Crooked Roles

The devil told him, “Why don’t you make them all fall?”

“Why would I do such a thing?” he answered.

“Haven’t they taken life away from you? Ruined you and dismantled you to pieces?”

“Have they now?”

“Oh, yes, they have. They’ve wrecked your life.”

“But that’s the right thing they’ve done. They’ve saved me from an abyss. Why would I push my saviors inside one?”

“But it isn’t saving they’ve done! It’s wrack! They’ve only made you believe such nonsense so they would gather and laugh at your naivety!”

“I doubt that. They’ve only done good. But perhaps that’s what they’ve deceived you to believe. Perhaps they told you they were destroying me, only to appease you, while all their purpose was to protect me, and fool you.”

“Fool me? But they couldn’t. One can’t make the devil believe such laughable lies. Why would they do good? They’ve only intended to harm you, nothing better.”

“Oh, but they’ve fooled you all the same. You are the victim, and you have nothing to do but be ashamed of your failure. Or kill them. Yes, you could kill them and save yourself. You couldn’t let them do such inconceivable a thing as deceiving you. It’s contrary to all that you are. Punish them and rid yourself of all the shame and bitterness.”

“But this is absurd! I thought they had evil in them, and that they were to fool you. But they’ve gulled me instead. They’ve done you good and so done me wrong! Kill them… yes, I shall do that. That’s all there is left to do. There is no living with such shame. It’d be too horrid a nightmare. A too real one. It should be compensated. Yes, I’ll kill them. They’ll have nothing but a grave to rot in, and even that will dampen and collapse. Yes, I’ll kill them.”

Then the devil went on to kill them and the man smiled and uncorked a bottle of wine to take glory in his triumph.


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