Wednesday 31 October 2012

Dark Fiction - Not so Hollow-een

Dark Fiction Image

Not so Hollow-een

By Casey Douglass

‘So what can I do for you? It isn’t often you show your face up here.’
‘And we both know why that is don’t we?’
‘Too true.’
A large hand about twenty feet across emerged from the nebulous cloud of white light, the cuff of a sky blue sleeve swaying back and forth as the hand moved. Slowly, the light dimmed and the contours of the room began to make a faint impression.
‘Oh come on! I don’t even warrant a full manifestation? That’s very rude.’
A deep sigh rumbled from the ether as the partner hand to the first emerged. They both rose up and clapped together, a thundering explosion of noise sending the room spiralling into shards of light.
‘Take your hands away from your ears!’
‘Your hands!’
Lucifer shakily lowered his hands, his ears hissed like a thousand serpents.
‘First you almost blind me and then you deafen me!’
‘So what is it you wanted?’
‘I mean come on! Play the game!’
‘My time is precious.’
‘Oh yes, there must be others you have to torment before lunch!’
‘Are you finished?’
‘Good. Now...’
God leaned forward on a large crystal desk, the borders lined with gold and silver filigree. Lucifer smiled and wondered why God always wore his old beggar robe and visage, who was he fooling?
‘Hang on a second, my hearing is still a bit wacky.’
He moved his head from side to side, a pleasing crack popping from his neck vertebrae. He squinted, the room was still insufferably bright, the walls, ceiling and floor glaring, white and swirling with the visual manifestation of harps, laughter and love.
‘You really are a card! I bet you don’t pull all of this sickly shit for the others.’
‘Noo just you. I know how you like it. You are one to talk anyway!’
‘Maybe I just knew what you were like. You mean you don’t like how I look?’
‘You know I cannot stand Justin Bieber!’
The smirk that appeared on the face of a teenager stayed still. The face around it changed in a heartbeat. A middle aged man sat there now, his dark hair, small goatee and immaculate black suit all cementing him into the scene. He seemed more real now, more dangerous.
‘How is this? And are you going to change too?’
‘No. You are vexing me, get to it.’
‘Not even the beard? I can’t even see your mouth!’
‘I know you heard me.’
The air in the room fuzzed with potential, the particles crackling like a flame surging into rotten wood. Lucifer cleared his throat.
‘Yes you know, it is Halloween today.’
‘Yes...’ It was said in that long and drawn out way, that if it had a visual equivalent, would be like an old squeaky door being opened very slowly, the darkness beyond it inviting and repelling at the same time.
‘Well...I was about a proper one this year?’
‘You know...real?’
‘Isn’t it every year?’
‘Are you joking?’ Lucifer turns to you and winks, ‘He’s joking right?’
‘No I am not! Get to it and don’t involve “them” okay?’
Lucifer grimaces and turns away from you, his eyes locked on the big cheese once more.
‘Apologies. I was just being friendly.’
‘This is getting truly tiresome. You have sixty seconds.’
‘Okay okay...well I was thinking, how about you allow me to “open the gates” for awhile, just for the night. It will do them the world of good, a night out, and allow us to get on with some of those maintenance things that we just can’t do when it is so crowded...the infernal sewers for a start...oh the smell, it’s a bit like when something crawls-’
‘-into a small hole to die and then something else-’
A hand thumped the desk, a small vase of flowers manifesting just long enough to be launched into the air, twirl gracefully and then plummet to the floor, shattering into a thousand pieces before it vanished once more.
‘That’s a bit melodramatic isn’t it?’ Lucifer sniffed.
‘Why on earth would I agree to that stupid idea?’
‘Why on earth indeed. People are complacent. They roam the planet taking pleasure in their technology, their cars, gadgets and healthcare. Where is the fear that drove them to your doors every day? The plagues, the monsters?’
‘I am doing okay...’
‘Oh yes, and you’re very welcome for that! I am doing my job to bring out the evil in the hearts of some of them, and very nasty some of them are too! Which reminds me we should renegotiate my wage sometime but that’s neither here nor there. Where was I?
‘Opening the gates of hell?’
‘A wonderful idea! Thank you I will see to it at once...’
‘You can’t blame a chap for trying! Erm, oh yes. Imagine what a single night of terror would do for them. Your churches would be packed, especially if some malcontent let slip that it was the only place to be safe? In one night you would see such an up-swelling of belief, you could expand heaven and still have good will to spare!’
‘That all sounds very nice...but I couldn’t do it to them. I still wonder why I keep you around at all!’
The room flashed black with a subsonic rumble before slowly fading back to white once more. Lucifer leaned forward, the tips of fangs jutting over his lips slightly.
‘Forgive me, but don’t be no na├»ve! You know what happens when you give them what they want! They turn into morons! Need I remind you of your last attempt?’
‘No...’ The grey head shook sadly.
‘You made them that planet, gave them all the things they could ever want and what did they do? They ran around like simpletons, taking epochs to even form basic tools and language. Whereas these ones, my word! Look what they have accomplished with a little hardship and strife. You admitted to me a long time ago that you had never imagined that they would grow in strength and fortitude in such a way. You were even pleased!’
‘Yes I But I do not want them harmed, no matter how much it might be in their best interests.’
‘Well why didn’t you say so? I will enforce a strict “no harming” policy, problem solved. We will just scare the bejesus out of them...sorry.’
‘Forgiven. If anything, we need to scare the bejesus into them. What if people realize that noone is being hurt? They are very bright sometimes!’
‘No problem at all! I will get some of the denizens to adopt human form, they can be the ones that the others tear apart. Some of them quite enjoy that kind of thing. Now we are on the same page! So what do you think?’
The room fell silent, even the sickly ambience fizzling to nothing. Somewhere a sensitive soul tossed and turned, struggling with a nightmare of demons and monsters walking the streets, brow beaded with sweat, body trembling. Creation waited with baited breath, time trying to tiptoe past in an apologetic way that wouldn’t attact attention. A throat was cleared.
‘Do it.’



Happy Halloween to everyone. Even you, Justin Bieber.