Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Ghostopia, Chapter 4: A First Job

"Ouija channels for sale! Ouija channels!"
"Voodoos! Get your voodoos here!"
"Extra! Extra! Read all about the Euthanasia scandal!"
Darren found himself in a bustling marketplace full of traders and shoppers. It felt almost every bit like those he'd been to before, from the chattering ladies to the screeching hawkers. Hurried people pushed past him as he stood there clueless on where and how to seek a job.
It wasn't that everyone was unfriendly, he just didn't feel like he was one of them yet. Well, the newspaper boy seemed more than approachable the rest.
"Er, excuse me!" he dared himself. "Do you know where I can get a job?"
"Job?" The buck-toothed kid stared back curiously. "Did you say you wanted a job?"
"How about mine, then?"
"Yours? You mean, as in, selling newspapers?"
"You got it, pal."
"Uh...okay," Darren leafed through some of the papers. There appeared to be a rather sizable bundle still waiting to be sold.
"Hey, about the pay-" He looked up in dismay to see the boy already out of sight. Drat. That kid didn't even tell him anything about his job scope. What was he supposed to do, stand there and wave newspapers at passer-bys the whole day?
"Newspapers...come get your newspapers..." He felt extremely foolish, having always been the one who waved off loud-mouthed sellers instead. Furthermore, the people (or Ghosts, whatever) going by somehow could sense he was new and constantly gave him second glances.
Almost an hour passed and still no one came up to him. Maybe he should try checking out the headlines first instead. "EUTHANASIACS DETAINED - We knew nothing about it, say victims."
Now this sounded interesting. Darren browsed through the article and a few other reports inside. Some authority in Ghostopia was rounding up new Ghosts who allegedly came in through mercy killings. Apparently suicide in the previous world was considered a crime over here. How strange.
"Hey, you. Hand me a paper, will ya?"
He looked up from the newspaper, a little caught by surprise. It was a lass with short hair and big earrings dressed in black. She didn't look older than him.

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