Chapter Two- Burlington

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I sat on a bench in the middle of the city, reading the information papers and brainstorming where I would be staying for the next months. See, the only thing the Ilibris gave you was an identity, or the position in society you would be placed in while living in you world. Getting into that position was all up to the Reaper.

Amelia had written out a number of names of Reapers also staying in the area for assignments, but most of them had moved in long enough ago that I couldn't pose as a member of the family. Finally, towards the bottom of the list, I noticed the name Benjamin Hess and saw that he was here for five months and moving in that same day. Finding him and seeing if he would be interested in posing as my father, assuming he started reaping at an old enough age, seemed like a stable plan.

I scooped up my papers and suitcase, slid around a corner and out of sight, and then slipped into ghost form. In said form, I was invisible, ultra-fast and capable of flying, I could go through solid objects, allowing me to become even more deadly and untraceable than usual. I ghost-traveled up into the air, stopping when I was high enough to see over the tallest buildings. I closed my eyes and heightened my senses so that I could try and get a feel for Benjamin's location. It took me a moment, but after about thirty seconds of listening to every noise in the city, of feeling every living presence within miles of me, I felt a ripple brush past me, signaling that someone had just entered my world through a portal. I traveled back to the ground, scooped up my belongings, and headed in the direction of the ripple.

As I made my towards the other Reaper, I took in the sights of old Burlington. The same cobblestone paved the streets, and the old-timey feel never quite went away. Even with the newer, more modern touches, Burlington hadn't changed all that much since 1970, or from the time I'd been there before in 1877. I rounded a corner, expecting to find myself in a vacant alley, but instead found myself running straight into a man looking to be about thirty-five with shaggy brown hair and light blue eyes.

"Excuse me sir," I said, side-stepping him after making sure he wasn't going to fall. I was almost to the end of the alley when I felt a hand on my shoulder and turned back around to see the man standing just behind me.

"Donovan?" he asked. I must have looked surprised, because the man smiled and held up papers looking similar to my informational ones. I spotted my name on a list and realized that this was the man I had been looking for. It was only slightly embarrassing that I hadn't realized it earlier on.

"Benjamin?" I asked, double checking that I had the right guy. The man smiled and held out a hand.

"Nice to meet you, Donavan," he told me, shaking my hand vigorously. "So, son, any ideas on where to live?"

I laughed at how instantly amiable he was and shrugged.

"It's been a little while since I found myself in Burlington," I said, "but my secretary wrote down some apartments near my assignment if you want to compare notes." I handed my papers to Benjamin and he held them next to his own. He studied them for a moment before motioning to some apartment complex that was on both of our lists.

"How about this one?" he asked.

I agreed after a moment of studying the location, took my papers back, and grabbed hold of my suitcase. Benjamin did the same and we headed off towards the apartments, which were only a few blocks down.

"So, how long have you been at the job?" I asked as we made our way to our temporary home. It made things a lot less awkward if you knew a thing or two about the guy who was supposed to be your dad for four months.

"One hundred and eighty-four years tomorrow," Benjamin told me. "Talked to Death himself the other day, and he told me that if I did seven more Reaper death assignments, he'd promote me to a Black Reaper. They suck and all, but you know, if I do them all now, I'll be able to choose not to later."

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