9 december 1929
The front of the bank was hectic, people arguing with each other and with clerks about money that was lost as the world made less and less sense to them. The Roaring Twenties were ending, not with a celebratory shout, but with a deafening howl. In a back room, two men were discussing a similar problem; and finding themselves in no better condition.
"Oh come on, Charlie! You can't do this to me!" Jeremiah railed, hitting his hat against the desk. Charlie, the unfortunate man who had just informed his sixth client of the day that they had no stocks of value remaining, was trying and failing to clean his glasses, if to take his mind off of what his job had become.
"I'm not doing it to you, sir," he replied, in an even tone. "I'm sorry to say that the world is in something of a panic right now, and those of us who have invested in the stock market are dealing with rather unprecedented failures."
"I didn't fail nothin! I put my money where it was supposed to go, and now you're telling me it's just flittered away?"
"That is not the best description of what has happened, but I suppose it will do." Jeremiah leaned over the desk and began jabbing it with his finger for emphasis. Charlie leaned back slightly in response.
"Now listen here, I worked hard for that money, and I need it to get through this thing!"
"Yes, well, that puts you in the same boat as everyone else, I'm afraid. We are all the same in the end, Mr. Matteson, and I suppose we are suddenly in this mess together." Jeremiah growled and glared at Charlie, who suddenly found his vision growing impaired and his breaths growing more difficult.
"The one time a mortal actually thinks we're the same," he muttered, as the left side of Charlie's face began to droop and his arm went numb, "and it's some sniveling little roach who thinks I need more suffering in this life."
"I am sick and tired of every trace of humanity being nothing but weakness and loss! I'm done with you, all of you, do you hear me? From now on, I claim my rightful place!" Jeremiah stood up straight as Charlie tried reaching out, weakly, with his right hand. Jeremiah looked down at the hand, then scowled and waved his hand in front of Charlie's face. Instantly, Charlie's eyes glazed over and he froze, just for a moment, before blood began leaking from his ears and nose and his face fell onto his desk. Jeremiah turned toward the door, then stopped. "If I am spirit," he muttered, "maybe I can travel as one." He took a slow, measured breath, reached his hands out slowly, and stepped forward into the metaphysical realm.