Mar 13, 2018

What Does The Middleman Take?

Need. Need. Need. The hunger. The lust. The want. The desire. It explodes inside her mind like a billion supernovas. It makes her want to burn herself at the altars of the dark gods. Just to be clean.

To be cleansed of all that’s ailing her. The world around her crowds in like a gaggle of people crowd in on an accident. She doesn’t want that. She just wants to be free. Swimming in the pristine waters. And she wants to be clean. But how? Her teeth are dirty. Her tongue has crammed up with the detritus of ages of eating. Her throat feels raw and she can’t even sing anymore. She tries, but only bubbles exit from her throat.

She closes her eyes and thinks of the men who had promised their Lives to the worship of their dark gods. Ages ago. The promises made and favors asked for. Now it was time to call them in. Now was the time to reap the harvest she had sown so many years ago. And they all better listen to mother. They better. Or mother will be angry. And an angry mother is not a good thing.

The message came to all of them in a shared dream. 30316 people all around the world woke up from their sleep at the same time in their sleep cycle. Everyone bathed in their own sweat, right eye bleeding tears, and the words from the mother flashing in their heads like a death knell.

She needed a cleansing. Her children were going to make sure she got it. Come whatever may.

The children of leviathan activated within minutes. Phones were ringing, people were woken up from their sleep. Everyone knew where they stood in the grand scheme of things and they all made efforts in their own way to get mother What she had asked for. Because they all owed their Lives to her.

Jay posted an ad in a newspaper. His logic for doing that was simple. Very few people read the paper these days and any soul desperate enough to respond to the ad would be the kind of person who’d not be missed if he were to vanish from the face of earth. Of course, he was not interested in the mere physicality of the person, the real juice was in the soul and the energies that were tied to a person’s soul. Calls were made to the right people in the right departments, the text was written and proofed and once the payments were done, the advertisement was placed in the advertisement section of a single newspaper. Jay had no hope of getting any response for the ad.

But he got two. Before the two applicants could find anything about him, he found out everything about them. He was that kind of person. Contacts and relations in every department and every town. His first responder was a tired and dejected man who was living estranged from his wife and spent most of his time at his dead-end job. He was stuck in the job and the cost of getting out was something that he did not afford. And even though he hated the job he needed it, so it hurt him, even more, when his boss told him to check out for the day and forget about coming in the next morning. He picked up the newspapers on his way back from office so that he could look for jobs in the area. But he saw the ad and dialed the number that would take him to either his doom or his salvation.

Jay, as fate would have it, knew all these things. His assistant had already given him a file on the man. He studied the file and did some mental math on how to approach the man’s case so that he would be the best candidate to serve mother. He flipped a coin, decided on a heart attack and closed the file.

The second file was an interesting one. A chemistry teacher in a school who dabbled in poisons. Jay read the file and knew this was someone that he’d deal with later and enjoy it a lot too. There were few instances in his career when he got to interact with others who had the same interests as him. Death, disorder, and anarchy being the three tenets on which the house of his job was built. But the foundation of his house had always been the same. To serve mother. Now and always.

The meeting with the man in the rundown pub went fine. Smooth as a knife slid just right between the ribs to pierce the heart. Jay left the man’s body slumped on the table while his soul was committed to the service of mother. The people crowded around the man, trying to wake him up. No one would remember Jay because he was just another face in the crowd that you never really notice even when you are paying a lot of attention.

It was time for meeting the second candidate. Jay knew that he needed to work on that guy quickly. You could not take a risk with such dangerous and unstable people. Luckily, the man had invited Jay to his office and Jay had no qualms in meeting a man in his place of power. He needed only one touch and then all the powers in the world would not be able to save Professor. Black.

The office of the kind professor was an antithesis of minimalism. There were mountains of files on every table, threatening to topple with the slightest gust of wind. There was a small chemistry lab in one corner of the room and something orange and yellow bubbled in one of the beakers. The whole room had the smell of old chemicals. The professor was sitting behind his mountain of files as if trying to shield himself with all the paper was going to do him any good.

“Professor Black, it’s nice to finally put a face to the name.”

The professor looked at Jay over the rim of his thick glasses. His eyebrows were in the phase of growth that spoke of accidents that took place somewhere in the past.

“Please have a seat, sir. What an interesting advertisement you gave in the newspaper. I just knew I had to get in touch with you.”

Jay picked up a piece of paper from the desk. There were chemical equations and formulas hastily scribbled on the page. The ink was, strangely, still wet. His thumb came off black from the page. He tried to rub the blackness off on the page, but it did not get off. A sense of unease rose in his chest as he struggled to breathe. His eyes felt watery and his vision blurred. He wiped his eye and his hand came away bloody.

He saw Professor Black looming over him from the other end of the desk as he collapsed to the floor, he heard the professor say four words that filled him with a chill deeper than any depth of the sea ever could.

“Happy cleaning, little fish.”

This one took some time to connect. But I am glad how it turned out. Sometimes, you have to let a story lead you.


  1. As usual, what a twist. And just as I was beginning to feel sorry for the old man...


    P.s. I'm participating in something called the A to Z Blogging Challenge 2018. Need to post 26 write-ups in 30 days of April...write-up need to be based on topics starting with each letter of the alphabet. I'm on letter D currently. Would love your feedback.

  2. Evolution was just a word untill I read your post... From 2006/7 to now... Times has left an impression on your writing style. Nice reading you again after all these years. Glad you are still writing. :-)
    Still love the name... Nothingman. :-)
    ~Still A Winged fantasy