NEW Author's Note: Hi, guys! We've got a few notes for you today. First up, our new challenge "The Colors of the Rainbow" Prompt Challenge is now AVAILABLE for sign-up on "Chit Chat on Author's Corner" forum. It looks like it's going to shape up into a fun challenge. Check it out.
Tonnie and I are diligently working toward our nomination ballot on the second annual "Profilers Choice Awards" hosted by Chit Chat on Author's corner forum. Our tentative date to release the categories, informational post and NOMINATION BALLOT is 8/28/11. One week, guys. So, put on your reading hat and look for those stories and authors you adore. Any of our fellow authors, please feel free to promote the awards as well. The more the merrier and we can use all the help we can get!
Additionally, we'll have some new posts going up at the forum this week. So, skip over and take a look.
Also, we're continuing to have oodles of fun with our fellow authors and readers over on facebook. I'm getting to know a lot of wonderful people over there and we've got quite the support system going. Feel free to come join the fun. Simply "friend" Ilovetvalot Fanfiction. I'll be sure to accept.
Also, we love hearing from you. So, drop a review if you have the time. They truly make our day. And honestly, I'm really curious to know what you guys think of the Soul Reaper. He, Satan and Gabriel (from Where Angels Fear to Tread) are three OCs it's been a blast to write...I wanna know if reading them was just as fun!
Death Takes a Holiday
"Don't you dare touch me, you Peyton Manning looking wannabe soul sucker," JJ ordered, shying away from my touch like a virgin in Pompeii. "I don't know who you think you are, but if you think I'll willingly walk into the Great Hereafter with you, you'll be waiting until the Second Coming!"
"Hey!" I squawked, sparing a momentary thought that I hated when my voice went that high...not very deity-like at all. "Not cool! I took this particular form because I thought it would put you at ease...Midwestern farm girl from a rural town...you guys love that, right?" I griped, touching my jaw. Hell, everybody loved Peyton Manning, didn't they?
"I'm from Pennsylvania, you moron. And I played soccer," she hissed, her flickering eyes narrowing.
"Damn!" I complained, dropping my eyes to her information sheet again, shaking my head as I scanned the pertinent sections. "I really need to read these things closer."
"You certainly don't sound like any angel I ever imagined," she snorted, raking me with her eyes, now bright and angry.
"I already told you...that's a fallacy. I'm no angel. I'm a free agent. I work for both sides of the celestial fence, chica. And right now, I'm thinking they might have gotten your ultimate destination entirely wrong," I muttered under my breath, still stinging from the diss to my quarterback idol. Even an eternal being can have a hero, can't he? Taking a deep breath, I asked, "Would you prefer I took the form of David Beckham?"
"I'd prefer you send me BACK to my life," she yelled irately, waving her arms in the air as if she was swatting at a swarm of bees.
Glancing at my watch - yeah, Timex still worked in the spirit realm - I realized that my chances of catching kickoff were diminishing by the passing second. Clearing my throat, I shoved my hands in my jeans pockets. "Look, I don't usually give away the ending, but if it helps any, you're going up and not down."
"Huh?" she grunted at me, one hand landing on her hip as she glared at me.
"You know, Eternal Paradise...streets paved with goal, a never ending day...all that jazz," I replied, trying to keep the frustration out of my voice. Honestly, couldn't I have just had an easy one for today?
"I don't care if it rains hundred dollar bills every other day, I want to stay here," JJ pleaded with me, her eyes starting to tear.
Glancing into the crystal water, I frowned, watching as Aaron Hotchner lovingly caressed her mortal face, his lips moving in silent prayer. Even here, I could hear his mind pleading with the Almighty for one more chance. "What's with you and him?" I asked without conscious thought, jerking my head toward the water.
Watching as she glided toward me, her head tentatively peeked around my shoulder. "Aaron," she whispered, pressing her fingers to her lips. "Oh, God, Aaron," she moaned.
"I know who he is," I rolled my eyes impatiently. Why was it that humans might hear a question, but they never really listened to what was being said. Lifting her sheet, I glanced at it. "It says right here that Aaron Hotchner is your boss."
"He is," she said weakly.
Raising an eyebrow as I watched the reflection in the pool, I shook my head. "That looks like a lot more than a professional relationship," I noted as I watched the younger man brush a wayward strand of her mortal hair from her temple with gentle fingers.
Granted, I didn't know much about human emotion. I'd never been in love before...hadn't experienced it firsthand - and believe me, I'm more than a little relieved about that. But, I'd seen it. Multiple times.
And this was definitely it.
"I...we...I don't know," she breathed, her corporeal form blinking back tears of anguish.
"Seriously?" I grunted, offering her a sidelong glance that plainly said I didn't believe her.
"We never talked about how we felt," she said defensively, frowning at me.
"That was dumb," I said truthfully, having reached the point in my life where I no longer had to mince words. "You humans...always with the taking time for granted. It's not endless, you know. As this little experience should illustrate, it's very, very finite."
"Thank you so much, Dr. Phil," the woman at my side retorted. "Like I need a psych lesson NOW!"
"Sorry," I apologized sheepishly, feeling like I was standing in front of Mother Teresa when she first arrived in heaven. I could admit, this woman had a valid point. What she had or hadn't said...it didn't matter now.
Or did it, I asked myself, turning my head to study the obviously miserable woman. "Do you love him as much as it appears he loves you?"
"None of your business," JJ said sharply, taking a step back from the painful image below. It was obvious that she wanted more, and I could almost hear her think that she wanted her son...she wanted her life...she wanted Aaron.
"Actually, it is," I said, matching her tone. Why did women have to be so much harder than guys to convince? Sighing, I licked my lips as I assessed her. "Even if I could arrange for you to go back...you'd have a long, painful haul ahead of you. Your pelvis has been crushed. Your brain is swelling...," I trailed off, glancing over my shoulder again to view the injured woman below. "There'd be no pain in the Afterlife for you."
"Pain is just God's way of reminding you that you're alive," JJ countered, her sky blue eyes focusing on me. "It makes you fight harder for the things that matter. Like my son."
"And Aaron?" I asked, raising an inquisitive brow.
Biting her lip, she slowly nodded. "I love him," she said simply.
"I'm no expert, but in my opinion, the feeling is returned tenfold," I said, my fine tuned hearing picking up Hotchner's pleas from below.
"I hope so," JJ whispered, her words literally a whispered breath.
Running a hand over my face, I groaned. "I'm getting soft! You're actually getting to me," I accused her, frankly annoyed by this alien feeling pervading me.
"What?" JJ asked curiously.
"Definitely time for a vacation," I mumbled into my palms before dropping my hands to face her transparent form. She was a pretty little thing, standing there in her flowing gossamer dress. I could see what the other guy might be attracted to. "Here's the deal, lady. I get ten special dispensations per century where I can just walk away from you."
"Walk away?" JJ repeated, confusion etching her face.
"Yeah, walk away," I muttered as I nodded. "Meaning, you go back to your life, such that it is," I said with a pointed glance back at the pond. "And you make the most of it. That means, you stop putting off until tomorrow what needs to happen today." Just great, I thought grimly. Now I sounded like a country and western song.
"You'd do that?" she whispered hopefully, taking a tentative step forward.
"That depends on you. Do you agree to my terms?" I asked irritably. I couldn't believe I was freaking doing this. It meant forms and paperwork. Yeah, heaven has bureaucracy...so did hell. No matter where you went, that was a constancy. Isn't that comforting? And besides all that, there was gonna be a trip before the Almighty Himself, I mentally griped.
"Yes!" JJ replied eagerly, fairly leaping at the opportunity.
"Craaaappp," I groaned aloud. "I really am gonna miss the game." Huffing out a breath, I nodded. "Fine," I said shortly, "but, be aware, the next time I come for you, the trip goes one way, Jennifer Jareau," I warned before flicking my fingers at her, sending her hurtling back toward her mortal life.
Unable to resist, I turned to stare into the pond again, watching as the man beside her hospital bed suddenly smiled through his tears when her mortal eyes flashed open.
It was touching. Really, it was.
And it might - and that was a BIG might - just be worth missing Peyton Manning kicking the Steelers' collective asses.