Throwing out the first draft of a new novel I am nearing completion.
Corruption - Ben Red
The first night was the worst for Jason. Sitting, watching and waiting for some sign of opportunity. Having never been truly what he considered evil, he searched the darkest parts of his mind trying to think where he could meet his mark. He needed to find the perfect victim to answer his calling. Frustrated and cold, he decided to take a break from the espionage and treat himself to drink, one he felt sorely overdue for. Retiring into a crowded bar just down the street from where he had made his post, Jason sat at the bar and ordered his traditional glass of scotch. He looked around the bar at all of the happy faces. So naive they all were. Living their lives, never knowing that true evil was sharing a cocktail with them. Most people would lead their little lives never knowing how close they came to seeing the devil’s face. Tonight, one of them would not only see his face but will have their life changed forever by meeting him.
Anthony Parker walked into Satan’s pit that night with laughter and joy in his heart. When Jason saw him walk in with a group of friends all in celebration, he wondered how anyone could be happy in this world. Anthony and his friends were out on the town enjoying one of the last nights he would have as a single man. Anthony was past the point of excitement. His fiancée and he met 12 years ago while they were both in elementary school. Too young to even knew what love was, they had an instant connection at recess that grew over the years past friendship into passion and eventually love. In High School, they promised each other that nothing could ever come between them and that they would be together forever. All of his friends and even his parents thought it was adorable but secretly assumed that a couple could never withstand so many years having met so early in life. Still, to the disbelief of those close to them, their love never wavered and was actually made stronger.
As the couple aged, unlike so many couples who grow apart, Anthony and his soul mate grew closer together. They both found a love for sports, found that they enjoyed the same music, they even both loved the colour red. They dreamed of their lives together and in total certainty of the future, planned for the children they would have and the careers they would both lead. Anthony wanted to be a dentist and she would work in her father’s insurance company until the first child was born at which point she would stay home to raise him. Yes him. Their first child would be a boy and the second a girl. As High School was coming to an end, Anthony made the plan official buy purchasing her an engagement ring with the money he had saved from flipping burgers. The plan was coming together perfectly. Now, as university was coming to an end, right before he began his specialty in dentistry, they decided it was finally time to get married and live happily ever after.
With the history of this love stuck boy in mind, it is clear why he beamed that night. So many years had gone by envisioning the day to come. Anthony was truly happy. Perhaps it was this happiness that drew Jason’s attention to him. As the bachelor party took full swing at one end of the bar, Jason studied his potential prey from the other. He knew that he had to start this journey to darkness so why not start with someone who reminded him of himself before his fall. Finishing the drink in hand, Jason straightened his tie and walked over to the merriment. More than a little drunk at this point, the best man, ushers and the groom to be quickly welcomed Jason into the festivities. Right to the point, Jason offered to but the group some drinks which were greatly appreciated. The stranger among them quickly made friends and listened to all of the heartfelt stories that would have been more commonly heard in a bachelorette party. Anthony’s friends joked that they never thought the day would come. They assumed like so many before, that the perfect couple would not last. Presuming that, having gone to different universities, the tow would eventually move on from one another and meet new people. The crowed teamed up in mocking the fact that Anthony would only ever sleep with that one girl and he was wasting his prime. Anthony just sat there the whole time, laughing along, drinking his bottomless glass of beer all the time totally confidant in his decision to marry his love. He was convinced that no other woman could make him as happy and was sure that he would never need or long for another. He had been completely faithful to his match for all of those years, that would never change. Though Anthony never said these things, Jason knew exactly what he was thinking. He too had felt that type of love before. Jason thought to himself, it was a great time in this boy’s life. He was truly in love. What a good boy.
It was time. As the hours passed and slowly the numbers in their party lessened, Jason pulled Anthony aside and handed him another drink. “I am so happy for you. I know exactly how you feel.” Jason pointed to the ring on his finger. “I can still remember how it felt to be that in love. I’ve been married for 15 years now and not a day goes by where I don’t smile, thinking back to the day I met my wife.” Smiling, Anthony drank his beer, listening to the wise words of the older man. “I don’t regret anything about marring my wife but you know what, these guys are right. Have you thought about what it means to only ever have sex with one woman your whole life?” Without hesitation Anthony protested. “I do, I really do. I have always known what I have wanted and now I have it.” “Good for you and you know what, maybe I’m wrong. I just look at you and think back to all of the opportunities I’ve had and wasted with beautiful women and wonder.” Jason played it slow. He did not want to frighten away the potentially skittish pawn. “Congats. I’m sure you two will be happy together.” Jason stood up as if to walk away but stopped short. “Tell you what, I know this little strip club down the street, beautiful girls, good drinks. How about I buy you and your boys some drinks and maybe a couple lap dances. My wedding gift to you.” Jason made sure that he spoke loud enough so that Anthony’s friends could hear. Just as he figured, Anthony protested but his remaining friends quickly convinced him that the night was too young to retire.
“It’s about time” the man in the fedora said to him and a smile came across his face. “Have something for me?” Jason walked towards him and handed over a piece of paper with the name Anthony Parker written on it, a name not so dissimilar to his own. Without a word, Jason turned and walked out of the bar, head hung low. The man in the hat studied the name, took a sip of his drink and smiled to himself.