Is your soul for sale, my dear?Submitted by Tom Sorrell at 2013-11-05 02:58:01 EST
Rating: 2.0 on 4 ratings (6 reviews) (Review this item) (V)
“I’m making you a martini,” Will said in the kitchen as the telephone rang. He brushed a strand of wild brown hair from his face and walked to the phone whistling a song from 1962. The phone was yellow – one of those old wall-mounted devices. He picked the receiver up and frowned into it.
“Hello? … Yes, this is he. … No, I can’t set up a date to make a payment on that. … Why? Well, I was laid off from the newspaper I worked at about six months ago. I lost my fiancé and my house. Luckily my dad was killed in a car crash right after that, so I was able to move into his place. … Yeah, it’s paid off. Good thing, too, ‘cause I can’t find a job. That’s why I can’t set up a date to make a payment.”
Will scratched the back of his neck and shrugged.
“Because I don’t have any extra money. … Nope. Not a dime to spare. … How do I eat? … I sell plasma and an occasional piece of writing. Plasma tends to pays better.”
Will frowned and looked at the alcohol on the counter across the kitchen. It was so far away it wounded him to look at it. He sighed into the phone and shook his head.
“I’m aware of how much your company wants its money, but what can I tell you? What was your name again? Betty or something? … Danny? Oh. Ok, Danny, how about this: when you figure out how to get blood from a stone, you go ahead and call me back to tell me how to do it. Does that sound good? Great. Have a nice day, Danny. By the way, I know you’re just doing your job, but if you call me again I swear to Christ I’ll hunt you down and kill your whole family with an axe. … Alright? Great. Bye-bye.”
Will placed the phone in the cradle and walked back to the bottle of Tanqueray gin. He twisted off the cap and took a long drink, gulping several times and gagging at the end. He put the bottle on the counter and picked an green and red olive from a jar, popped it into his mouth and shuddered as he chewed.
“Ok,” he said. “Martini. Martini. Martini. How the hell do I make one of those?”
He looked at the red and green bottle of gin on the counter and shrugged, pouring a bit into a plastic cup with little penguins on the side. He pulled a spoon from a wooden drawer next to the sink and stirred the gin, then dropped an olive in the cup and stirred some more. He took a sip and frowned as he poured the liquid down the drain.
“That’s not the way to make a Martini,” he said, as he pulled a 20 ounce Coke bottle from the fridge, emptied it into the sink and rinsed it out. He poured some gin into the bottle, dropped a few olives inside, twisted the cap and shook the hell out of it before pouring it into the penguin cup and taking a drink. He shuddered again and gagged.
“Jesus. How the hell do people drink this shit?” he asked, not noticing the bottle of Vermouth beside the bottle of green apple-scented dish detergent. “Maybe a vodka Martini would be better.”
He rinsed out the glass and unscrewed the cap of a bottle of Popov Vodka. He poured a bit into the cup, dropped an olive inside and stared at the little red pimento within the green casing as it floated in the clear liquid.
“This reminds me of a joke,” Will said. “A young priest and an old priest were talking about the power of Christ and how it compelled them to do perform their sermons. The younger priest was lamenting his fear of public speaking and the old one laughed and tapped the glass he’d been sipping from.”
Will laughed and took a sip of the vodka. He almost choked on the olive, leaned over and spit in the sink, then drank from the faucet for a long moment.
“That tastes like lighter fluid!” he finally yelled. He stood up and wiped his mouth with a paper towel, poured the rest of the vodka down the drain and walked to the radio in the kitchen. When Will turned it on he heard a man’s voice.
“At some point he has to finish the joke, Jimbo,” the DJ said through the speakers. “I mean, Bob Dylan’s been dead for at least 50 years now. It’s just not funny anymore. It’s like I’ve been telling you, him and Jimi and George Harrison live on an island somewhere with Elvis and Janis.”
Will frowned at the radio and turned the station.
“Goddamned hippies,” he said, as a Miley Cyrus song played through the speakers. Will frowned and changed the station again to another Miley Cyrus song.
“What the shit?” he yelled, as he turned the knob and heard a third Miley Cyrus song. Another twist of the dial brought a female DJ’s voice into the air.
“How dare you? Miley Cyrus is literally the most brilliant artist in music history! She’s wonderful and smart and talented and…”
“Skinny and pale and completely psychotic,” Will said, turning the radio off. “And probably possessed by the thing from The Exorcist. My God have you seen her eyes, because that chick isn’t human … not anymore, at least. And it’s too bad, really. I always…”
The phone rang again. Will sighed and walked over to it.
“What?” he said into the yellow device. “Do I want to be rich and famous? No, not really. Why? … You can, huh? … Well what would happen then? … Raped eternally by demons. … Oh. Well that’s no good, is it? … Talk to who? Rhianna? Why on earth would I want to do that? I hate her music and quite frankly she doesn’t seem like she’s all that interesting of a person. … Well, I mean that’s kind of the point, right? If you just let any asshole become rich and famous you get what you have now with idiots like her and her pimp. … What do you mean, who? You know who I mean.”
Will laughed as he pulled back the green curtains and looked out the window at a group of kids shooting at an old basketball net in the driveway next door.
“Well then go ahead and fucking kill me, because I’d rather die poor than give you anything. … Why? I don’t know. I guess it’s like Alan Arkin says in Catch 22. I don’t wanna. Free will is a bitch, huh asshole? I bet it really pisses you off that I’m stronger than you.”
Will grinned into the phone and hung it up on the cradle with a chuckle just as the lights went out and his world went dark. Then he saw a bright needle point of light that turned into a bright white glow, warming his body in the cold nothing of space and time.