I would like to share a short story with all of you. It is a rendition of the story of Faust. I hope you all enjoy.
The alarm woke him up but he did not remember turning it on. He awoke disgruntled and confused to turn it off but despite his best, fumbling efforts he could not. He grasped the alarm clock in his hand and tossed it against the wall with a grunt.
He laid his head back down on the pillow to rest, but noticed a light coming from where he threw the clock. He lifted his head up to realize that the alarm clock was stuck on 1:40 AM. No alarm, just the time frozen there. He arose from his slumber and stumbled over to the clock to find it was unplugged but still on.
I must be dreaming, he thought to himself. He scratched his three-day beard and yawned a stench breath of sleep and whiskey. He wondered back to his bed glancing for some reason at the empty rocking chair in the corner of the room. He paused to stare at it a moment, reminiscing about the woman who used to sit there and read. For a moment, he could see her in the faint glow of the sunlight coming from the window. Her laughter haunted him as she called out for him to come over and then she was gone.
He bowed his head, slowly wiping a lone tear that was forming on the corner of his eye. He was alone.
He turned towards the door at another haunting sound of child like laughter. He muttered to himself, “They’re gone.”
“But I am here now.”
He jumped at the voice coming from the chair. It was a soft, almost mesmerizing voice. It sang to him, comforting him. He forcefully gazed at the chair to see a man sitting there.
“Are you not happy to see me?” The figure questioned him, slightly turning his head to the side but never looking up from his gaze on his hand. He studied his hand as if looking at it for the first time.
He knew this figure. Well dressed, in a soft red suit that looked slightly out of the time. He had met him one other time a few years ago.
“You are no longer alone my friend. For I have come to your aid,” the figure’s voice seemed harmonic and caring, but dangerous at the same time. Almost like that of a used car salesman or politician trying to befriend you to see their point of view. But this was no car salesman or politician, he was something far worst.
“Mephistopheles. Wh-what do you want?” It seemed a struggle for him to speak. He felt ill. He felt like all of his blood suddenly withdrew from his body to escape this figure that sat before him in his wives’ rocking chair as if it was a throne.
Mephistopheles raised his gaze locking his beautiful blue eyes on him. His eyes were as icy as the glaciers in the north. For all the darkness in the room, he could make out Mephistopheles’ face as if light illuminated from his cold, blue eyes
“You know why I’m here. I am here for your debt.” Mephistopheles spoke in that sauntering voice that sounded like sweet violins to one’s ears. A comforting voice if not coming from the dangerous figure in the rocking chair before him.
He felt frozen by the stare of Mephistopheles. He couldn’t even attempt a thought to his limbs for them to flee. The icy stare was met with all the strength he could muster. This was the man he made a deal with some years ago.
A story as old as time. He sold his soul one night for the greatest gift in all of life. Happiness. Before too long, he was married to the love of his life and although life was a struggle they managed to build a happy family.
But, as the years wore on, he became irrational. He could feel the greed building in him, that thirst for more. He dared his marriage and his family on his vices. His happiness became his darkness. Before long, he had lost it all. Now he slept alone in a house that his family built. He ate alone at a table his family shared. He dreamt of only getting his family and his happiness back but could not. He lost it all.
Now sitting before him was the man that promised it all to him. This must have been what it felt like to be Faust.
At first, his risk became his reward. Then it became his cage.
“You’ve come for me.” He mustered to say those words. He struggled trying to remain calm and strong. What was strength to the devil though? What was calm to the prince of souls. “Take me. What have I left? Nothing.” He knew that it would not end well for him. His only hope would be that his wife, his kids would remember the good times. That years from today, they would reminisce on the pleasantries of their lives spent together. That they would not be spent with regrets and disdain for him, but with peace and comfort.
A laugh came from that dangerous man. A laugh that rang through the halls of the house, filling it with unease and despair. Then Mephistopheles rose from his throne and glided over to him with a snaky grin.
“Do you think that I come for you?” Mephistopheles said as he placed his hand on the poor soul’s shoulder. “Do you think I want your pathetic soul? Don’t humor me my friend.” Again he laughed.
“What do you come for then?”
Mephistopheles silenced his laugh and turned his gaze back to the man. Those icy eyes cutting into his sockets and deep into his wretched excuse of a soul, slowly a smirk started at the corner of Mephistopheles mouth.
“I have come to show you what you lost.”
He could hear the contempt in those words. “I know what I have lost you son of a bitch.” Finally, he was able to muster up some strength. Whether it was because of the nerve of this demon or just a last ditch effort to fight for his soul, he was able to straighten his back and remove Mephistopheles hand from his shoulder. He glared into those icy, hateful eyes. He stared into them until it hurt. He wanted one last final stand for his family. He felt if he could stand up to this demon then he could some how, some way earn a piece of him back. A piece he lost so long ago. He could somehow regain his ground. He would not plead for his soul. He had already lost it all. He had already watched his family leave him. He was left to his own devices, his own ego, and his own arrogance.
Quickly, Mephistopheles could recognize this man’s last ditch effort. It brought Mephistopheles amusement when they attempted this. He had seen this for as long as he has been doing this. For what seemed to be since the beginning of time. He feed off the hope that humans had and yearned to destroy it. Slowly and painfully. Humanity stunk of hope that a God would save them from their own sins. The arrogant humans would bend their knees to him. His greatest asset was their hope. He would dash it all right before their very, tearful and fearful eyes.
“I have not come for your soul, friend. I have come to destroy you. I have come here to this hell to remove any last bit of hope you have. To replace everything satisfying you might find in your last breath with anguish.” His words pierced the night. Cutting the air like a broadsword with one blow. Severing anything peaceful with his snarl. He disdained humanity and all of their arrogant, pompous thoughts. It was his curse and yet it was his gift, to remove them from the hope he sold them. It was the most beautiful portrait one had ever seen, burning slowly with no hope to save it. I was the sunrise upon a beach with no eyes to ever glance upon it. It was the heavens above at night, shining brightly. Yet only the blind were there.
The horror in the man’s eyes brought joy to him. He took pleasure from ripping any last sentiment humans had left. And then, he could see the realization in the man’s eyes. Almost as if the man could read his mind, the man knew what terrible fate was coming.
The phone rang, breaking the deadly silence in the room. Mephistopheles stepped back into the shadows as the man rushed to the phone answering it in haste. He watched the muted actions of the man as he received the news of the night. He watched as the man fell to his knees and let a scream that never reached Mephistopheles’ ears. He could read the words coming from the man’s mouth begging for a God to hear his pleas. None would hear though. Not even Mephistopheles. He enjoyed this part. Something artistic about muting the world and just watching the agonizing actions of one in complete and total despair.
Tears stained the man’s face as he screamed to the heavens above. He screamed pleas, he screamed curses but most of all he screamed for forgiveness. His hands ached from griping the phone tightly. The inaudible voice on the other side the only other sound of the night. The man was broken. His greed, his ego, his arrogance was for nothing. His deal cost him more than he could bear.
He turned to the shadows but could not find Mephistopheles there, but he could feel that icy gaze on him. He could feel that smirk, a smile of satisfaction.
He looked at the rocking chair, empty and cold. He looked back at the bedroom door, hoping to hear laughter, something, anything. Silence. The quiet of the night and the quiet of the loss were the only things there for him.
Then he looked back to the nightstand, which had the clock sitting there, and saw the time. 1:40 AM.
His demise, 1:40 AM. He struggled to the nightstand and removed his last hope from it. He took his hope to his temple and ended it.
The clock went to 1:41 AM.