"Hello, miss. Julianne, right?" I ask a little girl. She's sitting on the edge of a hospital bed, confused.
"Why are mommy and daddy crying?" she asks me.
"They're crying because of how happy they are for you. They're glad you're going to a better place."
"Like Grandpa did?" she looks happy.
"Yes. Just like Grandpa. I can take you to him if you would like."
"Yes, please!" she takes my hand and, right before I teleport, she tugs on my wing.
"Can I touch your halo?"
"Raven!" Jess shakes me awake.
"What? Is something right?" I sit up. I fix my hair and get control of my abilities. Every morning is the same. My wings are always out, different sizes, black feathers covering my bed.
"Now is not the time for jokes. Ghost called a meeting for all the highest workers," she brings me my jacket and collar. In only a couple seconds, I'm fully dressed. I teleport Jess and I to headquarters.
"Do any of you know why I called you here?" Ghost asks. Everyone shakes their head. Around the table sits Jess, the tracker, Zoe, the head healer, Hybrid, the keeper, and Ghost, head of all the Underworld.
Zoe and I were best friends in high school, but parted ways when she went to college. Her ability is to heal anything she touches, unless it's serious. She can't heal things like gunshot wounds(unless it's self-inflicted), amputated limbs, and anything that needs a transplant. She usually heals the people that have just arrived here if they have any wounds. I give the dead to her, and she gives them to Ghost, who either gives them a job and a demon chip or just a citizen chip. A demon chip, but not as advanced.
Hybrid is the keeper of whoever tries to escape the Underworld. Jess catches them and hands them off to Hybrid so he can put them in jail. Only a few have to go to him, since others learn their lesson as soon as they're caught the first time. Others, like Zelon, try to escape multiple times, so they get put in jail for a year or two. If they still try to escape after that, Ghost deals with them.
Hybrid has long, light brown hair. It's always in a manbun. His skin is naturally pale, almost as if he'd just seen a ghost. Whoops. Ghost never heard that. Hybrid always has tons of makeup on. He coats his face in white paint, then makes thin, black lines over it to make it look like he's cracked. He always wears a red long-sleeved shirt with a light gray sleeveless jacket over it. He's only a bit shorter than Ghost. He always has his nails perfectly trimmed. His ability is his pursuation. Even if he says he's not using his ability, we're never sure. For some reason, something about him just makes us do whatever he asks. He'd be a better head of the Underworld than Ghost. Ghost is easier to talk back to.
And of course, Ghost himself. His ability is mind reading. He's the only one that ever knows when Hybrid is using his ability. He's the king. We all belong to him. That's what he tells us. Every time we disobey, he'll give the same lecture.
"I brought you here. You should be thankful I didn't leave you on earth to mope about your past life for eternity. After all I've done for you, you can't do one thing for me? Unbelievable."
"I gather you here today to celebrate the corruption of Raven. A year ago today, she was-"
"Sorry to interrupt, but you got my pronoun wrong," I complain.
"Silence! I am celebrating you! You should be grateful-" And there he goes again. I pretend to doze off. Jess laughs and Hybrid stomps on my foot.
"Are you going to continue what you were going to say before you lectured me?" I yawn. Zoe yawns back. Then Jess. Then Hybrid. And finally, Ghost yawns. Yawns are contagious.
"I was trying to help us all remember the day we brought you down here. You were just walking on the sidewalk of the earth. Nobody could see you, of course. You were already dead. Do you remember that day?" Ghost runs his fingers through his hair.
"The day you had Hybrid kidnap me? Of course I do. I was just walking around happily in my white dress and big, feathery wings. My halo was bouncing and my angel circuit was white. I remember it like it was yesterday."
"Good. Happy corruption day, Raven," Ghost claps quietly. Jess, Zoe, and Hybrid join in to fill the awkward silence.
"Thanks. So that's it? I can go back to sleep?" I stand, ready to teleport out of here.
"Go right ahead. Zoe, don't forget that your corruption day is tomorrow."
I walk on the side of the road, my long, mermaid style dress barely sweeping the floor. My angel circuit is white, meaning happiness. An angel circuit only had a couple of settings, neutral and happy. We were never sad or angry. My halo shines bright gold, floating above my head. It pains me to be here on earth. Everyone seems so stressed. Sometimes I wish I could bring them all back to the overworld with me. But I know that's not possible.
Someone touches my shoulder. I turn around, surprised anyone else would be here willingly. I was the only one with my job, and nobody else was allowed to come here without my consent.
"Come with me," the man says. He has a light brown manbun and lots of makeup.
"I shouldn't. I have things to do here. I have to come down here at least three hours a day, and I still have an hour to go," I turn back around and keep walking. Something tells me to turn around. I don't know what it is, but I just know that I have to obey it. I turn back around to face the man.
"Now, I'll tell you one more time. Come with me," he reaches his hand out. Again, I get that feeling. I have to obey him. I grab his hand just as my friend, Zoe, yells at me not to. I pass out.