Saturday, 14 September 2013

The Promotion

I never thought I’d make it this far in life.  I honestly didn’t.  But there were feet I had to step on, people I had to screw over and friends I ditched to the side of the road to get here.

But now I look back at the road I’ve walked along, I really think I could have done this a little different.  Nearly all of my friends have left me, my family is ashamed of me and anyone I become associated with seems to die or vanish from the face of the planet after a while… either that or I don’t seem to remember meeting them.

Yes, I’ve become very powerful over a short period of time and it’s been a wonderful rollar-coaster of a party I’ve experienced, but it’s also been somewhat of a weird-arse, shitty journey I don’t wish to take again.

Power certainly does corrupt you when you have enough of it.

And I have plenty of power.

I started out being an ordinary tax-payer who drudged to work on the train, reading the paper, wondering how I was going to pay my way.  I happen to look at my watch on Friday 13th, one day, saw it was 11:11pm and made a wish that I had more power to do something different with my life.

When I arrived home, a man was waiting for me.  He wasn’t anyone memorable.  In fact, he seemed to be lost and so I let him use the cordless phone outside where he made a phone call.  He took less than a minute to make his call and barely said anything to the person on the other end, when he finished, turned to me and smiled.

“There you go.  Wish fulfilled.”

“Wish?” I asked.

“Yes, the one you asked for on the train home.” His smile widened, “Don’t you remember, Tanya?”

I thought back to the trainride home and remembered the small, somewhat insignificant wish I had made while staring out the window:  ‘I wish I had more… more power… a better life.’ My eyes widened, “I didn’t mean it… you don’t actually think I meant it, did you?”

“Well, it was made on Black Friday at 11:11pm… the wishing hour.” He said rubbing his fingertips together, “I can’t really take it back.” A wicked grin flashed across his face as he waved a hand in my direction, “Don’t worry, you’ll have fun.  You’ll have all the power you’ve ever wanted or needed… your life will change almost overnight.”

I now look out the window of the hospital where I have been sent to next staring out over the sunrise of Dubai.  Such a beautiful place, but I’ve been here so often lately to… I look down at my hands wishing I didn’t have to do this.

“Tanya, it’s time.” He touches my arm gently.

I look at him, “Don’t tell me my job.”

He lets go of my arm as though it burns him, and a whispered apology reaches my ears, “I’ll be here.”

I look at my ring and wonder if the promotion was all that worth it; if becoming one of them was really all what it was cracked up to be.  After all, I’ve taken my family, friends, people I don’t know…I’ve been at every accident you’ve ever seen on the news, murder upon murder.

And yet, it’s becoming such a burden I wonder if the original guy wants his ring back.  Is he ready to get back his job and let me leave this depressing road of crap to the pros.  I’d love to let him have his job back, really I would. 

But as I have that thought process, the patient in the bed starts having difficulty breathing.  I don’t know him.  He’s not old either, a nice young man with a heart condition – the poor guy.  The machines go bananas as he struggles.  I’ve learned from experience not to let people who are good suffer.  So, I lean down and gently touch his shoulder and his eyes close as his last breath gives out. 

I turn and look to see him standing next to me in his favourite clothing.  He’s almost amazed he’s dead as my Reaper approaches him, “It’s time to go.”

The man looks at me, “Why?”

I tell him the usual line:  “It was your time.  You did nothing wrong.” God I hate my job.  This promotion was not worth it…

“Wasn’t it?” a voice says to my left and I turn to see the man who started my horrible journey.

“No, it wasn’t.” I snapped, “How dare you turn me into a Horseman.”

He seemed surprised, “Oh you know about us.”

“No shit Sherlock.”

“Now, Tanya, you be nice to me… I can be pretty nasty even without my ring.” He waggled a finger at me.

I look to the ceiling and lean against the bed where the doctors have covered up the patient, “I’m sorry.  But what can we do about this thing you’ve sent me on that I don’t want?”

He leaned forward and pointed to my finger carrying the ring, “You give me my ring back, I come off my long hiatus, you go back to your ordinary little human, ant life and your family and friends are restored… just like none of it happened.  But…” he held up his right hand, “… you are the only one to remember this the next time you make a stupid wish.”

“In other words make sure it’s a worthwhile wish.” I mumbled.

“Yes.” He put out his hand.

I took off the ring and suddenly, we’re back at my old house on the front porch where it all began.  It’s just gone midnight from Friday 13th and he’s handed the phone back to me smiling at me, “Thank you for the use of your phone.”

“You’re welcome.” I take it from him as a large, white car pulls to the curb and the door opens.  He walks to the curb, turns and looks at me for a moment before slipping a large ring on his finger and vanishing before my eyes…

… along with the car.