Her name was Evie.
She walked into my dim, dreary office at the end of the workweek.
She had long legs, short hair and an insatiable taste for acoustics.
She preferred pastels;
looked good in blue jeans;
and smelled like sugar cookies in December.
She lit up the room.
And for this she would have to punished;
Sent away, forever.
After all, I could not have my darkness disturbed -
the spell broken.
I could not have a single shred of light puncture my shade.
And she definitely looked like someone who would want to extinguish the night.
It made me sick for what I had to do.
I didn't want to snuff out her light, but I had to do it.
I had to prove myself;
Show my worth;
Send a message to the others in my profession.
You see, my work is not some menial task.
No, my work is essential.
It's for the corporation. Thy corporation.
The ones who determine where our souls go to either rot or to flourish.
I could not be interrupted by her lure;
By her sparkle.
So, I accompanied her into the night.
Took up her offer of drink and dance until the wee hours of the morning.
I knew I could poison her drink;
Maybe con her into some dark alley;
Choke out her glow.
And the remorse, well, it would only be temporary.
After a day or two, I would forget all about Miss Evie and carry about my business as usual.
That's the nature of things and I've had to do so in the past;
Had to put many precious flowers to rest.
But that's part of the job ~ the one I agreed to years ago.
Hell, maybe it's been eons now, but I made my pact with blood and I must honor my side of the bargain - and I hate to admit it, but it's quite a rush to have such power; such influence.
I try not to abuse the skills I possess, but sometimes it's hard not to show off my talents;
To flaunt my culinary skills;
You see, I am of a specific importance to the underworld.
I make the decisions - the important ones - of who gets to live forever and who gets to be forgotten.
I am the collector of souls; the keeper of spirits; the night watchman.
I consider myself upper management, if you will.
I make or break people.
And even though I would've loved to be stronger than my own will and not have taken Evie to bed with me that morning, I am still only a mortal and quite weak.
And I'm a sucker for long legs.
As I look back upon it now, I can see where I made my mistakes -
when I lost the upper hand.
It was somewhere between her legs and the melting sunrise that spilled into the room.
And to be honest, it didn't hurt as much as I had imagined.
Maybe she was being kind - perhaps she had a soft spot for me as well - or maybe she was just more of a professional. Whatever the case, the puncture to my abdominal hurt only for a minute, and then it went dark.
And as I examine all the information left in my head, I realize that I was replaceable all this time - that the pact wasn't for eternity, but rather, for a lifetime.
And that I, too, would have to pay for my sins;
Be charged for my debt;
Succumb to my fate.
And even though my fate is not what I had imagined for myself,
I must admit that those last minutes of mortality were the best I had felt in years -
The warmth of the morning sun upon my back;
That taste of burnt liquor that lingered on my lips;
And that sweet smell of cookies...
I do not know a lot about J.D. Salinger as the person he was or as a writer.
I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't even read his most popular work: The Catcher in the Rye.
Perhaps this should be on my list.
I am adding it right this moment - mostly because of the quote above - but also out of professional courtesy.
Anyone out there want to share their views on this man? On his writing? His legacy?