Ellen left the apartment very early the next morning, not wanting to run into Kyle. She didn’t even make coffee and she wondered if she was entitled to get a cup from a shop or if she would be expected to pay for it. She still didn’t understand the complicated economic system in Hell.
She walked into a coffee shop and observed the activities for a moment she saw no poker chips change hands. She went up to the counter and ordered a large cup of coffee. The Barista was a woman who had no mouth or nose and could only nod at her order. She wrote something down on her chalk board.
“Would you like a shot of meth in your coffee?” the board said.
“Um, sure I guess so?” Ellen said assuming it must be legal. The Batista cried as she poured the meth in the coffee. Ellen noticed that the girl had no veins. ‘She must have been a drug addict.” Ellen thought. As she smiled and took the cup; she couldn’t help that think it was a pretty good punishment.
She drank the coffee on the boat and looked out at the city streets. A head on a wheel rolled by and several pigs kicked it and began an impromptu game of soccer. All of a sudden, Ellen felt a strong urge to jump and join them. She stood up and then sat right back down again realizing she couldn’t just jump off a boat and join in a pig’s soccer game.
She saw a woman with a paper clip for a head and wondered what she was being punished for. She got up again and ran to the other side of the boat as everyone regarded her with puzzlement.
The boat arrived at the office and Ellen got off. She couldn’t wait to get upstairs, a million ideas were racing through her head. She wanted to tell her coworkers about them. As soon as she got upstairs she was called into a meeting. A tall balding man in a nice suit was sitting at the head of the conference room table. Everyone from the punishment department was sitting around the table quietly chit chatting.
“Oh my God, am I late?” she said loudly. They all looked up.
“No, no. You’re right on time, said the man.
Ellen threw her purse on the table and sat down in her chair with an enormous thud.
“So, my name is Ward Pepper and I’m your new supervisor.”
“Hi”, Ellen said with a burp.
Everyone looked at her.
“Um, I thought we’d all go around the room and introduce ourselves. I’m Ward, I’m from Cleveland. I died in a skydiving accident when I was twenty two. I came down here attended HCC where I got my Certificate of Evil, right from there I got a job in the seventh circle as a safety regulator. From there I got a job as a recruiting manager….”
“You mean like for recruiters on earth? You managed the recruiting that goes on, on earth,” Ellen asked loudly.
“Yes,” that’s right”, he replied with discomfort. ”
“Did you ever meet anyone like REALLY, REALLY famous like an a lister, ” she asked fighting the urge to stand up.
“Well, I can’t really say. So anyway. I did that for four years and here I am, why don’t we go around the table and introduce ourselves.”
“I’m Frank Pearson”, a tall thin man said. I died at the hands of a serial killer when I was 23…”
“Oh My God, they kill men. I thought they only killed women,” Ellen sputtered.
“Sometimes they kill men, he said.” I just completed my tenth approved punishment and earned my own apartment. I love Punishment INC.”
An exotic woman in a red dress went next.
My names Pokey, I died when I was 22. I’m originally from Virginia when it was still the colonies when I lived there. I’ve been in punishment planning for a lot of years. I won the Rasputin Award for Creativity in Justice last year.”
Ward looked impressed Ellen rolled her eyes.
A young punker kid with a lot of piercings stood up.
“I’m Kevin, I died in a plane crash back in 83, this is my first week in punishment, I’ve been on the other side of things working in torturer for the last, basically thirty years force feeding rat droppings to salesmen. I’m excited to be here. “I’m Ellen I died in a mall shouting at the age of 24, like two weeks ago. I just got my second approval. I just found out last night that you can win trips to heaven for exceptional punishments and it is my goal to go to heaven. I’m so really happy to meet you all, I’ve seen you around here but, like I didn’t know anyone’s name and now I do and that’s really awesome. I’m really excited form my next approval. Or even if it isn’t an approval that’s okay because I can learn from it and My first punishment was approved but it wasn’t, but I did learn from it and I just am so excited to EARN that trip to Heaven,” she said in one breath.
There were a few more introductions. Some basic rules were gone over and the meeting was adjourned.
Ellen started toward her desk.
“Hey, Ellen” Pokey said.” You shouldn’t say stuff like that. You have to be really careful.”
“Say stuff like what?”
“Like you want to go to heaven. ”
“Why not? I’m an enthusiastic and ambitious worker.”
“No, I mean if you say stuff like that they’re gonna think you don’t like Hell. You have to be careful what you say, trust me.”