The Deal: Sinners Heart Part 5

Friday, 15 January 2016


‘Answer me this. Is Lisa the mother of his child?’ In my heart I really didn’t want to know, but my mind in all of its logical glory needed to know the fine details.
   ‘No.’ His answer was blunt and I could feel my heart lift just that little bit from the pit of my stomach. ‘The unfortunate soul chosen as his mate never survives the birth.’
   ‘So, who looks after the little terror?’ I asked trying not to sound funny, but I couldn’t help but smile at the irony of what I had just said.
   ‘Lisa does.’ Again he was blunt and this time I already anticipated his answer. It was the only other part of this grand saga that was my life that actually made some sense after everything that I had I learned in such a short space of time.
   This was the point where all the questions finally came to a head. It was now after witnessing the blood splattered classroom my wife used to teach six kindergarten kids in, that I felt I deserved an answer to the question that had driven me this far.
   ‘Why is my wife in hell babysitting Satan’s son?’ Pertilius had known everything up to this point so I saw no reason why he couldn’t answer my question. I knew that he knew.
   ‘I am sorry Samuel…’ He said, slowly shaking his head from side to side. ‘…But only those privileged enough to be able to read the contracts our lord creates will be able to tell you that. All I can suggest is that you look deeper into Lisa’s past to find out why she made the deal with our lord.’
   I should have felt rage, frustration or pure hatred for this hell spawn who had been spoon feeding me information and teasing me along his own little intricate path, but instead I just felt dejected.
   Tiredness, both physical and mental, had well and truly set back in. I stared at the group photograph I had tossed to the other side of the room, and decided it was the best place for it in the darkness of the room. I did not want to stare at those innocent, smiling faces any longer than I had to.
   Pertilius was still hovering nearby and the coldness that always followed him was now starting to get to me. He must have sensed that I was getting pissed off with his presence as he said:
   ‘I must get back to the Monastery now. I trust what we have discussed will go no further?’ His voice had softened again, and this time I could detect fear. He was worried I was going to mention our little talks to the dark one himself, but that would be possibly one of the dumbest things I could ever do except for when I actually made the damn deal.
   ‘Don’t worry. I want him gone as much as you do. I’m not going to be mentioning these little talks to him any time soon.’
   I didn’t bother to turn in his direction. I could feel the plume of smoke behind me as he vanished back to the realm where he belonged.
   ‘What a fucking mess.’ I said to myself as I got to my feet and walked over to where the picture lay on the floor. Once it was back in my hand I walked back to the bed and lay down again.
   Knowing I wasn’t going to be able to sleep, I closed my eyes anyway and tried to let my mind process everything that was happening in my world. There was still more questions than answer there but certain parts where becoming clearer.
   I had guessed Pertilius was looking for more than just an odd job man, just as I knew he wasn’t offering me information out of the kindness of his heart. He had a plan and that was to get rid of his current master and his heir and have those both replaced by another more competent individual.
   His plan also involved me doing most of the dirty work, which strangely enough, I felt fine about as long as I had the right tools to do the job. These where things that he seemed to be happy to supply me with, but I still wasn’t going to fully invest myself in it all until I knew for certain that my wife was somewhere safe. Heaven hopefully.
   My thoughts drifted to her loving smile and before I knew it I was slipping off into one of the deepest sleeps I had enjoyed in days.

The following morning I woke with a smile on my face. I had a mission in my head and that was simple; I wasn’t going to learn as much as I possibly could about Lisa’s past and that basically meant starting from the end and working my way back to the beginning. By the time I got dressed and made my way outside the snow was beginning to blanket the city yet again.
   Winter was tightening its grip and for some strange reason I took comfort in that. The fluffy white flakes had a great way of masking the impurities of the city and making it seem that little bit friendlier than it probably ever would be.
   Lighting a cigarette I waited for my cab to arrive. I was heading to the archives at the library where I hoped to learn more about what happened at the kindergarten and its teacher. There was must something recorded about the incident. Even if it was the tiniest column in one of the block newspapers it could still yield something that I needed to know about my wife’s current predicament as Satan’s heir in waiting babysitter.
   I could feel my guts twist a little with the anticipation and fear that came from stepping into the unknown, and yet that felt like a comfort. It reminded me that I was still human. I was still a living, breathing man with something worth living for.
  
It took around ten minutes after I finished my cigarette before the taxi cab arrived. The journey to the archives had been relatively quick and the cab pulled up outside the depressing granite building about twenty minutes later. The driver assured me it would have been quicker if not for the poor weather conditions.
   I slipped him a hundred dollar bill and climbed out into the fresh air with a slight smile on my face. I was certain that I was going to find something that would help me find answers and that was all I needed to feel right now.
  
‘Hi there. How can I help you sir?’ Asked the young, bookish looking woman who sat behind the reception desk.
   ‘I’d like to look at the newspaper archives from the beginning of 2009.’ I wasn’t sure if it was even possible for anyone to walk off the street and ask to view such information, but the girl seemed happy to oblige me.
   ‘That’s a lot of microfilm sir. I can bring you Januarys first, or if you have a specific paper you want to concentrate on I can bring the entire collection for that year.’ She smiled and I could see there was a naive innocence in her eyes that told me she hadn’t truly experienced any of the horrors this world could throw at her.
   ‘I have no idea what papers carried the story, so I guess I’ll have to start with all of them for each month.’ I said, trying my best to offer her my kindest smile which I imagined was like a crocodile smiling at his dinner before he ate it.
   ‘What was the story?’ She asked suddenly perking up, and I was almost tempted to tell her to mind her own business, but if there was a possibility she could help me cut to the chase then it might be worth while trying her.
   ‘Six children were murdered at a local kindergarten.’ I said, expecting nothing.
   Instead the young woman surprised me. She looked thoughtful for a few seconds before looking up at me with the saddest eyes I had ever seen.
   ‘I remember that story. Their teacher hacked them all to the death with a knife. It was truly horrible. I had only just started working here. I think it was the kindergarten at St Helens.’
   One part of me felt horrified that this young woman knew almost as much as I did but the other part of me felt elated that I was justified in following my intuition and coming to the archives in the first place.
   ‘That’s the one. I’m doing some research on the story for a book I’m writing.’ I said, trying not to make it sound any more personal than it really was.
   ‘I had to research it as part of my phycology course at university. It was a nasty case. I learned that the kindergarten teacher had a history of violent mental break downs. Psychotic breaks I think their called. She had been committed to Muirmill Asylum five times before she somehow landed the job at the kindergarten.’
   I watched as she came up for air, both eye brows raised in surprise, at this neatly packaged fountain of information.
   ‘Well it looks like I might need to think of another case to research if others have already been studying it as you obviously have done. Although I might do some investigating at the asylum you just mentioned. Maybe to see if there is anything else that can be found out.’ I was basically feeding her a line in the hope that she would turn over more of the details she already knew.
   Anything that gave me a head start into my wife’s past was only a good thing as far as I was concerned.
   ‘Ah, sadly I don’t think you will find much there sir. There was a really bad fire around five years ago which killed most of the patients and the staff. Plus it didn’t leave much of the building.’
   I could see the sadness in her eyes as she reported the news to me, and I too should have felt down that there would be no one to talk to there. But as I said my good-byes and made my way back out into the newly born blizzard, I suddenly felt like I had something to aim for.
   The young, and obviously very diligent receptionist at the archives, had tried her best to get to the bottom of Lisa’s past and hit a dead end. But dead things where quickly becoming my speciality and I felt certain that where she failed I would prevail.
   The next chapter in my life and one of the last in Lisa’s was waiting for me at Muirmill Asylum. I hailed a cab and tried to mentally prepare myself for what was coming next.


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