The Devil and Sarah All

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The Devil makes a formal visit to a young woman

Submitted: April 21, 2009

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Submitted: April 21, 2009

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The Devil and Sarah All

alt

All Circumstances and names are strictly coincidental and not mean to represent any living persons.

Canto I

Sarah looked in the mirror and stroked her pretty brown hair. She needed this time alone in the bathroom. Her clear green eyes looked back at her from the mirror and she almost grinned but her mother's words came back into her head and she remembered, all too well, the litergy:

"Jealousy, is a "green-eyed monster"....", and so she now rather blushed at the eye colour and could not meet the gaze of her own green eyes.

She was a short legged young woman with a bantam body and was quick to temper. Her mother was the same build and height but for some reason always seemed taller and fairer. Her second glance in the mirror made her cheeks redden and blush and she wondered where she inherited the passion of this blood. Her mother...she reasoned.

"Well, it is all fine for Mina...." Mina was her older sister. "Mina is more mature than you are....." She threw the hairbrush on the sinktop, impatiently and sighed as though her heart was breaking. This day she played a bad game with herself and turned out the bathroom light and closed her eyes. "BLOODY MARY, BLOODY MARY, BLOODY MARY, BLOODY MARY, BLOODY MARY, BLOODY MARY". she chanted over and over again.
She was bored with everything you see...and her face pushed with the effort. She flicked the light back on and gazed in the mirror.

(It was a game she learned at summer-camp) A battered woman appeared for a moment, in place of her reflection. (Sarah expected this...)

She was holding the bloodied, beaten image of an infant baby. Sarah's breath did an intake as she gasped in horror. The swollen eyes of the false modonna contemplated Sarah for an instant and the aborted baby's hands reached out helplessly, limply, and all was gone in a flash of light. She shrank back in fear, dropping the hairbrush with a clatter. The mirror cleared and now it was a man with green skin and devil horns.

Sarah bit her knuckles. "THE DEVIL!!!" she gasped.

"NO shit..." he answered, doing a comic double-take. He moved closer to the glass and fogged it slightly with his breath as though he was looking for a way into the room from another window. "You do this act under-water?" he asked, sarcastically.

"You're not real!" she shrank back, closing her eyes and counting to ten. (N/G-he was still there....) He smiled. His teeth were filled with mildew and maggots that crawled. "I am real enough..." he smiled. "....and you did call me.."

"me?" she asked. The devil just looked at her and she understood he meant "yeah" without his even nodding.

"Don't feel you are singular." he bantered. "I make a routine visit like this to most woman in their lives at one time or another. (Doesn't your mother tell you anything?") he quipped. Now Sarah did a double-take.

If she had run from the room, at that moment, all might have fared better. She was suddenly possessed with an overwhelming curiousity about the monster.

"So.....LIKE....what do you want?" she asked, composing herself and stroking her lovely hair with the brush she picked up from the floor.

"YOU CALLED ME-I DIDN'T CALL YOU.....IDIOT WOMAN..." he countered. "Daughter of Eve!" he sneered.

She caught his eyes and she froze at that title. "....You called me WHAT?" she asked.

"let it go at that..." he said suavely. "Your heart knows the meaning...I am here because you called me with your yearnings and your need. You are here to make an agreement with me and I am here to listen."

"Well....." she pondered, looking at his animal ugliness, "I just hate being jealous of my sister....and that's all." She put the brush on the toilet bowl top and freshed her hair with two hands. "and now if you will excuse me..." she brushed his conversation aside and reached to turn out the bathroom light. Suddenly a horrible cramp hit her mid-section. She cried out in pain and doubled over.

"But I DON'T excuse YOU!" he said, coming very close to the mirror. "Who do you think you are talking to? ...because I can do this..." he motioned and this shooting pain ran up her spine. She spasmed backwards.

"or this!" he laughed and a pounding pain appeared in her head that was so lurid she saw stars. "STOP!" she cried. "You better know what you're playing with...." he cautioned. "you are here to make a deal and deal I will or I will dismiss YOU and leave you with pain that stays with you your whole life and I can make sure that is very long....." he sneered. His foul breath issued through the mirror at her and to her horror and astonishment, Sarah noticed the glass was gone.

"You are a pretty girl...", the devil surmised. "Certainly, not beautiful. I will make you incredibly beautiful." he said simply. "You are clever, in certain respects...." he continued his scrutany. "...but simple and childish. I will make you brilliant. Would that please you?" he asked. Sarah nodded numbly. She was quite afraid of him by now.

"For a period of five years." he dictated. "Then I fetch you, body and soul."

he pointed with his dirty, overlarge fingernails. Sarah shrank back and covered her face. "FIVE YEARS, SARAH..".the voice said.

Canto II

Sarah sat at the table moving spilt sugar grains around with her fingertips...

Her mother was animate about her new boyfriend, Ralph. "We go round and round and upside-down heah-heh...." she sang, playfully as she washed a sink full of dirty dishes.

She looked at her daughter, Sarah, playing with sugar grainulars...."What ever is the matter?" she asked.

Sarah didn't answer right off.

"Mom" she negated. "..have you ever been called a "Daughter of Eve?...."

"We are all 'daughters of Eve" she tossed, playfully. "Just like men are "sons of Adam"..she was thinking about how nice her hair would look when she tied it in a rooster-tail this day. Today was the state fair and she owned a Belgian workhorse that looked as muscular as Arnold Schwatznegger....it was sure to win a prize. A blue ribbon.....it was a stupid horse but "well-worked".

"Why do you ask such a question?" she quarried. She scanned Sarah briefly with her green eyes. They were like spring searchlights.

Sarah felt the scan but continued playing with the sugar. "I mean...." she went on, trying to act neutral. "Have you ever actually been called that?"

Her mother, Genie, homed in on her with her attention. "You met another boy...."

"Well..not exactly..." she tried to explain."Listen!", her mother said. "I don't want you going out with boys yet....you are too young and you are far too ...." she fished for a word. "...attachable...."

Sarah rolled her eyes at her mother. Adults were just so predictable with what they said and never paid attention to nuances.

"What was my father like?" she asked and she beamed her mother with her own green flashlights. She had hit a vulnerable spot and she knew it.

Her mother turned her back on her and continued the dish chore.

"Your dad was a beautiful man. He was a stupid bum...but he was a beautiful man...." she rearranged an errant tear around the side of her full cheekbones. "...he could make you laugh." she half-sobbed and laughed. "...he was so funny....you remind me of him sometimes...."

"Do I look like him?" she asked.

"You have his eyes." Genie answered. "I have your eyes too Mom..." Sarah countered. Sarah was getting "confrontational" again and Genie was too practiced to be drawn in.

"You want to ask me a serious question...????" Genie's eyes were now fully focused on her daughter and she took off her dish washing apron and gave her-her full attention.

Sarah knew her last question would do this-she was one step ahead.

"Mom I..." she started out, but her eyes blurred with tears. Her mother gathered her in her arms like one of the farm animals she worked with every day. "...I don't look like my sisters....I kind of look like you....I..." she blurted" I...almost think I might be "Chinese"...." she sobbed. "my sisters tell me that I am...????"

"Chinese?" her mother echoed, and laughed softly, but not hurtfully. "...your father was a no-good third generation Sicilian/Irish/Nowegian....you are a...." she fished for a word. "An all-American." she chuckled, when she found the right adjunct. She patted her daughter's head and stroked her pretty hair and rocked her. "You are just getting your "Period"...her mother sensed. It is your first one and you are a woman now instead of a young girl. This is all normal. Don't be upset." she looked at her daughter, timelessly.

"C'mon "China" she clipped, affably, pushing her aside. "We have to get ready to leave....we are burning daylight and we have a lot of ramming to do this day!!!"

Canto III

Angelo Hallohan glowered in the fall air outside the bar. "Those f''ckers" he exclaimed, in an ugly voice. "Who do they think they are..."

He wore the rags of a shirt they had had torn off him in two and, when he had challenged the toughest rogue of the evening, they all double teamed him-when he was winning the bar-fight and threw him out the door on his butt. His cheeks smoldered. "If he was winning they would have left me alone to get my ass kicked..." he surmised. "Miserable Lumberjacks!" he cursed the sky.

A late fall thunderstorm came into the air as he weaved home on the backroads with his small Triumph Spitfire. The rain was so hard he had to slow down to a crawl to see the road. He was thinking of Milton's "Paradise Lost" and thought...."The Devil always comes to earth "Windershins"...." (that is to say, counter clockwise.....) "They say he spirals in, so as to avoid a conflict with the "four guardians" who watch the corners of the earth: Michael, Uraiel, Raphael and Gabriel....."

A lightening bolt hit the earth in front of his car. He jerked the car to a halt and revved the engine. The wires were getting wet and the car was starting to miss slightly. "Man is not meant to be alone...." he thought. "Why am I alone tonight....? IT MEANS SOMETHING!!!!!!"

He got out of the small car and tore the remnants of his ruined shirt off his back and threw them on the ground. Where was his woman? He began to cry, self-pityingly, and then grew angry at the universe. All the world was filled with working people who had jobs and women that made homes warm for all but him. Another lightning flash sounded nearby. Everyone was warm and comfortable but him. In a nearby white painted framed house, an elderly woman felt for her husband's comforting shoulder, scented the comforting "musk" of his labors and sighed contentedly that she was loved and jolted slghtly at the thunder-bolt and made herself a spoon-shaped to fit his body contours..

Not so in Angelo's case....He looked on the side of the road and found a large treebranch. "Come and get me...." , he challenged, blinking into the downpour. He ran into a field and held the 8 foot branch upright, like an erection. "Come and get me..." he bowed his neck in supplication and made rude gestures. "Oh Please GOD Get Me...unless you are a coward, too......" he begged. The lightning struck all around him but never touched his stick. Each time, he prepared himself for a terrific jolt but it never came. "I'm NO-GOOD!" he yelled. "Kill me.....KILL ME! I SCREWED THE FIRE QUEEN." he grinned and taunted and then cried.

They were "beer tears", so God never bothered to listen....

The lightening abated and he felt a terrific sense of disapointment that he had to live another day of "quiet desperation"....he made it home and fell asleep in a stupor.

When he awoke in the morning he was suprised to see he had slept with a stick!??

Canto IV

Sarah had indeed grown more beautiful as time ran on. She had a pallour and a transluescency of facial coloration that could make her show her moods, like a chemellion. Her art teacher had introduced her to two visiting artists and they could not take their eyes off her face and the way it shifted when she changed moods or angles. They had photographed her but were always annoyed that they could not "capture" her....

She had no patience for these fools.

She had a mind of her own now. "Idiots" she thought. "They look at an ass as though it was an apple or a pear....when it is only an ass....after all. That sits on a toilet seat and evacuates itself....they are fools....they have asses also....can't they see that?" They made her angry. (She had learned that her biological father had been an artist.)

She found them fools, and could only sympathize with her mom, that, he may have been a "beautiful man" but he was an idiot.

She was carrying a straight "A" gpa in high school and had almost forgotten about that mirror incident. However, one day in the girl's bathroom another coincidence occured:

She was a cheerleader and was brushing her pretty hair. All the other girl's had left the lav and she was quite alone.

"PIP, PIP, PIP!" he darted. "HERE I AM.!!!!!" he laughed-green skin and all.... "DO I PLEASE YOU?" he questioned. He appeared in the mirror and was as ugly as ever.

"You disgust me...!" she admitted.

"I can hurt you..." he threatened.

"Go ahead, you coward...."she said. "You can't take pain yourself.....and you know you have to deal with it yourself day-to-day....(she taunted) ".....I will deal with it....OK?" she challanged him.

"I can't get at you anymore...." the devil admitted. "I can get at a person you don't know....."

The hairbrush froze in her hands. "What would you have to say about your biological father....." he teased.

"You leave him alone...." she threatened with the hairbrush. She felt impowered and as tall and fair as her mother. It was an odd feeling. "You just leave him be!" she counter-threatened.

I just think I'll just give him a "Night on the Town"...the devil taunted.

"I'll give him one or two...on you...." he smirked. "Maybe five or six Sarah...." he laughed.

***

Angelo went limp as he drank the fifth shot of Leroix blackberry brandy and swished it down with a beer.

"Some say the Devil is dead

=the devilis dead, the devil is dead...." he crooned in a drunken baratone/tenor.

"Some say the devil is dead so ear-lie in the morning....

some say he rose again some say he rised again,

I say he rose again and joined the British Army....."

"Hey Billy..." he asked. "Can I break this shotglass of yours here and pay you for it.? I don't want to get in trouble or anything, so I thoughtI should ask"

It is getting late, Angel and I have to close.Do me a favor and get the F$%k out"

Angelo threw his hat on the bar.....he saw the bar "bouncers" move in close in three directions...they all understood the meaning of a hat on the bar....

Billy took a roll of dimes out of the cash register and held it in his fist. "Do you see this?" he asked Angel....

Angel looked from the door to the fist and at the three bouncers..

"Do you understand THIS?" he asked, holding his genitals mockingly.....he threw his punch at the biggest and tallest of them all and knocked him out cold with a dead sucker shot to the chin..

Canto V

How she knew to show up at that moment with the greatest football player in the county was a miracle. They were just starting to stomp Angel's ribs...

They almost caught Angelo as he was thrown out of the pub. Sarah was as tall as he and counter-wheighted him into the back of the van. Her boyfrind, Noah, was a huge boy and acted as a center:

"We don't need any more trouble here." he grinned like an ape and watched their backfield. The bar trash moved away from their prey, grumbling.

"OW, OW, OW" Angel said to his unrecognized biological sibling. "The cops are on the way..." he sang..floridly. "Get the hell outta here....Ow!" he coughed, spitting up a clot of blood.

"Whoever you are...." he said, sullenly. "I have always relied on the kindness of strangers" he flipped, as he passed out for the night.

Canto VI

"he cannot stay here!",

her mother protested.

"they were kicking his ribs in...." Sarah defended.

"he's been kicking his own ribs in for a long time before you met him...." her mother confessed. "and how the hell you managed to find out who he is quite frankly it baffles the hell outta me."
She looked at her daughter curiously. (Inquiring minds want to know....)

"Mom" she pleaded.

"NO" Genie held up a finger. "HE IS BAD NEWS!.....GOT IT? GOT IT?" she asked again. "If your Father knows he is anywhere around here he will go outside and kill him with his deer rifle...."

Sarah buried her face in her hands. She was miserable.

Sarah stayed for a long time in the back of the van studying her "biologial father"and his features. He didn't look like a movie star he was rather-almost too normal. He was not what you would call good looking but he was not ugly either. In the end, the only thing she could say for certain was that he looked good-"for an older man".

"Pat?" he coughed. from time to time in his sleep....he coughed up clots of blood onto a paper towel he kept in his pocket and brought it out regularly.

He opened his eyes and asked Sarah, "Can you take me to Layman Road?" she brushed his featherey gray hair with affection and pity. "We need to see "The Babe..." he encouraged. "please take me there...."

The lights were going on in her house and she could visualize her father ("Father?') loading his deer rifle to kill Angelo.

"I would appreciate that..." Angel ran on....the front door opened and Sarah was in the driver's seat in a flash.

"Sarah" her mother yelled. "Sarah!!!!!! It's ok....his brother is coming to pick him up!"
but Sarah had Angel in tow in the back of the van and heard none of this. She put the van in gear and "rammed".

Canto VII

Sarah pulled into the drive of the old abandoned bar/restaurant. The stars sparkled clearly in the early morning hours and a huge oak tree spread its sillouetted branches dispersing stars with leaf. It was a good feeling place to be. She climbed into the back of the van to check Angelo.

Who are you?" he farted soundfully. "You may not believe this?" she grinned. "I think I am your daughter...."

Angel sat up as sober as a judge and scrutinized her for a moment. "I have no childen...."
"That I know of...." he admitted.

She mentioned her mother's name. "yeah'r" , he snickered. "...the mother's baby; the father's "maybe"...he said, as though he were reciting a limerick. Sarah hated him for a second. "I screwed the "Fire Queen" he raised his large arms and laughed helplessly. "They never let you in when you're from outside....so I screwed the Druid princess....tell me another one.....everyone around here treats me liked I screwed their mother or sister...or wife....the only thing I didn't screw was their cows...excuse me....do you have a cigarette?" he asked politely.

"I don't smoke...." Sarah said.

("He is Bad News....." her mother told her, and now she saw it also.)

A face appeared at Sarah's elbow-next to the side-view mirror. She jumped. It was only Babe. He was scarey though....he had widld gray hair and a face that was neither masculine or feminine. "Angel" he yelled in a muffled voice, "What're you doing?"

"...being introduced to my "daughter" he quipped. "...another one....I apparently sired in my years of rousing. (She saved me from an ass-kicking though tonight....)"

"Yeah..."Babe murmered, "she's not half bad...."

"be more respectful...." Angelo said. "She might be a Dellasandro...."

"Oh...." he said, remembering his manners. He bowed courtfully, "My name is Vincent...." he introduced himself.

Canto VIII

"They were kicking my guts out" Angel explained, as they helped him out of the back of the van....."and she appeared, like an angel and rescued me with this big bruiser of a boyfriend who cowed them all.....you should have saw it. I knocked the first bouncer out with a left hook.....where did he go to anyway..." Angel looked around. "I need to thank him.....that large boy...."

"He is only a neighbor...." Sarah explained.

"Well you could do worse...." Angel exclaimed. "Ow!!!!!!" he spat out another clot of blood and wiggled a loose tooth..

"You had a night for yourself" Babe chuckled.

"It's not very funny..." Sarah frowned.

"No, it isn't". Babe said candidly, losing his mirth. "Laugh and the world laughs with you..." he said sagely. "...cry and you...."

"...Cry Alone" Sarah finished for him. He looked at her pointedly. "You are well-read....as well as pretty." he said softly.

"I will make us all a pot of coffee". he offered, politely.

Angelo sipped at his coffee and looked at his admitted daugher...."You are pretty, like your mother." he noted, sipping his coffee. "You have her eyes..."he noted, "as well as mine. But she and I had eyes that were alike...." he snorted.

"So how is she?" he asked-almost frightened by the answer.

"She's doing well..." she answered, matter-of-factly.

"She still with"Barf"....he asked sarcastically. "Ralph!" she correcteted.

"I knew it was a synonymn for PUKE!" he offered helpfully. Sarah frowned. "He is like my real father..." Sarah looked at him, dangerously. "Don't make fun of HIM!" she stood up and paced the abandoned restaurant and bar. "...at least he was always there for me!"

"They stole you from me...." Angelo protested. "...they didn't care whose baby you were were-as long as they could say you weren't mine. Understand?" he bullied back. "Miserable HICKS..." now he stood up and began pacing.

"I HAD NO OPTIONS...." he tried to explain. "I knew she was pregnant.....but she was still playing the field.....I, at least loved her.....they took her and you from me because I was from New Jersey and she was the Upstate Fire Queen....."

"I don't want to talk about this anymore." Sarah said with finality, understnding the truth of it.. "I have to go home....I'm in trouble enough.....my "Dad" wants to kill you......" she admitted.

"Well maybe he should have....." Angelo confessed. "The dumb "sons of the land" can play-act like I was never here....passion never was, and re-invent Puritanism and witchcraft if they both like....but they stole you from me, like the poaching bastards they are....so now you know the truth....."

"I will not listen...." , Sarah held her ears and shook her head.

The "Babe" interveined: "Be a little gentle here Angelo...this is your first family squabble." he chuckled.

"My sisters always told me I was Chinese." she blurted, innocently.

"No you are not Chinese...." Angelo hissed. "You are...." he began. "You have other, younger sisters......" he understood, defeatedly. He sat down and looked at the wall, retching his stomach. His drinks were catching up to him. He ran into the abandoned "LadiesRoom" of the old restaurant and began to vomit in the toilet. "Ralph, Ralph, Ralph...." he seemed to say.

Babe looked at her amusedly. "Um....." he blushed. "do you play backgammon?" he asked.

"He still loves my mother...." Sarah understood. "Doesn't he......??? He didn't know she had other children after me. She looked as though she had been hit and felt her biological father's pain.

Babe ignored the question, diplomatically. "I have some cookies and, OH a crumbcake in the kitchen if you would like some." he averted his eyes from her question.

Her dad smelled badly when he at last issued from the old "ladies Room'. he smelled like beer puke.

"Now I need to use the "Ladies Room" she announced.

"Um....Um....Um....." Babe stuttered. "Be careful in there.....the toilet and plumbing is very fragile...."

she sat on the toilet and evacuated her bladder. When she went to the sink to wash her hands, he was right there again in the mirror...

"So what do you think of your DADEEE?" he laughed, from the mirror. He was like a reptile or frog.

"I think he's....very sad....." she admitted. She ran the cold water and let it splash over her fingers and palms and splashed it on her face to keep herself awake..

"Your "other dad" is coming here to shoot him with his deer gun." the devil smirked.

"...put him out of his misery..."....the devil crossed his legs comfortably on the reflected sink in the "other" bathroom. "Could that please you?" he laughed like a false god...

Sarah knew better now than to let him know her true thoughts. "Enjoy your meagre-self." she exclaimed, truthfully. She was no longer afraid of him. He was only a taunter and a grafter of others' dreams...she almost pitied his sloth...and lack of any true dreams. He was a "spoiled child" that simply chided everyone for dreams he was too nasty or lazy to work for....

Canto IX

Sarah was like a tigress. She went to the mirror and hissed at him, like a giant cat.

"When did you ever have an original thought of your own...' she growled. Her green eyes turned as large as a panther's and yellow. She backed up the devil. He stuck out his bottom lip and made a 'boo-boo" face.

"Lose your "Dad" he chided...or lose your "Biological Dad...." he smiled with his maggoty grin.

"I signed no agreement with you...." she admitted. "Show me my writ?" she challanged.

"It is five years, to the day since you called: "Bloody Mary.....and me..." the devil challanged. "Have I not made you beautiful? Have I not made you gorgeous.."
"You were "Pathetic" he ran on".....now you are pretty and genius..." he cajouled. "You are "Electra" or "Cassanda", he chuckled.

"I am only me....'China"....she cried, closing her eyes, tearfully.

She heard the sound of her dad's pick up pulling in the driveway/parking lot. She didn't have to look to know he had his deer rifle. HE DID!

"Angelo!" he bellowed, "I want my daughter....YOU GIVE HER BACK NOW......"

Angelo came out from a pile of garbage in the parking lot, where he was sleeping, unseen. He grabbed the deer gun and rapped Ralph in the side of the head with the deer rifle stock and pointed it at the surrogate driver. "Take him and get the f*%k out of here...." he said, seriously. "You don't belong here..."he elaborted. "I screwed the "Fire Queen! and you can't undo it!"

Angelo fired the cocked chamber of the deer rifle in the floor of the truck, next to Ralph's head. The driver looked at him frantically and said: "We will be back, you know, and there will be more of us..."

"Bring your young "heffers" also and pretend I screwed them also....you miserable jerk-o@@'s. "He recocked the lever-action. "Next time I will shoot just you, right off... (he told the driver) "...you come back here and see me again "Jizz"......" he challanged. The pick up truck took off... and Angelo spit on the ground

*

Sarah watched her biological dad break the gun to pieces with flagstone pieces from a farmer's wall..... she heard rumours he had been a NAVY seal in VietNam.

"Those miserable hicks...." he exclaimned. "Do they really think they can "undo" me....."

There was a terrible preminition in both Sarah's and Angelo's heads.

"he shouldn't have bullied us like that', Angelo explained. She shook her head sadly.

"I hate bullies....." she blurted, innocently. "I won't tolerate it..." he admitted. "...for you or for me....."

"Have you ever met the devil?" she asked him. (Right off)

He looked at her and smiled. "I met a troubleload of devils...."

She put her sibling hand on his arm; "No Angelo, I mean the real devil.' She looked in his eyes signifigantly.

...he continued breaking up the deer rifle with rocks.

"Do you think the "Devil" is real? she asked.

Her "biological dad" looked, farsightedly, and said, truthfully, "...evil is real Sarah...VERY REAL!. I have seen it on stormey nights. I have called it to me (...and this doesn't include you...) he added, as an afterhought.

'Can he hurt you? she asked, innocently.

Angelo considered, "I hurt myself with dreams that cannot be....the devil is not as inventive as all that. Sarah...." he informed her absentmindedly.

"What if he came for you?" she asked, helplessly.

'welll.....I guess I would just tell him to go back to hell...." Angelo laughed. She pulled away from him, miserably unsatisfied with her "Bio-Dad"and his weird "logic"..

Or restore your mother to my side again..I loved her so bad...." he chuckled. "I would sell my soul for that," he teased. "To the devil'...."

Sarah hushed his mouth with her hands. "Don't ever say that...." He took her hands away. "Hell is being without the one you loved the most in life."

"Pat?" she asked.

Angelo looked as he was struck. "You picked up on a name and now you leave it at that...." he cautioned, narrowing his eyebrows.

"You whacked my dad with his deer gun...he will be back here you know....with his brother, the State Trooper....."

"SCREW YOUR ERSATZ DAD!!!!!!" Angelo said bitterly....."....that can be your mother's regret." he muttered, sarcastically.

"His name is Herman..."

she cautioned.

"Well Herman can drop dead like Ralph...." Angel laughed. "I have no use for either of them."

"They mean to castrate you.....' she told him, honestly. "...like a bull...."

Canto X

"What is this?" he laughed, "..... an old Tennessee Williams movie...." Angelo guffawed.

"They hate you badly....' she admitted. "They do?", he snorted. "What reason does this other man have to hate me.....what did they do co-sponser your half-sisters?" he lauged in a nasty way that reminded her of the devil.

They both walked back into the unused restaurant and sat with Babe.

alt

"Ask Babe about the devil...." Angelo said. "He can tell you everything you want to know because he is a "Fra Diavelo".....Angel teased. "A brother to the devil....."

Angelo laid on the couch and kicked off his shoes. His feet smelled like festering mushrooms. His toenails were so untrimmed that his feet looked like a dragon's talons and had broken through the filthy socks.

"He was worse...." Babe explained, "when your mother and he both broke up......believe it or not, he's gotten better......"

"Do you really know ALL about the devil?" Sarah asked.

The Babe wrinkled his eyes in humour, "What would you like to know about him?" he laughed softly. "He's just a 'horney-guy' like the rest of us trying to get a piece of swag..."

Angelo objected. "....you talk respectfully to her now", he corrected. "...she IS a Dellisandro...." he protested.

"The Devil" Babe went on, in a scholarly manner. "Do you know that the first time he stepped upon this planet we call Earth that sparks shot from his cloven hoofs and those gambling utensils we call "dice" shot from the sparks of his hoofs as soon as he touched the first stone of this planet."

Sarah looked at him wide-eyed.

"The Arch Angels guard the "four corners" of the earth....East, West, North and South....but when Saten visits the Earth he must, by necessity, go "Winder-Shins"-that is to say: Counter-Clockwise. It is for this reason that most tornados move counter clockwise and why they are so destructive.

"Babe's "Fractured Fairy-Tails".....Angelo quipped, from the couch. "That's why he goes to AC all the time and shoots "craps".....

"Go on....." she prompted, ignoring Angelo. "...And when Jesus died on the cross...isn't it unusual", he continued in an annoyed overly-loud voice, "...that the Roman soldiers used these same dice to 'cast lots' for his scraps of clothing....."

"...are you afraid of him?" she asked.....a little too frantically. "No, honey....."he laughed, kindly. "What makes you talk so wild.....???" he laughed and took her hands concerned.

"I worry...." she began. Babe scratched his head absent-mindedly. "She's frightened of the devil...." Babe ran on to himself. "...in this day and age....." he chuckled and Sarah frowned. "No.....I'm not making fun...." he admitted. "It's not bad to have a little fear of things we don't understand.....no devil stands a chance with a pretty girl like you that is so smart..." he muttered.

He took out a worn wallet that had seen better days...and fished through all the papers and when at last he had sorted through used bills of sales for cars that were long gone and expired drivers licenses he found at last a worn out and ancient "Holy Card". The card had an icon of St. Michael the Arch-Angel casting a horrible dragon into a pit of flames. "Take this!" Babe exclaimed. "That is an Arch-Angel (and devils hate the "Archs"...) he laughed. "There is even a prayer on the back for you to say to invoke the angel."

The back of the card read:

Dedicated to the memory of Angelina Dellisandro

"Angel of God,

My guardian dear,

To whom God loves,

Permit me near,

Ever this day,

be at my side,

to light and guide,

to rule and shine, Amen"

"Will it help?" she asked. "Well...."he reasoned, "It can't hurt...." he tossed. "There are Angels as well as devils."

Another car was heard pulling into the defunct parking lot on top of the hill. Angelo sat up, erect and alert.

"It's my mom...." Sarah rolled her eyes.

"Genie!!!" Angelo shouted, half afraid and part glad.

"SHE DOESN"T WANT TO SEE YOU!!!!!!" Sarah informed him.

"Well that's "tough shit" he said. "All of what she had wanted and not wanted for years is why we are all here now......"somone needs to tell her what a spoiled little bitch she really is and it may as well be me."

"She won't even talk to YOU" Sarah flipped. She wiped back her long brunette hair and snorted the way Angelo remembered her mother used to. She reminded him of her just then and he missed her mother sorely.

He had to smile at how snotty this young woman was and he sort of felt she was maybe his real daughter, just then, because of her snottiness and disposition.

Canto XI

Sarah came out from behind the same pile of garbage her biological dad issued from to "ambush" her Dad.

"Sarah!" she was calling, like she called for an animal or pet she worked with in the fields. "What?" Sarah asked suprising her, from her elbow. "Get in the truck" Genie said abrubtly, forgetting her suprise.

"he whacked your father in he head with his own deer rifle....." Genie frowned.

"He broke up the deer rifle with stones from a wall." she informed her mom, triumphantly. "They are right behind me..." Genie exclaimed, "and they are going to ream him a new ass! We don't need to be here for that"

"He is not a bad man..." she defended. "He may be a "Bad Mirace" she admitted, but so is Babe (Vincent) she corrected. Her mother snorted and pulled back her dirty blonde hair and tossed it.

Angel now re-ambushed her mother from behind the blind. He took Genie in his arms and picked her off the ground. "Genie!" he sobbed.

At first, she fought him, but being off the ground there was not too much she could do to fight him. "Put her down, put her down!" Sarah yelled.

Angel let Genie down slowly, smiling at Sarah, and buried his face in her clothing like a big dog so he could smell/sense her again. Know that she was real.

"Stop "snorting her" Sarah protested. Angel seemed like a big dog. She saw something else though. She saw the ardor in his eyes. A thrill ran through her and suddenly she knew it was that same passion and ardor that had made her, Sarah. "MOM " she begged,asking the whole world for just a little compassion. The devil had made her, quick to reckon and she sensed it all.

Genie stiffened her entire body and suddenly went limp and conformed to all the hollows of Angelo's body. She formed into an almost perfect female negative cavity of him. "I have missed you so bad these many years baby...." Angelo whispered harshly, "I missed you so badly......I'm not right without you....I am all alone!" he sobbed.

Genie ran her fingers through his hair that had once been golden and curley when they last met, in an animal fashion. She smelled his hair and remembered. It was a lifetime ago, however and the moment was only an instant of weakness. She leant against his body and abruptly pulled away. For a moment he was in heaven and all was right with the world.

"Sarah, we have to go.....you are in trouble." she threatened Angel. "He looked exasperated. "When am I not?" he flumoxed. "I was borne for trouble...and so were you." Genie turned to all elbows and knees and fought her way out of his embrace. She grabbed Sarah and pushed her towards the truck. Angelo made towards them fluidly but then fell limp. He didn't want to fight them.

Sarah looked at him and mouthed softly: "The Police are on their way....the Police are on their way....." Angelo's face burst into a wide grin and he looked at his "maybe" daughter for the last time with a look of comeraderie and a hint of pride.

(You are both MINE in my heart) he mouthed and she smiled at him confidently, missing his meaning.

Canto XII

Helicopters flew overhead and SWAT teams positioned themselves on the the moutaintop.

"I am best suited to communicate with him." Ralph dismissed some of them. "I can negotiate with him......"re-negotiate....." he corrected himself. Another trooper copter flew almost in their faces, like an angry wasp!

"He beat up a bar bouncer...and he's a green beret or somthing like that from Vietnam....."

Herman almost smirked. "Well where can he go? He can't go nowhere....we never let him go anywhere, nor have anything since he's been up here...." he choked on his own mirth. "Me and my boys been hunting that land for years. We'll take care of this....and HIS kind."

Angel took his leave of Babe. "They are coming for me...we always knew...."

"Take one of the shotguns...." Vincent offered.

"No, I....don't want to be "armed"or "heeled"...for Sarah....I don't want her to see me on the news all blasted and torn to shrads....she is a pretty one though..."he answered.

"She's a Peach..." the Babe agreed.

"I hope she was my only child....." Angelo reflected.

"Get to running' Babe told him.

"I'll see you....when I see you..." Angel said, in his homely voice. ..and ran as though the devil was at his back. He was....

"I'll be in Handy's swamp." he told Babe. He took a large Camillus knife in a scabbard with a broad belt and ran out the door.

Handy's Swamp was a parcel of land that had hummocks and thorn bushes. It was water, up to your knees and then thorn bushes that grew at eye level. Crab apple thorns about an inch long. When a deer was shot and hurt or pursued he ran to Handy's swamp so as to discourage being followed. Up to now, the locals were too lazy and ornery to go after a wounded deer they crippled that ran into Handy's...it was only a place for them to die in peace. This day they would be more ambitious...

Angelo felt a sense of relief as he ran into the dank brackish water that was filled with leeches, that he knew so well. He felt like a "boil" or an infection about to break. Sarah was in his mind and memory and he loved the fact that he had sired such a wonderful girl. Having met her, it was all worth the separation and the pain. He had to make a "Masked Camp" and he selected an isle in the center of the swamp with an abandoned bear or coyote den on the undergrowth of the overlarge tree root. There could be no fire....

They might bring in dogs, he surmised. But, being surrounded by water and thorns they wouldn't be able to come in by themselves. They could napalm the swamp, like they did in Nam...but the cost would be absorbant. It would get cold tonight and he needed a way to get around hypothermia. Leaves and branches that are dry...while I can still see and while there's daylight. He wished he had a flask of blackberry brandy.

Canto XIII

Sarah watched her mother argue with the "para-militants" in vain. She climbed out of the van and told her father....."I only drove him up there...." she entreated. "I went to him....he was in trouble..."

He looked at her, like a stranger and grabbed her by the hair, savagely: "You little WHORE!" he shouted. She almost thought he would hit her...."Please dad.....?" she asked. She never saw him like this.

"How long have you been visiting with this man, eh?" She thought she was going to be slapped but her mother interveined.

"You leave her alone!" she hissed, savagely. "There has been nothing done wrong here this day! You knew Sarah was not your child but you said it didn't matter. Besides..." she snickered. "...where can he go....we took care of that long ago....what does he have....NOTHING!!! ...we ALL saw to that....where can he go and what does he have? We never even gave him the time of day...."

Ralph eyed her considering her words. He grew myopic and rubbed the gun smack to the side of his face. "He stole my gun...." he admitted in a dull voice. 'I'll buy you another one..." Genie confided. "by deer season...."

"No" Ralph pondered, "there is more here than just the gun."

"JUST LEAVE IT ALL ALONE!!!!" Genie pulled at her hair as though she were going mad.

Sarah sat in her mother's small pick-up and viewed them argueing in the side view mirror. She saw her dad gestulating to her mother and knew them both so well that she didn't even need to hear the conversation. She knew what they were saying.

In the side view mirror, HE appeared again. The ugly faced demon from hell. "Enjoying yourself yet Sarah?" he laughed. She frowned and feigned boredom. His green skinned talon came out of the side view mirror and grasped her arm. She tried to pull away but was left with an awful deep scratch about five inches long-it bled profusely. He can still hurt me, she realized with new apprehension.

"Mom" she cried out in pain. Her mother and "father" ran to the side of the truck. "he hurt me...." she blurted.

"There you are...." Ralph muttered. "I mean to kill him or worse....LOOK WHAT HE DID TO HER!!!!!" he yelled to the State Troopers....."Just look....' he cried. They all gaped.

Her uncle Herman came over to the side of the truck. He was a State Trooper also. He saw the large scrape and motioned for a first aid kit. "We should have taken care of this pervert a long time ago....." he said as they dressed Sarah's arm. He took his radio and added: "the suspect is to be considered "highly dangerous"-he may be armed."

"He is NOT!" Sarah yelled, ignoring her arm and shrugging off the deputy that was bandaging it. "He broke up a deer rifle and threw the pieces in the woods...ALL I DID WAS DRIVE HIM HOME...."

Angel looked at the lonely tuft of solid ground at Handy's Swamp. It reminded him of the legendary marshes of Avelon where King Arthur was transported to after the last battle. This was no place for a last stand. This was a place to come and die. He was running low on cigarettes and he didn't dare to go back to Babe's. Surrender was no option because he knew they wanted to "punish"...maybe kill him or worse. He could elude them, he thought and make it to the state highway. He had done nothing too wrong that night but punch a snotty bouncer and break up a deer rifle. If he visited any of his known friends he would only bring heat on them and maybe get them victimized by this nepotic group.

He thought of an idea his grandfather taught him when he was a child. It was very basic. When you look at a person, and think you aren't seen....you can always be seen. He who spies can be espied. In the same manner hunters have often become the hunted.

That thought might be prophetic. He decided to visit his old hunting dog's gravesite. It was just as he left it but the rocks were suncken into the earth and grown up with grass. Angelo sat on the ground and patted the stone that was above where the dog's head was way under the ground. "Good Old Jupe" he patted the stone and stroked it as though it was the dog. The trees in the grove still bore the scars of where he rended and tore them that day when he buried the dog. He had been angry at the unfairness of the loss of his dog and tormented the trees in a helpless rage. "I miss you old lady...." he muttered. He reflected for what seemed like a long time.

Soon his thoughts ran to Genie. God, she was as pretty as he remembered. He felt he could easily fall in love with her all over and make all the same mistakes all over again because, at times in life, you realize some mistakes were just pre-programmed into you and you could do nothing less. He lit a wilted cigarette.

He contimplated the clouds and the sun, as an artist...he stood in Handy's swamp and watched the leetches swim for his legs...he thought about his daughter as being a piece of flesh and blood and smiled so hard. "What is hard about copping out?" he asked the skies.

A figure much like Merlin appeared to him and asked: "So you are bugging out?"

"I just wish I could call her MINE!" he said softly, to no one in particular.

He saw red flashing lights from the road and retreated back into the more dense sections of the swamp. The troopers emerged with short barrel riot shotguns and he ran without a thought like an animal he once hunted in his past.

"I am not King Arthur...." he protested to the stars that glittered like, knowing eyes. "...so easy for a god....so fuckin easy...he slid over a slippery clay covered hump and measured his length in cold, brackish water and one inch thorns-a shot was fired and he saw the buckshot rip branches over his head. "You try being this ALONE!" he continued. "HOW LONG DO YOU THINK YOU CAN TAKE IT, YOU BASTARDS....?"

"You'll make me live forever for this?....and take everything I love away from me. ...let them kill me....I can't live like this anymore....that is pain....YOU PLAY GOLF AND POLO! SHIT BAGS and sail to CATALINA!!! EAT AT THE BEST AT STEAK HOUSES? Yeah....you got it all figured out!!!...a good paying job and equity....all it takes is green flash and the more the better....I want to see you when your son or daughter dies before your eyes and your fucking dollars do nothing to help them! I hate you so bad, I hope they die before your eyes....that's how deep I've been scored by hatred. Nepostism has a "swing blade" ya know...I'm HERE...JIZZ-BAGS!" Another shot rang overhead.

"So much for Hubris..." he chuckled, happy they were piss poor shots. And jumped for undergrowth.

Canto XIV

Looking into space, Sarah resembled a Basilisk. In her mind's eye she saw Angelo hunkering in the filth and thorns. She saw him taunting his hunters. Her mother drove the black pickup truck and sang mindlessly: "let's lock the door, and throw away Badeia.....!!!! (Throw away, Throw away, Throw away...) "I'm so glad to seeya.....EHYAH! EEEEEEE-OOOOO! Having a party last night....." She toked on a bone of good reefer, inhaled a deep breathe and offered it to Sarah. Sarah motioned it away. She had too much on her mind for any euphorics.

"Yeah Man..." her mother squinted. "There is blood on the moon tonight."

"Is he really my Dad?" she asked her mother. "Could be...." her mother answered. Sarah riveted her with a look like she gave the devil. "DON"T YOU EVEN KNOW!" she said vehemently.

"You have the scruples of a housecat!" Sarah pulled away from her in disgust. Her mother pulled the car over to the side of the road and grabbed her by the shirt. "Don't you take that tone with me, MISSSY!" she hissed. "I was pregnant and alone....Angelo was out of work. He grabbed odd jobs but had no steady income....he was a drinker and he scared me sometimes."

"....was he violent?" Sarah asked hesitantly. (She had seen him in action earlier....) "No" her mother answered and hugged her daughter. " NOT with me....I didn't want to "sleep around....". I wanted to just be his but he seemed like an "artist bum" of some kind and I needed to find a secure home for you and your sisters....I did what I thought I had to do soooooo....so don't judge me. OK?"

"You don't know for sure, yourself...." Sarah sighed in defeat. Her mother looked at her and rolled her eyes like a panicked horse.

"No" she said, closing her eyes and veiling her daughter from her thoughts.

Sarah thought aloud: "I am a product of manure and blighted genius...." she chuckled a somber laugh that was like a cough. "Not even Earth and Sky....certainly no fire...."

"Have you ever met the devil?" she asked her mother, as an afterthought. "He asked me to remember him to you....."

Canto XV

The undergrowth pulled at Angel's legs and he was overpowered with sadness, for he was thinking of Sarah...and all the things he could never be for her. It was a private "pity party" and he cried for a moment feeling overwhelmed for those mistakes he made in life and what he could not be to her.

He stuck to the gorges and brooks. Had to watch where he was going. He stumbled and fell against a rock twice his size. The tears made eyesight blurrey.

"Wow! Not as young as I once were....Jeez, she was lovely...wasn't she? too lovely to be anything like mine or me....they....want to get me...... they've been doing it.....huffff! for a long time......feeeling my cigaretes this evening...."

"Hufff! Hufffff! Hufffff!" he heard in the distance. It was a familiar sound. "It's Jupe!" he remarked. (he always surmised she would come for him on the day that he died. (his old hunting dog!))

"JUPE!.......JUPE!!!!" he called, smiling. "C'mere you "Old Lady".......where you been? ....I missed you so bad.....badly.

The brush was being stomped by an energetic animal to his his right and to his left....he could see the green folliage moving. "It IS you!" he exclaimed.

You Old Crazy you......." he grinned widely. He half-expected for the brush to push aside and his energetic spaniel to leap into his arms. He welcomed it.

Instead a whitetail fawn jumped in his arms and began to kick him in the face. He wrestled it close to him and it kicked him with its shiney black pointed hooves. He averted his face to avoid the kicks and serations.

It could have been funny if the timing was not so wrong. He grabbed it by the throat in a "kill" hold and the fawn began to blat and relaxed and stopped kicking. He looked at it incuriously. Time stood still for a moment. The infant deer considered him with terror and rolled its eyes.

It sounded like a human infant crying and he let it go sadly. A thin vein of blood ran down his nose where he was kicked. He knew he was being toyed with, in a way, by the universe, but had no time for those considerations. He would rather run than ever kill again.

He saw the blood on his hands and thought it might be the Fawn's. This did not please him.

The small deer ran off into the woods. "Run" he said in a hushed voice. "Run away from me, Please......GO!" he motioned.

He thought of his name. The "Angel" yes....some angel aren't I?" (He had always entertained the idea of being an Arch-Angel)

Wiping the blood on some forest mold he said, "A flawed human being....probably should not even dream of being an angel-let alone an arch angel!" He beat his hands against his jeans and spat.

A car came down the dirt road and he retreated back into the thick woods-fading from sight.

Cato XVI

Sarah walked back and forth like a caged tigress. "Mom!" she wailed. "NO!" her mother answered.

"It is not FAIR....." she pleaded. "....and you know it!"

"LOOK!" her Mother said, relaxing her eyes. "I didn't leave him.....HE LEFT ME!" she sighed.

Sarah studied her mother and knew she was telling the truth. She was floored by the reality of it.

Her mother grew livid. "So your father......Angel.....he is NO angel. Get that out of your head. I know him; YOU DON'T-you see things that aren't..."

"you couldn't forgive him that....." Sarah said, looking into the past and seeing the truth. She looked into her mind and saw it all like a movie on HBO....

She saw Angel, years ago, looking for her mother and sitting on a porch. She saw him waiting for hours and not knowing where to go and being miserable-not knowing where her mother was.

"...there is nothing sadder than being in love and not knowing HOW to find the person you are in love with." Sarah sighed, seeing the past.

She opened her eyes again. "He didn't even know HOW to find you......he didn't even begin to know where to look for you!" she looked at her mother, Genie, bitterly. "Oh, he loved you!" she said, breathlessly. "It was so cruel of you to dissapear on him like that! ...he...he was so frantic and had no clue! Bad! He almost shot himself over it. I feel it so strong." Sarah held up a hand seeing the rest. He did love you. Better than you loved him. She ran on, "Better than you deserve to know. I felt it last night!"
she averted her eyes from her mother.

"When he held you.....I knew he was my father. I saw my smile in his smile and I saw his laughter in my own laugh. Mom, I saw the moves in his body that are in me and are mine....I am not Chinese....I belong to you both. If you cut him out you are cutting me in two.
You are cutting my love in half!"

Genie snorted. "You are very young and impressionable." she said. "Be careful of making such judgements...."

"You DID BOTH take me from him.....you gave him NOTHING...and took his all! ....now they want to castrate him?
For what? bringing a clean gene pool into this inbred, nepotic area? THAT, is my real father!" she paced back and forth.

Genie looked at her and narrowed her eyes. "You are not too old for me to give you a well-deserved smack in the face!"

"Why?" she looked her Mom in the eye. "Because he fucked the "Fire Queen"!

Sarah received a solid smack in the face for that from her mom. Her mother began to cry. "Never Say That..."

"Tell me about the BOYG*!!!" Sarah exclaimed, looking her mother full in the face; her face reddened and challanging but she never backed down. She was ferocious. "Tell me how he (My Dad) was compromised.?"

Now her mother knew that Sarah had some way of knowing everything! Better not to lie. Her mother was a good lier though. She knew that a great lie is a lie that everyone wants to believe. She pressed her bet and here is what she said: "Well, well well." she flourished her hands. "...everyone talks about the Big Bad Boyg...he's just a nice little piece of darkness who tries to make a decent living...that's all."

Sarah did a double take. "So there is a Boyg? she whispered. (More to herself than anyone else.)

"There's more than that baby." her mother smoothed the hair away from her favorite daughter's brow and blew in her eyes which got Sarah crazy as a piece of nostalgia.

"I HATE THAT MOM!" she gathered herself bolt upright with tightened backbone and fist.

"I know..." her mother laughed like hell. "You hated it when you were a baby also..." she chuckled. "I just love to see the passion and "blood in your eye" when I get you angry."

"So why do it?" Sarah asked. "You know it pisses me off."

***

In the brush, Angel had troubles of his own.

He didn't have his much needed blackberry brandy and the law enforcement community had laughed a rather energetic "search and destroy" mission for him.
There was "Blood on the moon" tonight!

From his concealment in the woods he busied himself tearing up brush and obscuring his backtrail. Here and there he left openings and clear speces that were meant to be followed. "Stupid fuckin' huckleberries!" he wheezed. His plan was this: to keep the trail open and funneling his pursuers toward the eye of a horrible cataract. Both sides were lined with stone and the drop was about 400 feet. When they came out of this "Maze" he was building, he would push them into the gorge. In the same manner that native Americans killed their deer centuries before. He had built a deadfall kill-zone.

He was tired now and wanted to sleep. The cold was setting in and he was starting to feel it. He covered himself with dead leaves that were still warmed by the sun.

"C'mon you cousin-fuckers." he chuckled. "They treat me like dirt when they screw their own mothers and sisters." he spat. He had a way of dealing with what he considered trash also.

"Definition of a virgin here in this land." he pondered. "Any girl that can run faster than her step-father." This thought made him angry. Made him crazy for not ever being there for her. "Now its my turn..." he contimplated. "Let them come..."

In the distance he heard a strange choking sound in the brush. At the same time. he could see branches and small trees being busted down clumsily. He recognized the actions of that of his dead hunting dog, Jupe.

"Jupe!" he yelled cautiously, "That you?"

"Huff, Huff, Huff...." was the reply.

He whistled his special "Jupe" whistle and the noise stopped. "C'mon old lady..." he coaxed. "What a hunter! What a Crazy!" he coaxed, familiarly. "I always knbew you'd come back for me." he smiled and remembered his dead dog. "What a hound! What a crazy old lady you were.....I missed you so badly!"

The noise in the brush continued. "I knew you'd hunt me some day...." he said aloud. He was thinking about how


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