Love and Tea

            The crescent Moon and a lamppost were the only illuminations in the crossroads where Judas waited for someone, rubbing his hand and looking around. The cold wind sneaked inside his brown overcoat. He had a messy beard and dark eyes.

            “Hello, dear,” said a voice coming from behind him. Judas turned and looked at a man wearing a black suit and a red shirt.

            Lucifer supported himself on a black cane with a skull he was holding. “How can this humble son of God help you?”

            “I need your help with love problems,” Judas said.

            “Oh. So, you asked the right person… Devil, whatever. Love is my specialty.” Lucifer then hit the ground with his cane, and a table appeared. On the table were sat a white teapot with red angels printed on it and two teacups matching the teapot’s design. “Please, take a seat,” he said, pointing to an empty chair in front of him.

            Judas nodded silently and sat on the chair, and Lucifer sat on the opposite side of the table.

            “Tea?” Lucifer said, serving it. “So, dear. What’s your name?” He crossed his legs and held his teacup with his left hand.

            “I’m Judas,” Judas said, drinking the tea with his shaking hands.

            “Judas… This name brings me memories, good ones,” Lucifer said, laughing. He took a sip of his tea. “Who is the lucky one?”

            “Her name is Mary. She’s a friend of mine.”

            “I see, and you want her to become more than a friend.”

            Judas nodded. “I want her to love me.”

            Lucifer drank the rest of his tea and put the cup back on the table. “I can’t force her to love you.”

            Judas got up, dropping tea on the table. “Why you can’t? You're the fucking Devil.”

            Lucifer stared at him, eyes turning red. The lamppost turned off, and a cloud covered the Moon. “Be careful with your tongue, boy.” He hit the ground with his cane. The table and chairs disappeared, and a black hole opened in their place. From the hole came out black creatures with distorted human forms. They went to Judas' direction and grabbed him.

            “What are these things?” Judas said, trying to put the creatures away.

            “Shadows. They feed themselves with negative feelings,” said Lucifer, watching the scene impassively.

            “Help me.” Judas fell to the ground, and the shadows dragged him to the hole’s direction.

            “This is what forced love does. It becomes an obsession.” Lucifer pointed the shadows with his cane. “And obsession leads to a bad ending.”

            “I understand. Just, please help me!” said Judas, trying to hold himself on the ground but getting dangerously close to the hole.

            “I don’t know if you truly understood it,” said Lucifer, making a thoughtful expression.

            “I did. I swear!” Judas’s legs entered the hole. He barely could hold himself out of it. “I do anything you want!”

            “Deal.” Lucifer hit the ground his cane again, and shadows and the hole disappeared, leaving Judas lying on the ground.

            Judas got up, breathing heavily. “I’ll go now.” He turned around to leave.

            “Not so quickly, dear.” Lucifer held Judas’ shoulder. “We made a deal, and you’ll pay for it now.”

            Judas turned back to Lucifer, his legs shaking. “What do you want?”

            “Your feelings,” Lucifer said, touching Judas’ chest with his cane.

            A red light shined on the cane tip, blinding Judas. He took a few steps back and said, “What did you do to me?”

            “I emptied your heart, poor creature.”

            “What do you mean?”

            “It means, stupid human, that you won’t feel anything,” Lucifer said, laughing. “You won’t feel hate, happiness …” he smiled “… or love.” He hit the ground again and disappeared. The lamppost turned back on, and the Moon was visible again. After a few minutes staring at the Moon with an empty expression, a lost Judas left the place.

            Later in that crossroads, Lucifer appeared in front of Mary and said, “It’s done. He won’t hurt you anymore.” He smiled and said, staring her in the eyes, “Who would guess you would have the courage to kill the priest.” He laughed. "You humans are curious creatures."

            Mary remained in silence, staring at the ground. Suddenly, a storm was formed, thunder and lightning tearing the sky.

            Lucifer looked up and smiled. "But it looks like my father didn’t like our deal much."

            Mary looked up, scared. "What is He going to do?"

            "With me, nothing. What can He do? Condemn me to Hell?" He laughed. "But in your case…" He got closer to Mary and passed his hand through her hair. "He'll throw directly on my lap."

            "No!" Mary said with wide eyes, and desperation evident in her voice. "Please, I do anything."

            "Dear, this is out of my control," Lucifer said, shrugging. "I'm not the judge, just the executioner." He pointed to the sky. "You'll have to settle with the Storm Lord over there." The storm intensified even more.

            Mary fell on her knees, trembling. "No! I don't want it! It's not fair!"

            "Well, my job here is done." He looked at the sky and then back to Mary. "Good luck." He smiled. "You'll need it." With that, he disappeared.

            Mary rubbed the bruises left by Judas, tears mixing with the rain. She held a crucifix and stared at the sky." Father, forgive me." But the storm in her life was far from ending.

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Alexandre Souza

Alexandre Souza is a Brazilian novelist that writes dark and supernatural stories, and also explores fantasy and historical fiction. He’s earning a BFA in Creative Writing at Full Sail University. He has flash fictions published at Adelaide Magazine and Scarlet Leaf Review. He’s a mythology and supernatural geek and uses this knowledge to enhance his work.

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