“So you paid the fare to cross the river by offering Mischa as a slave? That’s priceless!” said John, laughing. “And he never even married Cyprus?”
“No, I think Josiah ordered him to relinquish her, or something, and he obeyed,” replied Jeannine. “He’s like that.”
“Yeah, Mischa always was subservient. Good to hear, Jeannine; good to hear. You know, I’m glad you started traveling with us. You’re much better than Bill.”
“Hey, that’s not –”
“Shut up, Bill.”
John had warmed up considerably to Jeannine since his resurrection, most likely because without her, he’d still be dead. This cheered Jeannine up greatly, as for the first time in a long time, she saw her chances with John improving.
“So what now, John?” she asked brightly.
“We’ll go to my house; I need to set some things in order. Like my job. I’m pretty sure I’ll be fired after failing to deliver mail for so long. But hey, it sure is a good thing the exit to the Underworld is only a block away from where I live,” said John. “And you say the entrance was only a few miles from the Coliseum? What convenience!”
“I love blocks!” exclaimed Bill. “My favorites are Legos. I built a castle once! But then a wave knocked it down. Or maybe that was a sand castle.”
“You know Bill, now that I think of it, it’s even good to see you again. You appreciate a lot of things after you die,” said John.
“You died?” asked Bill.
“No Bill, you just had to go to the UNDERWORLD to get the GOD OF THE DEAD to wake me up from a nap,” said John.
“Oh, okay. That’s what I thought.”
Together they walked to John’s house, John and Jeannine holding hands. A smirk spread across Jeannine’s face.
“So what happened to Josiah and Cyprus?” asked John.
“I don’t really know; Shamus was holding Josiah off to give me and Bill time to escape with you. For all we know, he might’ve won!” said Jeannine hopefully.
“I doubt it. Shamus is strong, but Josiah wouldn’t enter a battle he couldn’t win,” said John.
“Except that first one against Shamus…but after losing to him once, I’m sure he wouldn’t let himself lose again. At least, I don’t think he would. I really have no way of knowing for certain. Ah look, there’s my house. Bill, why don’t you run on home? Your mother’s probably worried sick about you. You can take Saul.”
“You’re right John. I was supposed to be home over a year ago. She’s gonna ground me again, I can tell. Oh man…” lamented Bill, taking John’s advice and running home, with Saul cheerfully bringing up the rear.
John stepped onto his porch and withdrew a key from his wallet, which he miraculously still had on him. Into the lock he placed it, opening the door, to reveal a Josiah Malum, grasping a cigarette and smirking more broadly than Jeannine, with a maniacal glint in his eye.
“Malum! What are you doing here?” John demanded. “This is my house, and you’re trespassing.”
“Hello there, Mr. Morgan,” said Josiah, exhaling smoke. “As you’ve probably noticed, this is your house; and I’m trespassing. You’re also probably wondering what I’m doing here.”
“Your powers of repetition are impressive, Malum,” said John, “but I’m not impressed…by them. Get out of here before I kill you.”
“And how do you expect to do that? I already killed your friend Shamus,” replied Josiah. “I think it will be quite a cinch to get rid of you as well.”
“Bring it on, you fool.”
Not a second later, Dr. Graham burst through the door.