Monday, March 05, 2007

Make Lemonade

It had been three days since Brandon had punched a hole through the convenience store clerk's head when Brandon found himself perched atop a crying hobo, hissing blood into the destitute man's face. The poor man was pinned to the ground, a node of bone from Brandon's shin poking into the soft skin between the collar bone and the shoulder. The crying man shook his head, yelping in pain. Blood dripped from Brandon's face, spattering the dirty hobo's face and the grey cement with color. Several of the prostrate man's friends, homeless all, stood by some distance away looking on. "See. He wasn't dead," one of them said. He turned to the others, "I told him that the Devil was just sleeping." And so Brandon was introduced to Jesse, Buckman, Mr. Tim, and Fool as the Devil.

Brandon, angry, annoyed, and in constant pain, hated just about everything that had happened to him in the past few months, but for a moment a sparkle of optimism twinkled in his blood-encrusted eyes. Brandon got off the homeless man and let him crawl back to the comfort of his companions. After an short standoff between the bums and the blood-dripping oddity that had invaded their overpass, the self-proclaimed spokesman of the group, Jesse, stepped forward and asked with a giggle, "You are the Devil, aincha?"

When life gives you lemons... Brandon thought. "Yes. I am Satan!" he bellowed. "And I've come for you, for all of you!"

"What do you want?" Jesse asked a little frightened.

"I want you to do what I say," Brandon commanded. "Or else. Or else I'll rape your souls!" he added for good measure. The one he had earlier pinned to the ground nodded his head as if he knew first hand just how painful a soul raping could be. The others seem a bit unconvinced. "I'll pull your hearts out, pound them up your asses with my netherworldly cock, then shoot my lava cum onto the backs of your heads until it melts away your skulls, so I can eat your brains like pudding." This statement convinced the others; the consensus seemed to be that Brandon was, indeed, the Dark Prince.

At first, the group of bums cringed in Brandon's presence, addressed him as "Prince Satan" or "Your Majesty," and never met his gaze. They feared him and obeyed his every order, lest their bodies and souls be sodomized. But after a week of only having to supply the Devil with stolen pain-killers, begged-for junk food, and an endless stream of Cokes, the bums quickly started to fear him less, and simply accepted him as their leader. They began to view Brandon less as the Great Tormentor and more as a mentor. Buckman, the resident philosopher, especially grew fond of Brandon, sitting before him, asking him questions about death and the underworld.

However, Fool, and sometimes "Damn Fool," as he was so called by Jesse and Buckman, would never venture much closer than a yard to Brandon. Jesse would later explain to Brandon that Fool hadn't wanted to hurt him that day they first met. "He thought you was dead, o' course,," Jessie said and laughed inappropriately long, then continued, "and just wanted at whatever you mighta had that was useful."

"I didn't wanna – I didn't wanna – I didn't wanna – I didn't wanna – I just – I just –I just wanted to – I just wanted your boots," Fool clarified.

Mr. Tim didn't talk much and kept mostly to himself. His face drooped with Mongoloidism, and his tongue often seemed too big for his mouth. He obeyed Brandon dutifully, like the rest of the group, but never really showed much interest in the blood-soaked man. Fool picked on him every once in a while, but the other two watched out for Mr. Tim like he was their little brother.

"So, what's Heaven like?" Buckman asked Brandon one day while watching his master carefully open up his wrist with a razor that Jesse had just procured for him. Sitting on a milk crate that the group had offered him as a gift, the Devil looked up briefly at three bums sitting on the ground before him, and Mr. Tim occupying himself with something on the ground several feet behind them. He mumbled that there was no such place as Heaven. "Then, where do good people go when they die?"

"They go to Hell, just like everybody else," Brandon idly replied.

"So what's the point of doing good things?"

"Exactly," Brandon said. A spurt of blood jumped out of his arm into a sticky pitcher sitting next to Brandon's makeshift throne. Once it was full, he would have Fool dump it somewhere far away, so the stray dogs wouldn't come sniffing around again.

"Exactly," Jesse repeated and cackled. "Get it?"

Brandon didn't believe that Jesse did get it. "God wants you to do things for Him. He wants you to pray to Him. He wants you to praise Him. He wants you to worship Him. He wants you to do good deeds in His name. It's all for His benefit. What's in it for you?"

This question stumped Jesse. Buckman thought for a minute then asked, "So why does everyone say that you're the evil one if God's so selfish?"

"God made up good and evil so he could control people." Brandon, as always, was enjoying his pseudo-philosophical musings. His audience of half-crazy, uneducated homeless men admired his apparently thought-provoking words, no matter how much sense or logic they lacked. "He tricks people into doing good – the things he wants you to do – by fearing evil – the things you want to do."

Buckman thought he would correct the Devil. "You mean the things you want us to do."

"No, the things that you want to do, but God doesn't, those are evil. It's true, I want you to do things that I want you to do from time to time. But I also want you to do whatever you want to do – good, evil, or whatever."

Mr. Tim, who had apparently been simultaneously been pulling weeds from the cracks in the concrete at the periphery of the underpass and listening to Brandon, turned to the group and grunted. Brandon looked over to him, surprised that he was paying attention. Seeking a bit of vengeance for all the times that Fool had pushed him around and mocked him, Mr. Tim said, "I want to hit Fool. In the head."

"Go ahead," said Brandon. "I want you to do what you want." Fool turned around just in time to see Mr. Tim's hand hurtling toward his face. The awkwardly swung fist struck Fool in the ear. He squealed and curled up into a ball. Mr. Tim giggled and backed away to the edge of the underpass, completely satisfied.

"I want to hit Fool, too," Jesse announced. Without waiting the Devil's permission, he swung at the back of the curled-up figure next to him on the ground, then laughed with glee. Buckman, too, without warning, struck the little man.

Fool finally scuttled a few feet away, just out of the others' reach. He looked up the Devil with fear and pleading in his eyes. "Hey. I don't – I don't – I don't have to – Don't no one hit me – I don't have to take this!"

"You're right. You don't." Brandon looked into all of their faces, then down at his arm, still dribbling blood into the pitcher. When life gives you lemons... Brandon thought. "None of us do."


  1. damn, dude, this is simply amazing

  2. Man... I think this is one of the best installments. Superb!


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