Bumbling middle-management and weird chain emails from Haiti…
“So what page do you want me to turn to?” I asked. At this point, all I had left was an awkward attempt at being helpful.
“Turn to page forty-eight. I think it’s under the ‘Causing Eternal Damnation’ subsection.” The voice was loud…and uneven. Like a microphone unbalanced in a large amphitheater. The worse part being that it sounded like it came from right behind me even when no one was there.
“Ah! Right there! Stop!” The voice’s low baritone was commanding enough for me to react immediately. I stopped flipping the next page halfway through the motion.
“Upon the summoner reciting the proper chant, the bridge is established to cross over to the land of the living. Hmmm…are you sure you said the chant correctly?” The voice read the instructions out of the large tome.
“I didn’t summon you. I definitely didn’t recite a chant.” Later to my therapist, I’d question why I had been so calm about all of this.
It had all began when I opened that chain email at work.
Yes…I know, who still sends chain emails? Even better question…why in the world would I think it’s a good idea to open it? We all read every single day about people getting bamboozled by phishing attempts, ransom of personal data, and viruses/worms that render a user’s machine inoperable. But something about how much I hated the hum drum of my job had me looking forward to seeing something so different in my inbox. Shaman Oliver 31237LakersFan provided a long, compelling explanation of how his family had moved here from Port-au-Prince in Haiti to escape persecution and needed $10,000 to make due for the next three months. He would pay me back when his genius patented invention for a food delivery app made millions (obviously he hadn’t heard of Uber Eats).
At least, that is what I was able to interpret through several paragraphs of poorly worded sentences, strung together with broken grammar and a mish-mash of text fonts. The last sentence of the email was the most interesting, however.
“Blessings to those capable of providing a guiding hand. But beware those with greed in their heart. Overlooking my plight brings darkness your way.”
I thought nothing of it, closing and deleting the email. I thought it was behind me. Two weeks later, I was convinced somebody was following me. In the break room, outside my cubicle, on the toilet stool, and even behind me as I asked Cindy from Accounting if she wanted to grab a cup of coffee. I went home with a pounding headache a few hours later after Cindy was sent to the hospital for a sprained diaphragm. Apparently, you can hurt that from laughing too hard.
Two days later, I awoke Saturday to the sound of a bellowing voice in my head.
“I am the genesis of your discontent! The harbinger of doom! Your planet is mine!” The voice said.
He finished half an hour later, clearly out of breath. I was going crazy. An actual curse transferred via chain letter had a demon possess me.
He’d been locked in it for fifteen years now. It had been so long that he was at a lost for how to actually control me. He clearly had never done this before.
“Varl-Tool! Marshawn Lynch Para-sool!” I attempted to say.
“That was absolutely terrible!” Marvin’s once baritone confidence had now shriveled into daily annoyance at my ignorance. He wouldn’t tell me his real name. Apparently, knowing real names held power with demons. So I named him after one of my best friends from grade school.
“You feel any…tingling?” Marvin was hopeful, if not delusional.
“Nope. I’m afraid that I’m still under control buddy.” It was my attempt at waving a white flag by calling him buddy.
Marvin was silent for several seconds. “Tomorrow then. Take note! Your courtship time approaches!”
“Almost forgot.” I glanced at the clock on my desk as I raced to my closet to change. It was a quarter past eight. Cindy had been released from the hospital last week. She had changed her mind about that cup of coffee. Whether from clarity of mind or lingering traces of morphine, I was making the most of it.
“Ensure that you take notice of her garments and reveal your satisfaction for them!” Marvin’s constant guidance stayed in my ear.
You could never have too many friends.
This is my first attempt for the month of February at bringing a bit of levity to my flash fiction prompts. The idea of having a knowledgeable voice to guide you through very awkward human situations is something I think that a lot of of us wouldn’t mind having. It just happens to be a very pompous demon…
The inspiration for this flash fiction post is from the following writing prompt.
Explanation of the flash fiction challenge is HERE
*Credit for the featured image comes from Arthur’s Pub at: http://www.arthurspub.ie/bluesnjazz/flash-fiction-competition/
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