Why hello there humans. How the devil are you? Ignore that mess over there, he once told a joke that offended some, so I have exploded him. It sounds extreme, I know, but there is no place for mistakes in this world. Behold the new rules on earth; make a mistake once and be damned forever! Just excuse the sticky bits as you sit down; I am not sure they will wash out.
So, you are no doubt wondering why I have collected you. Why have I asked you to gather here? What could be so important as to take a little time from your daily lives? What’s the deal, old Beelzebub? Well, cough, cough, I want to play a game! That was my best jigsaw puppet voice! Did you like it? Well, fuck it, I thought it was great. Do not fear though! Your life is in no danger, yet, this is going to be purely for fun. So are you sitting comfortably humans? If you are, then we shall begin.
I get the blame for many things. The kettle run out of water? Damn you Satan! No loo roll in the bog? For fucks sake, Lucifer! Country gets bombed to dust? Oh, they must have worshipped Ol’ Nick. It is all bollocks. You know it is complete codswallop as well as I do. Yet still, you all do it. You pin all your problems on me. Own your mess humans!
So we are here, and I am before you on this stage, and I will tell you some stories. A collection of musings, a torrent of tales, all for your amusement. See, I am good like that, and I shall amuse, entertain, and teach all in one go. Hopefully… The stage is set, and I, your host, am ready. We shall begin.
I shall be telling you many anecdotes, accounts, and tales. Within these stories, I will introduce you to some humans who have blamed me for their misdeeds in the past. Oh, the Devil made me do it, they screamed. Well, at the end, there will be everyone up on this stage, and I shall reveal to you who I made commit the awful deeds. I shall reveal who I have controlled for all this time. I shall reveal myself to you all. Mwuhahhahhhah.
The Patient and the Therapist.
The therapist, Ferguson, sat alone at her desk and shuffled through the paperwork. The papers fluttered in the light breeze that came through the open window. She sighed as she placed them back on the desk. This was a new patient, a new client, that had been quite insistent upon seeing her. Usually, she would have refused, but the money was good, and who doesn’t need a little extra cash? She took him on at the last minute; what harm could it do anyway? She needed the money for her side project.
She jumped as a series of bangs suddenly resounded from outside the office door. Quick and over, almost as soon as they had started, she scrambled from her desk and to her feet. She heard some falling, something that flumped to the ground and hard. She was startled; while she knew some building work was due, she had not expected it today. It had to have been that. She tentatively stepped forwards and away from the desk. The woman made her way to the door, heel after heel, getting more fearless as she progressed. The bangs were brief and had now stopped. She approached the door and reached for the handle; she then jumped backwards at the quick bangbangbangbang. Her heels slipped momentarily, and she almost fell before managing to rebalance herself at the last moment.
Why am I so twitchy.
The second bangs had been someone knocking at her door, albeit loudly and with more force than was needed. The subsequent knocks were quieter and more like what she would usually have expected. She stepped forward, grasped the handle and pulled the door open, determined not to be startled by knocking again. A man stood outside the door with his hand in the air, clenched into a fist; it looked like he was just getting ready to knock once again. “Hello?” She asked.
“Hi, I am your one-o-clock”, the man answered in reply.
The man stood before her at just over six and a half feet in height. Even in her medium height heels, he still towered over her short frame. She steadied herself mentally for a moment and took the opportunity to pluck his name from her memory. It took just a microsecond; it was something she was good at, and then she had it. “Mr Davies?” She asked. The man held his hand forward to shakes hers. She took his hand and gave it a shake. “Yes, Dr Ferguson, your receptionist told me to come straight up. Something about the buzzer not working?” he said. She stood for a moment, confused. It was the first she had heard of it, then she thought, what the hell and gestured for Davies to come inside.
Mr Davies took a step forwards but not before calling down the hallway, “I’ll be back soon, brother”, he hollered. His accent was one she could not place; brother sounded more like brudda. “So, Doctor, How do we do this?” Davies asked.
“Well, you take a seat, and then talk”,
Ferguson offered the chair opposite hers. They both sat; Davies kept his coat on and fidgeted a little, and then settled. She had invested in good armchairs, as she believed if someone was comfortable, they would open up. She liked to let them talk, to just wander and let the thoughts out themselves. “Tea?” She enquired. Davies just shook his head. She did not offer coffee. Caffeine could heighten anxiety, and this man seemed pretty tense already. She was glad that he had declined, as it would have meant walking to her receptionist. The damned buzzer not working.
“So, Mr Davies, what can I do for you?” She liked to think of it as a bit of a tap with a mental hammer. Just tapping that tightened knot very lightly, just enough to nudge it into… “Do you believe in good and evil, Doc?” And there it was, tapped slightly and open. “I work with science. I believe people are ill. Good and evil? That's more religions department”. Davies laughed at this, and she felt like a partygoer left out of the joke. Was the joke on her? No, it couldn’t be. “So, what about killing for the greater good?” Davies followed up. His chuckle had subsided, and he sat once again, just concentrating on her. “Death penalty? Capital punishment and the like? No, I don’t. Killing people because of an illness? Because of something we do not understand? It’s abhorrent”.
“No, I meant if you could kill Hitler. Travel back in time and kill the Führer before he began, would you do it?” She thought this over, not because it was a question that deserved a lot of thought, as the idea was absurd. She sat and gave it due consideration because she was worried that this man was using her for validating something he would do.
Is he planning to kill someone and claim it was for the greater good?
“It seems irrelevant, as you can’t travel in time”, was how she replied. She watched Davies, and she looked for any hint or action that would cause her to end this. He just smiled, “sure, so what if you could kill the next Hitler? What if you could stop a genocide before it started?”
“There is no precognition, no way to know if someone is good or bad. History tells us that by the time we know, by the time we can know for sure, that it is already too late”.
Davies smiled at her reply. His smile was disarming and friendly, “yes, I am sure you are right”, he said. Ferguson smiled back, and then sighed inside herself as she seemed to have dodged a bullet. He had visibly relaxed in the chair, and a tenseness that was in his eyes had departed. “Murder is murder, and you can never be sure. What if you, for example, killed the next Einstien? What if you murdered Van Gogh? Slaughtered Mozart?”
“You can never know”, Davies said with a force that she had not expected. It was almost like a role reversal, and he was trying to convince her! “How about this” he said. She glanced briefly at the clock and groaned in her head when she realised it had only been ten minutes. Davies was a random talker, and how she hated the aimless wandering rambling talkers. It meant that she had to concentrate and pay attention. She liked it when they talked, but don’t hide your feelings in knots of deception.
Just say you want to fuck your neighbour, sodomise the pool boy, Run away with the maid and start anew, I can deal with that. I have other things on my plate.
“So, two people walk into a building. Let’s say father and son, but it could be anyone. Any two people”, Davies said.
“You don’t want to talk about greater goods?” Ferguson asked, hoping she had steered him from the subject. “I’m getting there”, he answered.
Please, please, oh please, get there quickly. I knew this was a bad idea, and I need to be ready for the experiment in ninety minutes.
“They walk in and bang. They start shooting everything up. Pew pew, left and right, plant pots explode, plasterboard pops, and lights shatter. Then there is the blood”, Davies paused.
“So this is the evil?” Ferguson asked, this is the evil to your good?” She stressed the final two words. She was trying to implant the idea of Davies being good. Driving at him being good, and him having the power. Attempting to force the idea, to make him doubt himself. “No”, Davies said, “You misunderstand. He is the good”. Like slipping on her heels, this, for just a moment, blindsided her. She had not expected that answer. “But, then why?” She asked without her usual confidence and was honestly curious.
“Well, he is on a mission”, Davies answered like it was the most natural thing in the world,
Ferguson took a moment, “but he will be caught”, she said. No could be, no maybe, he would be caught. She was trying to push an idea again. He would be caught. There was no doubt, he would be captured. “So?” Davies said. “He is there to complete his mission. Once that is done, then so be it. He will be happy. His job is complete, and he has done what was asked of him”. The therapist took a moment as she wanted to gather her thoughts into one collective before replying. “Asked of him? Who asked it of him?” She enquired.
“Why an angel, of course!” Davies said this as if the answer was as simple as the one times table. As evident as the masked serial killer in an eighties slasher. He almost scoffed as he said it as if the answer was so apparent that the question was nonsense. An angel, this was a new one for her. She had thought she had heard it all, but this was something different. “Why would an angel ask you to do that?” She asked, “aren’t angels the good ones?” Davies paused for a moment. His confidence in his thoughts seemed to be drifting slightly.
“I think”, he stopped once again before continuing, “God was always a violent bastard. Smiting, floods, countless deaths. Maybe this is how he works now?” The maybe was good, the maybe was something. Was he starting to question himself? With just a little prodding and a dabble of pulling, Ferguson had made him question himself. It was not much, but it was progress of sorts. Like many steps through the ages, progress was quickly followed with a slap in the face, and you find yourself back where you started. Or worse, sitting on your arse looking at the starting line. “Who are you, or I, to question the word on an angel?” Davies snapped back; his confidence had returned with a vengeance.
“I’d have thought that helping the person to see the error of their ways would have been the more Christian thing to do”, Ferguson stated. It was a statement rather than a question because she did not want to give him the room to wiggle free, and she wanted to make the idea stick. She was not sure if he was actually dangerous, but why, she thought, take the risk? “God is an arsehole”, Davies replied with newfound certainty, “sometimes the hammer is more effective than a carrot”.
“So you believe with no questions asked?” Ferguson said.
“No questions? How do you question the word of an angel?” Davies sat up in the chair after declaring this, “remember the blood that our guy has seen? So what does he do?” Ferguson pondered the question. She lets her mind wander back to where they were when blood was mentioned. “Ah, shooting, and then blood”, she said, “so he does not care about getting caught? Then I presume he finishes the job and reshoots the person, or just ignores them. He does not care”.
Davies closed his eyes for a moment and let his eyes roll under the lid. “What? God no, why would he do that?” he asked, shocked.
“Well, you said he does not care about getting caught”, Ferguson answered. “But the victim was innocent. They were not the target”, Davies said, horrified at the thought. “It was an accident. He gets down on the floor and puts pressure on the wound, and then he finds something to tie around it”. Davies stopped for a moment and then looked at Ferguson with disgust, “Jesus. He is the good guy, and you think it is okay to kill innocents? Fucking hell”.
“I think Mr Davies that we are done here”, Ferguson said as she started to stand. She had other things to worry about and to be frank, Davies was boring her. “Sit down”, Davies said with an authoritative tone and volume to rival the earlier knocks at her door. She looked at him, and he had pulled a gun from his coat, and he pointed the barrel in her direction and then tipped it to the chair. “SIt, please”, he said with the same tone.
“Mr Davies, I really….” Davies fired the gun. The bullet flew from the barrel and into her leg; it ripped the skin and flesh from bone as it shot from the other side and into the chair. “Sit down”, Davies shouted.
“Nicky”, Ferguson shouted out. She called for her receptionist. The pain rocketed, but self-preservation took over. The pain could be controlled, the man in her office, of that she was now not so sure. “Nicky….” She called again.
“She is fine. My brudda has her”, Davies said with a calmness of voice. “It was an accident. She’ll be okay”. He continued with calmness and assertiveness in his voice. He spoke as a man who knew that he was right.
“She’ll be okay?” Ferguson spat out. The disgust and horror mixed together and gave her words a fight and snap that she usually kept private. She pushed her hands down on the wound in her leg. It was painful but not as bad as she would have imagined. She put it down to shock and adrenaline flowing through her body as one. “Two people enter a building….”, she paused, “you were telling me what is going to happen? You think you’ve been sent by an angel?”
Davies continued in the same vein as before; he ignored her questions and just stayed on mission. “Doctor Jane Ferguson. You will, in three weeks, crack the emersion paradox. This will cause the worlds to collide”.
“What the fuck are you on about?” Ferguson protested, but she knew. The conviction had long departed her voice, and the protest was just going by the numbers. It was doing what she thought was needed, even though it was a lie.
But, how can he possibly know?
“You destroy the words through your actions. I can’t allow that to happen. I have been tasked to stop you”.
Ferguson had one final thought, and she voiced it, “have you ever considered that….” The bullet tore through her face and ripped the back of her head clean off, and her death was instantaneous, the bullet, brain, and bone shattering into one as her body fell back into the chair. Davies walked from her and to the door of the office, “All clear, brudda?” He called out.
“All clear”, came the reply.