Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1925859-The-Visitor
by Angus
Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Contest · #1925859
A Man Wakes Up In Jail To Find A Visitor In His Cell..."How are you feeling?"


Well, well, well. What have we here? Couldn’t hide for long, could ya? Look at him. Sleeping like a baby. And why not? I’d probably be lost in the land of Nod myself if I drank that much vodka. He’s even smiling. I wonder what he’s dreaming about. Maybe he’s dreaming about what he did last night. I think I’ll wake him up and find out. I’ll bet he won’t even remember.

Perry B. feels something touch his shoulder and call his name. Twice. He’s lying on his stomach, his head smothered in a cloud of fog, his mouth feeling like it’s stuffed with dirty socks. Asleep? Awake? Somewhere in between?

“Hello, my friend,” a deep voice asks. “How are you feeling?”

Perry tries to sit up, starts to fall over, then catches himself with one arm against the cold brick wall. He uses his free hand to wipe his eyes.

“Who the fuck are you?” he asks.

Who am I, or what am I? Does it really matter? Do you know where you are, Perry?”

Perry looks around and realizes he’s in a holding tank at the county jail. Not the first time. He gives the man the finger, lies back down, this time face up, and closes his eyes.

“Do you know why you’re here, Perry?” the voice asks.

“No, and I don’t care. Just leave me alone, asshole.”

“Tsk, tsk,” says Perry’s visitor. “You’d think a man who just killed his wife and children would want to know at least some of the details.”

This brings Perry to full attention. He manages to sit up on the bunk with little difficulty this time.

“What the hell are you talkin’ about?” Perry asks.

This is the part I love! He doesn’t remember! I knew he wouldn’t. Right before his eyes I change into a bloody butcher knife, then a chainsaw, then back to myself.

“What the…” Perry asks? Says? He’s lost, but some of that fog is starting to lift. He thinks he’s still drunk, or asleep, or…

“No. No!”

“Fraid so, Perry. But don’t be so down on yourself. I kind of helped,” the voice says. “You ran, but they caught you. That was beyond my control. Thank God I found you.”

Perry’s rubbing his eyes. He still doesn’t believe it. He might be too easy, but I still think my Lord will be happy.

Perry lays back down on his side. His eyes are still open, and the prisoner still doesn’t know whether he believes or doesn’t believe what the deep voice is telling him. He has no memory of the last twelve hours, yet his mind can’t deny what he’s seen. He did own a chainsaw, but why would he kill—"

“Do you really want to know, Perry?”

Perry sits up again. His head down, fingers laced with his elbows resting on his knees, he slowly raises his face to meet his tormentor. His eyes beg for the answer. Any answer.

“Because you’ve never really loved anyone. Simple as that. You’ve never known what love is. You’ve never even loved yourself. But, as I said before, it’s not really your fault. Some people are just born that way, Perry. Their heart and soul is dark before they ever see the light of day. They go through their miserable lives trying to hide it, and granted, most of them do. But not everyone can. Sometimes it just gets so dark—”

Perry jumps to his feet and grabs the visitor’s throat…

Oh, the drama. Look at his eyes. So filled with rage and anger and hate. I change into his wife, Pam, his daughter, Tammy, his son, Nick...

…and his grip slowly relaxes. He collapses to the floor, sobbing pathetically. His visitor bends over and puts a hand on Perry’s shoulder.

“Why are you here?” Perry asks. “Are you…him?”

The one with the voice chuckles.

“No, no. Of course not. He doesn’t show his face. I’m merely one of his, how do you ones say it? Minions?”

Perry sits back against the wall. He doesn’t believe it.

I can’t blame him. I wouldn’t believe it myself. At least back then when I was in his spot...But times have changed, my friend. And so I continue.

“I don’t have a fiddle, Mr. B. And I’m not a betting man. But I do have a way out of this for you."

More fun. This poor man doesn’t know what I’m about to ask. But first he must ask his own question. Which is, of course, “How?” And so I answer his question with that question of my own.

“You don’t have to go to hell, my friend. But unfortunately, you made a mistake. And mistakes have repercussions. You’re not ready, anyway. So would you like to trade your soul for one of your own?”

“What do you mean, ‘one of my own’?

His eyes grow wide.

Bam! He just figured it out! But will he give his own, or one of his own?

--- --- ---

Pam wakes up to her husband's screams.

“Perry? Perry! Wake up!”

He rolls over and looks at his wife with one eye open, wondering why the Hell she’s asking him to wake up. “What’s wrong?” he mumbles.

“You were having a nightmare, Perry.”


Their bedroom door opens and little Tammy walks in.

“Hello, Daddy,” Tammy says in a deep voice. “How are you feeling?”

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