As I grabbed the papers…
(from Todd Riemer’s Inferno – Chapter III, p. 25-26)
…some ash from my cigarette landed on the
document. The words were tiny, almost illegible, a small stack of old,
brown papers marked with black ink. Some were singed, others flaking
in places. I thought of Isabelle, her smiling face, her green eyes, the
small of her back graced with a gentle sweat. I had signed before I was
conscious of what I had done. The ink bled into the paper, my judge
took the document back into the shadows.
It is done, he said as he leaned back into the leather chair.
Almost immediately smoke began to fill the room. I saw his sharp
white teeth shining through the tendrils of gray mist. What have I
done? I thought.
I must know your name, I said frantically as his image began to fade.
Like the sound of far off ocean waves, his voice rolled gently towards
me: I am the Midnight Man. The smoke clouded my eyes.