Addie hated that damn thudding sound.

Sometimes, Kally would look up from her desk, stare at the ceiling and comment on how at times, she still thought it was her next door neighbours doing heavens-know-what, at which point Addie would zone out to save herself the mental trauma.

She, however, knew the ominous noise was that of several gory deities and dark lords, stomping around with an air of importance. Sometimes, when two such beings met, someone would be hit by a stray lightning or two.

Afterlife Administration offices were dangerous like that. Especially since the Office of Sacrifices decided that all the extra goats were to be allowed to roam freely through the other offices.

The Office of Untimely Demise was in the same general area as the Office of Clinical Deaths and Comas. That was how Addie and Kally had met, originally. Then they had both, at the same time, been transferred to the Office of Second Chances and had been parole agents ever since. Job which nobody seemed to appreciate, especially not the ones actually sent back.

Addie tried returning to her paperwork. Hoo, boy, was there ever paperwork! Nobody could even suspect how much beaurocracy death actually included! There were times when Addie prayed there'd be more sinners in the world, because only those damned to eternal suffering were excused from piles upon piles of forms, certificates, files and more forms. And nobody had any patience anymore, despite being dead, therefore having eternity ahead.

The frail woman was far from overwhelmed, though. Hell, if any of the applicants for second chances turned rowdy, she could always call reinforcements-- the forty-nine and a half keepers of the Underworld, for example. But she rarely got into physical disputes herself. She was small and besides an uncanny resemblance to a scarecrow, she had only a displeased scowl going for her.

And there was that thudding again. It seemed to be coming from somewhere near the Office of Reincarnation. Uh oh... Considering the sheer amount of paperwork involved to let somebody be reincarnated, the files would be scattered around the department for weeks. Poor, poor Caesar...

But as a stray lightning zapped through the door and unexpectedly hit Kally's desk, sending application forms flying through the room, Addie was reminded why she REALLY hated that thudding sound...

It was always followed by a damn lightning!