The Key Thief

I walked down the road with my eyes scanning every direction. I wanted my car back, but I was more concerned that the Keys to the Underworld were missing. That could be very bad. I needed to find the human stain.

Book of Hades                                                   

I have seen every type of human being, murderers, rapists, thieves. I despise them all. None more than any other, they are too simplistically dull to pick out individuals to hate more. I torture them and make them pay for the crimes they committed. Tartarus awaits any who should stray and commit heinous acts.

I had been cruising in my car, taking in the new sights, when I decided to stop at an electronics store. I was curious. I may have kept an eye on humanity’s evolution, but I had never actually experienced this new world. I turned off my music, took my keys, and got out of the car. It was a sunny day, blue skies, birds chirping. I still prefer night to day. Owls are much more to my liking. I walked towards the store when what appeared to be a homeless man bumped into me. He wore grey sweatpants and a jumper to match, but I think they used to be white. His hair was a long matted mess of brown with specks of grey like salt and pepper.

“Excuse me, sir. Sorry,” he mumbled with his head down as he walked away. I was close to striking him down, but I thought better of it. I was not about to let some cretin ruin my day. I shrugged it off and brushed my suit jacket with the palms of my hands in case he got any of his filth on me before walking into the shop. It was filled with so many items. Humans relied heavily on electronics for their everyday lives now. That would make someone I know feel good about themselves.

“Can I help you find anything?” An older man stood behind a counter. His grey hair was long and hung across the rim of his glasses, covering one eye. I could see what looked like crumbs of cheese clinging to his beard. Still filthy creatures.

“What is that?” I asked him, pointing out some device.

“Surveillance camera, two hundred big ones for that one.” His tone changed from passive to kind and helpful. He wasn’t a natural salesman, that’s for sure. Two hundred big ones was not a clever answer when trying to sell something.

“Surveillance camera? For spying on someone?” I was disgusted at the thought. One thing that is sacred is one’s privacy. Even I have that. Spying? Filthy hobby. I have a special place in Tartarus for such things.

“No, not spying.” He laughed before having a mini coughing fit and then spitting whatever came up from his rattling chest into a handkerchief. “To protect what’s yours,” he finished. I had no idea what the old fool was talking about, and he must have seen the confusion on my face.

“Say you have something really special and important,” he explained. “You want to keep it safe, right?”

“Of course,” I said, tired and bored with the conversation already.

“Right, well, you point this camera at it, and if anyone tries to take it, you will see them. You can hook it up to your phone or computer and keep an eye on it at all times, no matter where you are.” He looked impressed with himself as he nodded and smiled at me. Then an idea struck me.

“Are you saying I could put that thing anywhere and see what is happening?” I asked, getting excited at the ingenious plan I was constructing in my mind. I wanted to be sure I understood him correctly.

“You got it.” He winked at me like he was the one who had invented it and continued to smile.

“Can I get say,” I thought about how many I would need and how it would work, “four of those and see all of them at once?” If this worked, I could extend my stay even longer.

“Yes, you can, and you can even use it as a telephone.” He leaned down and spoke in a lower tone. “Say someone is in your house and you see them on the camera, you ain’t there to stop them, are you? So you yell down the phone that it is hooked up to, and they crap their breeches and high tail it.” He laughed again after setting the scene. I could not believe what he was saying. This was perfect and would allow me to take my time on earth.

“What is the distance of this device? How far away can I be before it stops working?” I asked, spreading my arms to emphasize distance just in case he didn’t understand. He did not look very bright.

“You could be in space, and it would still work, don’t worry about that,” he reassured me. He straightened his glasses and flicked his hair away from his face, only for it to land back where it was originally. That explanation didn’t really help. The Underworld was a different sort of distance.

“What about underground?” I was starting to think this idea would not work.

“Ah, well, you need the signal to reach a satellite. As long as you can do that, it will work.” He pointed up. I was right. It would not work unless I could find a way to get the signal through. I needed someone with knowledge of such things. The Underworld must host someone who could do it, I thought. Worth a try if nothing else.

“Give me four,” I said. “The best ones you have.” The man’s eyes seemed to light up, and he nodded rapidly before he went to get my new toys.

I handed him a roll of cash, not bothering to count it. If this worked, it would be worth more than any amount of money.

“Keep the change,” I said. “Oh, and you have something stuck in your beard,” I shouted over my shoulder as I walked out the door. Before he could say anything, I was already out of there. I had only walked a few feet when I realized my car was gone. I looked around, confused, and put my packages down on the ground to find my keys. Gone. I could feel my blood boiling. My anger was spiking to dangerous levels.

“Son of a bitch!” I screamed. A flock of those pesky, bloody birds took flight from a nearby tree, the ear-splitting noise I released, startling them. I marched back to the electronics store with my packages and kicked the door off its hinges. I was in no mood for door handles.

“Do you have these cameras outside this place?” I looked at the greasy man I had bought my goods from and spoke sternly, turning back into Underworld Hades.

“Ye-yes,” he stammered with fear, his eyes going wide and his mouth turning down, like a petulant child about to cry.

“Someone stole my car when I was in here. Find out who, now!” I shouted at him, causing him to fall backwards. He hit the floor as if the energy from my voice was a punch to the nose.

He didn’t answer and just crawled through a door behind him. He sat at a little desk in what must have been his office and tapped away on a keyboard.

“There,” he said, backing away from his computer screen. The thief was the same cretin who had bumped into me.

“Picked my bloody pocket!” I punched my fist through the computer screen, causing a bomb like bang. Glass and smoke erupted from it, and the man let out a feminine yelp and coward in the corner. “Keep my packages for me. I will be back,” I said angrily as I pulled my arm out of the screen and wall behind it. I stormed out of the room and through the hole where the door of the shop had been. The camera had shown the thief entering my car and driving away. My only clue was the direction he had taken, I had no other indication of where he was going. I walked down the road with my eyes scanning every direction. I wanted my car back, but I was more concerned that the Keys to the Underworld were missing. That could be very bad. I needed to find the human stain.

I could see some commotion in the distance. It appeared a car had crashed. I reached the scene and looked around. I overheard a woman talking to a lawman and describing my car. She pointed down the street, and there it was, half buried in a tree trunk.

“Son of a bitch,” I growled once again. I knew if he was still alive, he must be seriously injured. I ran to the car and ripped the driver’s side door off with one swift yank. He was not there. I searched for my keys, but they were also gone. “You crashed the car. Why take the keys, you moron?” The stupidity of humans was one thing that had never changed. Blood drops on the ground showed me exactly where he had slithered off to. I followed the trail to a house across the street. It was big, painted white with beautiful pillars on the porch, and a little swing hanging from a tree in the garden. I walked through the open gates and up the driveway. The front door was closed, but once again, I had no patience for door handles and took it off the hinges with a swift boot. It landed on the stairs some twenty feet away.

I had the man cornered. He wasn’t going anywhere, and I wanted nothing more than to punish him. I could smell his fear drifting down the stairs of the house he was about to ply his trade of thievery. He hadn’t expected me to turn up and put the fear of the gods into his soul. I already had the perfect spot in Tartarus picked out for him.

“Stay away! I’ll kill her!” I heard a voice shout down the stairs. In my experience, the ones who mean what they say, act, the others talk. This stain was never going to kill someone, at least not like this. In a car, maybe. My car, my bloody car! I was enraged

I said nothing in reply to his threat. I just threw the front door out of my way and walked up the stairs. When I reached the top, the thief was in a bedroom doorway down the hall with a knife to a young woman’s throat.

“Stay back, man,” he said with a scared voice. “I’ll cut her throat, I swear to god.” He back stepped with the woman, one hand on the knife at her throat and the other gripping a handful of blonde hair, pulling her head back, exposing her neck.

“Swear to me, and I will cut out your tongue.” I walked towards him slowly, taking in his fear, making his apprehension last. Waiting is a powerful mind game. It causes madness in the human brain. They hate it. “You should pray to me and ask for mercy instead.” I took another few steps, and he took yet more steps back.

“You’re crazy, man. I have a knife,” he argued pathetically. I laughed at that. His eyes grew wider, and I could hear his breathing quicken. He was petrified.

“You are less than a cockroach to me,” I growled at him, my anger coming back in a swift wave.

“Please, man,” he began.

“The keys, cockroach!” I screamed at him. He let the woman go, and she ran past me and down the stairs.

“Here,” he pulled out my keys and threw them at my feet. “Alright?” If he thought that would be enough to save him, he was wrong. I picked them up and checked that they were all there, which they were. My eyes darted to his, and I rushed towards him. He screeched in panic, the noise coming to a quick stop when I wrapped my hands around his throat and squeezed the sound out of him. I looked down as he urinated on himself. I released him, quickly throwing him back before his fluids could hit my shoes. My disgust for this maggot was getting worse by the second. I noticed a wound in his stomach. Blood had soaked through his clothes, and a huge piece of glass was sticking out of his side. He would be dead soon. I could have ended him, but I decided to let him bleed, let the agony of the last moments of his life linger.

“I will see you very soon, cockroach. You wrecked my car, and you will pay the price.” I smiled at him. “Tartarus awaits you.” He looked confused, and I just walked away, leaving him consumed in his pain and fear. Next stop, to buy a new bloody car.

I exited the house, and the woman who ran was there. She thanked me, not bothering to mention her ruined door. I gave her a smile and a wink, handing her a roll of cash for the damage before walking away. I needed to collect my packages and give the old man some compensation for his damages, too. The day had been an expensive one, not that I cared about that. I had to get back to the Underworld. Punishment for my cockroach was now top of my list, and the surveillance needed to be set up. Exciting times were awaiting me. Gods, I have missed Earth.

Hades (John Decarteret)
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