Collector of Souls: 9 - Gladys

This is a rough draft of a novel in progress published in participation with Tuesday Serial. If you would like to follow along, pelase see the side bar with liked chapters.

Collector of Souls: 9 - Gladys

When Tad wanted to know the mind of his god, he usually took someone’s soul. The transfer of a soul, if Tad dared it, would allow him to ask questions and get answers. Most of the time the answers were less than helpful and came with threats. The threats were always just a little bit silly to Tad. I’ll eat your soul, or You will experience eons of pain. Both, Tad knew were going to happen at some point. Knowing that doom awaits, well, it takes the edge of threats of doom suffering. However, this time, when Tad had asked, “Why so hungry, boss?” and “What’s got you so riled up?” Tad got no answer, not even a threat to rake his mind and drive him insane.

Tad knew of a few other cultists, but he tried to steer clear of them, because they were bat-shit crazy. They were the cultists that crated the ineffectual, feebleminded, as already stated, bat-shit crazy, stereotype that had every would be cultist hunter knocking on his door. Too bad for those hunters, but what a waist of time: torture takes too long, expending psychic powers to draining, so Tad usually just feed them to his master, which was easy.

No, when his god did not speak to him, Tad went to see Gladys. Her home was white with lavender trim. Flowers filled the window boxes all year long. Now, in those boxes were yellow, orange, and red poinsettias. Unlike every other house on the block, her yard was free of leaves, and her sidewalk was swept clean. Gladys’ home always looked too perfect and too clean; it freaked Tad out, just a little bit. Even the doorbell, when pressed, twinkled lightly as if Tinkerbelle resided within instead of Gladys.

Gladys opened the door. She was a heavyset woman in a lovely 50’s-style apron that pictured pears, apples, and grapes. Her hair, raven black, was still up in curlers. When she saw Tad, her kindly expression soured, and she seemed to age twenty years. She put her hands on her hips, “What?”

“I need your help.”

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