Attempting to put his key into the door of his apartment block, he had to give it some force. It went in with effort due to the wear and tear of both key and lock. He gave the door a final nudge with his shoulder to prise it open, the old wooden frame was swollen by the damp weather and constant steam emanating from the drain off the sidewalk right outside of the flea pit where he lived. Before he slumped into bed he looked out the window to take in the view. Dark streets lined with decrepit buildings. At the far end of the road two men were beating the hell out of a guy. In the distance a police siren wailed. But they were not coming to the aid of this man. Looking back down, the two thugs had gone but the victim’s body remained, lifeless and bloody on the crud-covered pavement.
He awoke next day, his head thumping. After making a couple of pieces of toast out of the stale bread that he had left in his cupboard he made his way to work.
On his way back home that night, he was confronted by three leather-clad delinquents. He waited for the normal demands, wallet, watch, etc. In way of a reply he just laughed. Even as the ensuing kicks and punches rained down upon him, he never cried out for help nor begged for mercy.
Hobbling back to his apartment, he turned the light on and stumbled into the bathroom. He stared at his reflection in the mirror. His eyes were swollen, his lips the same, but bloodied. He chuckled again. A giggle at first, then a real belly laugh. He wiped the blood from his face and then punched the mirror with all his might. Shards of glass sprayed out across the room and into his face, piercing the skin and cutting through to the bone. He put his hands up to his cheeks and began pulling the flesh away. His apartment melted into darkness and then ignited into fire.
He turned and walked along a molten corridor. At the end of it was a large solid metal door. It swung open upon his approach.
In front of him sat a deformed, crippled, grotesque, monstrosity of a being. It looked at him enquiringly and asked, “So?”
The fleshless being that once bore the face of a dishwashing, downtrodden, worthless man looked back at his master and, with a smile replied, “It’s all going to shit up there.”
Lucifer smiled through bloodied teeth and replied, “Well, we’ll just leave them to their own devices then. It doesn’t appear we need influence them at all these days. Let human nature take its course, so to speak.”
∼ Ian Sputnik
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