Devil’s Advocate: Chapter 4

Note: Here we are…after several weeks of powering through this new short story, we are nearing the thrilling conclusion.  These next few chapters will be coming out quite quickly so stay on the lookout because if you don’t, you just might miss it!  Here is where the action starts to pick up, and where most of the theory fodder lies so get reading!  I’m excited to see what you might find.


Inside the chariot, I was restrained by guards on both sides for the whole ride, and when the horses with what seemed like manes of fire came to a stop, a bag was slipped over my head.

I was roughly “helped” out of the chariot and was led up rickety wooden steps and through a gateway, or at least that’s what I could tell from my other senses that remained unprohibited.

After a little while of walking, my escorts stopped me abruptly and pulled the bag off of my head.

Before me, a massive bamboo door lined with rows of wooden spikes and teeth that smelled of blood.  It was evident that someone had been impaled here, many someone’s.

I felt footsteps from just beyond the door, I felt them draw nearer and then the door slowly creaked open, just beyond the door lay what I imagined to be the nightmarish realm of the man who was evidently the dark one.

The guards gave me a nudge, and I entered the room.  The room itself was nothing special, not a marble chamber filled with ducts of lava and extravagantly decorated walls (which is what I had originally envisioned for the realm of the Darkness), but a quaint little bamboo chamber with windows that stared out into the expanse of the jungle and a long table at the center.  Stationed along the walls were several large statues of deities I had remembered seeing back home.

Then, I saw the man.  A tall, rather lanky fellow with piercing green eyes and hair as black as night.  He sat clad in expensive silk woven into a crease-less suit, somehow darker shade of black than his raven-haired head.   He sat at one end of the table pouring tea into a little clay cup surrounded by guards and accompanied by a small briefcase and pen.  My escort cleared his throat, breaking the silence. The man in black looked up, and smiled. It wasn’t warm or pleasant in the slightest, but at the moment any human smile would have sufficed.  

“I do apologize, Mr. Walker, for the rather obsolete mode of transportation I utilized in getting you here.  It was pretentious and ancient and won’t happen ever again. I often try to hold myself to higher standards Henry, but alas, I suffer from a deadly fascination with drama, and I’m sure even you can tell that a chauffeured limousine wouldn’t have had the same dramatic effect upon entry into the ruffian encampment and would’ve clashed with the forest atmosphere tremendously. ” The man in black explained.  He jumped up from his seat, straightened his tie and stretched out a hand towards me. I was taken aback, and it took an awkwardly long time before I registered what was happening and I commanded a response from my body. I stretched out my hand. He clasped it firmly and shook it before abruptly letting go and striding back over to his seat. “Beckert! Leave, now. Mr. Walker and I have matters of importance to discuss and I’m afraid your hulking physique represents the only form of strength you possess.  Physical.”    

 “Of course, My Darkness.”  My captor who had driven me here bowed and exited the room.  After he had left, it was just me and this man they called the Darkness.  Well, to be fair there were about a dozen other guards lined along the sides of the room next to the strange idols, but somehow they didn’t seem to count as people.

The man in black beckoned me closer with his left hand, and I slowly came forth.  He was an imposing man, but he didn’t fit the bill as the blood-thirsty Hades I had imagined.  He looked just like a man, in fact, it was scary how much he resembled one.

“Darkness,” he sighed.  “I never really liked that title.  It’s a demonizing moniker given to me by those heartless brutes that occupy my island.  Unfortunately many among my men here are ex-tribals who I brought out from their primitive lives and so I put up with that name daily.  To these fools a good man is termed a god and a man who they perceive to be bad is a demon. To those tribals you encountered, I am far worse than bad.  To them, I am evil, a malignant spirit, darkness incarnate…hence the name.”

The man noticed my apparent terror and confusion, to which he responded with a hearty laugh.  “Oh please, Mr. Walker! Won’t you sit down?”

I sat down, quite reluctantly, and took deep breaths as I wrapped my mind around the situation.  I was here, on an island paradise infested with clans of warring cannibals, run by a man who demanded human sacrifice, who the natives called the Darkness, and I was sitting at a table’s length away from him.  

“Let’s talk, Henry.  I’m not a demon or the darkness, in fact I might just be worse, but regardless, my real name is Mr. Blacke, and for the sake of modesty let’s just say that I’m a bit of a media tycoon.  I run a successful enterprise and so I end up with a lot of questions, money, and free time.” Mr. Blacke leaned back in his chair and took a sip of tea. “Do you know what happens when businessmen like me get bored?  Do you? We all cope differently, and I was no exception. I coped by purchasing a little chain of islands and bribing myself the contents of a small county jail. Strange way of coping I know, but bear with me. I got myself a handful of criminals and stuck ‘em on a little island with nothing but the clothes on their back, just to see what they would do.  You’d be surprised how many took a leap into the afterlife in the first few months, but as the years went on the convicts began to digress. They turned from already filthy people to primitive monsters. I reigned over them, and as they grew more and more like their ancestors they turned me into a god, and made me the center of their lives. I began adding variables like the sacrifices, the ruins, and the clans.  I restricted the resources, took away what little food my men provided to them and now I’ve got this pretty sweet set-up out here where not a single sane mind trods. Why did I do all this? Well, as I said…billionaires get bored, don’t they? I had questions and fantasies. I wondered what would happen when men were placed on an island where everything told them to become monsters, and surprisingly enough, most of them succumbed and became what they needed to be to survive.  It’s quite an enjoyable little game actually, you should try it some time.” Blacke halted, quite obviously out of breath. “I’ve given you all of this Mr. Walker and yet there is one thing remaining for me to say. Mr. Walker, welcome to hell.”

Hell?  My heart began to quicken.  I had never really considered what I would feel in this moment.  I had imagined what it would look like, but never could I formulate the fear that takes a hold of you when you are told that you’ve reached the end of the line.

“I apologize Henry, for just spewing that all out.  To be fair, as the Darkness I don’t get to talk to intellectual equals…of sorts.  I keep company only in my friends on the islands, the prisoners turned beasts by my rogue experiment.  I call ‘em my demons. Fitting isn’t it? Now I know I don’t have to regale you with tales of their nature, but I will tell you this…they complete me.  They are my beastly little reminders that I’m not the only one rotting in this hellish existence.” For a fleeting moment I saw a deep sorrow in the cold man.  His expression and eyes portrayed a profound sense of sadness, his eyes cried out as the eyes of a victim of a paradoxical existential crisis. However, after a short pause his eyes narrowed once again into his regular snakelike form.  He took a deep breath, clapped his hands together, and smiled that reptilian smile. “Alright then. Let’s talk business.”

I was still shocked, gripped with fear to a point where my tongue felt no motivation to move.  My mind went blank, and all I could do was remain frozen in terror. The man’s jerky, doll-like movements and horrifying dark smile were terrifying enough, but now hearing of the evil in his heart, I felt prepared to die once more.

“I can see that you are afraid.  Good, fear is a good friend of mine.”  The man said. “Excuse me? Excuse me? Mr. Walker.”

“You’re…You’re him.  If this is hell…then you’re him.”  I stammered, just barely keeping my footage on the path.

“Relax Henry.  I’m not Hades, I’m a visionary with a plan.  Mr. Blacke, Blacke Worldwide Media, not part-time lord of hell.  Even if I were, I would tell you that you aren’t heading to the pit just yet, because of the one plea you made when you went over the side of the docks.  Do you remember it, Henry?” Blacke inquired.

I thought for a moment, not able to recollect my exact final thoughts.  Whatever they were, they certainly seemed important to this man in black, so I did my best to remember.  In fact, this moment made me wonder exactly how a sadistic businessman knew what my final wish had been. I tried me best, but it was to no avail as before I could really think for a bit, Blacke cut in.

“Anything.”  Blacke shouted.  “You said, you promised!  You promised that you would do anything to have another go at life.”  The Darkness slowly walked forward. “You felt in your dying moments that you could’ve done better, that you had wasted away 25 years with drink and purposeless merriment.  You felt that you became that way because life dealt you a bad hand, that your crazy father and your absent mother turned you into this mess. You had the chance to repent when the preachers tried to talk to you, but as I recall, you beat them in a drunken rage.  Isn’t that right, Henry? You could have repented, but you didn’t. Instead of asking my benevolent competition for a second chance, you turned to me. Well pal, it’s your lucky day.”

“No.  No no no!  I want out of here.  I don’t want anything more, and I certainly don’t want to be left here on this island.  I don’t want to die, and I don’t want to go to hell.” I shouted, backing away even faster.

“You see, those were a series of wishes that cannot all be granted at once.  No one can leave this place, not even me.” Blacke walked forward. “I’m a slave to my hunger for death.  I’m a bondservant to my ambition to watch chaos take over the mind and body.”

Mr. Blacke continued to pace around the bamboo hut.  While I wanted to believe that he was just a man, just another bloodthirsty psychopath, and that this was just a bamboo hut, my mind had already begun creating nightmarish hallucinations of the floor opening up to reveal fiery pits filled with flesh eating worms and sinners.  Snakes writhed about deep within the pits, and Flesh Worms were chewing away at the bodies, squirming within the corpses. As my mind painted these graphic images, Blacke continued to chip away at my sanity moment by moment.

“There there, Henry.  I know what you’re seeing, what you’re feeling.  I feeel it too, every day.  However, there’s some good news, something that is sure to lift your spirits.  You can prolong your suffering, if you hear me out on this fascinating new business proposal I’ve been working on.”  Mr. Blacke returned to his chair and took a seat. “I can ship you off this hell and put you right back in the heart of the world, for a price.” 

I couldn’t believe it!  A man who might as well have been Hades himself was giving me a second chance.  Trust me, I wasn’t too excited about any of the options whether it was book it, listen to the devil’s proposition, or rot in hell…but out of all of these listening to Blacke’s proposition seemed like my best bet.

“So here’s my two pence worth, Henry; I’m growing bored once more, and it would so delight me so to see chaos be born out there in what people call ‘the real world.’  I want to see death,  I want to feel the pain of the people, and I want to witness the destruction of people’s faith and hope in a better life.  However, I’m unwilling to get down to the level of peasants and choke out their life within their own neighborhoods.  I want a man darker than I to be my representative, and that representative would be let off this island and given a second chance.”

“Wait.  A second chance?”  My ears instantly perked up, still quite unable to believe in such mercy.

“Yes Henry.  A second chance.  Of course, this second life comes with running a pretty big errand for me.  I want you to represent me back home. You must agree to be my slave and ambassador back on the land upon which you tread.  You’ll plunder, kill, and destroy. All so I can have the satisfaction of watching people burn.”

“What happens to me if I agree to this?”  I asked, honestly quite intrigued.

“You get your second chance, and you influence many more to join the winning team.  Mine.” The Darkness said. “That, and a bunch of other stuff you’ll get in touch with…once you sign the contract.”

“Why now?  Why hasn’t your ambassador-man already been sent up if you’ve had these desires for so long?”  I inquired, suddenly skeptical about what could be a terrible decision.

“In short, there are two reasons; to watch the mental breakdown of society as a result that you as my murderous arm, and to stamp out the movements of the competition.  The competition and I have a history, not one that I am willing to get into at this moment.  What you need to know is this: My associates have discovered that the opposition could be making quite a groundbreaking move, and that the time has come for them to send forth their champion.  In return, I’m picking mine.”

I was flooded with several thoughts and emotions, and soon I ended up with a dilemma.  Sign this contract, and I could become a living example of Dr.Faustus, the man who sold his soul to the devil.  On the other hand, I’ve got a life to live, and choices to make. All I would be doing is postponing my eventual fate, but then again, is that such a bad thing?  Maybe if I accomplish something I’d like to in my second chance, it wouldn’t be so bad if I finally bite the dust and end up as Blacke’s property.


With this chapter begins the real thinking, which I am often notoriously known for.  Before beginning this series, in promotional material, I discussed how this story has a lot more beneath it than meets the eye, and here I wanted to start you off with some basic questions that can lead you down a path to learn a lot more from this short story.  Try and keep these questions in mind when you read.

Key Questions:

  1. Blacke is without a doubt a dark man with darker impulses.  What do you think is the significance of Mr. Blacke’s obsession with seeing carnal nature reflected in humans?  Why do you think he bought that island just to build a torturous existence way out in the middle of nowhere?  What does pain mean to him?
  2. In an allegorical sense, who does Mr. Blacke reflect in your life or in the stories you have heard?  (Specifically the Bible)
  3. What do these events remind you of?  The Devil’s Advocate is an allegory, so what do the events portrayed in this chapter symbolize?
  4. Do you have any theories what exactly is taking place in the Devil’s Advocate?  There’s quite a bit of enigmatic moments, and I’d like you to think about what exactly they mean to you.

 

 

 

Devil’s Advocate: Chapter 3

 

Note: Hey everyone!  Sterexscribbles just popping in to let you know that this chapter is a whole lot of fun and is just waiting for you to read it.  Just know that from this point forth the coming chapters will be released very shortly.  Look out for the coming chapters and remember to have fun!


My legs felt weak, and I collapsed onto the ground that reeked of blood.  I lay there for a moment, wishing that it was all a dream and that the terror would disappear.  I wished that it would all end and that I would wake up back at The Cove with a topped of glass and a night to drink away.

“They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons, And shed innocent blood, The blood of their sons and their daughters, Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; And the land was polluted with the blood.”

I closed my eyes for a moment before getting back up.  I opened them, and to my dismay the corpse had not disappeared, but something new had caught my attention.  The blood stains on the surrounding ruins, and the piles of carcasses scattered across the courtyard of death.  There was even a trail of blood, rotten guts and bones that seemed to lead away from the gallows, and into another section of the ruins.  

My knees weak and my senses overwhelmed, I followed the bloody trail to the remains of  what was once an expansive room, and at the center I found a staircase that led up to a large stone slab.  On it was written the words; The Sacrifice.

I drew nearer to the altar, and wearily climbed up the stone stairs to get a better look at the stone table, which quite obviously was some kind of sacrificial altar.  I had a gut feeling about what they were sacrificing, but I just had to know for sure.

Upon the altar lay burnt coals and a charred body, who some despicable psychopath had burnt to a crisp.

Every bit of flesh had been singed, and the one had been cooked in the flames they lit upon this altar.  This was an area for human sacrifice, a truly horrific practice that I wasn’t sure even existed, especially not on this paradise island!

I looked around, and saw that just like the last hall, this area was also filled with piles of bodies, except these ones had been burned after the hanging.

The horror of it all made me wonder; what lives here that would do something like this?  What kind of blood-thirsty monster master-minded these murders?

I stepped down from the staircase, weak and growing tired.  I had been here for God knows how long, and I had had no water to drink and nothing to eat.

Just about to give in to fatigue and sit down, I felt a gust of air grace my cheek.  A stream of wind so fast that I knew not of its source, nor where it had gone, but I spun around to see several demon-like creatures advancing steadily towards me with javelins aloft and swords drawn.

They were terrifying to behold, but upon closer inspection, I could see that they were human.  They were men and women clothed in rags and adorned with tooth necklaces and painted skulls they wore as helmets.  I turned back around, to see a javelin protruding from the altar, which was the projectile that had barely missed me.

They were so abominable they looked inhuman, with eyes that were entirely black.  Their eyes looked hollow and empty, just as the rest of them. They were skinny to the bone to a point where their rib cages showed through their skin or the light rags that covered them.

On chain leashes, they kept massive hounds that were undoubtedly dogs from the depths of hell.  They were dismembered, and in certain areas their flesh had disintegrated to reveal bone and veins within.

“Another one for sacrifice,”  One of the fiends spoke.

“He will be pleased with our offering.”  Another added.

“It’s been weeks since we’ve been handed another.”  A woman with a hoarse voice said.

Stricken with fear to a point where I could barely speak, I backed away.  Inch by inch I moved away from the hunting group, but they followed, inching closer and closer.

Finally I spoke, saying, “Greetings friends.  You have no idea how delighted I am to see another…human face.”

“You’ll regret it in a moment, friend.”  The largest of the group stepped forward and spoke with a low, rumbling voice.  “Prepare Haman’s Gallows. We have an offering to make.”  

The large man gestured to a few in his group, and one by one his chosen few for the task of preparing the gallows peeled off.  My heart pounded, and large beads of sweat began to materialize on my brow. I could run, to avoid being sacrificed by these tribal maniacs, or I could stay, and avoid being painfully captured with swords and spears.

“Sir, please.  I think you misunderstand.  I’m not here to be sacrificed.  I was tossed over a harbor back in the Queen’s country.  England? You’ve heard of England, right?” I started. These people were human, weren’t they?  Maybe they’d understand.

“Sir I deeply apologize for all of this, but we have an obligation to sacrifice to the one who’s willing to kill us all in a heartbeat.  If we don’t sacrifice human blood to the one who relishes in it, we die.” The giant said.  

“Who is this man?”  I asked.

“Trust me, he’s anything but a man.”  The giant paused after this sentence and looked around, as if to make sure that no one was listening.  “We’ve had to kill hundreds as an offering to him just to keep our clans alive. This paradise is a deathtrap, and the clans who haven’t been able to meet their quota have become one of the many corpses in this dump.  We’ve sacrificed the newcomers who have no idea what they’re doing here, and we’ve sacrificed our own when newcomers were in short supply.”

Around me, an ominous skittering resounded from within the ground.  I felt the ground shift beneath me, and the cause of this was undoubtedly something living.

“Flesh Worms,” The giant said.  “They start gathering whenever they sense a kill waiting to happen.”

“Flesh Worms?” I gulped.

“How else did you think the flesh on these bodies disappeared?  Those vile little things will eat you up the second you’re on that noose, and once they’ve picked you clean, it’ll make it easier for us to toss you on the altar.”

“Please, sir.  I can find you another sacrifice, another man to slaughter!  Don’t kill me, please. I’m an innocent man…”

“Oh, I’m gonna have to stop you right there.”  The giant lay an assertive hand on my shoulder.  “If you are here, then you aren’t innocent. And according to the record books, you’re already dead.”

As tears began to formulate in my eyes, a great commotion sounded from behind me.  The giant’s cohorts rushed from the gallows to the altar hall, brandishing their weapons.  

“Chain up our offering, and then we can deal with the oncoming adversaries.”  The leader of the group shouted to his people.

Two women came up to me and firmly tied me with rope strung from plant fibers.  Then, they brought me behind the group of warriors that were poised to strike.

The commotion was coming from an approaching tribe – clearly a rival one – who were chanting and whooping wildly while carrying torches and skulls speared on pikes.

The commotion came to an end as the opposing tribe’s evident leader came forward.

“Get lost Kane, you and your tribe have no place here or right to this sacrifice,” The giant said, crossing his arms and planting his feet firmly.

“Enough pleasantries!”  Shouted the opposing tribe’s leader, as if that quick exchange of threatening dialogue could qualify as pleasantries.  “Our Darkness wants a sacrifice, and we’ll go through you and your band of rag-wearing warriors to get one.  Maybe we’ll turn you in as a couple of offerings as well.”

“We won’t be letting that happen.  We have a quota to meet and the Darkness to please, so stay away from our sacrificial lamb.”  The giant said. His men raised their bows and spears, ready to engage in battle.

“You seemed to have missed the part where me and my friends take you and your band by force.  This is a society where blood is our central focus, and today, yours will be spilt.” Kane said, motioning to his men.

What came next was something I had been dreading since the rival party arrived;  an outbreak of madness and violence.

The two sides howled a blood-curdling war cry and they charged, tearing each other to pieces with their primitive weapons, some with their bare hands.  This is when I saw how fragile the bond between the members of these groups were, as it was not an ‘all-for-one’ society, but an ‘every-man-for-himself’ society.  

Two men from the giant’s group were locked in battle with three from Kane’s and as Kane’s men charged with their swords drawn, one of the giant’s men held up his ally to take the blow.  The sword went right through the young man, who died instantly without a groan.

In another corner of the battlefield, two men were viciously attacking each other like animals, tearing into flesh with just fingernails.  One of them knocked the other to the ground, knelt next to him, and grabbed a hold of his neck. The two shook vigorously, one trying desperately to break free of the death grip while the other was trying his best to keep him down.  

In a sudden move, the oppressor jerked his hand to the side, and a sharp cracking noise ended the victim’s life.  

Then, quite frighteningly, the killer grew a wild look in his eyes, and a look of joy and pleasure seeped into the expressions displayed on his face.  He rose up, and held up his trophy, yelling, “I’ve got one!”  His entire body quivered madly and he cackled wickedly as his kill’s blood continued to gush out onto the ground.

The battlefield quietened, but within moments the mayhem picked up once more as several warriors (both on his side and not) turned their attention into killing him for his sacrifice!

The massacre continued, until the deafening sound of chariots approaching ended the killing.  Several black horses with manes that seemed to be ablaze pulled up, and off of the chariot stepped a man decked out in iron and a black tunic.  

He was a warrior of sorts, but not like the blood-hungry dogs that were just ripping each other to shreds.  He was protected by a breastplate of thick Kevlar and several guards armed with assault rifles.  I caught one of them slip a round into his weapon, and realized that just the bullet could be used as a makeshift shiv.

He walked into the battlefield, and gazed down upon the tribal monsters that had ended all of their proceedings to bow before this new arrival.

The warrior signaled to his men, which opened up a sack and tossed out five loaves of stale, maggot-infested bread.  The tribal creatures pounced, each one violently attempting to secure a piece, and fending off anyone who came to close.

“Savages,” The warrior huffed condescendingly.  He paused for a moment, before addressing the onlookers.  “Your Darkness has graciously exempted you from your due sacrifices, but he craves blood next week.  You will deliver.”  The warrior pointed at me.  “Henry Walker, will you please?”  

The warrior beckoned me, and shakily, I stood up and began to walk towards him.

“Get in.”  The warrior said brusquely, before having armed guards shove me in a chariot and getting in with me.  He waved at the driver, who wore a long black robe, and we were off.

The bloodshed I had witnessed had made me think of this place in a whole new sense.  I knew now that it was no paradise for the dead, but possibly…no. It can’t be. It would never be this beautiful.

 

Devil’s Advocate: Chapter 2

IMG_5548.PNG


Sometimes, I would think about this moment.  The moment where I finally gave up my soul. I expected a lot of things from the afterlife.  I expected a lot of things from Heaven, and even more from hell.

 

Truthfully speaking, I knew that hell would by my tormentor, especially after the things I’ve done.  In fact, to even see the gates of heaven would be but a dream for a sinner like me. Somewhere packed under all of the deep, sunken eyes and the alcohol-powered aggression, I knew that my actions would eventually take me to pits of fire.

 

I expected torment to be my future, but I didn’t expect hell to have warm, sandy beaches, and gentle waves of snow-white foam.

 

My eyes slowly cracked open, and I picked up my head.  My vision was blurred and my head throbbed, but I felt a sense of peace.  Peace I knew I shouldn’t be feeling, peace I didn’t deserve to feel.

 

Suddenly, I no longer felt the searing pain of my open wounds.  I raised myself from the sand, and stood upright.

 

As it turns out, my mind wasn’t messing with me, and when I looked down…there was not a drop of blood on me.  Not a wrinkle in a shirt that had been torn to shreds. There was not a single cut, wound, or scar on my body.

 

Then, another wave came in, but it wasn’t big and aggressive.  It wasn’t a rolling wave that dragged you back into the deep. It was a gentle wave accented with sea foam.  It gently caressed my feet, and it slid silently back into the ocean. It was a kiss, a peck, like walking on clouds.  

 

If this was Hell, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad at all.  I looked up, and saw a large sandy plain, and beyond that, the beginning to what looked to be a lush, green forest.  If this was Hell, then there’s a chance I could begin to like it here.

 

I lifted my foot out of the moist sand it was partially buried in, and quite reluctantly, I left the comfort of the ocean’s embrace to explore deeper into the island.

 

As I neared the forest, I nearly entirely missed a massive sign etched into the sand just before the trees began.  One part of the gargantuan sign was written in a strange, foreign tongue, but the other half was written in English.

 

The Beneath

 

Ominous, I thought at first glance.  The Beneath?  I’ve never heard of an island called… My thoughts trailed off as I continued to inspect the image.

 

Just saying its name made me feel strange and uncomfortable in my own skin.  Then, a strange wind blew through the trees, and the atmosphere turned suddenly stale, but just for a moment.  Almost as if saying the island’s name brought suffering to the land that bore it.

 

I shook off this strange feeling and trudged deeper into the forest.

 

Something felt off about the two inscriptions in the sand.  The inscription that read; The Beneath, seemed to be solid and written by a steady hand.  However, the other inscription seemed sloppy, as if someone had scrawled the message. The sign that read; The Beneath, looked sure and confident, a message that would never fade.  The other inscription looked like it was written in fear, by trembling, human hands.

 

The deeper I went into the forest, the greater the air of danger I felt.

 

As I plowed through the jungle, I came across what looked to be an abandoned campsite, complete with a pile of charcoal where the fire was lit and several supplies scattered across the jungle floor.  From the vines suspended above the jungle hung what looked to be the remains of an old parachute, now shredded and hanging from the branches.

 

There were an array of supplies I found, including rusting cans filled with mold, some broken flashlights, and a large dagger that was nearly bronze in color from the layer of rust on it that had set in over the years.  

 

To my left, a thicket of vines so dense that this rusting dagger couldn’t dream of penetrating it, and to my left, an overgrown path.  It was still thick with vegetation, but the patch seemed almost worn.

 

I went up to the path, and knelt to inspect the soil.  It was dry and showed signs of being used and trampled upon.  I looked closer, and saw streaks of red and yellow across the dirt.  It was a strange, liquid substance that had spilled and stained the ground.  Somehow, over the many years that this place had been abandoned, the stains still remained, raising the question; Was this site as old as it seemed, or had someone been here recently?

 

Using the dagger I bushwhacked further into the jungle, cutting through the vegetation like a bobcat.

 

As I went deeper, the jungle seemed to grow darker, angrier.  This land looked ancient and pained, as if something had happened here, something that even the jungle wished to cover up.

 

Then, the smell.  Oh! A putrid stench that wafted up from somewhere along the path.  Pinching my nose with one hand, and cutting through the forest with the other, I pushed through and reached a series of ruins.

 

A series of stone walls and gateways that were now partially rubble, had been painted brightly with graffiti that seemed to be written…in blood!

 

The nauseating source of the miasma became clearer as I navigated through the ruins.  At the very center of the ancient remains lay a massive hangman constructed from vines, wooden planks, and thatch.  To my horror, hanging on the end of the noose was a rotted corpse, so deteriorated that all that remained was blackened flesh, just barely sticking to the bone!

#thinkaboutit

This story isn’t just a fun read for a rainy day!  It’s an allegory, filled with symbolism and hidden meanings.  As the story expands, the pieces will begin to come together and reveal the bigger picture, but make sure to keep this in mind as you read.  Let’s see what theories you’ll come up with!

Devil’s Advocate: Chapter 1

IMG-5547.PNGNote to the reader: Welcome to chapter one of a grand adventure that the next few blogs will take you on.  This story is a wild tale of us – humankind – and trust me, we’re a lot more interesting than we think.  The cruelty of humankind, and a wicked plot that our protagonist finds himself at the center of.  Every week, I’ll be posting another chapter, so make sure to keep checking to reveal the next bit of the story.  Starting from the next couple of chapters, I’ll also be posting a short analysis and summary of the chapter because this story is packed with deeper meanings, symbolism, tie-ins, and allegories that lie beneath the surface, and so it is important that you watch the analysis to understand exactly what it is the events in this story are telling you on a deeper level.  Grab a drink, a cookie, or some popcorn, and prepare yourself for the story of us…

 

Chapter 1

The Cove was the haunt for men of ill-repute, a tiny shack where the beers were bottomless on Friday nights and where armed men often came.

It was a place – dare I say – magical, and its bewitching allure brought many men to her arms.  The Cove was a home, a place of refuge for those not ‘fit’ for society. They can come here to find rest, because The Cove doesn’t discriminate.  Paying customers with a thirst for whiskey are welcome.

One night, on one of my frequent trips to the beer parlor I chanced upon a rather ill-tempered customer, who often reminded me of some kind of earthen pot, in no small regard to his muscular forearms and powerful chest.  I heard many refer to him by the name of Golem, but I had no interest in meeting the flesh giant.

Golem seemed to take an interest in me, and he sauntered over to the bar stool upon which I was sitting.

“Well what do we have here?  You alright mate? Seems like you’ve had a beer too many, and it shows.”  Golem laughing at the dazed look on my face and the dark circles under my blood-shot eyes.  “Oy! Come get a load of this! Looks like the kid can’t hold his sea-water.”

“I’ve had seven already, and by Jove I don’t intend to stop now.”  I replied, slurring my words so heavily that they could just barely understand me.

“What was that, love?  Couldn’t hear you,” Golem mocked.

“Listen Golem,” I began.  “How ‘bout you get lost? Or are we gonna ‘ave a problem ‘ere?”

“Depends, on whether or not that was a threat.”

I had always been quick to wrath, and in a beer-fueled rage I lashed out and delivered a blow to Golem, a crushing one at that.  My fist connected with his chin, and a pain like I’d never felt before shot through my arm.

“Should’ve brought brass knuckles son.”  Golem said, wiping a spot of blood off of his lower lip.

A bar brawl ensued, a massive outbreak of  violence and bloodshed all powered by the force of a drink-too-many.  It began with a single punch, and soon the entire Cove was covered with flailing arms and flying beer jugs.  

Such is the magic of The Cove.  It carries a spirit of fire that ignites upon exposure to several ill-tempered patrons and endless barrels of beer.

I got lost in the battle, tangled in the frenzy of twisting arms, legs, and shirtless bodies emitting a strong odor of saliva, filth, and gin.  Caught among the chaos, I slowly inched my way over to the door, and fumbled with the knob.  

My head throbbed, and I was unable to think clearly to a point where opening a door became a tedious task.  After several tries, I twisted the knob and stumbled out of the Cove, bruised and still quite drunk.

I would have to steal some pain-meds, maybe another beer for the night, and then I would head to bed…somewhere.

I began to stagger towards the main road, just opposite the harbor upon which the Cove rested.   I thought about absolutely nothing, as it was something I did very rarely. I lived off of gin, whiskey, and tainted beer, and so thinking becomes harder each day.  Sometimes I bed down on the ropes stacked by the docks, and in the morning the sailors prepping for voyage would be my alarm clock. I would arise, see if I could scavenge a few pounds, and then I would head for The Cove.

Today would be like any other day.  I would wander for some time, find a warm place to lay my head for the night, and in the morning I would pick up a few pounds for drinks.

Too tired to even walk, I ducked into a nearby alleyway and continued my journey there.  The night was too dark to see even a foot ahead of me, and so I relied on my experience on the docks to guide my way.  I especially knew that the alleyways were safe, because no one would enter the alleyways by the docks at night. No Golems, no sailors, no captains catching a beer-break, and no…

A light rounded the corner and nearly blinded my.  Voices came from behind the light, and too drunk to respond I grumbled back.  The voices continued to shout to me, and then they began to talk among themselves.  Saying words like ‘drunk’, ‘pauper’, ‘miscreant’, and ‘advantage’.

“Hallo there friend!”  One of the voices called out.  There was a sharp click and the light went out, to expose two lanky silhouettes in uniform.  They were harbor patrol. I had run into them in the past, and I knew that they were nothing like the police.  They weren’t noble or looking to help those in need, they liked to take advantage of the poor, and that’s when I understood who these men were.

They drew closer, and I recognized them as two frequent patrons of The Cove.  They were also often drunk, and they had lent me quite a copious sum of money some time back.  Possibly a couple of days ago, maybe weeks? I’m very drunk.

Honestly speaking, I had forgotten all about our little agreement, and now it was coming back to haunt me.

“Hey!  You’re that scumbag we lent some pounds to aren’t you?”  One of the voices who identified as the mamma’s boy Jerry.

“Yeah!  Where’s our money, friend?”  Dan, Jerry’s equally infuriating brother added.

“Look, gentleman.”  I slurred, trying my best to sound as sophisticated as possible.  “You’ll get your honey, when I say you’ll get your honey!” What was I doing?  It was like I had lost control of my tongue, and that it had proceeded to spout absolute rubbish, just for the fun of it.

“What?  Henry what’re you saying?”  Jerry asked.

“Forget it J, let’s take what he has and get lost before some honest patrolmen get down here on their watch.”  The rather impatient Dan said. He came up to me, and firmly grabbed my arm while Jerry came over to check my pockets.

I shook them loose crying, “Oy!  Hands off! Before you get your hands somewhere they shouldn’t be!”

“Ugh!  Jerry, pin him down!”

“No!  I’m warning you!  Gents! Keep your hands off!”  I continued to yell. Come on!  Run! Fight back!  I wanted to get away, but my muscles seemed to go limp the moment I needed them.  With a burst of effort I managed to throw the brothers off, and I tried to make a break for the docks.  

My arms and legs – still barely functional after a night’s worth of intoxication – slowed me down, and all I could do was stumble out of the alleyway. 

I felt a cool breath of the sea upon my face as soon as I had freed myself of the dark holds of the pitch-black alleyways.  I was free for a moment to rest in the embrace of the moonlight, only to take a terrible blow to my back as Jerry came down on me with an iron-rod, turned into a makeshift bludgeon.

I turned around and lowered myself to the ground.  Dan slid a knife out of his pocket, and Jerry brandished his new club.

“We lent you a couple hundred pounds because you assured us you could pay us back.  You promised!  Weeks went by, then months, and still no sign of the repayment you promised.  People like you have been a scourge to this place long enough, so maybe it’s time no one hear from you again.”  Dan said, gritting his teeth.

I backed away, until I was right up against the edge of the pier, but the brothers came nearer still.

Jerry caught my collar, and pulled to the ground before bludgeoning me with his weapon.  Then came several punches from Dan, who didn’t hold back in the slightest.

First the face, then the eyes, then my stomach which caused a shower of  my stomach’s contents to spurt from my lips. A foul-smelling, thick, hot broth of beer and chicken.

Jerry continued to strike me with his iron rod, crushing my frail body several times over, shattering bone and breaking skin.  When it met with my head, I heard my skull crack, and I felt the bone fragments impale the surrounding flesh. Then, a warm liquid began to ooze from the wound, covering the mucked up wood of the pier I was laying on.

Beaten black and blue, I felt the life slowly start to ebb from within me.  With each impact I felt myself die a little more.  

Footsteps.  Heavy footsteps.  The commotion had caught the attention of other Harbor Patrol Officers, and their boots were now thumping their way down to the pier.  

“Harbor Patrol is coming.  We need to get rid of the body.  Now!” Jerry cried. 

“Get him up, we’ll dump him right here.”  Dan responded.

I felt myself being pulled right to the very edge of the pier.  Dan knelt down, and stared into my eyes. Then… he laughed. He laughed!  He took one long look at my blood-covered face, my open wounds and cracked skull.  Somehow his first thought is that it’s funny?

“We’ve been killing homeless drunks like you for some time now, and the harbor is better off for it.  Consider this a favor to the beloved docks you call home, tramp!” Dan said.  

“Dan, you’ve got to hurry!  The footsteps are nearing.” Jerry exclaimed, fidgeting nervously.

“Right then,” Dan sighed.  He paused for a moment, and then plunged the knife deep into my side.  “Just making sure you’re out for good, Henry.”

I rasped, and looked down at the wound.  The knife had cut deep, and had potentially shredded through my intestines, because along with blood, more strange fluid poured out of the wound.

I felt myself being lifted off the wooden boards of the pier, and the next thing I knew . . . 

I went over the edge.

The surface of the bay embraced me, and instantly I was flooded with water.  I felt the frigid waters course through my body, through my mouth and into my lungs.  The deep’s icy fingers wrapped themselves around my throat, and choked the remaining life from within me.

This was when I realized.  I had gambled, fought, and drank away 25 years of life on this earth, and only now did I realize that I wasn’t ready to go.  I didn’t want to die, having lived a wreck of a life. I wasn’t ready to leave, and that’s when I began to plead with fate.

And as I went out, I begged.  I begged the universe, the cosmos, death itself, I begged anyone who would listen.

Please, I begged.  Give me another chance.  I’ll do anything. Anything for another chance.

“Anything?”

 

Look out for Chapter 2 coming very soon!

#thinkaboutit