I am Peace

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic


A man has a strange encounter with a mythical being in a bar.

Submitted: February 02, 2018

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Submitted: February 02, 2018

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I am Peace

Victor Graves settled himself upon his favorite barstool, fancying another glass of his usual scotch and soda. Signaling Abraham Cainan, the bartender, with a waving of his hand, Cainan addressed the request with a nodding of his head and subsequently reappeared with the desired beverage. Graves threw him a look of more affection than he had ever shown anything in the past year. For Graves though, that only meant a weak smile. Cainan returned the gesture, smiled lightly, and spoke.

“Anything new?” Cainan asked painfully, knowing the answer already.

“Yes.” Graves muttered weakly. Cainan’s ears perked up in a surprised concern.

“Abigail, she’s oka-”

“She’s dead.” Graves finished coldly.

“Victor.. I can’t imagine what you're going through. I-I’m so sorry.” Cainan spoke, dumbfounded and choked up.

“Yeah, so am I.” Graves whispered to himself, looking down still.

Cainan took the hint and walked over to the other side of the counter, tending to other patrons. Victor Graves gulped down another drink, his attention nowhere in particular, that is until the bar’s front door opened. Graves turned slightly and gazed at the newcomer, as everyone in the lounge seemed to do as well. A rangy, hooded man stretched inside. The man, whose face was indiscernible because of the shadow cast on his face by his hood, surveyed the room, and looked directly at Victor Graves. At least, that’s what Graves had thought. His suspicions were confirmed when the towering man approached the counter and rested upon the seat immediately to his right. The face, devoid of color stared at Graves intently. Graves glanced at Cainan desperately. Cainan noticed the look and began to walk over. Without flinching, the man raised his gloved hand towards Cainan, who was standing behind him. Cainan stopped, oddly compelled to follow the commands of the mysterious newcomer.

“Don’t look at him, Victor, look at me.” The man spoke softly, but demanding at the same time. His voice, hoarse, yet soothing, intimidating, yet comforting. Graves stared into the void that was supposed to be his face in terror. Graves thought the man smiled, but he couldn't tell.

“My apologies Victor, may I call you Victor?” Graves nodded stupidly “Well Victor, you are most likely wondering who I am and what I am doing here?” Graves nodded again. The man looked around. “Are these people making you nervous, Victor?” Graves nodded a third time. The man looked over his shoulder. “As you were.” he said quietly. The entire room seemed to forget what had just happened over the past two minutes, including Cainan, who went back to tending the counter. “There. That’s better. Now-” The man cut himself off as he observed Graves’s face, mouth hanging wide open. “It's the hood isn't it? Of course it’s the hood. Everyone hates the hood. I never figured why.” Graves still stared. “Hey, Victor, still with me?” The man whistled at him and snapped his fingers as if Graves was a dog. “Allow me to introduce myself, I owe you that much. I am Peace. That’s what I prefer to go by at least, I’ve been given too many names to count. Too many that I firmly disagree with, but I digress! My apologies once again, Victor, my mind tends to wander more often than I would like it to.” Peace noticed Graves, looking more confused than ever. “Where are my manners, I’ll put down the hood, will that make you more comfortable, Victor?”

Peace took the silence as a yes and removed his hood. His face, bright and lively, completely contradicting his macabre aura. His bright blonde, slicked back hair stuck out almost as much as his teeth, white as snow, that shimmered in the dim lighting of the bar. His smile, genuine and smooth, like he enjoyed playing with Graves. His eyes, shining bright with colors of grey and orange, fixed upon Graves as he glared back fearfully. “There, that’s better. Now, Victor, do you know why I am here?”

“No. No I don’t. I don’t even know who, or what you are.”

“I’ve told you my name, isn’t that enough, my friend?”

“No it isn’t! Stop playing your games, tell me why you’re here, or I’m leaving. Right now.”

“I don’t think you would want to leave, Victor. Plus, where’s the fun in that?” Peace spoke these words with a confident smirk.

“I’m leaving.” Victor rose out of his seat, nodded angrily at Peace, and started to shuffle towards the door.

“C’mon Vicky. What can I say to make you stay? Oh, I know! How about, I took your daughter!”

Victor froze, without turning, and began trembling. Peace smirked as he saw this. He knew he had him now. Victor spoke, angrily, yet weakly at the same time, “What did you say?”

“See, I can’t tell what you’re mad about. Me calling you Vicky, or me telling you that I took your daughter! Maybe you’ll stick around and tell me.” Graves turned and charged at him, throwing his body madly like a wild boar. He grabbed Peace’s collar and pinned him against the brick wall next to them. All the while, Peace couldn’t stop laughing. “There he is! That’s the Victor I know so much about! Don’t you feel alive again! I love it! You look exhilarated!”

“Why did you kill my daughter? I should kill you right now! Give me one reason not to!” Graves screamed with tears in his eyes.

“Woah woah, Vicky, I wouldn't go throwing around accusations like that. I told you I took her. I did not kill her. I’m no murderer.”

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“It means I was just doing my job. What I’ve been doing for millenia.”

“What does that even mean-” Graves slowly let go of the collar and stared in awe at Peace.

“Yes. Yes. I am Death. At least that’s what I’m typically called. But I don’t like it. It sounds so gaudy. Too negative for me. Same with the ‘Grim Reaper.’ I mean, c’mon that sounds even more morose and depressing. It literally has the word ‘Grim’ in it. You know me Vicky, I’m pretty happy-go-lucky!” Peace stared at Victor’s puzzled face. “Ah, of course, you must wonder how I create peace, taking innocents and all that. I am not an all powerful being my friend, as must as I wish I was.” Peace winked. “For the wicked to die, the innocent must eventually share the same fate. I do not control humans, not entirely at least. I am fair and just. My work ends suffering instead of creating it. I give the deceased rest. Is there not a greater gift, Victor? Would war ever end if I did not make it so? In death there is peace. The work I do creates peace, therefore, I am Peace. A more fitting name, but you have no idea how hard it is to get that name around. Because you know, working with the dead and all that. Though I do love my job, it pays well and-” Victor Graves stared, blank and unmoving. “What? Am I boring you?” Peace spoke softly with real concern in his voice. “My apologies, Vic. You know how my mind likes to wander off. Once again. I digress! I’m sure you have questions for me, don’t you Victor?”

“Why..” Graves became choked up.

“Are you feeling alright? Maybe another drink will help you relax. Scotch and soda, yes?

Hey, you! Barkeep! That’s what they’re called right?” Peace asked innocently.

“Just call him Cainan.” Graves responded, throat still dry and hoarse.

“That’s Cainan, huh? Abraham Cainan. Sounds awfully biblical, doesn’t it?” Peace raised an eyebrow, and made a face of sudden surprise. “Wait, what was your daughter’s name again? Abigail? Cainan and Abigail. Ha! Man, I love irony.”  

Cainan came by and placed the drink in front of Graves, who gulped it down in an instant. Graves gave Cainan a hateful glance before looking back at Peace. “What do you mean by that?”

“Well you see, Victor, as few actually know, I am not without remorse. When I observe these tragedies, I show emotion, believe it or not. You’re daughter, Abby, she was a lovely one, you raised her so right. Well, as right as you could’ve I suppose. But you still couldn’t protect her, could you? But that’s not your fault though.” Victor’s eye twitched in anger. “Now, I have a job to do, the job that I would like to be more known for.”

“And what would that be?”

“To bring peace. Without death, there is no peace. Putting it simply, I will bring you and Cainan peace. For example, if I told you a purely hypothetical scenario.” He said this with a wink. “In which, say, Cainan kidnapped your daughter. What would you do then Victor? What would you do if your loyal friend who comforted you all this time, knowing perfectly well that the words were meaningless, was actually the reason for their lack of meaning?” His plastic smile widened to a disturbing grin, filled with malicious intent.

“I’d kill him.”

“Ah! Of course you would, any sane person would really. And what if, the room we were in right now happened to be empty, besides the two of us, and Cainan?” Peace snapped his fingers and all of the patrons simultaneously rose and walked outside. “What would you do then, Vicky?” Victor looked down at his phone. “Oh, but you wouldn’t call the police now, would you? You know what could happen. Why let him get off that easy? They might not even find enough evidence to put him away. As a matter of fact, I’m sure they wouldn’t.” He winked again. “I’d like to help you out with this hypothetical. So, let’s make a bargain! I would be lying if I told you that I didn’t know where Abigail was. I would also be lying if I told you that I could not take you to her. How does that sound, my friend? You don’t call the police, you ‘deliver’ Cainan to me personally, I take you to Abigail. It’s a win-win. Now Victor, do we have a deal?” Peace reached out one hand and smiled brightly.

Victor looked down at his hands, and reached one out as well.

“This is how my job pays well.” Peace’s grey-orange eyes lit up.

 

Floyd Abbott settled himself upon his favorite barstool, ordering the usual whiskey. His bartender, Cecil, approached him with the drink.

“On the house.”

“Thanks.” Floyd made a depressing face that could barely be considered a smile.

“Yeah, of course. Have a good night, Floyd.” Cecil flashed him a smile and walked towards the other end of the counter.

Floyd raised his drink weakly, focusing his attention, nowhere in particular, until the bar door swung open and a tall hooded man stretched inside. Even though his face was covered by the dark lighting cast by his hood, Floyd Abbott could swear that the man was smiling.

 


© Copyright 2018 Cameron Sperling. All rights reserved.

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