Blasphemy - Part 1

It may be 'cos I'm drunk, or possibly stupid or p'raps both, but I can't figure out where to post a new story. Comon dude, site design!

Anyway, so here's part one of one of mine:

Oh, shit. Warning: Bad language, needless violence and similar stuff.

>>>>>>

Thomas T. Tank walked down the street with his hands thrust deeply into his pockets.   Ignoring the people around him, he kicked at an abandoned can that happened to be lying in his path, and watched it bounce off a stone and land in the gutter, not at all where he aimed it. 

“Stupid fucking life,” he scowled. 

It started to rain.

“Great.”  He felt in his shoulder bag for his umbrella, stopping as he remembered he’d given it to Sam, just before she dumped him.

“Bitch!” he shouted, to the shock of some old woman who happened to be walking by at that moment.  She tutted and stalked off, putting up a rather putrid colored pink umbrella in the process.

Tom, having no such luxury, putrid pink or otherwise, gritted his teeth.  He looked around and spotted a Starbucks over the other side of the street.  Checking his pocket to make sure he still had his wallet, the way his luck was going today you never could tell, he dodged the rush hour traffic and made his way to the store.

Inside was warm and almost deserted, so he was soon seated at a cozy corner table nursing a latte, a hatred towards umbrella stealing ex-girlfriends and the person who’d invented job interviews.

The one he’d just attended should have been a shoe-in.  He had all the right qualifications and experience.  It was just bad luck the interviewer had been such an ass, that’s all.  Some people you just hate on sight.

He took a gulp of coffee and shook his head as the mug hit the table top. 

“Life sucks doesn’t it?” 

Tom jerked back, slopping drink over the side of his mug. 

“Fuck…  I mean…  Sorry.  Where the hell did you come from?”

The man, who was suddenly sitting in the chair next to him, smiled.  He was dressed in an immaculate and extremely expensive looking dark suit with a perfectly white hanky tucked in the pocket.  Tom estimated his age to be maybe early fifties, but he was still handsome, in that Sean Connery type of mature man way.  Startling blue eyes bored into Tom, piercing, it seemed, into his very soul.  A wavy mass of shocking white hair bounced back as he ran manicured fingers through the locks.

“I’m everywhere all the time,” the man replied. 

Tom realized he was staring.  The man had some kind of… quality to him.  He wasn’t anywhere near gay, but if this chap had asked him to bend over and drop his pants, he probably would have.  The sheer charisma rolled off him like waves at high tide.

“Sorry, God,” the newcomer said, holding out a hand.

“What?”  Tom managed to look bewildered.

“God,” the man said again.

“God?”

“Yep.  Here’s my card.”  He slid over a plain white, glossy card. 

Tom picked it up.

“God,” he read.  “Tel: 1.  E-mail god12@god.com.  God12?”  He looked up and raised an eyebrow.

“Yeah, God was taken.  My lawyers are on it.  Bloody cybersquatters.”

“Ah.  Yes.  I see.”  Tom put the card down, very slowly.

“So then,” God, as he’d introduced himself, leaned on the table, getting latte on his sleeve.  “I understand you’re in need of a job.”

“Maybe,” Thomas answered cautiously.  He wasn’t sure what to make of this person, but with rent due, and no current way to pay it, he was slightly more desperate than usual.

“Excellent.”  He picked Tom’s coffee up and took a sip.  “That’s a good latte, I knew I shouldn’t have allowed the devil to corner the hot beverage market.  Anyway, I have a job for you.  Interested?”

Tom looked at his drink as it was replaced on the table. 

“Well…” he said.

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Confidential stood heartfelt and practically left, therefore he was quickly situated at a comfortable crook board tending a latte, Pay Someone To Do Your Assignment a contempt near sunshade taking and the individual who'd designed prospective employee meet-ups.

Part 2.

“Come on it’s not that hard.”

Tom started to reach for his coffee, but stopped halfway. No telling where this fellows’ lips had been.

“No offence or anything,” he said. “But if you’re… you know, God, surely you can do things without… help?”

The man, or deity, pulled that sort of grimace/smiley face and sucked in. “Well,” he said. “Technically speaking, yes. However, it’s not as easy as you’d think. There are rules.”

“But surely you make the rules?” Tom decided to take the risk, and sipped at his latte again. He raised his eyebrows as he tasted it. The beverage was silky smooth! He took another sip, more eagerly this time.

“I do, but… Look, it’s hard to explain, even for me. Just take my word for it.”

Reluctantly putting his coffee back on the table, Tom faced God again. “Listen, not to sound… you know, offensive or anything, but… I’m an atheist. I don’t even believe in you.”

“I know. One reason I chose you.”

“Really? Why? I’d have thought your lot would be all too keen to help out.”

“Yes, they are, but most of the time they simply fall to their knees and start prattling on about how they’re not worthy and so forth. It gets embarrassing.”

“Okay, but first…”

“How do you know I’m not some wacko?” God raised an eyebrow. “Go on then. Ask me to do something. Just not world peace or how women think okay? Some things are beyond even me.”

“Very well.” Tom looked around, his eyes settling on the window and the rain outside. “Make it stop raining.”

“Oh, is that all? I thought you’d wish for wealth or sex appeal or something. The weather’s easy.”

“Go on then.”

“I just did.”

“But it’s not… oh.” As Tom looked on, the rain eased, then stopped, to be replaced by sunlight that filtered down, at first gently, but then brightly. People stopped in the street and looked up, bewildered by the sudden change.

“Wow, that is impressive. Especially considering it’s evening.” Tom nodded.

“It’s evening? Oh bugger it. I tend to lose track of where I am.” God tapped the table, and the sunlight dimmed. The street returned to a more normal level of illumination.

“Well, that seems to be fairly conclusive,” Tom said, leaning back and finishing off his suddenly wonderful drink. “So, what’s the job and how much does it pay?”

“It’s basically a freelance role. You’d work for me whenever I needed something doing in your part of the world. The pay is… heavenly.” God looked at him and then shook his head slightly as Tom’s face remained blank. “For this one, all you have to do is kill someone.”

“Kill someone? As in… kill?” Tom’s eyes widened.

“Yep, kill. Murder, do in, whack. However you want to call it.”

“I can’t kill someone!”

“Why not? You lot are always killing each other. It’s no wonder the devils’ winning… Oops. Forget I said that.”

“Forget what?” asked Tom, scratching his head and trying to remember what he’d been thinking about.

“Look, it’s a simple job. Gun to the head… bam! It’s done, and your rent’s paid, with enough left over to buy that car you’ve been wanting. I’ll even throw in the gun.”

“But it’s a sin!” Tom

“No it’s not.”

“Yes it is! Thou shalt not kill!”

“Oh those! Why does everyone always bring them up? I was having a laugh! He’d just climbed all the way up that mountain and was standing there with those big puppy-dog eyes of his. I had to give him something. I just never thought the idiot would go around carving the things in stone. What a twat he was. Do you know how long it took him to cross that desert? He just wouldn’t stop and ask for directions. Asshole. “

“So it’s not a sin?”

“Frankly, who gives a toss? It’s not like it ever stops anyone anyway is it?”

“But I want to go to heaven!”

“That I can help with. There’s this hooker down on Stone Street, man, what she can’t do with her mouth, and that sweet little…”

“No! I mean when I die!”

“Oh, yeah, that one. Fine, I’ll save you a spot, once the remodeling’s done and we open up again you’ll be the first in line. Within the first million or so anyway.”

“Arg.” Tom clutched at his head. “Who’s the target anyway, not that I’m promising anything mind.”

God smiled and slid a photo across the table.

Tom picked it up.

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Part 3

“What the hell!”

“What’s wrong? Bad photo?” God reached across and pulled Toms’ cup towards him.

“That’s empt…” Tom stopped talking as his new friend raised the drink and took a swig, placing the full mug carefully back on the table. He shook his head and started again. “This is my girlfriend! I can’t kill her!”

“I thought she dumped you?”

“Yes, she did…”

“Perfect reason then. Don’t worry about the cops, I’ll deal with them, I have the commissioner in my pocket. You won’t get any heat.”

“I… I…” Tom’s mouth opened and shut like a goldfish.

“So, it’s a deal then? Great, I knew I could rely on you. You can finish the coffee. Call it a bonus.” God started to stand up.

“Wait! I mean… why?” Tom waved the photo of Sam about.

“She works for the devil.”

“The devil?”

“That’s what I said.”

Tom frowned as he examined the picture of his ex-girlfriend in a new light. “But how…” he stopped. God had gone.

“What about my gun?” he asked the air, getting a worried look from a passing waitress.

A card appeared in the air and fell onto the table. He picked it up and read it. It was an address.

Sighing, Tom picked up his god-refilled latte. “Great,” he said and downed the drink in one, burning his mouth in the process.

~

The address turned out to be a dingy bookshop on a small side-street. The faded sign at the entrance read:

‘Angel bookstore. Fuck off.’

“Welcoming,” Tom said, and pushed the door open.

“Hey! Can’t you read? Fuck off!” A cracked voice came from somewhere in the depths of the store, the source hidden from view by tall, book laden shelves.

Coughing, Tom walked forward, stirring up dust as he moved through the aisles. If he didn’t know better, he’d have thought the place was deserted.

“I’ve been sent by… er, god,” he said, wondering if this is how a Jehovah’s witness felt.

“Oh. Still fuck off.”

Tom managed to fight his way past a pile of discarded magazines and discover the counter, which was made of some kind of black wood and stretched the length of the room. Behind it, sitting in an armchair that had definitely seen better days was a fat, balding man with a comb-over watching a small portable TV. He had a beer in one hand and a small, strange smelling cigarette in the other. A stained white vest failed to cover a hairy belly, which in turn hung over jeans that were more holes than jean.

“Now what?” the man said, scratching the stubble on his chin. He squinted at Tom, who stepped back in surprise.

The mans’ eyes, in contrast to the rest of him, where a clean, sparkling blue of such intensity that it was shocking. The only other place he’d seen anything that shade was on a sparkling water advert.

“I… I’m here from god,” he repeated, rather limply.

“I heard you the first time. What’s the old cunt want now?”

“Er, I’m not sure you should talk about Him like that,” Tom said, glancing upwards, ready for the smiting.

“Ha! He doesn’t care anymore. Not about that anyway.” The man heaved himself upright and stretched, showing more ass crack than Tom was comfortable with.

“I’m here for a gun Mr...” He trailed off.

“Gabriel, Archangel Gabriel to you.”

“You’re kidding!”

“Do I look like I’m kidding?” For a moment, a brief moment, a glimmer of brilliant light seemed to surround the man.

“Maybe not. I’m…”

“Thomas Trevor Tank, I know. And may I just say that’s a stupid fucking name. Who gives their kid a name beginning with the same letter? Sounds like they were jealous of the Klu-Klux-Klan or something.”

Tom scowled. His name had been a burden to him all through school, and it had resulted in more than one fight. “I’m here for a gun.”

“Yeah yeah. Come around the back then.” The angel waved a hand, and watched him as he searched for a way through the counter, eventually giving up and climbing over.

“Great.” Gabriel lit his cigarette and took a drag, blowing the smoke into Toms’ face before turning and walking off through a door.

Coughing, it was definitely not tobacco the angel was smoking, Tom followed, finding himself in a gloomy hallway that led down a flight of even more unclean steps. These, eventually, led into a vast stone cellar, lit by what appeared to be gas lamps and stretching off as far as the eye could see.

“So,” he said, trying to make conversation as they walked along an aisle. “You’re not exactly what I expected an angel to look like.”

“What did you expect kid? Immortality is boring you know. Most of us are fed up with it. We aren’t allowed free will like you lot. It’s wearing, to say the least, having to jump at His whim.”

“But surely you go around doing Good and stuff? Isn’t that rewarding?”

“Good! Ha! That’s a good one. I like you, you’re funny, in a stupid sort of way. No, we haven’t done anything worthwhile in centuries, not since He got it into his head that humans should ‘find their own way’.” He made the quote mark sign with his fingers. “If you ask me, He’s lost the plot. Been influenced by His own creations too much.”

“So why don’t you quit if things are so bad?” asked Tom.

“You’re kidding! Do you know what happened to the last angel to try that?”

“They fell right? Joined the demons in hell?”

“If only! He doesn’t let us get away with that any more. No, the last one… well, let’s just say that hell would be a welcome relief for the poor cunt. Believe me, the devil’s got nothing on the boss when it comes to Nasty. Even thinking about mashed potato now gives me shivers.”

“Really? What did he do?”

“You don’t want to know kid. Really. Trust me. I’m thousands of years old and some of the things I’ve seen and done would make your heart stop, literally, but what He did to poor old Haamiah…” The angel paused and leaned against the wall. “I still get nightmares about it. Piss myself sometimes too.” He shook his head and took a deep drag on the joint.

“Fuck,” Tom said. “I never knew god could be such a bastard.”

“You don’t know the half of it. It’s real Old Testament stuff, but on a more personal level.” Gabriel stopped by a shelf and rummaged through several cardboard boxes, eventually opening one and peering inside.

“Here we go.” He took out a compact black gun. Despite its size it had an air of deadly efficiency. “This is a Kimber 1911 Compact .45ACP. It’s small but does the job, and it’s been specially blessed to kill underworld creatures. Here are a couple of clips too, that should be enough.” He passed the gun and ammo over to Tom.

“Er…”

“You have killed people before haven’t you?”

“Not lately, no.”

Gabriel sighed and took a puff of his funny cigarette. “Fine, come with me then, I’ll show you how to use it.”

~

An hour later, and not much more confident, Tom stepped out into the road again. He blinked in the street light. The weight of the gun pulled his pocket down, and he fiddled with it uncomfortably. Pausing, he thought about going home, but the Archangel Gabriel had been very insistent that he should carry out his mission with all dispatch.

“You don’t want to incur the wrath of God, believe me,” he said. “Remember: Mashed potato,” and tapped the side of his nose in a knowing manner.

“To Sam’s house then,” Tom muttered to himself. It was only a street or two away anyway.

He set off, through the drizzle that had apparently been allowed to return by his new employer, and wondered if he was going insane. In some ways it would be a relief to find he was.

His musings occupied him until he reached Sam’s place, which was in a rather nice apartment block. He keyed in the number to the outer door, and climbed up the five flights of steps to her floor.

Taking a deep breath, he gripped the gun and flicked the safety off, as Gabriel had shown him.

Then he rang the bell.

Footsteps approached from the other side, and the door swung open.

It wasn’t Sam.

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