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Request Letter from Orpheus to Pluto

When Nathan is not corresponding with Orpheus, he teaches philosophy and history classes. Nathan would like to thank Ovid for his careful documentation of the things below the Earth, which made this short story possible.

Date: VII Mensis Sextilis MMMXXI
From: Orpheus
Musician, Poet
Employee No. 230125
To: Pluto
Executive Manager
Underworld, Tier 1
Subject: Request for Salary Increase
Dear Master Pluto,
I would like to request an increase in my salary. I understand that you rejected my first request with fair points, and so this time I wish to address those reasons that made you hesitate before. Firstly, I will not resort to any poetic rhymes. Business is business, and I will not try to charm you with silly musings when the hard facts are what you prefer. So please allow me to show you some results that I've produced for you in the last two years. I visited Sysiphus and noticed that he took an entire day to push his rock up his hill. Well, I couldn't help but ask him if he would prefer to be more productive. Upon his eager approval, I organized for a henchman to split the rock in half. Now Sysiphus does in one day what previously took two, namely, he takes two loads up the hill by day and two loads tumble back down for the next. I'm certain this will please you, but besides this, I had visited Prometheus and Tantalus. With the former, it was clear to me that Prometheus was as tired of losing his liver as the eagle was tired of its taste. I asked the bird and the man if they would together prefer a new arrangement, perhaps the kidney being a nice change. Both excitedly agreed, so I went ahead and connected these two with a physician of yours so that he could mark the location of the kidney for the eagle and advise Prometheus on any new side-effects from this change. Lastly, upon visiting Tantalus I noticed that he was hurting his back constantly looking up at the various fruits and reaching for them. I couldn't help but suggest a new, less strenuous temptation. Tantalus gratefully agreed. I took the liberty of arranging a new vegetable garden with your landscaper. Don't worry, Tantalus won't ever get a taste of those carrots. They pull down into the earth just as he bends to pull them up!
With these accomplishments now presented, I humbly request that you reconsider your previous denial of my pay raise. If there is anything I have learned from you, it is not to look at what is behind me but to look ahead at future prospects. The music business is much less reliable these days, so I'm looking to apply my ingenuity to new things.
Your Faithful Servant,
The End
This story was first published on Monday, October 11th, 2021
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