Montréal awoke, after one of his legendary nights, with little memory of what happened. This was not uncommon, he was after all known for having a good time. In his pockets he found three numbers all of which were without names. His charm had clear worked, this time however his good sense and memory failed him. Still feeling slightly drunk, he hoped his memory would improve as he recovered. The first step toward that end he thought was a good breakfast. A sudden craving he had for roast beef, fell right in line with his thinking.
Toronto awoke with simple plans for a lazy Saturday at home. He had stopped by his favourite deli the day before and bought some of the best roast beef in the city. Nothing was chosen on a whim, everything from the bread to the mustard used was selected to enhance the others taste. He had run into Montréal that night and couldn’t stop talking about it. His favourite thing to eat was a well-made roast beef sandwich. He had invited Montréal over for breakfast. His offer however was refused and somewhat rudely at that, he thought too.
So while Toronto was enjoying his roast beef sandwich, Montréal had already got himself lost twice and was still without any roast beef. He was getting very hungry and was somewhat surprised that his morning walk did not sober him up. He swore that if he ever remembered what he did, he would never do it again.
When he finally made it to the market, he realised that his heart really wasn’t into the idea of roast beef. In fact he couldn’t even recall where the idea to make a roast beef sandwich had came from. Already there he decided it was as good an idea as any, no matter where it came from. Unlike Toronto though, there was no attention paid to details in Montréal’s choices. He simply grabbed what looked good and moved on.
Still under the effects of the previous night, Montréal’s way home wasn’t turning out any better than his attempt to get to the market. Convinced he knew a short cut, he turned into the woods. An unwise choice because it wasn’t long before he ran into The Wolf — which sobered him up instantly. Panicked he did the only thing that came to mind. He threw the roast beef and the other things he bought at The Wolf. Then he ran away as fast as he could crying “Wee! Wee! Wee!” all the way home.
In the looking glass I view my nemesis. In it I can count my enemies. Their work against me, unfolding as far as I can see. I would leave them behind but I remember it is not good for a man to be survived by his enemies. Why make a suicide run when I can take a suicide dive.
This heart demands I feel what it feels. I ask how many times will I be misled? I wanted it as cooled and uncaring as I. It is the weakest of my enemies. Its own passions will consume it. The girl in question, all too eager to bludgeon it into pieces.
For the conscience more psychotic than I. The only reason to question this dive. I choose the few and not the many. I walked past the weak to find those with which you would side. Did you feel my smile as I pushed all your work aside, destroyed? I want you to know, all the things I leave behind, I leave to the side you most despised.
My enemies number three and my mind is enemy number one. It needs to know I am in control. Why can there be no balance between one thought only and every thought it knows. Why must it spin till it hurts. It is time for me to face my responsibility for letting it crush me with a fog of thoughts. Misleading me to every cliff’s edge. For going no further than what was needed for me to survive. Today I die, today I fly. My foghorn, a gun pressed to my mind. I refuse to survive.
A child’s ball rolls into the street. They know better, they have been told many times it is a dangerous place they should not go. The voice whispering in their ear, cares not, prompts them to run out into the street to retrieve it.
The Devil, has only had one moment of true folly. We are all in some way paying for it now. As he does all he can to deny man the grace he denied himself. Well aware that God is all powerful. The only course of action left to him is to argue for circumstances in which a mere angel like himself can gain access to power that would otherwise never be his.
The first of these discourse, were over God’s control of death. His argument a simple one. If God truly wanted man to have free will. Then a God that chose their passing, would be one obeyed because of fear and not out of a higher understanding.
Death was given form long before man walked the earth. It wasn’t however until man was many in numbers. Did the Devil give up on Death becoming an apostle of his. Unable to conjure an argument that could convince Death, it was evil simply because of what it is. A new plan was formed to make its power his.
He realised that the only power he possessed was over the foolish souls of men. The very same souls he needed to dampen the fires of hell. If he was to have any hope of controlling the power of death. Some way had to be found to give that which he wanted to man. To that end a simple question was asked. What is to be done with the souls of men after their passing?
Sure that he could use God’s desire that mankind be govern by their choices. The Devil argued that Death knew and therefor loved God far to much. To ever allow a fatal choice to come to pass if it would interfere with God’s plan. That what was needed, was a new layer with the power of possibilities found in free will.
To that end the souls of some were chosen to become Wraiths. In each the power of death took shape, leaving a new version in its wake. With the ability to see the path of a life before them, the possible times they could end. In that power their caveat laid. For in order for a Wraith to continue it had to take what it cut short from the living.
With the souls of men acting as agents of death. The Devil was certain in his ability to marshal the ones that chose to endure. He supposed that only those as selfish as him would continue to survive as long as they could. Creating the circumstances he needed to gain some control over the mortality of men.
A child’s ball rolls into the street. Another Wraith chooses to survive and that child dies. The Devil smiles, tempting any that questions the free will that is given to them. God comforts all that takes their grief unto him. For they know the plan has always been life everlasting after death.
My submission to the Answers.com Creative Writing Challenges (ending October 1, 2007).
The idea some assumed, was that literal ‘Salad Days’ would also have an figurative effect on the population. Returning everyone to a state where they had no experience with well prepared meals. It was in any case the best anyone in a place like this could do to explain the law. No one cared that the fast food chains had to change their menus. The big issue was, there were no allowances for good food, forcing them to gather in secret. The laws weren’t about eating right, they were about eating by a formula to maximise health.
They only had themselves to blame and they knew it. They’d let the health fanatics dictate the public diet one small law at a time until one day they found themselves looking at store shelves stocked with hardly anything worth eating. Sure they could all live forever now, but not everyone saw the merit in it. What was the point of life, many thought, when any simian could eat better than they could.
At one point the underground was vast, but as time went on, it became the dominion of those that could afford it or offer it protection. These were two things that did not limit it from being everywhere. There were even rumours of the royal family holding barbecues in the middle of Kew Gardens while listening to the opus of some great composer.
Like every prohibition before it, all manner of arguments were made as to why it was for the best. Some even went so far as to call the underground the fifth column of the enemy, designed to keep the nation unhealthy. In spite of the high rhetoric, punishments were still limited to “Health Re-Education Camps” — an experience all lived through but no one wanted to repeat.
The Camps were the main reason all were happy to walk into a room with a uniformed officer sitting at a table. If the officer was a sergeant or better, there was simply no point in worrying about a raid that night. It allowed everyone to sit back and fully enjoy their meal without fear of having to abscond in the middle of it. However it never failed to cause a wave of horripilation among the patrons when an officer walked in for dinner.
The fug that hung in the room did nothing to dampen the agog of those waiting for their order. Like the speakeasies these dining halls inherited their names from, some of the best entertainment in the world could be found within their walls. It was one of many reminders that in places like this, it was about enjoying one’s meal.
Like any other speakeasy the rules were few and far between. After all, everyone knew the only rule that counted was to not compromise its secrecy. There was, however, one rule everyone tried to honour at Speakeasy Seven. On nights like this the chef would make something special to do his best to comply with the law. If the Chef could try then so would they and it became the custom for all to try the salad night special. Gazpacho soup was that dish on this day. The chef’s logic was clear; it did, after all, have just enough vegetables to be called a salad.