Stan comes to collect the "soul" he bought and paid for.
A woman screams bloody murder. There had been a strange noise. She had come to investigate. She found her husband as he lay on the floor. The door was open. She moved toward him. No response to her calls. She knelt beside him. No pulse. No chest movement. Open eyes that just stared. That's when the screams began. Soon they would give way to pitiful sobs.
Stan had come to collect a debt, no matter what. His tall, dark handsomeness wooed many a lady. Simple logic coupled with the plausible probabilities he concocted persuaded countless gentlemen. Not all of his "assignments" were willing. Always the resourceful opportunist he was able to manage.
Tonight's assignment had lead him far away from his usual routes. In a very secluded woodland area, there a nice stream that fed into the Bay. The mid-sized "A" house had all the convinces that could be delivered by freight truck or helicopter. The helipad was on the right side, a covered two car carport was on the left. Every nuance of "life is good" was also there.
It had been a short encounter. There had been reluctance. Stall tactics were used. Before there was any physical resistance; a rattlesnake had time to slither, unnoticed, to coil up near the blaze in the fireplace. Conversation over, the man moved further away from Stan. This put him closer to the snake.
The sun had set. The mountains in the horizon were ablaze with colors. Soon the night would come. It would be the darkest one ever known in this part of the country. Black as the cloth a Jeweler uses to display his wares; the stars, by comparison, sparkled like diamonds. Some more than others, some larger than others. It was symbolic of the good and evil that exists in this world of ours.
Just has Stan reached the foot of the mountain range his assistant had caught up to him. "Sir, you wanted to be informed when your next assignment was ready."
"Is he ready, then?"
"I thought you would appreciate a few moments for final review and preparation."
"And the new arrival?"
"He has begun to settle in ... with some persuasion."
"Very good. I need a moment then I'll be along."
As the assistant returns to his part of the work, Stan proceeds to the mountain top. He embraces the darkness. He focuses on the largest of the stars.
"I will win! You hear me?"
"I have only begun to fight!!"
"This is not over. Things will be different this time."
The star that Stan focuses on twinkled its response. Stan shudders as he goes back down the mountain top.
Its sparkles seem even brighter now.
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