CHAPTER ONE

Sure enough the next day Walt was on the Cornell grounds, along with Emma. Although they weren’t the only guests to arrive that day. The drive way was stuffed with 4x4s and convertibles. The guests were all mostly young socialites, clearly Vivian’s friends. The rest were Cornell’s business contacts. They were… well, fat, old and shit.

EMMA
Oh, my God. This place is full of assholes. Are you sure we aren’t in Hell right now?

WALT
I thought you would love to go to a wedding.

EMMA
No, I hate weddings. The only time I want to go to a wedding is if I’m the bride.

WALT
Huh, I never knew that. I just assumed you loved them, being a gurl and all.

EMMA
Would you look at that, you learnt something new. And here I thought you knew everything about me.

WALT
You, don’t exactly know everything about me either.

He knew that wasn’t true.

EMMA
Shut up, you know I do.

WALT
Oh, yeah, who’s underwear am I wearing?

Emma recoiled in disgust.

EMMA
I hope its your own.

WALT
Me too.

The pair’s first stop was to find Cilly. Sure enough, she was at the first place they looked. By the bird bath reading a book. Emma snuck up behind her and poked her in her ribs. She jolted and let out a mousy shriek. Emma and Walt cackled.

CILLY
Emma!

EMMA
Sorry. I couldn’t help it.

Cilly smiled and bounced to her feet. She was blue over having to suffer through her sister’s wedding, but the idea of spending it with Emma and Walt made her ecstatic. She finally felt like one of the cool kids, no, she was way cooler than them. Her friends were older and one of them was a demon from Hell. And there was nothing the other teenagers could say or do that could beat that. She was positively buzzing, and nothing was gonna kill it.

LINDA
Cecilia.

Except for her mother.

LINDA (CONT’D)
We’re going to be starting the rehearsal wedding in about an hour, I expect you to be there.

Cilly turned to face her mother, her face vacant of both expression and emotion. Cilly’s mother stood before the three with her nose turned up.

Her mother was an attractive woman, especially given her age; but it was obviously due to the help of a surgeon. If Emma was a natural beauty then Linda Cornell was an unnatural one.

CILLY
Yes, mother.

Linda turned her attention to Walt and Emma. She mustered the most insincere smile ever performed in human history; it should have been awarded a Razzie.

LINDA
Hello, I’m Linda Cornell. Friends of Vivian’s I assume?

Emma was repulsed by the fact that someone, could mistaken her for one of Vivian’s shallow and spoiled friends.

CILLY
Actually their my friends, mother.

Linda scoffed at the notion. She still saw Cecilia as a toddler, hence why she always spoke down to her.

LINDA
It’s so nice of you to play with Cecilia, she does get restless very easily.

Both Walt and Emma had only known Cilly for several days now, but even they knew that wasn’t true.

LINDA (CONT’D)
Most of Vivian’s friends wouldn’t even bother.

Cilly felt demeaned, and wanted to yell at her mother. What was so hard for her to believe about Emma and Walt being her friends? Did she think she went to a play school, and did finger painting before taking a nap? Emma could see Cilly’s frustration, and she could see how anyone would go crazy with a mother like Linda. Emma wrapped her arm around Cilly’s shoulders.

EMMA
Please, it’s a joy to be with Cilly.

LINDA
Glad to hear it, I’ll see you at the rehearsal.

Linda plucked a stray hair off Cilly’s shoulder.

LINDA (CONT’D)
Make sure you sort your hair out, you look like a doll someone threw away.

Linda waltzed off. Cilly burned holes into the back off her head as she scowled. Emma pinched her cheek and mocked Linda’s voice.

EMMA
Cecilia, did you crawl out of a bin? Good lord, stay away from these people or you’ll catch the poor.

WALT
Aww, she’s all red.

Emma continued to impersonate Linda. Cilly was embarrassed and upset, but she even she found Emma’s antics humourous.

CILLY

It’s not funny guys, my mother is the worst.

Walt ruffled her hair.

WALT
You’re a real black sheep aren’t you?

CILLY
Yeah.

Cilly couldn’t agree more, she was always on the outside looking in when it came to her family.

WALT
It’s okay. You don’t want to be like these people. That was the mistake your father made. You’re already better than them.

Cilly felt a bitter sweet sting from Walt’s words. She appreciated them, to receive acknowledgement from someone else was a powerful gift. But these were words she wanted to hear from her father, and not a glorified stranger.

The three spent the day together. Forgetting or rather deciding not to make an appearance at the rehearsal. Instead Walt decided to car jack the most expensive vehicle parked on the Cornell’s drive way. They first drove into the city, eating at any restaurant with a shameful gimmick. They had rude waiters, singing waiters, robot waiters and even drag waiters. Then they payed a visit to the cinema. Cilly chose a romantic comedy, she thought they’d all enjoy. Emma and Walt did enjoy it, but not in the way she hoped. They talked through out the film mocking every second of it.

Later that night instead of going out anywhere else, they returned to the hotel suite. There they ordered enough room service to clear the kitchen. The hotel was all too happy to oblige; especially the attendant. Walt always tipped him generously; one time simply throwing him a Rolex he had found in the car he took. Emma and Cilly were playing a Japanese dating simulator. They thought it would be funny to name their character Walt. He simply watched from afar as he smoked on the balcony.

CILLY
No, Emma don’t say that. We need her to like us.

Cilly was becoming frustrated with Emma’s style of courtship.

EMMA
Relax, she’s putty in my hands.

CILLY
You’re supposed to say nice things to her.

Emma laughed as she stoked Cilly’s hair. She found the young girl’s naivety and innocence adorable.

EMMA
Watch Cilly.

The Japanese school girl character began to blush; and a meter at the bottom of the screen read ‘MAX ATTRACTION!’ Emma yelled victoriously, firing guns into the air.

EMMA (CONT’D)
Yes! If I was a dude I would be crushing so much pussy! I would for sure get more girls than you Walt!

Emma took a shot at Walt; hoping to get his attention. It was to no avail. He just sat in the sun bed, playing with his pendant. She knew exactly who he was thinking about.

CILLY
How did you know that answer was gonna work?

EMMA
Because girls love a bad boy.

CILLY
But you were just an asshole?

EMMA
You’ll understand when you’re older.

CILLY
No, don’t say that. I’m sixteen, I know what I like about boys.

EMMA
Ah, we never talked about your boyfriend.

CILLY
And, we’re not going to.

EMMA
Why?

CILLY
Cause… I don’t exactly have one.

Emma threw a puzzled look.

EMMA
Really?

Cilly became embarrassed, she glanced back at Walt to see if he was listening. He wasn’t, he seemed as if he hypnotised himself with his own pendant. Talking about boys with a boy in the room would be too much for Cilly, she felt flustered with just Emma asking.

CILLY
I don’t know, they just don’t pay much attention to me. Probably think I’m just a book worm.

Emma pouted and squinted.

EMMA
Come on, you got that whole girl next door look going for you. If I was a guy I’d be interested.

She poked Cilly.

EMMA (CONT’D)
And you wouldn’t be able to resist my bad boy charms. You’d probably end up stalking me.

Cilly rolled her eyes.

CILLY
Wow, you might actually have a bigger ego than my sister.

Emma and Cilly continued to tease each other. Their laughter was so loud it broke Walt free of his trance. He leaned back in his chair; and took delight at the sight of the two girls enjoying themselves. For a moment all the demons inside him were at rest. He shut his eyes hoping to drift into the void that was dreamland. But he never did. The dead don’t sleep. Try as hard as they might.

All Walt could do was return to his memories. After his turbulent relationship with Annie, he took a some what self destructive approach to dealing with his grief. He was a regular at Razor’s bar, a pit of a building not even squatters would stay in. He’d decided he’d wait, until something came along and pushed him in the direction he was meant to go in. Causality. He believed he never had any free will of his own. Whatever the circumstance or whatever his actions, all roads led to the same destination. Failure. If everyone born into the world was a winner, then no one would actually be one. To have balance there must be those who come up short, Walt was just destined to be one of them. He saw everything ahead of him, and there was nothing to celebrate. But one thing he hadn’t seen coming was someone from his past walking into the bar.

ANNIE
Walt.

He knew the sound of her voice in an instant, but he didn’t answer it. After all he heard her voice in his head often.

ANNIE (CONT’D)
Walt.

He decided to humour his delusion and turned to face the voice. To his delight there she stood, still a vision of beauty. Only it wasn’t quite the Annie he was used to seeing, she was paler and somewhat older. He squinted his eyes, it wasn’t a delusion at all, it was her. Annie, she was standing right in front of Walt and he couldn’t even believe it. He stumbled off his stool.

WALT
Annie?

She wore a bittersweet smile, tears streaming from her cheeks. Her emerald eyes were still as mesmerizing as ever. Her eyebrows as strong as always, the only thing that wasn’t the same was her hair. Annie usually wore her long auburn locks along the right of her shoulder. Instead she wore a woolen beanie over her head.

ANNIE
I’ve missed you.

WALT
What are you doing here?

She took a moment to collect herself.

ANNIE
I wanted to see you.

He took a step forward.

WALT
Why?

She wanted to tell him, but the words choked her. She was never any good with expressing herself.

ANNIE
You still wear my necklace.

She placed her fingertips against the crystal pendant around his neck.

WALT
Just cause you’re gone, doesn’t mean I’m gonna stop wearing it.

ANNIE
Can I ask you why you still wear it?

He grabbed a hold of her palm.

WALT
Why do you think?

ANNIE
I’m sorry.

WALT
Would you believe it, Annie Olsen finally apologizes.

She chuckled as he wiped the tears off her cheek.

ANNIE
Wait.

Annie cautiously pulled down her woolen hat, revealing her smooth hairless head. Walt’s heart stopped, what was suddenly the happiest moment of his life just as quickly became his worst. He didn’t know what to say, nor did she. It seemed all these two ever did was make each other cry. He croaked, before running his fingers along her head and kissing her.

Walt’s painful recollection was broken by a weary Cilly. On this occasion he was actually grateful for the interruption.

CILLY
You okay?

Cilly was sat beside him, he hadn’t even noticed her come over.

WALT
Yeah, sorry. I was just somewhere else in my head.

CILLY
That’s a nice pendant. Someone give it to you?

WALT
Yeah.

CILLY
They must have meant a lot. I can tell by how you stare at it.

He was ashamed of obvious he was. He felt like a sulky teenager.

WALT
It’s nothing special.

Young and naive as Cilly was; even she didn’t believe that. She opted not to press him about it. One thing she knew for certain with Walt; was that there were some roads he didn’t want to go down.

CILLY
Emma’s gone to buy some cigarettes.

WALT
That’s a nasty habit.

CILLY
You smoke.

WALT
Yeah, but it’s okay. I’m already dead. You better not copy us.

CILLY
Don’t worry, I’m in no rush to end up like you.

WALT
That’s right kids, you don’t want to be this guy.

CILLY
I know why you guys are doing all this.

WALT
Cilly, we’re not doing anything.

CILLY
Yes you are. You’re trying to make me feel better. Emma has been doing everything to take my mind off my father. Don’t get me wrong I appreciate it. But I can’t play games knowing he’s going to die any day now.

It’s true Walt and Emma were concerned for Cilly. They were more focused on cheering her up than saving Cornell’s soul. The night before when they had explained everything to her; she understood one thing above all else. Her father’s time was up. She sobbed on the pier. She felt wronged, she always thought there would be opportunity to close the gap between her and her father. But reality said other wise.

The whole idea of treating Cilly was Emma’s idea. She somehow felt responsible for the girl. Walt was inclined to agree at first; on the outside the girl seemed fragile. He now however changed his opinion of her. She accepted his demonic appearance without so much as batting an eyelid. And he could now see she was ready for tragedy.

WALT
Listen, there’s nothing we can do to stop him from dying.

CILLY
But you’re dead and yet you’re still here.

WALT
No Cilly, what I am is a G.I.Joe stuffed into a tiny matchbox fire truck. Nothing fits, or feels right. I can’t even close my eyes and fall asleep. .. I’m not the grim reaper. I’m just an exception.

Cilly refused to cry, she refused to be treated like a little girl any longer.

CILLY
So what, I’m just supposed to stand there and watch him die.

He hadn’t realized, until just that moment. He was just like Cilly, at one point in his life. Powerless, to stop death from taking away the ones they love. Selfish enough to only think about what it would do to them.

Walt rose out his seat and gripped the railings of the balcony.

WALT
That’s right. You’re gonna have to stand there and let it happen. And it’s gonna hurt like nothing you’ve ever felt. You can cry, bang your fists and drink until you can’t see straight. It doesn’t matter, cause they can’t come back… It’s going to suck, but I think you’re strong enough.

CILLY
Okay.

She wanted to prove him right, she pushed back the tears and held her head high. Walt on the other hand was tearing up like a stream. He hadn’t even noticed until the taste of salt reached his mouth.

WALT
Annie.

CILLY
What?

WALT
The girl that gave me this pendant. Her name was Annie. I just thought you should know.

CILLY
Walt.

He was pleasantly surprised that he could still cry. For the first time since returning to Earth he felt human, alive almost.

WALT
Cilly, look.

He turned to face her. He was crying like a baby, all while grinning like a chimp.

WALT (CONT’D)
I can cry.

As confused as she was, she laughed. She felt it was the appropriate response; and she genuinely found it funny. He too was laughing. And soon enough her tears came pouring out. She loved the contradiction, a river of sorrow accompanied by roaring laughter.

Emma entered carrying a pack of cigarettes, and halted at the sight of the pair. First she assumed something terrible had happened. Then she heard the laughter and felt left out.

EMMA
What is going on?

Cilly spent the night with Emma and Walt. She sent her father a text. A sense of grief washed over her when she realized this would be the last text she would ever send him.

CHAPTER TWO

They returned on the morning of the wedding. While the whole ceremony, was what you’d expect it to be. It was the reception which was of note. Everyone took to complaining about a particular guest and the dismay he was causing. Walt, Emma and Cilly had for the most part avoided the large crowds. They were planning an intervention for Cornell; hoping an appeal from Cilly could convince him to abandon his fortune.

The first dance of the bride and groom was taking place. The three began scanning the crowd in search of Cornell. Unfortunately for Walt everyone looked like a smug asshole to him. He wasn’t at all in his element, he was almost impressed with how well Cornell installed himself with these people for so long. Although he was more disappointed that anyone would want to do such a thing.

He persevered with his search, Cornell wasn’t exaggerating when he said there would be eight hundred people. Walt didn’t recognise a single one of them, until he heard a familiar howl. He thought “who howls in this day and age aside from cartoon wolves?”

That’s when he heard another recognizable cry “Heyoooo! Bitches!” He knew exactly who it was. He cautiously turned to face a short rotund man twirling a pair of panties over his head.

LOUIE
They were red, I knew it!

Walt’s jaw dropped, he thought about pretending not to know Louie; but that would only lead to him making an even bigger scene. Walt charged over to Louie.

WALT
What the fuck are you doing here?

LOUIE
Walt! There you are. I’ve been looking all over for you.

WALT
Seriously, Louie what are you doing?

LOUIE
I’m have’n a good time, it’s great up here. Everything I do gets a genuine reaction. It’s like they’ve never seen a man pull a snake from his junk.

WALT
So you’re the guy everybody’s been complaining about.

LOUIE
Whatcha talking about, listen to them. They love me. Is this how you greet an old friend, I thought you’d be happy to see me after all these months.

WALT
What are you talking about, I’ve been up here for like four days.

Louie slapped his meaty balding head.

LOUIE
Oh yeah, that’s right. Time goes by much faster downstairs. But I wanted to come see how you were doing anyway.

WALT
Not great, even worse now with you here.

Emma pushed past an angry couple.

EMMA
Walt, you know this guy?

LOUIE
Hellooooo!

Louie began licking his lips at the sight of Emma. He patted his chest and shuffled over towards her.

LOUIE (CONT’D)
Are you a redhead or a blonde? I can’t decide.

Walt intercepted.

WALT
No, you stay away from her.

LOUIE
Why, she yours or something? I can buy her off you.

WALT
No, you can’t buy her off me. She’s my cousin.

Louie immediately understood.

LOUIE
Ohhhh, this is Emma. Boy, I don’t blame ya Walt. I would’ve banged her even if she was my sister.

The crowd around them gasped. Emma clasp her hands over mouth, it was the only thing she could do to keep her from screaming. She was living out her nightmare, having her incestuous secret outed in public. Her heart nearly jumped out her throat.

WALT
Hahaha, very funny Louie.

Walt was desperately trying to save face. He didn’t care what the living thought of him, but he was playing it off as a joke for Emma’s sake.

WALT (CONT’D)
Generational humour everybody! Say something offensive and hope people will laugh!

Fortunately it seemed as if the crowd were buying it. Likely due to they’re disdain of Louie and not Walt’s salesmanship. Nevertheless, Emma breathed a sigh of relief.

Louie pushed Walt aside and performed a bow before Emma.

LOUIE
I’ve been dying to meet you.

EMMA
Sorry but who the fuck are you?

LOUIE
Ain’t that obvious. I’m sure Walt told you all about me.

Emma was lost, she shook her head.

LOUIE (CONT’D)
Come on, he hasn’t mentioned me at all? Not even during pillow talk-

Emma struck Louie across the face. She hadn’t even realized she had done it until she heard the sharp sound of a sting. It was as if her hand had a mind of its own, or acted out of pure instinct. Louie rubbed his sore cheek.

EMMA
Oh my god, I’m sorry. My hand just moved by itself.

LOUIE
It’s okay, I like passionate women.

EMMA
Walt, seriously. Who the fuck is this guy?

WALT
He’s my boss Emma.

She knew exactly what that meant. Her immediate thought was “holy shit, I just slapped the Devil in the face.”

EMMA
You’re the Devil.

LOUIE
You can just call me Louie.

After the disastrous wedding reception Cilly had gathered the members of her family in the study. Walt was revising notes beside the bar. Louie was constantly handing him liquor and encouraging him to down them. Walt had fallen into the trap of drinking with his old friend. This meant hurling abuse at anybody within a mile radius, guessing what color under garments women were wearing (Louie always had to check, and always walked away with a bruise.) And reenacting scenes from The Room; which was a popular film down in Hell. Eventually they’re shenanigans resulted in Louie spilling Sambuca all over Walt’s notes.

WALT
What the fuck Louie, all my notes are soaked! I needed them, I’m going in any minute now.

LOUIE
Ya don’t neeeeed duh notes kid, yyyyaaaa got the touch.

Louie was fumbling over himself just as much as he was over his words.

WALT
Really? You really believe in me?

LOUIE
You got the touch!

WALT
Wait, whoa are you serious?

LOUIE
You go the power, yeaaaaaaahhhhhhh!

Walt’s ecstatic demeanor immediately deflated. He felt like a fool for actually thinking that, Louie had some kind of Any Given Sunday speech ready to inspire him. In reality he was just singing The Touch from the 1987 Transformers animated movie. Walt tossed his notes and put on his jacket back to front before stumbling towards the study. He steadied himself against the wall, slowly patting along the wall towards his destination. He then heard the clanking of heels coming from behind him, he turned to see Emma strutting towards him. Walt smirked, he was buzzed which meant he was horny; making her a very welcomed sight.

WALT
Hey gorgeous.

He stretched open his arms, waiting to ensnare her. Sadly for him, she didn’t feel the same way. She slapped him across the face.

EMMA
You told him about us! You told him our secret!

Emma swatted away at Walt like he was fly buzzing before her.

EMMA (CONT’D)
You stupid idiot! Stupid, stupid idiot!

WALT
Ouch! Emma! What the fuck?!

She began pulling his hair.

EMMA
Our secret Walt! How could you?!

WALT
Wait Emma! I didn’t tell him anything! They have a record of all my sins downstairs, you were just one of them!

Emma released him and gasped.

EMMA
Oh, my God. What we’re doing is a sin… I’m going to Hell.

WALT
Relax, practically everything gets put on record. Incest is actually on the lower end of the scale.

EMMA
Is it Walt? Is it really?

Walt scrunched his face.

WALT
Maybe the high low end.

EMMA
That doesn’t even make sense.

She wound up for another slap, Walt entered the fetal position. Cilly slid the study doors open and caught Emma in the act.

CILLY
What are you guys doing?

EMMA
Nothing. There was a fly.

Emma committed to the facade, she knew Cilly would come to Walt’s aid. Plus she didn’t want the girl knowing of they’re secret affair. Cilly’s own family was dysfunctional enough. Emma corrected Walt’s jacket and tidied his hair. As she patted his shoulders she whispered threateningly into his ear.

EMMA (CONT’D)
We’re still not done talking.

She bit away at his lobe aggressively, like a wolf gnawing at it’s prey. Walt gulped.

CILLY
I’ve got everyone here.

WALT
Thanks Cilly.

CHAPTER THREE

Walt, Emma and Cilly entered the study. Just like every other room in this place it was stating too loudly “I am something rich people have, right?!” Grandiose book shelves with antique volumes of the encyclopedia and dusty tomes. The sort of stuff no one was ever going to read; such as The Great Dock Harbours of the UK. The one thing anyone could really appreciate was the lavish chairs and fireplace. Sat around it were members of Cilly’s family. Her older sister Vivian, her new brother in law Tim, her mother Linda, her father Gregory and the eldest son Kirk.

LINDA
What is going Cecilia, why have you gathered all of us here?

WALT
You are all here for one reason, you are here to help a member of your family.

They watched him carefully.

WALT (CONT’D)
This is an intervention.

Linda scoffed.

LINDA
Well, it was bound to happen. The timing is in bad taste but I feel this could do you some good Vivian.

Vivian gasped.

VIVIAN
What are you talking about?!

LINDA
You’re drinking darling, it needs to be tamed. A bottle of Chardonnay in the morning; you’re a savage.

VIVIAN
What about you, mother. That isn’t water in your glass.

Linda sipped.

LINDA
It’s Gin.

WALT
Savages don’t drink Gin, Vivian.

Emma shot a look of disapproval at Walt. He returned to the subject at hand.

WALT (CONT’D)
This intervention isn’t for Vivian… it’s-

CILLY
Dad.

Walt glared at Cilly.

WALT
I was about to say that.

CILLY
I thought you forgot, you paused for so long.

WALT
It was for dramatic effect.

LINDA
What on Earth are you talking about.

CILLY
Dad, this intervention is for him.

Cornell remained stone faced, while the rest looked at each other in a puzzled fashion.

KIRK
You can’t be serious Cecilia?

CILLY
I am. He’s got a real problem.

KIRK
Dad?

All eyes were on Cornell. He simply sat there, wearing a face made of faux bafflement.

CORNELL
I have no idea.

CILLY
Stop lying Dad!

VIVIAN
Cecilia don’t yell at Dad like that!

CILLY
Why not?! You do it all the time!

The two sisters began shouting at one another. Walt looked over at Emma, gesturing with his shoulders “what the fuck am I supposed to do?” She huffed and then rolled her eyes.

EMMA
Quiet!

Vivian recoiled and snarled at Emma as if she had taken a shit over her favorite bed sheets.

EMMA (CONT’D)
Cornell, made a bad deal.

That got everyone’s attention. They all shot up and leaned closer.

VIVIAN
How bad?

TIM
How much money are we talking?

EMMA
Something more valuable than money.

Linda became frantic.

LINDA
Not my jewelry?

CILLY
No! It was his soul!

The room fell silent.

WALT
I know it’s hard to believe but give it a moment it’ll sink in.

The room burst into laughter.

WALT (CONT’D)
You’re all taking this really well guys, that’s what I like to see.

Cornell chuckled nervously, desperate for the rest of the family to dismiss the revelation.

LOUIE
You’re losing them you idiot!

The humour and joy that briefly filled the room was quickly swept aside; replaced instead with resentment and tension. Louie strolled into the room. The Cornell’s were at their wits end with Louie. He single handily ruined what Vivian hoped would be the best day of her life. He had crawled under her gown during the her vows, and proceeded to carry her out. The ushers and best men managed to chase him away. But he resurfaced during the photo shoot, jumping into shot at the last moment and flashing his junk. Tim had tried to remove the menace, but Louie took Tim’s bow tie and wrapped it around his neck; gleefully choking the groom. When it came time to catch the bouquet, Louie charged at the women with what can only be described as a human sized butterfly net. The reception was just a game of cat and mouse, the guests fearfully scurrying away at the sight of the man. He threw crackers at them, snatched panties, kicked the band in the groin and even urinated all over the ice sculpture. The Cornell’s snarled at him, with the exception of Gregory of course. He looked as if his spirit already jumped out of his body. What was interesting was Linda’s reaction. Her nostrils flared at the sight of Louie, but not in a scornful way. It was a more startled response.

WALT
Louie, I’m trying to work here.

LOUIE
I know and you’re doing a terrible job of it. You’re botching.

EMMA
He’s right.

Walt sighed in aggravation.

WALT
This is my first intervention okay, give me a break.

Linda rose out of her seat.

LINDA
I think we’re done here, and you three have just about over stayed your welcome. Maurice!

WALT
Who’s Maurice?

LOUIE
Listen sugar tits you better sit back down.

Linda didn’t snap back, Walt never imagined her the type that would allow someone to speak to her like that. Or perhaps she feared Louie something fierce. Before Walt could control the group the study room door swung open. Entering was a tall and broad shouldered man.

MAURICE
These character’s causing you trouble ma’am?

LINDA
Yes, I would like you to remove them.

Walt wasn’t expecting things to go this badly. He didn’t have a plan to fight off trained security staff. He had somehow managed to ‘flame on’ before, perhaps he could do the same again; scare off this Maurice or do him harm if he must. The problem was Walt wasn’t all that certain of how he had done so before. Was it even something he could switch on and off. He felt that he had to try. He squeezed his palms into a fist. He poured his thoughts and will to ‘burn’ in to his hands, hoping that when he released them he’d be holding fire. He squeezed hard, and then let go. He was empty handed. Meanwhile Maurice was making his way over like a man given execution orders.

LOUIE
You don’t want to take another step closer, pal.

MAURICE
And why’s that little man?

Louie tilted his head.

LOUIE
What was that?

MAURICE
I called you little man, I didn’t think that was news to you. I assume you’ve been in front of a mirror before.

LOUIE
Oh, it takes out the trash and tells jokes. Not bad, can it do any other tricks; like fuck off?

MAURICE
I can break my foot up your ass if you really want to see something.

Walt didn’t like were this was going. Sure, Louie looked like a bad caricature of Danny DeVito; but he was still the Devil. He’d spent most of his time with the jovial side of Louie, but there was an aspect of his character that lived up the expectations. A cruel and sadistic side that could strike without remorse. Unfortunately for Maurice it looked like he was about to meet that Louie. He raised his hand.

LOUIE
You touch me with that hand I guarantee you, I’ll bite your fucking nose off.

Maurice smirked. His first mistake was placing a strong grip around Louie’s arm. Louie reacted by kicking him firmly in the groin. Maurice’s second mistake was falling to his knees. Louie grabbed him by his ears, and bit hard on to Maurice’s nose. The whole room could hear the cartilage crunching and the flesh tearing. Louie jerked his head and true to his word he had bitten the man’s nose clean off. Maurice screamed in agony, shaking as he pressed the gushing blood back into his face. The Cornell’s screamed to high heaven. They jumped about the study in an attempt to avoid the blood spurting on to them. Emma grabbed Cilly and held her hand over the young girl’s eyes. Shielding her from the Hellish sight. Louie spat out the nose into his hand before placing it into a glass of ice. He placed the glass into Maurice’s hands.

LOUIE (CONT’D)
Here, if you hurry they can reattached this thing back to your mug.

Maurice scrambled to his feet and crashed out the room crying in pain.

LOUIE (CONT’D)
See, I ain’t such a bad guy.

WALT
God damn it Louie, look at them! They’re like headless chickens!

Walt gestured to the frantic family.

LOUIE
Alright, I’ll reign them in.

He drew a gun from his waist. The Cornell’s only shrieked louder at the sight of the weapon.

LOUIE (CONT’D)
No. No more yelling, or the gun goes bang, bang. Comprende?

VIVIAN
He’s going to kill us all!

Louie digged into his pocket and pulled out a roll of silver duct tape.

LOUIE
Walt, Emma. Use this.

CILLY
No. You can’t just tie them up like animals!

LOUIE
Kid, you’re either with us or you’re tied up with them.

Cilly reluctantly agreed to assist in the restraining of her family. Emma took great pleasure in silencing them. She simply loved the sound of the tape screeching and the look on their face when it did.

VIVIAN
Don’t you dare you bi-

Emma slapped a layer of tape over Vivian’s mouth.

VIVIAN (CONT’D)
Mmmppphhh mmmpphhhh!

Emma spitefully planted several more layers over Vivian’s lips.

EMMA
This is a really good look for you Vivian, I think you should wear it more often.

Despite being gagged Vivian still felt the compulsion to make noise. Emma tossed the roll of tape to Cilly, and gestured at Linda.

LINDA
Cecilia, don’t you dare put that tape anywhere near my mouth!

EMMA
Do it Cilly.

Cilly looked at the fiery scorn in her mother’s eyes and hesitated.

CILLY
You do it Emma.

EMMA
No, Cilly. You need to do this. Trust me, you’ll feel much better if you do.

She placed her hand around Cilly’s shoulders.

LINDA
You bitch. You’ve turned my little girl into a thug.

Cilly peeled a strip of tape.

LINDA (CONT’D)
Cecilia, don’t you gag me. I am your mother! Don’t you-

She pressed the tape against Linda’s face. The pair giggled at the sight of Linda humiliated.

LINDA (CONT’D)
Mmmppphhh!

CILLY
Quite mom. It’s time you listened to someone other than yourself.

With the Cornells safely secured, Walt turned his attention to the patriarch of the family; Gregory Cornell.

WALT
No more lies, or else you might as well be gagged too.

Cornell turned to se his family; bound, gagged and helpless. He couldn’t hide from the truth any longer. But he knew admitting the truth didn’t mean he had to relinquish his fortune.

CORNELL
Okay, you got me. It’s true I sold my soul.

Louie leaned closer to better look at Linda.

WALT
Who exactly did you sell your soul to?

CORNELL
That man over there.

He gestured towards Louie. The family sounded a muffled protest.

WALT
That man over there, isn’t just some fat, stupid, vile, degenerate. He’s also the ruler of Hell. Lucifer. Satan. The Devil. Whatever you want to call him, he’s an asshole.

Kirk shook his head.

KIRK
Mmmpphhh, mph mmmmpppphhhh mmpphh!

Walt had to guess what he said, so he simply assumed the time for proof had come.

WALT
Okay, I see you all still don’t believe me.

Cornell began sweating and panting heavily.

WALT (CONT’D)
How would you all like to see a man die and come back.

VIVIAN
Mmmpphh?

Walt took Louie’s hand gun and pressed it to the temple of his head. Emma squeezed Cilly’s shoulder, bracing herself. He pulled the trigger. Cilly jumped. Emma’s heart skipped a beat. Thoughts came rushing to her head “what if he stays dead this time?” The sensation of losing Walt came gushing back, like an ice burg tethering on the surface. Bang! The door behind them slammed and sure enough, there stood Walt not really alive and not really well. But he was back. His return was met with muffled gasps of disbelief.

WALT
Now, I know what you’re thinking. It’s all smoke and mirrors.

He stood over the old vessel and kicked it.

WALT (CONT’D)
See. No trap door. Why don’t you take a closer look Vivian, and tell us if I’m really dead or not.

He picked up the corpse and threw it over Vivian.

VIVIAN
Mmmppphhhh!

WALT
I guess that says it all. Now you’re all probably asking yourselves, why? Why are you doing all this?

Cilly stepped forward.

CILLY
It’s Dad. He’s lost his soul but Walt wants to give it back to him. He doesn’t have to go to Hell.

She turned to face her father, staring into his eyes.

CILLY (CONT’D)
The contract can be broken, and you’ll be released.

CORNELL
It’s not that simple Cecilia.

CILLY
No, you have to give up your fortune.

The family were shocked to hear this, at least that’s what Walt thought he heard.

CORNELL
Cecilia, it’s your future. If it were just my money I’d have gotten rid of it straight away. But it’s not, it’s for all of you.

CILLY
Dad, we don’t need it. What good is it to have everything handed to you? I know you want us to have everything you didn’t, but then who do we become if we never have to fight?

She glanced over to Emma and Walt.

CILLY (CONT’D)
Life isn’t a walk in the park, right Walt?

Walt clutched his pendant.

WALT
No, it definitely ain’t.

CILLY
Losses, failures… they’re a part of what makes us who we are. To take that away from someone is to deny them a chance to become complete. I don’t want to be less than what I can be, I don’t want your fortune and I don’t want you to die… and…

Cilly had been holding back the tears for over a day now, she could push them back no more.

The agony of seeing Cilly plead with him weighed heavily on Cornell. He was having trouble breathing and keeping his head straight. Although he felt Cilly’s determination wash over him, her words brought clarity to his foggy head. But it was his heart that was the problem. The strain of everything had put it into fifth gear, and now it was out of gas. Cornell smiled at Cilly and clutched his chest. He wanted to tell her how sorry he was, how he was proud of her, how he loved her. Basically, he wanted to squeeze everything he should have told her throughout her life in to one sentence. What come out instead was nonsensical gibberish and groaning. All he could see was Cilly, and he was relieved. Of all the sights he had seen in his time, her face was his favorite. He prayed he’d always remember it, with it he knew he could endure anything; even Hell.