Chapter Two

"My goodness, I swear if you weren't giving me what I wanted in the bedroom, I would have never agreed to this!" Grell was raging this morning. His energy was beaming, just not as much enthusiasm, but Undertaker expected that.

"Now now, you agreed nonetheless," he told Grell. "Now, hop in. We've got some funerals to create."

Grell's eyes widened slightly.

"You didn't say anything about reaping."

"Because we're not reaping, we're fitting."

Grell sighed, getting out of the light as fast as he could. Daylight could be so boring to him, and normally he was working the nightshifts, unless Bassy came around. The sun was going to be out all day, and it was hot. That's was ailed him right now. The heat. The scorching, terrifying, dreaded heat.

"You know, I might just drop dead if I get heat exhaustion," Grell said, pulling out a small fan and attempting to cool himself.

"You won't die of heat exhaustion. Now stop complaining. We're going to a library, and I need you pick up some materials for me..." Undertaker took out some books from a bag he'd been carrying with him. He gave a stack of books to Grell.

"I need you to return these," he said, giving Grell his card. "and then pick up these." Grell was then given a list of new books to find. He scanned the list.

"What could you possible want with A Christmas Carol by Dicksy dear?" Grell asked. Undertaker smiled, but no real response. Grell sighed again, agreeing to the tedious chore. The carriage stopped, and Undertaker let Grell out of the carriage.

"I'll be back at the shop in a two hours. Be there."

Grell's jaw dropped, but before anything more dramatic could escape his mouth, the carriage was off again. As much as Grell wanted to chase him down, that was going too far today. Hopeless, he trudged into the library and did what Undertaker asked of him.

On the way back, Grell stared at the titles. Most of them were medical practice books, one of them even looked like those book in the Grim Reaper Library, but there was no cinematic record...he checked.

He sat alone in the shop for about a half an hour when someone walked through the door. What was he supposed to do? Undertaker left the shop wide open, no sign or anything. He didn't even know how to run the shop or anything about...oh, wait.

"Hello?" the customer called, seemingly a middle-aged mortal of the male species, but never Grell's type. He was unsure, as most of the people who came in were. Too late to pretend no one was at home.

"Hello," Grell appeared from behind the back door. "What can I do you for today?"

At the sight of Grell, the man was thrown off, not that this reaction surprised Grell in the least. The same could not be said for the customer.

"Look honey, I'm new at this, so I need to know what you want, I can't predict it," he told the customer.

"Uh, yes. Well, i-it's my dear old aunty Sue. We know what's coming, she's been suffering from a disease. She's uh, only about 1 and a half meters tall..."

Grell wrote down the numbers and began questioning what they were willing to pay for this service. After checking Undertaker's pricing lists, this job seemed pretty down to the tee.

The customer expressed interest in a small funeral and a simple coffin, which Grell gave him a price range for.

"Sorry, I'll have to find the model too. Unfortunately, I haven't had the proper time to investigate every part of this shop yet," Grell was searching for the simpliest model, realizing that while Undertaker organized a proper list, a proper location and inventory to match seemed out of his skill set.

"When did you start?" Oh lovely, small talk with the mortals.

"Yesterday, I'm temporary though. The Undertaker who usually sits around here is off on a business call for another hour. Believe me I'm as frustrated as it is."

Grell found the coffin and measured out the old woman's size by visual, asking for the man's name and a number so Undertaker could return the call with the exact pricing and when the coffin would be ready if he decided to order right away.

That was over! Grell sighed with relief, leaning back against the table. That was exceedingly awkward, especially for a grim reaper. When Undertaker finally returned, Grell couldn't help but mention the customer and his peculiar ways.

"Expect that," Undertaker replied. "You'll be dealing with a few more, including a funeral this evening. And before you complain-" Grell's finger was already up the air, his jaw nearly dropped to speak.

"Yes, you can do the reaping."

"Reaping?" Grell asked, adjusting his spectacles. "That person's record should have been taken already, whoever it was."

Undertaker smiled. "The funeral is this evening, seven o'clock sharp. You'll be needing this." He handed Grell his own death scythe, the old fashioned scythe grim reapers used, but this one belonged to the legend.

There was something different about this one, though. In his hands, the scythe felt lighter, it bore a naturalist effect when Grell swung it. The blade ran smooth, near to the feeling of literally cutting the air with a knife. A shiver ran from his shoulder down his back.

"I customized it...without authorization of course," Undertaker smirked.

"How do you mean?"

"It's specifically designed to be lighter, fold, swing faster, and if you find yourself against two souls..." Undertaker took the scythe. "If you're a reaper..."

He grasped the middle where the blade could emerge, and with both hands, he split the scythe into two separate ones.

"How?!" Grell exclaimed.

"It's a spare blade, so I can't always guarantee it's the sharpest in the shed. But right between the folds of the first blade, I have another space for a blade. And between that, the wooden handle comes apart when the latch inside becomes jostled as follows."

Undertaker put the blade back together as Grell observed intently. There was a spot for another blade on the bottom half, that much was true. He then saw that it could fold just the right way and lock inside. The lock itself was impressive, made of metal, and place with clever planning. The little lever for adjusting the scythe's height become the lever for another blade!

When Undertaker became a reaper, there were fewer tools to choose from. The scythe was a classical selection, so the association mass produced them, thereby making their wooden rods adjustable for any reaper to use. Undertaker had already adjusted his for his height and use, and then he converted that little hook into a latch. The blades were foldable because they too had separate sections to fold neatly into a straight line. The second blade was especially well hidden, leaving the first blade, the initial one, to stick out slightly when brought it.

"Unbelievable. That is subtly at its best, I must admit," Grell was impressed.

"As was being a reaper," Undertaker replied. "Now that you know how it works, you'll be needing it. Subtly is key."

"Why am I going to need this?" Grell was determined for information, but Undertaker wasn't giving it to him. Instead, they loaded up a carriage to pick up the deceased. When that was through, Undertaker glanced back at Grell.

"We won't be returning until late, so apologies if your payment isn't received right away," Undertaker mentioned. Grell positioned himself closer to lean on his shoulder as Undertaker took the reins.

"You know I'll wait for those eyes." Grell hung onto his right arm the entire way. Undertaker smiled. He had seemingly reaped Grell's selectively beating heart right out of his chest.