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D is for Evil

by Angelo Snow

You could, if you wished, sum up my entire life in the space of a few sentences and you would leave little out. Sex: male; Age: forty-two, Marital status: divorced; Job: subway train operator. The story of my life, condensed into one sentence.

I sometimes think to myself, if I died how many people would care? Some might say “Poor guy, what a pity.” But how many would really care? Not many when I think about it. In fact, nobody. Why was I put here on this world? Unloved. Unknown. What difference does it make?

Ring ring.

The phone.

“Hey Will, Peter here. We need someone for the seven forty-three, Rob’s called in sick. I’ll pay overtime. Just get down here quick smart.”

He hung up.

I reached the subway station at twenty to eight. It was peak hour and businessmen and women bustled in and out, madly rushing to their designated places of work. It was there I first saw him. Amongst the swirling mass of black and grey attire standing out was a man dressed in an ordinary suit. Although I cannot explain how he, in his plain, black suit, somehow stood out from the hundreds of other black-suited businessmen walking around him. He could only be described as peculiar yet no one else seemed to notice him.

As I stared at him a strange sensation came over me and it seemed that in the space where he was standing two things were present. One was the man in the plain, black suit. The other was a sinister dark creature, with goat legs, and horns on his head. The two things seemed to entwine with each other, one translucent, one real.

“Will!” a voice called behind me. I spun round. It was Peter, the subway manager of the station. “You’re late. Get your ass up here. We’re already off schedule. Make sure you’re at the station before the forty-three comes in.” His voice trailed off as he left to attend to another of his duties.

I turned around. The man was gone. But was he really there?

“The seven forty-three train to Kings Cross is due to depart. Please stand clear of the doors.”

I moved the gear into first and the train slowly started to accelerate. Then, increasing the speed till it reached the required amount I put it on the auto-pilot. Sitting back in my seat I pondered about the man I saw at the station. Whether he was real, or just a figment of my imagination. His eyes were what I remembered the most. Burning into me like hot coals...

I shuddered. I reached into my pocket and pulled out some tablets. Vitamin supplements it said on the label. I took two to calm me down. I sat back and looked out into the tunnel.

Suddenly, the lights on the train flashed, then failed. It was dark. Very dark. The dim lights from the tunnel outside rushed past the front of the train one by one. It gave off an eerie effect on the inside of the driver’s compartment. The shards of light passed by very quickly, over and over again. Dim shadows appeared and disappeared before they could be seen properly. I struggled to regain my composure and groped desperately hoping to find something of use. I found nothing.

Then I heard the laugh. It was a hysterical laugh echoing over and over again. I covered my ears and repeated over and over, “It’s all in your head.” In the far away distance in the tunnel a figure stood. His face could not be seen. He just stood there unmoving. The train sped towards the figure closer and closer. Until suddenly there was a thud as the body of the figure hit the windscreen. I saw it clearly now. Its face was horribly disfigured. Blood dripped down the sides of the windscreen.

I cowered. The lights flashed and failed again. I heard the sound of breaking glass and felt the wind blowing through the windscreen. I closed my eyes, but I could still see. As a light flashed past I saw him again. He was inside the compartment with his horribly disfigured face grinning. His left arm was a bloody stump.

Another light flashed past and I glimpsed him again. He was standing closer. Another light flashed past. He was right in front of me now. So close I could see the cuts on his face, smell the blood dripping from him. It’s all a dream. It’s all a dream. I thought. Touch him and you’ll see. I reached out to touch the walking corpse. He was real.

* * *

“This man died of a heart attack. There is no other explanation.” The detective said.

“Impossible, what was the cause of the heart attack? The body has been identified his medical records traced. He has no previous medical records of heart dysfunction.” His partner questioned.

“What do you think? Mid-life crisis?” he asked. He looked around the drivers compartment. It was spic and span, neat and tidy. The clock hung on the wall, ticking. The windscreen was as clean as crystal. The only thing that ‘spoiled’ this picture of perfect neatness is perhaps the man lying dead on the floor. It is strange, especially when the victim died of unexplained causes.

His partner examined the console. “Come, look at this.” He pointed to a spot on the console where somebody had engraved a message with a knife. D is for Evil it said. “What does it mean?”

“D is for Evil... Wait, put them together. Devil!”

“What can this mean? He was murdered by the Devil? Maybe it’s the calling card of the murderer.”

“No, it can’t be. The man did die of a coronary heart failure...”

“Perhaps out of fear?” his partner suggested, “That would be the only plausible solution.”

“It’s quite possible.”

“But fear of what?”

The detective swooped down and began to search the body.

“Look here, vitamin supplements. Just as I thought, made by Pan Pharmaceuticals,” he said, “I have a hunch that what happened here was that this man took too many of these tablets. Not knowing about the dangers, he drifted into hallucination. And perhaps then in his own dream world he encountered his worst fears. He encountered an evil so overwhelming that he simply could not live. And thus he dies of a tragic heart attack.”

“But how could he be so scared at something he conjured up in his own mind?”

“My friend, true evil is in the darkest regions of every man’s heart. In the depths of every man’s heart there is a devil, waiting to be unleashed. Your greatest fear, your greatest enemy. As long as man lives, there will always be evil, but just as man can do wrongs, so can he govern this evil and bury it within him. This, he does by civilization and democracy. My friend, in every single man there is a perpetual battle between the savage evil and civilized good. Although neither can be destroyed completely, it is what makes us what we are.”

“Well said, well said. But that just leaves one more mystery. No knife was ever found. Who carved the words on the console?”

* * *

Deep underground, in one of the many subway tunnels, a creature hobbled slowly through the dark. If one is the look at the creature hard enough, one can receive a very strange sensation. That in the very space where the creature is hobbling you can see a man in a black suit. The two seem entwined. One translucent. One real. But both equally sinister...

Copyright © 2005 by Angelo Snow

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