“Now here is where I bring forth my clincher. A little tool I call Mortimer Grimm. He’s a tricky one, and my longest friend.” A silent, pale-faced man entered the room. He pulled out a chair next to me and took a seat. He folded his arms and arrogantly crossed his legs. Mr. Blacke scraped some stray sands off of the ground and played with them in his palm. “He’s my ace in the hole, possibly a living incarnation of temptation. This dastardly little beast will make you sign this blood contract, and if you don’t believe me, we can bet. I know that’s something you like to do.”
“Temptation? Like the Garden…” I began.
“Yes, just like the Garden of Eden.” Mr.Blacke blew, and the sands were carried by an invisible breeze into my eyes. Just the presence of Mr. Grimm seemed to compel me to agree. He put one hand on my shoulder and began to speak. I heard none of his speech, but the more he spoke the greater the conviction I had that this was the right thing to do. It felt odd, but so right! I had a distorted view of reality, and suddenly, I felt my hand hover up. The guards brought in a contract, and a pen carrying a crimson ink.
“Sign, and that second chance you crave will be yours.” The Blacke said, sweat streaming down his cheeks.
I felt such a strong connection to this, that I grabbed the pen, and I brought it over to the dotted line. I didn’t even bother to read the terms and conditions, this was something I wanted, with all of my heart. Or so I thought. Temptation was working within me, and deep down I knew that. However, the overwhelming desire for a second chance looked past that, and I signed my name on the scroll.
The contract was hastily removed, and my clear vision returned. The nausea, the distortion, and the vertigo left and I was left in utter confusion…only for a moment.
Blacke and Grimm looked at one and other and smiled. Mortimer stood up along with Blacke and they both pounded me on the back congratulating me.
“Thank you Henry. You’ve done this man a great service,” Blacke in a voice that seemed to mock the concept of sincerity.
“Great job, sport. Now that you’ve officially become greater than the weak drunkard you once were, let’s go through some specifics.” Mortimer said, just barely cracking a smile. He paused for a moment and continued. “The truth is Henry, there are no specifics. You’re gonna go out there and be bad, in layman’s terms. You will be diabolical, void of any conscience or remorse. Then only will you be what we want you to be. You will strike an unholy fear into the hearts of men, and that’s all you must do for the next ten years. Do you know why, Henry? We live by this simple rule: when people fear, they sin, and when they sin, they fear. When all of the above coexist, chaos is born and our desires quenched. We don’t want you to just be another bad man, but a bad revolutionary. We want to see your acts of darkness plant a seed that withers good in the people around you, because that’s who you are.”
“And who exactly am I?” I whimpered, dazed.
Everyone stopped, the room was silent as Mortimer stepped back and Blacke drew nearer. He took me by the collar and roughly shoved me against the back wall which smelt of sweat and blood just as the stained doorway.
“Who are you?” Blacke asked. “Who are you? Henry! Oh, Henry! You’ve signed the contract, you’ve agreed to the terms and conditions. In doing so you’ve become something you never thought you could be, something far darker than the world will see in human form. You’ve become all of this for one soul purpose, to represent the desires of a crooked businessman with a secret ambition. Henry, you’re the Devil’s Advocate.”
Blacke chuckled and backed off. Mortimer then took me by the throat and tugged me to a corner where his fist met my skull in a thunderous blow. I was nearly knocked off my feet, but Mortimer caught me and pulled me up.
“You’re the Devil’s Advocate, Henry, but you have to make them believe it. You have to make me believe it. Now…who are you?” Mortimer spat at me before bringing down another fist upon the back of my head. “Who are you?”
“The Devil’s Advocate.” I responded weakly.
“That was weak! I need to feel your pain.” A sharp shot to my chin caused blood to seep out from within my gums.
“I’m the Devil’s Advocate.” I whimpered.
“Again!” Mortimer shouted.
“The Devil’s Advocate.”
“Make me believe!”
On it went. Over and over he bludgeoned me, hammered me to the point of desperation, all so he could seal the deal in blood. He wanted the ‘Devil’s Advocate’ to be born of pain so that when I went back to the mainland to do damage, the destruction came from a dark place. Blacke truly was a twisted man.
“The Devil’s Advocate”
“The Devil’s Advocate”
“You maggot! Make me believe!”
“The Devil’s Advocate.”
“Let hell hear it!”
“The Devil’s Advocate!” Unable to bear the pain any longer I returned Mortimer’s motion with a swift right hook that picked him off his feet and left him sprawling on the bamboo floor.
“He’s ready.” Blacke whispered to a moaning Mr. Grimm. I spit an oozy cocktail of blood, saliva, and sputum at the polished shoes of Mr. Blacke, just before the world began to spin once more. Dizzy and in pain I began to back up against the corner. As the world faded I saw Mortimer get up, look me in the eye, fling his fist in my direction…and then everything went black.