Excerpt for The Devil Beckons by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

The Devil Beckons

Frank J Perez

Copyright 2018 Frank Perez

Smashwords Edition

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return it to your favorite ebook retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.


Saving Sarah

Deal With The Devil

The Decision


Behind The Stories

More From Frank

Saving Sarah

I’ll try not to bore you with too much detail. I mean, let’s face it – if you’re currently reading this then you’re crystal clear on who I am. My name and face has been splashed all over the news and social media for what seems to me an eternity, about two weeks in the real world. One very brief introduction for those of you who may have been living on a different planet recently, my name is Maximilian Suarez. Max to my friends. Mad Max to those of you following online.

It’s been a long time since the word ‘mad’ has been appended to my name. Way back when I was still an undergrad and surrounded by juveniles. It was inevitable that those less gifted would place that moniker on me. What else could I possibly have expected from them when my name had been written about as the next Freud and Jung combined? Someone who wasn’t even fully qualified as a psychiatrist had millions of other professional psychiatrists around the world talking about them, about me, as the second coming? And now I find myself having to live with this pseudonym once more and not for the same reasons.

So I guess you’re all itching to get the answer to your most vexing question- Am I the heartless, evil, conniving devil incarnate that you’ve read about or am I truly insane? Would anything I put down in writing actually make you change your mind, regardless of what I write? Probably not. To let you in on a little secret, I’m not even trying to. This is all about me, I couldn’t give a damn about what any of you think. I guess a comment like that will make certain people out there think I really am the devil while others will see it as a sign of a psychotic. I get it. I didn’t rise to the top in my field by hiding from that type of thing and even if I am considered a crazy nut-case now I’ve not forgotten a damn thing about what I’ve learned in my professional life.

So, enough rambling I guess. Let’s get to the heart of the matter, the meat on the bones if you will. Ten-year-old Sarah Wilkins. The cute little girl whose picture you would have seen a million times over the past few months. I know what you want to ask; did I kill her?

Well, if you ask the prosecutor, the judge or any of the jury members that sat in judgment the answer would be a great big resounding yes. I dare say if you were to take a poll amongst most people in the country, they would also agree. But does this make it the truth? Perhaps, or maybe not. I’m not one hundred percent sure myself anymore.

I will clear up some of the things which have been reported. Some of you may not even bother reading anything further. I urge you to do so. It may just save your life one day.

Did I stab her body, as the court claimed, over one hundred times?

More than likely. I lost count after a while and I can honestly say that my arm was aching when I was done.

Was her throat sliced so badly that head was almost completely cut-off?

Yes, I did. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to fully complete the decapitation. Yes, it was my goal to do so.

Did I drink her blood?

Hell no! Regardless of what some of the more sensationalist journals and glossy mags may have written. I do not believe myself to be a vampire of any sort. The sight of blood actually sickens me. Let me put to rest the other ‘truths’ that have been written. No, I did not rape her. No, I did not mutilate her body in any way, apart from trying to decapitate her. No, this was not some kind of black magic ritual and hell no, I did not eat any of her flesh in some kind of cannibalistic fervor.

But I know the main question remains unanswered as yet. Did I kill that sweet, innocent, ten-year-old Sarah Wilkins?

In one word, no.

How can I possibly claim to not have killed Sarah when my preceding comments clearly mark me as having almost decapitated her head from her body? To give you answers to that I must beg your indulgence for a few moments more, even though quite a few people will have already stopped reading. But to those few brave souls who are still with me, I beg that you put any preconceived notions aside for the moment. I know I’m asking a lot and honestly, if this was someone else’s words I was reading I would have switched off by now, at least in my previous life.

This nightmare began for me at the request of a certain organization that I won’t name at this point. Not because I fear any retribution from them. There’s not really anything they can do to me. Not when I’m getting myself ready for death row. I’ll leave them nameless for the sake of leaving religion out of my story. Though I’m not confident I’ll be able to do so and tell you the full story but I’ll give it a try regardless.

As I alluded to earlier, prior to any of these events I was regarded as the best psychiatrist in the world. Some even claimed me to be the best ever, period. I won’t question your intelligence, it was something I was damn proud of, probably a little too much, but that’s hindsight speaking. And I see now that many people in the ‘real world’ would have looked at me as a stuck-up son-of-a-bitch. Rightly so I would hesitate to add, but honestly-I was the damn best! But back to the details. There’s no way I would have gotten involved if it had been Sarah’s parents or the above mentioned organization who had come to me direct. They were so far beneath me that I doubt they would have even gotten an appointment to see me. When the request comes from the Vice-President of the country however, the willingness to help out became something I would never say no to. I’ll try to leave politics out of the story as much as religion, both hold no interest for me apart from the perceived power that goes along with them. The chain of events and the relationships between all those individuals don’t form part of this story. Someone knew somebody, who in turn knew somebody else… All ending up with the Vice President calling me in to do him a personal favor. I should have turned tail and run for my life but again, that’s eagle-eye hindsight talking. The truth is, I leaped at the opportunity of having the second most powerful person in the world owing me a favor. Really, would any of you claim to do anything else? I doubt it.

So with no other thoughts going through my mind, I put aside all my other commitments and headed out to meet the Wilkins family. A normal family whose only daughter Sarah, was showing all the signs of demon possession. It was my responsibility to help this poor girl come back to reality with as little damage as possible. Nothing too demanding for such a bright individual like me.

As the car pulled up to the Wilkins's home I could already see how the poor girl’s mind had been assailed and her reality warped. No less than three individual crucifixes stood out clearly from the front gate to their front door. If this was the type of environment Sarah had been exposed to then the diagnosis wouldn’t take long to perform, even if her recovery would take longer. Ringing the doorbell, I tried to keep my thoughts in check. Preconceived notions and ideas would not help me, though I will admit to you now that I had pretty much made up my mind already. If the poor girl was being raised by a couple of deeply religious parents, then something as simple as being bullied at school would have the ability to cause some major divisions in her mind. Some people would cope by fighting back, others would retreat into their own worlds and others, depending on the level of pain would split into different personalities within the confines of their own minds. It had been decades since I’d heard of a small child believing they were possessed by an external force, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t happening.

When Sarah’s parents answered the door, their very appearance backed up my suspicions, the fact they were flanked on each side by a priest in full regalia cementing them in my mind.


Since my incarceration all of my writings and journals have been strictly forbidden to me, so all that I write down in this instance is based entirely from my memories of these events. Some of the more pessimistic among you will say that I have probably twisted the reality of the situation to suit my own particular circumstances but let me assure you now that nothing could be further from the truth. While my memory may not be eidetic, what most people know as photographic memory, it comes damn close, enough to have landed me in the high 180's IQ bracket. I may mess up a tiny detail here and there but overall I can tell you with certainty that what I write down now are the events as they actually occurred.

So back to the Wilkins family, all three of them. Sarah's parents weren't the type to make much of an impression on me. Truthfully, if I had come across them anywhere else they would have dissolved from my memories before they were even out of my sight and Sarah herself? Well, you'll probably think me heartless but she wouldn't have fared an awful lot better than her parents in my life. At least not before all this happened.

After opening their door to me, I was ushered into a tiny lounge room, probably about half the size of my walk-in closet back home. I took in the surroundings as Mrs. Wilkins went off to the kitchen to prepare some tea. No matter where I looked, at least a dozen images or statues of one saint or another would peer back at me. Every single stare another nail in the coffin of what my professional opinion would be. If the poor girl was as far gone as I had been told, I would not hesitate to have her removed from this household. She would never have a real chance at recovery while surrounded by these things. No-one would.

Ignoring the priests I turned my attention to Sarah's father, asking him to elaborate on his daughter's behavior. I wasn't really surprised by his behavior as he mumbled something incoherent under his breath and made a quick exit, leaving me alone with the two priests. From the moment I'd seen them I knew they would have taken over anything that happened with the family. Self-appointed no doubt.

The elder priest turned to me and smiled an apology, “Please don't take it personally doctor, the family has been through a lot these past few months. Enough for them to have lost faith in most of the people they come across.” His head turned towards the wall where the kitchen lay, as if he could see through it to the couple in the next room, “We did try to make them understand that if you were going to be of any help to them that you would not only want to hear the story from them but absolutely need to. I'm sorry I failed you in that.”

Turning my eyes from the priest, I started taking a closer look at the religious icons on display as I answered, “Don't take it personal father. I would have been astounded if any of them opened up to me on first meeting. A certain level of trust needs to be laid as a foundation before the real building can begin.”

Both priests nodded at my words as the elder one's eyes followed my gaze, “Couldn't agree with you more doctor. Not just about the Wilkins but also about your unspoken thoughts on the decor.” His nodding head turned into a shake as he added, “There's more religious paraphernalia in this one tiny room than there is in most churches. Whilst I don't disagree with some form of acknowledgment to our faith this takes it beyond what is really healthy, especially for a ten-year-old girl like Sarah. It's easy to see where the psychosis evolved from.”

The priest's words caught me off-guard as I had fully expected both of them to be fueling the delusion that Sarah had obviously crafted for herself. And yet within moments of meeting me, the two priests appeared to be concurring with my own diagnosis of the situation. A diagnosis I had yet to give voice to. Something traumatic had happened to the young girl and her mind had done what it could to protect itself. Surrounded as she was by such religious fervor being possessed by an evil demon would be the obvious choice. I caught the priest's eyes once more, “I'm glad I won't have to be fighting you two when it comes time to help the poor girl. No offense meant but the parent's religious affiliations mean absolutely nothing to me. Sarah's well-being is the only thing that matters.”

The smile returned to the priest's face as he leaned towards me, “Trust me doctor. The Holy Church would never get in the way of your diagnosis. This is no longer the middle-ages and we know that nearly every case investigated by us has turned out to some form of mental breakdown. We really don't want it any other way. Being possessed by demons can stay in the dark ages as far as we're concerned. It has no place in modern society.”


The smile dropped off the priest's face as quick as it had shown itself as he muttered his reply, “Most.”


I'm going to skip over a few details here and just point out some of the facts, nothing sinister about them, they just don't have any impact on what happened over the course of that week. The two priests, Adam and James helped me gain the trust of Sarah's parents over the course of that afternoon and slowly they opened up and told me their version of the events which had happened to their daughter.

Six months earlier Sarah's father, Will had been retrenched from his job. The family's income had been dealt a huge blow with only Sarah's mother still bringing in any money. Without the benefit of both of them working they had to downgrade from their modest home in the suburbs to the tiny two bedroom cottage we were currently sitting in. The sale of their old home barely enough to cover what they still owed the bank in mortgage. From what both parents told me, the disturbances began almost immediately upon them moving into the cottage.

At first it was just innocuous little noises that kept them awake during the evening and nights. They had all put it down to living in a new house. Within weeks though, things had begun disappearing from their house. Little things at first and strangely, every item had belonged to their daughter.

Like most people would, they had assumed it was a small form of rebellion from their ten-year-old girl, upset at having been uprooted from her previous life and friends. It was a natural assumption to make and frankly, the first thing that had entered my mind as they spoke.

According to them, from there things escalated quickly. Their daughter would wake in the middle of the night screaming. Nightmares had never been a part of her make-up to this point. Once more though, they shrugged the matter off as part of the downturn their life had taken. After all, being forced to go to a new school with no friends, live in a new house and attend a new church would be enough to cause distress in most adults, let alone cause nightmares in a ten-year-old girl. With a fortitude that only a parent could know, they dug deep and strengthened themselves internally to see them through their current predicament.

Over the next few weeks things went from bad to worse for Sarah. What began as sleepless nights caused by her nightmares turned into a tortured, physical abuse. Or so they told me. Strange bruising on her thighs and arms were just the beginning. Many nights they had watched in vain as an invisible force had begun to choke their little girl.

I won't lie to you. My hand reached for my phone as they spoke, ready to call the police in. Mentally induced psychosis is one thing but I was not about to sit there and let them talk their way through physical abuse of a child. There's no lower form of life in my books than someone who abuses the trust of a child, especially when it's their own parents.

Why didn't I call the authorities you ask? Simple. The priest Adam had seen my arm move to take my phone and he gently placed his own hand on mine. A small shake of his head letting me know that he wanted me to hear the rest of the story before making any decisions. For a brief moment I almost yanked my arm away fully intent on making the call, I don't know why I didn't. My old friend hindsight would tell you that's exactly what I should have done. I should have made that damn call and let the authorities take over. Should have but never did.


My God! I've just read what I've written and I can't believe that I sound like one of those losers in a badly scripted horror movie. And that's before I even get to the part that anyone still reading this actually cares about. Maybe the devil was right and I am damned already. I fear that the two priests Adam and James have already reached their version of Hell and are just waiting my arrival for the real fun to begin. Despite the utter devotion they showed to their faith and religion while they were still alive.

Sorry, I didn't realize that I hadn't gotten to that part of the story as yet. I should have given you a spoiler alert warning.


I left it there that first day and went home to do some research on the different possibilities I may be confronted with, already convinced on what we were dealing with. The young girl was obviously going through a delusional disorder. All I really needed to find out was the root cause. That was something I wouldn’t be able to do with either her parents or the priests being present. I would go back the following day and begin the task of getting Sarah to trust me enough to talk.


I felt the drop in temperature the moment I stepped foot in her room. Both her parents and the priests had told me about this before walking in but I had not really paid attention, writing it off as some kind of mini mass-hallucination brought on by the atmosphere surrounding the entire cottage.

I was wrong. Full-stop.

If someone can prove to me that the temperature inside that room did not drop by at least ten degrees I would call them a liar. The air turned to frost as I breathed out like the coldest of New York days. Definitely not an ideal environment to be doing what needed to be done and definitely not the ideal location for the young girl, regardless of whatever else was going on. I spent a couple of minutes watching Sarah as she slept on her bed. Nothing out of the ordinary except for the temperature which I swear had continued to drop in the time I’d spent within the room.

Backing out of the room, I gently closed the door and turned to the waiting adults, “We need to move Sarah from this room. The whole environment is not conducive to getting her better.”

The girl’s parents gave each other a quick look before glancing over at the priest, urging him without words to speak up. Taking note of the furtive looks, the elder priest caught my eye before answering, “We’ve tried already doctor. It was one of the first things we did.”

“What do you mean, tried? Who stopped you?”

“Sarah herself did, doc. The original priest that was here trying to help out the family had one of his arms broken in three different places as well as a dislocated jaw and a cracked cheekbone. That tiny ten-year-old peacefully sleeping the room had to be physically dragged off him by two other adults. That’s when we were called in.”

Now you might be thinking to yourself that I definitely should have turned coat and run for the hills but I must admit, my professional curiosity was piqued. I’d read about these sorts of things happening in patients before but had never actually witnessed one first-hand. The simple fact was that a patient whose psyche had somewhat cracked was displaying a physical prowess they had never had prior. This was unusual but not unheard of. It’s like the stories you read about a parent suddenly displaying super-human strength when their child is in danger. The stuff that urban legends are made from, based on a snippet of truth. Verifying, documenting and releasing a new paper on the veracity of these sorts of claims was exactly the stuff my dreams were made of. There was no way in Hell that I was running away from this. Hindsight, I really should start paying more attention.


Leaving everyone else outside, I entered Sarah's room once more. My intentions at that point were to begin making a connection with the girl and to get her to open up to me somehow. It would be slow going at first but eventually she would do so. I'd never failed any of my patients in the past. If I could make that connection quick enough I may have even had her agree to leave the house and move somewhere where I would be able to really help her. Somewhere she could be watched over twenty-four hours a day.

I won't kid you, going back into Sarah's room brought to my mind images and scenes from different movies I had seen over the years. The Exorcist probably foremost among them. If anything, the temperature within the room was even colder than when I'd entered a few minutes earlier, my own breath had begun to frost as I breathed. I remember feeling chills as I moved over to sit by Sarah on her bed.

Looking down on her face I was surprised by the fact that she could possibly be truly asleep with the cold. I reached out and gently felt her forehead, searching for any signs of fever or illness. Her body however was burning up. So much so that I vividly recall yanking my hand back before I'd even had a chance to lay it on her head.

Being a professional in the ways of the mind I remember the exact thought that barged through my mental processes at the time; If Hell was supposed to be full of fire and brimstone, why did every story, movie, song or image always show the temperature as falling into the freezing category? Surely if the Devil was trying to make himself feel at home the temperature should have been heading in the other direction!

My companion just looked over my shoulder and laughed at reading that last part. Maybe there's some kind of in-joke I'm not privy to or perhaps my own mind is now in the process of breaking. Either way, I'm not sure I really want to know.


The more astute readers out there will have noticed I've been dragging this on for a little bit now. If you're one of the ones that have figured that out then no doubt you will probably have guessed that the next part is something I'm not really comfortable putting down on paper. To tell you the truth, I've started the process half a dozen times already and tossed the result out, much to my companion's enjoyment. Even now he sits there grinning at me, urging me to take up the story where I left off. I really think he's as interested in how I'm going to go about this as I am and no doubt yourselves.

To Hell with it, if you'll pardon the pun. Not like I'm going to be judged further for writing down what happened. If my grinning companion's whispered words are the real thing then that boat has well and truly sailed already. Guilty as charged, no defense will be entered.

The moment I pulled my hand back from Sarah's burning forehead, her body slammed upright into a seated position, even though her eyes were still closed. The grin that crossed her tiny mouth reminds me of the lunatic sitting across from me at the moment, perhaps they are one and the same. Who knows but him? And you can best believe that I will not stoop to the level of talking to my imaginary friend. To do so would be to acknowledge that he may exist or that I am crazy. Neither of which I'm ready to do so as yet.

Sarah's eyes stayed closed as she sat, her mouth opened and she gently called out to the two priests waiting outside the door, using my voice!

I sat paralyzed through the entire thing thinking it was some kind of trick, that what I was actually seeing first-hand was not really happening. The two priests did what any of us would have done in their place and came through the door looking for me. I remember seeing them smile as they took notice of Sarah sitting up in bed next to me, a huge smile on her face. Their smiles lasted less than a minute as the girl gave out an inhuman growl and motioned toward the door.

With an ear-shattering crash, the door rattled against the frame as an incredible unseen force slammed it shut. I watched in horror as both men turned their heads at the same time to the door. I continued watching as a sickening crunch sounded, each of their heads had continued to swivel until they were almost at a 180 degree angle from where they started. Their bodies falling to the floor without a sound.

You may not have heard about the deaths of the two priests in any of the reports. For some reason the authorities kept that completely under wraps. Even now, when everything is practically over except for my own death, their names are yet to be mentioned.


Before I get to those fateful final moments I must ask you a question. Have you ever been so afraid in your life that you've lost control over your own body? With a little shame I must admit to you now that that's exactly what happened to me as I turned to face Sarah once more.

No, there wasn't some crazy little girl, covered in slime and scars with dead eyes staring back at me. The complete opposite. The young girl looking back at me filled me with longing and feelings of love.

Except for the eyes.

Piercing, powerful eyes that drew me in and held me in place. Eyes that saw absolutely everything about me-everything! I wept and ran straight for the door.

Yes, hindsight, better late than never.

Unfortunately for me, late and never happened to mean the same thing. I would have had a better chance at moving Mount Everest than I did in opening that plywood door. Falling to my knees in despair, my hand fell across a heavy metal object. Looking down I noticed that it was a crucifix that one of the priests had brought with them.

The psychiatrist in me knows now that what I had faced was the most natural of instincts we all possess. Fight or flight. When faced with danger of some kind, our minds process our best option in less than a heartbeat and will either make a stand to fight, or try to flee the situation. Any doctor worth his salt will tell you that it's not cowardice at play, merely survival.

My first instinct had been flight, until I found myself cornered. It was only then that I had any coherent thought about fighting. Grabbing the crucifix and turning back to face Sarah had been the only thing left for me to do.

Go ahead and cast aspersions. I don't really blame you. We all like to think that we'd do the right thing in every situation... think...


There's no way to sugarcoat this or turn it into anything other than what it was. I lost it. Whatever small capability I had at reason went out the door as I faced what I now saw as the body of Sarah. Whatever denizen of Hell had taken over, I was convinced she was no longer a resident in her own flesh. The gory details don't really belong in this telling. If you're really that interested in the macabre, look up the police report. There's plenty of them floating around on the internet.


I very much doubt that any of you would have read this far into this story but I’m committed to it and need to put it down for you. Or rather for my own sanity, whatever little bits remain.

The professionals out there will have read my version of these events and come to a conclusion already. I know I would have as well. Group delusion? Psychotic break from reality? Delusional disorder? Believe me when I tell you that after a lifetime of diagnosing these things in others I’m well aware of what it would seem to you.

And yet the devil keeps me company, seated across from me this very moment. For those who need to know the specifics, he looks like any ordinary guy you would see walking down the street, or shopping or perhaps catching a train. Ordinary in every way except for those eyes. Piercing, powerful eyes that draw you in and hold you tight. That constant grin is still on his face and the whispering continues. Almost silent comments made solely for my ears. Words which at times almost bring me to tears.

How could I have known? Not once in my entire life had I heard mention of Sarah or of his daughter! Everyone had always spoken about Damien, his son.

I know he doesn’t exist, can’t exist and yet, here he sits, smiling and waiting. Hell-bent on revenge, like any father would be I guess.

That much I can understand.

Deal With The Devil

They say that the devil is in the details. Once I thought that this was just a nice turn of phrase. An old wives tale that was meant to warn us to take care of the small things. The following tale however, will put this phrase into its proper context. I’m not religious by any means, however now things are different. How could they be the same after coming face to face with the ultimate adversary?

I get ahead of myself though. As they say in the classics, ‘Once upon a time…’

The spring weather was completely at odds with my own inner turmoil. For months I had been struggling with deciphering a long lost language. It’s what I do. I’m a linguistic expert. Someone who takes a bunch of nonsense that’s been dug up by an archaeologist and tries to decipher some meaning out of it. We’re the crazies who bring sense and meaning to things like hieroglyphics from the pyramids and the scratching on the Dead Sea scrolls.

The papyrus in front of me was older, much older than anything as yet discovered. A mixture of drawings like hieroglyphics, words and symbols. Unraveling this mystery would be years in the making, that’s for sure. It would also be a true turning point for our knowledge of history.

Every test that had been done on the veracity of these scrolls placed them at around 100,000 years old. Up to this point it was believed that as humans we had only been recording things for the last 5000 years or so. Deciphering these would be like an archaeologist unearthing the remains of a 747 jumbo jet alongside the remains of a T-Rex with its short stunted arms holding a Mac Book. It would set the world on fire.

That however, was years into the future, if it ever was to be. For now, on that Saturday morning, I felt nothing less than dread. This task was haunting my every moment in life. It was becoming an obsession. No longer was I able to find solace and escape, not even in my dreams. The imagery seemed to be burnt into my subconscious and people swear that I was uttering what seemed to be nonsense to myself. If only it was that simple. Lunacy and incarceration in a mental asylum would have been preferable to the things that occurred that day. To the things that I felt compelled to do, things that would ultimately lead me to locking horns, so to speak, with the Prince of Darkness himself. Scared yet? I sure as Hell was, just not at that point.

I was at my desk, lazily glancing at the images before me, doodling away on a notepad. It always helped me clear my head. Without warning, the air darkened and thickened. There’s no other words to describe it. It was like I was trying to breathe in solid water. Hot, solid water as the temperature in my office seemed to rise and rise. All of a sudden a flash of pure white light almost blinded me. Smoking remains wafted through the hot still air and settled itself into a form. A form that was uniquely human.

The Devil has been described by many others in the past as anything from a monstrously horned, goat-legged supernatural being to a tiny little red-skinned imp holding a pitch fork and sitting on your shoulder. Maybe that’s what those people expected to see when they came across the Devil or maybe they just made it up. To me, he showed himself as just another human. I use the term ‘just’ very loosely here. There was nothing ‘just’ about the Devil. An utterly gorgeous sample of what the human body should aspire to be, is how he showed himself. Adonis personified in a perfectly crafted human body. Closely cropped, dark hair shining like a halo around a perfectly molded face. Shoulders that seemed to have the capacity to carry the entire Earth without breaking a sweat.

Fur, claws and red skin? Not in the slightest. More mocha colored skin than red. A tight white t-shirt clung to his frame accentuating every single muscle in his body, tapering down to his waist where a pair of Genius Jeans by Gucci were held up by a platinum and diamond encrusted Gucci belt. All topped off with what undoubtedly looked like a pair of custom crafted cowboy boots. I doubt you would ever see such a description in any religious book! The Devil doesn’t wear Prada apparently, he prefers Gucci.

The smoke hung lazily around his shoulders, wafting up into the air, like a steaming cup of coffee. Piercing blue eyes that were literally shining, stared straight through me, like he knew everything about me with just one glance. All my thoughts, desires and faults. If the Bible was anything to go by, this was the Big Guys’ former right hand man. His go-to Angel when all else failed. A powerful supernatural being beyond almost every other. Not just a collector but the original Collector of Souls.

He was also smiling. At me. Like a cat that is playing with a mouse for entertainment.

Everyone seems to agree that God doesn’t play dice with the Universe, the same rules however, do not seem to apply to the Devil. Not only does he roll the dice on each soul that he collects but he also seems to do so with a pair of loaded dice, figuratively speaking, and this is where I found myself on that Saturday morning. In a literal joust with the Devil. The prize? None other than my eternal soul.

“Thank you for the invitation “, he began in a voice that was smooth as silk “it’s been a long time since I’ve had one.”

“Invitation?” I uttered. “What invitation?” I definitely couldn’t recall having made any mention of asking the Devil to come for a chat and a cup of tea!

“Why, the invitation that you just read aloud of course. The one that is accompanied by tracing the symbols that you just did. It’s clearly written in front of you.”

I stared down at the papyrus scroll in front of me. An invitation to the Devil? Was this what I had been working so hard to decipher? “I had no idea that’s what this is.” I began “Surely you can see that I’m trying to translate it. To understand it. I never meant to issue any sort of invitation, that’s for sure!”

“Ah, I see.” he answered. “You uttered the words and traced the symbols of invitation without knowing what they were. Well, we seem to have a bit of a problem in front of us then.”

“Problem? What problem?”

“Well”, he began “the invitation ritual that you just performed is actually a binding contract. In simple terms it states that you invite me before you so to I may grant you one wish. The terms and acceptance of the contract form part of the very structure of the incantation. Three questions are you given to be answered by me. Truthfully of course. If you win, I grant you any wish you desire.”

Wow, I thought. Historical and biblical literature had it all wrong. The Devil was nothing but a genie who was here to grant me a wish! Modern culture had genies offering you three wishes when you rub a certain lamp in a certain way, at a certain time. The Devil however, will grant you only one and there is definitely a catch involved. He will generously however, allow you to ask 3 questions prior.

“One wish for you or I get your Soul. That’s the deal. You get to ask me three questions, any questions that you want to and I have to answer them truthfully, omitting nothing in the answer. At the end of the 3 questions you will get one hour to contemplate the answers and then either ask me a question for which I have no answer to or send me on a task that I cannot perform successfully. Ask or Command. If you win, you get your wish. If not, I collect your soul.”

“Wait. You’re saying that I get a wish granted if I can either ask you a question that you cannot answer or ask you to perform a task that you cannot complete?”

“Correct. The contract has begun and neither one of us are in a position to withdraw. As they say, ignorance of the law is no excuse. And before you get into a tirade about me being the Devil and not trustworthy,” the Devil continued “let me assure you now, that the deal is actually winnable by either party and that no lies shall pass my lips in any way.”

So three questions to be asked in total. No more, no less. Followed by either asking the Devil a question that he would not be able to answer or giving him a task that he would not be able to perform successfully. What possible question could even the brightest minds on Earth ask of a supernatural being who has been around since a couple of days into the whole creation of everything, ask that he would not have the answer to? What task could you possibly send him on that he would not be able to complete within the blink of any eye? This was a being that had gone toe-to-toe with the Big Man himself and lived to tell the tale. Conundrum? This was the very definition of it.

“So,” I began, “Question one. Is there a destination – anywhere - that I can send you to that you would not be able to get back from?”

“Ah. Straight to the point. Something that I wouldn’t have expected from a linguist like yourself.” the Devil uttered and then continued. “No. There is literally nowhere in Space or Time that I cannot get to. I have been to every planet, in every galaxy, in every universe that has ever been created. From every Sun and star imaginable to those that have yet to be born. I have lived a thousand years under the surface of each planet. I know each and every atom of everything by its first name, even those things that are yet to be created or born.”

Looking me straight in the eye he added, “There is nowhere that you can send me that I have not been before.” With a wink and the stirrings of a smile he said, “Next Question.”

So there was nowhere that I could send him that he couldn’t find, not even within time itself. I couldn’t send him on an unreachable task sometime in the future, he’d been there. I couldn’t send him on a task in the past, he’d lived through it all. This was something of a dead end. I would need to be much more resourceful than that to keep my soul.

“Okay then.” I began. “Question two. Is there anything that you do not know, within any subject, from any world, from any point in time whether historically or from the future?” This question seemed to cover just about everything that could be thought of, on any subject, from any time period and from within every known place in the universes! Surely this would shed some light and hopefully point me in the right direction!

“A most worthy question.” He said. “Let me see.”

“I know every language that there is to know, from those that have been lost over time to those that are yet to be created by future generations. Artistic creations of every form I do on a daily basis. I know the lyrics to every song imaginable. To every poem and every book. I can tell you the mathematical formulas for everything under this Sun and every other sun in all the universes. I can recite the history of each grain of sand on every beach on every world. There is nothing that you can ask me that I would not have the answer to. Nothing.”

Wow. This was going to be tougher than any other exam that I had had before. That was for sure! Nothing that he didn’t know the answer to and nowhere that he hadn’t been before. What were my possible choices here? He had made it clear that this was definitely winnable by either of us and not completely rigged yet somehow, the answer wasn’t coming. I couldn’t see a way out.

And then it hit me, the one question that, if phrased correctly would give me what I needed to know.

“Question three.” I blurted in a rush, “In the past when you have lost this type of task, what were you asked to answer or perform that made you lose?” I had him! If he had to tell me the truth, then he would need to tell me exactly how others had beaten him in this contest. Not exactly sporting of me, I know but hey, my soul was on the line, not just a few hundred bucks! Whatever it takes to win, I thought to myself.

A grin appeared on his face that stretched from ear to ear. “So to be clear and concise,” he began, “your third and final question is what task have I not been able to perform or what question have I not been able to answer previously that made me lose a soul?”

“That’s right, oh, and by previously I don’t mean just in time. I mean every other time that you’ve had this wager with somebody for their soul or any other time that you’ve been asked, regardless of collecting souls!” I answered, feeling like I was finally onto a winner and hoping that he wouldn’t make it an invalid question as it obviously was a combination of more than one question into one sentence.

“Well,” he began “in essence, I have never been given a task that I couldn’t complete or asked a question that I could not answer, and with that - I will now give you the final hour of contemplation as per the contract arrangements. You now have one hour in which to think of a question which I cannot answer or a task that I cannot perform. Choose wisely.” and promptly vanished.

One hour. One measly hour is what I now had. No second chances, no phone a friend. Seriously, who would believe me anyway? Millions upon millions of thoughts went through my head and quickly discarded. There was nowhere that I could send him physically either in the past or in the future that he had not been to before. There was nothing that he was not an expert in, even in things that had yet to be created, anywhere!

The hour went by in a flash, like I really needed to say that. Thought upon thought of useless information flowed through my brain, like I even had a chance and yet somehow I knew that there was an answer. The Devil himself had assured me and if you can’t take the Devil at his word, who could you trust?

With a crash of thunder and blinding light like lightning, the Devil reappeared. Self-possessed and in full control he sat on the edge of my desk with his bulging arms crossed. A huge grin across his face as he stared straight into my eyes, into my very soul. A soul that would very shortly belong to him regardless.

“So,” he uttered “The hour is up. Your allotted time is now complete. The three questions have been asked and fully answered without any guile or lies. The compact is now done and all that remains is your final question or task. Which is it to be, oh Master Linguist? Ask or Command?”

“Well,” I began slowly, trying to catch a little bit more time, “Clearly Ask is not an option as you have so clearly stated that there is nothing about any subject that you do not know.”

“That is correct.” He answered. The twinkle in his eye not diminishing at all. “So I assume that you will be giving me a task that I cannot complete? Shall I bring you the moon from a distant universe, to be held in the palm of your hand? Or perhaps make the love of your life fall madly in love with you? Immortality? Wealth? Fame?”

“No. Nothing so grand. There’s only one thing that I would ask you to do.” I said, “Pretty much what I wanted you to do from the very start.”

“And what would that be oh my illustrious, linguistic master?” the Devil asked sarcastically.

“I command you to… Get Lost!”

The Decision

Good and Evil. Light and Dark. Yin and Yang. God and Devil. These two fundamental facets have always been at war with each other. We all face choices in every waking moment of our lives where the final decision is always predicated by this one universal underlying fact. Is this decision for the good or something more sinister?

Up to this point in my life the choices had been pretty clear cut.

Should I have the salad or the chocolate iced donut? Should I do the work that I should be doing? Or spend the next 10 minutes checking out social media? Nothing that was earth shattering to anyone else except me and my waistline. Were all these previous decisions just practice for that one moment in my life where the decision I made would change everything? Would I be able to live with myself after this? Or would this be the turning point in my life that made me something other than what I thought I would be?

Time slowed or at least that’s what it felt like. The pressure of my index finger tightened a little on the trigger of my German made Walther P99, 9 mm handgun. The barrel held firmly against the sweating temple of the scumbag kneeling before me. This was the first weapon that I had ever owned in my life. I had never felt the need to before. A nice, law-abiding citizen like countless others. Now however, things had changed. The laws that other people abided by no longer meant anything to me.

Should I pull the trigger or let him walk away?

Should I rain down the wrath of revenge? Loose forth the monster usually held in chains within me? Or would my compassion and mercy once again win the argument?

What are the factors that determine if an action is good or evil? Who is it that actually decides which is which? Is it up to the individual, based on their own experiences, loves, tragedies and desires? Or are we all cut from the same cloth and are expected to make certain decisions in certain circumstances? Who created these expectations for society as a whole anyway? And why should I be held to account for someone else’s expectations?

All these questions bounced around in my head with no clear answer. Life and death neatly held in the palm of my hand. More specifically, the life of the crying scumbag in front of me awaiting the sentence that only I could pass. Should I pass a life affirming thumbs up or continue down the dark passageway that would remove him from this life altogether – a thumbs down? Decisions, decisions.

How many times in my life was I supposed to just meekly roll over and take the abuse from others? 7 billion people in the world and no doubt, billions of them have gone through the same thing. We’re all expected to play nice for the good of humanity and yet to me it seems that the ones that rise to the top have little in common with the rest. They take what they want, when they want. We’re just expected to take it, to not fight back. For some reason, it’s all too hard and not worth the effort.

No longer. Something within my mind had changed. A switch that I didn’t realize I even possessed was now flicked to the ‘on’ position and with it, the meekness and niceties of life had fled to some other corner of my brain. For the first time in my life I felt truly free. I was no longer a victim of other people’s self-centered selfishness. Freedom from any type of constraint that I had adhered to in the past in the hopes of being ‘nice’.

I was now the hunter, no longer the prey. Judge, jury and executioner. The Big Kahuna.

I would not be just a hard-ass though. There would be times when I would be benevolent and merciful. If only to keep everyone on their toes and guessing. Would this be one of those times?

Click. I switched the safety back on. No blood would be spilled this morning. The scumbag would be allowed to live on, for the time being anyway. A chance for him to spread word to the rest of the world that I could be merciful when I wanted, on very rare occasions.

“Get up.” I told him. “It’s your lucky day. Take a long hard look at my face and remember it. The next time I order extra fries, you better make sure I get them.”


D’HarmaSan sat cross-legged on the ground of the planet that she had just created. “So much work to do,” She thought to herself, “and only so much time.”

The entire universe had been brought to life because she was bored.

Hanging around with the other Gods was just pure boredom. They carried on and debated things that held no meaning. There were twelve of them in total and she was sick of the lot of them. Sometimes she would throw in a casual remark just to set them off. It was fun to watch Gods losing their shit over nothing. It helped pass the time.

Recently though, she’d been thinking about the act of creating. In her mind she’d been thinking about kicking off a small experiment, to see if any living organisms could grow. It was just a hunch on her part but she was a Goddess. Hunches and casual thoughts became reality if she wasn’t paying attention. The others would be pissed.

Of that she had no doubt. It was one thing that they talked about endlessly.

Not one of them could see any benefit in it. She knew what they were thinking. It wasn’t about anything other than their own power. If they succeeded in this, what was to stop these new beings growing and one day becoming more powerful than them? That was unthinkable!

D’HarmaSan however didn’t care. Erroneous thoughts went through her mind now. There was no denying it to herself. She would create life, albeit in a roundabout way. The seeds of her new universe were already planted. All that was required would be a small touch of her power. With a bang, her new universe would be born.

Within a couple of million years, life would sprout. A drop in the ocean in the life of an immortal being. She smiled to herself, technically she would not be creating life, it would be creating itself. She just needed to ensure that the right sequence of events occurred. Humming to herself she reached forth and gently placed her index finger on the nothingness in front of her. A slight touch of the power transferred itself.

She leaned back satisfied, a small smile on her lips and sighed. Creating life was tiring!

The first million years of her little experiment went by in a flash. She’d immersed herself in it, gently guiding the gases as they expanded and grew. Already she’d created millions of different little planets. Each having its own atmosphere and the potential for life to grow. On some of these, certain little cells had already manifested. She’d underestimated just how much effort would be involved in their creation though. But somehow, it was all rewarding. The others still didn’t know about her little experiment and she was keen to keep it that way.

They’d find out about it in due course but her little universe would be evolved enough by then. Her child would need to grow up one day and like all children, they’d have to learn to not rely on her for everything.

She reached out and gently touched the solid ground beneath her feet, willing her essence into the planets core. “Another one done.” she thought, “maybe it’s time to see how the early ones are getting on. I could use some help here.”

With that thought, she disappeared and transported herself to one of the first planets that she’d created. Life should be abundant there by now if her plan had worked.


D’HarmaSan looked around her with glee. The first few thousand planets she had visited were a bust. Some of these were hot, gaseous planets where nothing grew. Others were coated in a layer of ice with continuous snow storms. The rest ranged in their wildness and extremes.

But now on this planet, she came across a world that was thriving. Life covered every part. Not just a simple form of it either but individuals that shone with a smattering of the power that she herself possessed! True, they were still young in the process but somehow not only had life grown here, but it had evolved to the point of the true self-awareness of enlightenment.

To say that the Goddess was overjoyed would have put it mildly. If this was any sign of how life went, then it lent weight to her argument that Gods themselves could be created and by extension the question would need to be looked at; had the twelve Gods themselves been an experiment created by some other life-force? The implications would be enormous and worth the effort of her own small experiment.

She reached out to a few of the more advanced in their power, reading them.

They actually knew of their own power! She thought, and yet, they don’t go around flaunting it. They care, they heal and they help others. Always humble. The Goddess was pleased.


Another few thousand planets later and the Goddess still hadn’t come across any other life forms. Only one planet had the beginnings of what may grow into life. She would have to revisit them to see how they’d grown. The planet that she found herself at that point however, was rife with life forms. Life forms that were as powerful as the others that She’d first come across. The world itself was stark, covered completely in red dust that swirled and spread as massive hurricanes dealt death and destruction in their wake. The beings here had just adapted to the environment.

Everywhere she looked a different type of life came into view.

Every single one had the power, and they weren’t shy about using it. Fights raged everywhere, and she noticed that whichever life force came out victorious was assimilating the vanquished ones’ power. Making themselves even more powerful.

Continue reading this ebook at Smashwords.
Download this book for your ebook reader.
(Pages 1-24 show above.)