"Miss Van Winkle?" Death called as he floated into the reception room. "You're ne-" Death stopped in mid-sentence and stared at his client.
"It's Lieutenant," Rip Van Winkle replied, standing up from her chair.
Death continued to stare at her.
Rip coughed politely, then more firmly. Death still remained transfixed.
"Excuse me? I'm down here!"
Death shook his head suddenly. "What, I'm sorry? You were saying something?"
Rip scowled. "Yes. I said that it's Lieutenant. Lieutenant Rip Van Winkle."
"Right," Death responded. His eyes sneaked back up to Rip's hair. "And what exactly will you be wanting me to do for you today, Lieutenant?"
Rip shrugged. "Oh, about the same as it is now. Only shorter."
"…Right," Death said. "Somehow I knew you'd say that. Alright. Sit down and take off your glasses. I'll be out in a moment."
Rip sat down in the chair while Death floated into the back room. He suddenly popped his head out. "You might want to grab a magazine, I may be a while."
Rip went back, grabbed a six month old copy of Time and started to flip through it. "Rubbish," she muttered as she pawed her way through an article on the Spear of Longinus, "Patton never touched it. It's back in the Wolf's Den. And it looks nothing like that."
A loud crash followed by what sounded like a thousand minor demons shrieking in a chorus of agony erupted from the back room.
"Be out in just a minute!" Death called.
Rip went back to her magazine and started to hum opera under her breath.
The barber shop began to shake and a blinding flash was emitted from the back room. In all houses within a mile radius of the building, frightening ghostly shapes appeared on all television and computer screens. Small household objects moved of their own will while inhuman wailing pierced the air. At a cemetery half a mile to the west of the shop, coffins began to shake and the packed earth above them began to crack and move. A bony, decomposed hand burst out of a grave.
Rip licked her finger and flipped the page of her magazine.
Death floated out with his regular scythe, the enormous double-bladed scythe, and several jars filled with glowing something.
"Alright," Death said as he spread the blanket around Rip who moved her arms so she could continue to read her magazine. Death stared at the impossible curl in Rip's hair as he rolled up his sleeves. "Let's get started."