Black Wings by Christina Henry
“Mrs. Luccardi, you’re dead,” I said. “You can’t take care of your cats anymore. Someone else will have to do that now.”
I fought the urge to cover my nose as I said this. Mrs. Luccardi was recently deceased and therefore immune to the reek of cat piss that permeated her doily-covered living room, but I was very much alive and getting tired of breathing through my mouth.
Aside from my burning need to breathe air unscented by eau de cat urine, I had two other pressing reasons for getting Mrs. Luccardi out of there. First, I had a potential tenant coming to look at the empty apartment in my building in twenty minutes, and I didn’t want to piss off a possible source of income by showing up late. Second, some of Mrs. Luccardi’s precious darlings were contemplating her cooling body with “buffet” in their eyes. I did not want Mrs. Luccardi to see her babies gnawing through her flowered housedress to flesh and bone. That kind of thing tends to traumatize the newly dead and prevents and Agent from an efficient escort to the Door.
If the soul doesn’t enter the Door, then it becomes a ghost. Agents don’t like ghosts. They’re untidy. The presence of a ghost means you can’t close your list, and if you can’t close your list, you have to file extra paperwork to explain why you can’t, and I absolutely hate doing any paperwork at all, period. So I really wanted Mrs. Luccardi to leave her carnivorous little fuzzballs and come with me, pronto.
GIVEAWAY: I will be giving away one (1) copy of Black Wings by Christina Henry starting tomorrow, along with my review of the book. Contest is open to United States residents/mailing addresses only. Contest starts Monday December 6, 2010 and runs until December 9, 2010 at 9:00 PM EST. Winner will be selected using random.org and announced on my blog on December 9, 2010. Be sure to check back on Monday and enter the contest!