“Do you ever wonder where your life has gone?” I wished I could have one day without them around. It would have been blissful, but did I deserve it? Was it a fitting punishment for my sins, or did they just happen to be the catalyst for my suffering? Was what I lived through real, or had I been tricked into believing a lie?
“Satan,” I said walking absently minded towards the fridge.
“Yes,” they said, staring back with eager eyes.
“Shut the fuck up” I growled as I grabbed the carton of milk and took a swig for my hangover-induced nausea. Their enthusiasm quickly dissipated. My head throbbed, my ears were blocked and ringing, and my throat felt like sandpaper. All I wanted was something greasy and bad for me. 'Maybe I should be nice to them', I thought. 'They might make me breakfast'. After all, the villain of my life could whip up a mean eggs benedict when they wanted to.
“I will fix you something,” they said, looking hurt. Had they read my mind? I wasn’t sure what the extent of their power was. At that moment, the extent appeared to only be the ability to hang around my house and annoy me. Although it was at least some form of company.
I looked on at them in dismay, when had they become my butler, and when the fuck had the house got so tidy? Jesus, if you pardon the pun, Satan was a good house guest even if their conversation was too heavy, banal, and one-sided first thing in the morning. Especially when you had just spent all night getting blasted in an attempt at blocking out the pointlessness of your existence with homemade moonshine from the bathtub on your rooftop.
“Look Satan,” I said, feeling a little sorry for them “you gotta realise this is really fucking surreal for me. I mean you should be dead. Fuck you shouldn’t even be real. I killed you, which means what for me?”
“Trust me, I am real.”
“Yeah, but you would say that even if you weren’t.”
“True” they stood in silence, and we just looked at each other for a moment before they turned and started to fix us some eggs benedict and a pot of coffee. “But could the devil in your head cook you a mean breakfast?” they said laughing and whistling. ‘You don’t want to know what the devil in my head can do.’ I thought. They just looked at me.
It was strange because I was starting to like having them around. I had almost forgotten how lonely it was living in isolation in that derelict part of town and having them around was kind of giving me comfort. Plus, it was someone to watch and clean the house whilst I was out. Which of course ‘officially’ I never was.
As I sat in silence, I was lost in the things that I had to do. The pointless nonsensical drivel that was my work had piled up into a mountain of never-ending bullshit. I thought that after the apocalypse things would have been different. More interesting, like in the movies of old. Not more mundane. No more pointless shit for a capitalist system. Why was I still working for the network anyway, it afforded me some freedom true, but at what cost? For fuck's sake, I had killed the devil.
I walked out onto my deck and picked up the copy of the local newspaper that had been thrown there. The paper had been sitting in the middle of my chair, like a maroon and red exclamation point. I had no idea who threw the papers. I never saw any paper person or Ai. And I was the only one who lived in a house on the block, in fact, in that part of town. So why would someone come all the way out there just to throw a paper at my house, especially when I never remembered ordering one? Who was still fucking printing this shit? Maybe, they did throw them at every home, perhaps no one had told them that mine was the only house still lived in or maybe they did. Maybe they were free. Maybe. But still, I never did see the paper delivery child or bot. But every day without fail when I stepped out on my porch there, the paper would be. Also, how were they moving around out there without adequate protection they would be dead in minutes which would make the whole delivery of a paper a too-costly exercise even with the right protective gear on. Not to mention how they got it over my security fence and all the way onto the porch without it being incinerated or set on fire or being torn up by wild dogs. Nothing made sense to me, and that was the only thing I knew was consistent.
I lit a cigarette and bent over to grab the paper, that had absentmindedly fell out of my hand. I felt an immense pain jolt up my back and shoot down my right leg, causing me to stand upright quickly. This motion only managed to meet my headache with an even stronger force, and the paper dropped from my hands agina. At that moment, the porch door swung open, and the devil appeared and handed me a steaming cup of coffee before quickly retreating back into the house. I could not even say thank you before they were gone. I thought I knew them well, but I could not define their features to anyone. It was as if they had vanished into thin air. All that remained was the warm sun, my cigarette, a cup of coffee, and a forgotten newspaper.
This is a live book series writing/story art graphic novel cyberpunk, dystopian fantasy project. Written by Sam I Am Artwork by Wonder Ai directed by Sam I Am. Copyright is protected. It is a first rough draft work in progress so will change over time. This project is part of the SleeplessDystopian.com writing projects.
Image directed by me and created using Wonder Ai