The Devil Is Calling is one of my favourite stories, actually.
I recommend downloading the .doc version, which may be found here.
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Had you asked Dew Nestry how many people were his servants, he would have, in all likelihood, told you that there wasn’t a certain number. The lack of certainty was a motif in Dew Nestry’s character, is what you probably heard if you asked him why the Hell he didn’t ever give clear answers to anything. A similar answer you’d most likely have received if you asked him what exactly these servants did for him.
Although, there was, in fact, one certain thing that these so called servants did for him – killing. This is why they were mostly referred as Nestry’s Hit Men.
This story focuses on one, certain, hit – you know what? I’ll finish this sentence later. Anyhow, this person wasn’t the best of Nestry’s servants in the contract killing business, or, quite frankly, in any other kind of business, but was, to Nestry’s opinion, the most extraordinary one. But enough with the general talking – let us focus on one, certain, rainy Tuesday, in which said servant, whose name was Ally Hilonestry, was in one certain mood.
Ally was sitting in her armchair, waiting. She was nervous.
She took a sip from her tea, which was a bit too hot and a bit too without milk, and checked her watch.
It wasn’t there. She didn’t wear a watch. Of course she didn’t, what was she thinking? Who wore watches? Especially with a white dress? No, no, the two things just didn’t fit. How could she expect herself to wear one? Didn’t she know herself better?
No, she definitely did. She was probably just nervous. Her mother should arrive soon.
A mother she hadn’t spoken to for years. She wasn’t sorry for that or anything – actually, she was quite fond of this position – of not having spoken to her mother for so long. The longer she went on, the easier it was to continue going on. And that’s exactly why she was so nervous of speaking to her again. What if some primal, idiotic feelings would surf? That was the last thing she needed at the moment.
She’d have to finish the job quickly. But how could she? What if her mother had changed? She had to find out, didn’t she? Of course, even if her mother had changed, she’d have to kill her nonetheless, but at least she would know that she had.
She took one of the pillows from the sofa next to her, and hugged it. It made her feel cute, in some foolish way.
She laid her cup of tea on the coffee table, trying to figure out whether she was actually able to do this job without even speaking to her mother beforehand.
She remembered how her mother cheated on her father. It wasn’t the main reason she’d stopped talking to her, but it was the last straw, so to speak. Basically, she just didn’t like her mother – and when the latter moved in with her boss, it also seemed like an excellent way to get her out of Ally’s life forever.
Nevertheless, Ally was still somewhat human. She couldn’t know no primal instincts would arise at the least convenient moment. And the curiosity was even more troublesome.
The bell rang.
Ally hurried to the door, and opened it.
‘Oh, Mrs Kane, hello! What a great timing, I just got back home. How are you? Please, come in.’ Ally smiled the cutest fake, non-sexual smile she had smiled in a while.
This would require more phoniness than most of her hits – but make no mistakes, all of them required some.
‘It’s Miss Thompson, actually, I’m no longer married,’ smiled Mrs Kane. ‘You know, you look very familiar. Have we met before?’
‘Ah, I don’t think so – but who knows. Please, take a sit, I’ll make us some tea. Did you find the place easily?’ asked Ally.
‘Oh, yeah, it’s a lovely neighbourhood. You know, those shoes you are wearing are just lovely, where did you get them?’
‘Ah, you know… One of these places…’ mumbled Ally, and went to the kitchen.
It didn’t seem as if she had changed.
She took out two cups, and poured to them some hot tea, thinking that these high heels were getting quite uncomfortable.
She was getting sick of this dress, too.
She added some sugar to the tea, and opened the refrigerator, taking out a bottle of milk.
She started to feel rather annoyed. She didn’t have patience for any of this – not for killing her mother, and certainly not for talking to her. But, yet again, she couldn’t miss that final opportunity to judge her.
Although, she somehow became fairly careless, too. She knew, deep down, that her mother hadn’t changed, that she’d kill her quite soon, and that she’d foolishly feel sorry afterwards, and think of it constantly from that moment onwards. She knew she’d feel bad, and that she was somehow already feeling slightly bad, but that entire concept of feeling bad and good and yet bad again seemed so expected and dull she could hardly care about it – even when her own feelings were in question. It was a bit as if she was watching a bad show and wasn’t able to switch the channel. She felt disconnected from it, yet it was the only thing available.
As (s)he returned the milk to the refrigerator, (s)he noticed that the nails of the hands with which (s)he did so weren’t polished. Quickly, (s)he examined the mirror on the refrigerator’s door – that house was full with mirrors, for exactly that reason – and realised he was wearing jeans and a t-shirt.
His mother would surely recognise him now. He had, indeed, grown up – and his burns were gone, but that wasn’t enough to prevent a mother from recognising her son. Breasts, were a fine start.
He thought of pinkish and stuffed stuff, but the more he did so the less girly he felt.
What made him feel girly?
Blood. Knives. Bloody knives. Sucking the blood of bloody knives. Bloody knives piercing the hearts of men.
Dresses. White dresses. White dresses stained with blood. Blood.
A bloody knife. She was holding a bloody knife.
Her hands were covered with blood, and she was wearing jeans.
Well, it’s certainly better.
Hastily, she washed her hands, took the cups and went to the living room, putting the knife in her pocket. She couldn’t exactly get rid of it – and, well, she did need it.
‘I’m sorry it took so long,’ she smiled to her mother, ‘I felt too dressed up, if you know what I mean. But perhaps I give these things too much meaning.’
‘Oh, no, no. I absolutely understand. Shall we begin?’
Ally sat on her couch again. ‘Yeah, sure, but let’s not be too formal, shall we? Do you like it?’
‘Oh, yeah, it is a lovely apartment. Why are you selling it, by the way?’ she added, as if it wasn’t important, with a smile even more fake than Ally’s.
Surprisingly enough, instead of primal instincts concerning unreasonable feelings of love and forgiveness, to Ally’s mind surfed new unreasonable feelings – to which many reasons could have been found, and yet were caused by something else entirely – of resentment towards her mother. Her face, her smiles, her way of expressing herself in general and her constant annoying use of the word ‘lovely’ in particular, her little motions – most regular motions – they all seemed remarkably sinister.
It was a scary thing, really, talking to a person you were about to kill. You could truly say anything, even the most awkward or bizarre thing that would come to your mind. Some people – fictional people, that is – had used this most peculiar condition in order to spill out their ultimate plan, unaware, obviously, of being fictional, and of the very high probability therefore of a deus ex machine showing up at the very moment they have finished talking. But deus ex machine or not, spilling out your heart to someone that you were or were not going to kill was too normal, too cliché, and mostly too stupid and pathetic for any Hilonestry.
Therefore, most of Nestry’s Hit Men used this most abnormal circumstance in quite a different way.
‘I, ah, didn’t understand – why are selling the place?’
‘Oh – because frogs.’
‘There are frogs in it?’
‘It? We’re in “it”, you know, you can just say here, and of course there aren’t frogs in here, if there were, I would have mentioned it in the advertisement, but I didn’t, because if I have, you wouldn’t have come, would you, and I needed you to come, otherwise I wouldn’t have sold the place, and if I haven’t sold the place, I wouldn’t have advertised the advertisement, and if I haven’t advertised the advertisement, I couldn’t have mention anything about frogs being frogs and the reasoning of the conclusion therefore that I’m selling this place, and therefore meeting you, and therefore not needing you no longer, and therefore not needing advertising anything about any apartment or any said frogs, or, for that matter, the reasoning of yet again the conclusion that I’m selling the place, so I didn’t say anything about frogs in the advertisement and about said reasoning, because if I have I wouldn’t needed have done so in the first place, because than I wouldn’t have needed you, because you’d have come, but you came anyway, so what’s the point of talking about any frogs being or not being for that matter other frogs?’
Mrs Kane was silent for a few seconds. ‘Hu?’
‘Er… I. Did. Not. Say. “Because. Of. Frogs.
‘Can’t you pay any slightly little tiny bit of miniature attention? It doesn’t actually requires truly paying, you know!’
‘Wh—what are you talking about?’
‘Frogs, twenty seven commas, and a hundred and ninety seven words. How many things can I possibly say?’
Mrs Kane laughed, assuming this was all a joke she didn’t understand and that everything was going to get back to normal after she had recognised it as a one.
‘Anyway,’ she began, but –
‘No, no, no, no no no, no – no. No. No, absolutely not. I am not going to – no, no, do you think – do, do, do you actually think that I – I – am gonna sit here and listen to your voice? whatever the latter speak of? No.
‘Are—are you okay?’
That was a very good question.
That scenario was quite common, actually, with Nestry’s Hit Men. You see, most fictional people spilled out their hearts while speaking to a dead man walking – but Nestry’s Hit Men spilled out their logic, as a result of the fact that, after ‘signing in’, their right and left frontal lobes were replaced. Or something.
Point is, Nestry’s Hit Men were usually – mind you, usually – rather sane. But, being under the command of Dew Nestry, insanity did tend to slide in, as it were. And sometimes, their logic experienced something usually referred as ‘Super Nova’ – which was rather like a bizarre ‘Opposite Day’, only much less consistent, and, as its name suggested, had absolutely nothing to do with supernovas.
The Hilonetries customarily tried to restrain their logic, not letting it overnestry itself, so to speak. Then again, while speaking to a ‘dead man walking’, it became somewhat difficult for them to hold it together, as you might say.
‘You see, Mrs Kane, you’re an idiot – and I couldn’t count all the mistakes you’ve done over the years even if I used all my frogs’ toes – oh, oh, you think I’m exaggerating, Mrs Kane, for it does indeed seem quite unreasonable, but trust me – I tried, and I couldn’t have counted it, I really couldn’t – but of all of these mistakes – these many, many mistakes – you have made three big ones – and I know you think I’m referring marrying my father, giving birth to me, and coming here, but no, not at all – I’m talking about real big mistakes, real really truly bigy big mistakes – well, perhaps now I’m exaggerating – no, no, I’m not – you have made three that big a mistake – three that big mistakes, I mean – wearing that dress, wearing these shoes, and wearing these earrings – and I know that you’re thinking those are five mistake, but you know what? I miscounted them, you’re right.’
Mrs Kane opened her mouth, as if about to say something, but she wasn’t sure what exactly it would be. She didn’t hid much the ‘my father’ bit, but even she realised at this point that she wasn’t talking to a very stable person. Unfortunately, she didn’t realise in what way precisely was she unstable.
‘I know, I know, I know that – that you think that these five mistake are just some ultimate divine joke of life that none of us mortals can understand – some way of escaping the cliché path of naïveté – or some five random things that happen to pass through my mind at the time – but no, not exactly.
‘I have never liked clichés, mom, and that’s also why I never liked you. Firstly, because you never respected that, and secondly – because you’re a cliché walking.
‘But sadly, mom, I can’t always escape them. I can’t even justify not being able to always escape them without using one in the process, as it seems others can.
‘And you know, these cloths you’re wearing – that dress, these shoes, these earrings, they say one thing – “I’m not married. I was never married. I’m Miss Thompson. But I’m willing to change it for a few hours, if you like, Mr Gentleman.”
‘You know what? Fine. Fine. Do what you will, I don’t give a damn about it. I never wanted to. You and my father got married because you were – are – two damned idiots. Fine. And of course it wasn’t a one-time mistake, no, it never is. And that dumb dwarf you went to live with – I know you left him too, because I know you, for I had the unfortunate luck to be your son. I don’t care. You can be or not be with how many men or women you like or don’t like, and lie or not lie to how many Gods you believe or don’t believe in that you think or not think that it means something. Fine. But why, why, why giving birth to someone without thinking? Why? I understand you follow some crappy rules of some crappy society – fine – but why not think twice when there’s a person – an innocent person – for heaven sake, I don’t think even Catholics think that a person that hasn’t yet been born is not innocent, but who knows – when a person like that was involved? Why not realise what it means when a kid disappears for a week and gets back home with burns on his face?
‘No, no, no, I’m not falling for that. I’m not seeking logic. I know better than that.’
He got up, taking out his knife (which, luckily, was still there) with a mad look that somewhat emphasised the burns on his face. He felt, most annoyingly, small.
‘You know what? You’re an idiot. And you know what else? I wish you were there for me. Because if you were, I would have still hated you. And, considering the fact that you were there, or more precisely observing that option, I would have probably stabbed you. And if I stabbed you then, I wouldn’t have started all this. And I wouldn’t have stabbed you now. I would stab you back then, willingly. And I wouldn’t have needed work for a mad man.
‘And I wouldn’t have been in this cliché scenario.’
His mother was still shocked, her mouth still open, but it seemed as if she was getting the grips of what was going on by now. I wouldn’t have thought so, but…
Peter took the knife and penetrate it right to her stomach.
Then, he threw it away, and settled in his couch, tired.
He didn’t care.
He really didn’t.
He lay his head on his right hand, rolling his eyes.
He sat there for a few minutes, almost feeling his burns disappearing and his body getting bigger, when his phone rang.
He liked this phone. It had a shellfish shape, and it was probably the only thing on him that didn’t constantly change. There weren’t many numbers in it, but he’d given each and every one the exact proper name it deserved, after giving a lot of thought to it.
The Devil is calling.
Ally answered it.
‘You’ve got a hell of a timing.
‘It’s Godhood, not timing.’
‘Is it done?’
He hung up, and threw the phone aside.
Two more to go.