I pulled out a cigarette, lit it, and inhaled deeply. Aphaid still stood staring at me, unblinking.
“So kid, did Nana Hera hit this guy with fire or lightning?”
Aphaid responded, “Lightning, I believe. Does it matter?”
I took another drag on the cigarette, “Not really, I was just curious.”
I finished my smoke, then set to the business at hand. First I found his left hand, it was in the corner of the room practically under her desk. Then I rolled it, along with the rest of the body, up in a small rug. Aphaid stood watching, impassive.
“Okay,” I said as I wiped sweat off my face, “I need to call Aunt Demeter real quick, then I’m gonna teleport out of here. You wouldn’t happen to have any iced coffee would you?”
“We do,” replied Aphaid. “We will be glad to get you some while you make your call.
I was already dialing the phone but I nodded ‘thank you’ to him…her…wait…they. I could tell already I was gonna screw this up.
Aunt Demeter’s voice on the phone brought me out of my thoughts.
“Yeah. Have you got him? Is it done?” she asked immediately.
“We’re getting ready to teleport out of here now. Did you dig up anything on him?”
“Oh yeah,” Aunt Demeter replied. “He’s up to his neck in debt. He gambles in the mortal game of chance called Wall Street. Apparently he owes a large amount of money.”
“Good,” I say, “he sounds like someone who might be ready to end it all.”
“No, not suicide. I want it to be an accident,” was her curt reply before she hung up.
Aphaid returned and stood patiently with my iced coffee until I finished my call. When I put the phone away, they handed it to me.
“Here you are, sir. May ask what we are to do with the dogs after you leave?”
Both girls growled and Aphaid took a half-step back.
“Oh hush, both of you,” I reprimanded them, “both of you need to meet me back at the warehouse.” They stood looking at me like they wanted to go with me, not back to the warehouse.
“Go,” I said, “take a stroll and hunt something if you want.”
When they heard hunt, Jealousy yipped excitedly, causing Hate to lick her on the side of her face. Both flickered for a moment and the wolves morphed into two Mediterranean beauties wearing little black dresses. Hate gave me a coy wave, then they locked arms and disappeared out of the office.
Aphaid said in his flat tone, “My, that was something we haven’t seen before.”
I shook my head and looked at them. “Wolves, promise them a kill or two, and they are putty in your hands.” I drained my iced coffee and Aphaid immediately reached out and took the empty cup. I gotta say, Nana’s assistant was helpful, not much of a conversationalist, but helpful.
I was ready to teleport. Aunt Demeter gave me the car keys from his car earlier, as well as the parking space number he was in. I grabbed hold of him and teleported down into the bowels of the parking garage under the building. I shoved him into the driver’s seat and then went around and got in the passenger seat.
Once I was in the car, I slid to the center and started the car. With my left hand and my left foot, I drove the car out of the garage. We headed east out of the city until we hit a set of train tracks that ran along the edge of Olympus National Park. Naturally, I thought of Artemis since I was near the park for the second time in just several days.
I pulled the car up near the tracks, then turned off the engine and wait.
I started to doze when I heard the train horn. I sat up and the train was still several hundred yards away and coming fast. I reached out and grabbed Mr. Franklin and the car door.
The train was right on top of us now.
“Okay, Mr. Franklin,” I thought as I looked over at him for the last time. “I’m sorry to do this, but I’ll be more sorry if I screw this up for Aunt Demeter and Nana Hera.”
With all my will, I teleport the car, Mr. Franklin, and myself the last few feet onto the tracks. To the train engineer, it would look like the car just lurched forward.
An instant later, I teleported out, about fifty yards away. The car was flattened under the front of the train. Then it exploded in a fireball. There wouldn’t be enough left of Mr. Franklin to scoop up and put in a small bucket.
I *popped* back into the building in front of Nana Hera’s office. Aunt Demeter and Aphaid were overseeing the cleanup in the office.
“Crap, I forgot the rug in the car…”
“Is it done now?” asked Aunt Demeter.
“Yeah, he fell asleep at the wheel and had an unfortunate accident.”
Aunt Demeter held up her hand. “We don’t need to hear anymore. We can read about it in the paper tomorrow.”
I nodded and said, “Well, I’m out.” I patted the manila envelope under my coat that she had given me earlier and added. “Thanks for this as well. I will take care of this problem.”
She looked very serious. “Don’t you go and take over trafficking his women. I won’t stand for it, nor will your Aunt Athena, Nana Hera, Artemis, well the list goes on and on.”
I hugged her and whispered in her ear, “I promise, no trafficking or slavery.”
She hugged me back. “Good. For all our sakes, try and be good.”
I laughed. “I always try to be good, Aunt Dem. It’s just that sometimes it doesn’t work out.” With that, I popped out and teleported back to the warehouse.
The girls weren’t back yet. Still on the hunt. Good for them.
I put my clothes in the closet and fell into bed. Between tracking a killer with Ares and disposing of a dead body for Aunt Dem and Nana, I was beat and hadn’t slept in days.
Time for sleep. “Hypnos take me, Morpheus leave me be.”
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