Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Interview

He leaned back and drew from the cigarette, letting the ashes fall onto the carpet. His eyes darted down to the carpet and back up to the man sitting in front of him. The man was old. Far too old. Much older than Geoffrey ever wanted to be. Which made the man seem wrong. He didn’t like seeing people who were older than he ever wanted to be. Because they made it seem like he could someday be that old. No there was only one way to deal with them.

“Do you have a wife? Kids? Grandkids?” he asked leaning forward. He loved details. He was all about them.

“We’re not here to discuss me, Geoffrey. We’re here to talk about you.” The man said, sitting back against the chair.

“Well. Wadda need to know?” He gave his crooked smile. If this guy was a perv even in the slightest he’d fall for it.

“Well, for starters let’s start with your family.” He did not even blink.

“Well, not much to tell really.” Geoffrey took a longer drag this time. “Father left when I was young. Had to take care of myself. Mum had a whole string of boyfriends. None of them ever seemed to see.”

“See? See what.” His tone wasn’t curious. It was almost. Bored.

“To see what a bitch she was until it was too late!” He wanted to throw the cigarette. No. He wanted to set the old man on fire.

“So, this is all about your mummy issues is it?” No, he would set the old man on fire.

“Sure. Is that the answer you were looking for? Well I’m glad I could help.” He rose and turned to go.

“You’re not helping anyone. Not me. Not yourself. And you’re fine with that. I know.” The old man’s words made him freeze. “But at least you can help me get back at her.”

“What do you mean?” He turned, “I don’t follow.”

“You’re mother. You can get back at her. Prove her wrong.” He was almost smirking now. “Show her you’re not a screw up like she’s always thought.”

“Well, that’s it then.” He sat back down and made eye contact that was very dangerous. “You’ve gone and figured me out. If I can prove mummy wrong then everything will be fine. Long as I do as I’m told. Right!”

The old man grinned cooly, “Of course it wouldn’t be that simple. But you see the minor benefits from accepting our proposal.”

He stood again and crossed his arms, “Is that why you’re here then, is it. About the proposal.”

“You would be a most valued asset. Almost priceless.” The man spoke it with a whimsical air.

“You’re lying.” Geoffrey’s eyes turned ravenously.

“Well, of course I’m lying. Don’t be stupid. The second you embarrass us we’d kill you on the spot of course. We have people for that.” And he genuinely seemed to smile at that.

“So, why bring up my past?” He set his jaw. “Your own sick fantasies?”

“In a manner of speaking. But go on. What did you do at school? How did you cope, I mean.” The man adjusted his glasses and looked down at the folder as if reacquainting himself with the file. “Says here you attended St. George’s Preparatory School. That seems rather posh.”

“It wasn’t.” He jerked as he said it, “It was just another place where people found your weaknesses and broke you. But they never found mine. No. I broke each and everyone of them first. I was First Boy by the end of my first year.”

“That seems to be a lot of firsts. So, what happened?” The man seemed bored, “Did they find your weakness.”

“No. I was expelled. For setting a teacher on fire.” Here the dangerous smile creeped over his face again, “Bloody tosser should have known better than to try any of that pedastic stuff on me.”

“So, it was self defense?” The man raised an eyebrow. Almost as if he had expected more.

“Sure. If self defense meant months of planning ahead. If it meant, setting up the trap, leading your prey into it.” He was almost licking his lips as he said it.

“But not everything went as planned?” The man closed the folder, “Geoffrey we know that you were sent to prison for it, under adult charges no less. As far as the facts go it seems pretty clear cut.”

“Oh. Does it now?” He said, smiling again as his dirty blond hair fell into his face, “Please. Enlighten me.”

“You were abused as a child. You already had a genetic predisposition towards psychosis thanks to your family’s medical history on your father’s side. Had he been allowed to raise you things may have gone differently. But as it stands you went to a terrible school, did terrible things, went to a horrible prison, and became a horrible person. And now you have nothing left.”

“Why wasn’t my father allowed to raise me?” He said, walking back and picking up the heavy glass colander before pouring a glass of the clear vodka. “You said. Your file said he wasn’t allowed. Go on then. How come?”

He paused, “Well, it was quite complicated. But in essence the court not only gave your mother full custody but a restraining order as well. Since your father’s mental health was... questionable at the time. However, you should know, he did everything he could to regain contact. For years.”

Geoffrey sat down, “And finally he did.”

He watched as Geoffrey lit a cigarette with the massive silver lighter, “What do you mean, he did? I wasn’t aware– that is, our records have no mention of later contact.”

“Oh sure, he did. Showed up right at my house. We sat down had a drink and a good laugh.” A smile spread across his lips, “Caught up on old times.”

“But that’s not possible!” The man frowned over his glasses. “When did this supposed meeting take place?”

“Oh, you won’t have to worry. See, after he came and we had talked and had a few drinks.” Geoffrey tipped the glass over soaking the table and the old man’s suit, “I doused him in lighter fluid and set him on fire myself.”

The lighter lit up the table in flames that traveled across the metal surface towards the old man who merely sat where he was, flames licking up at his suit without touching it. As he kept looking across at the victory that melted into confusion on Geoffrey’s face, a smile crept over his sharp teeth.

“Flame retardant suits. Never leave the house without them.” He grinned. “You’ll have to be quicker if you’re gonna try to kill you’re old man, me boy.”

“Oh, don’t worry.” Geoffrey said, glaring as the flames reflected in his eyes, “This was just the appetizer. I’ll accept the proposal. You’d better be ready because the main course is coming.”

“Really? A dinner metaphor?” The old man smirked as he put away the folders that hadn’t been burnt, “I expected better from you. Honestly, you’ve really been a disappointment.”

As the old man walked out of the room Geoffrey’s chest rose and fell as the veins on his neck bulged out and he gritted his teeth. He roared as he threw the still burning table over in a heap of sparks and fire. He slid to the ground in the fetal position and started to cry.

* * *

No comments:

Post a Comment