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A Date with the Devil

June 19, 2008

OK, so here’s my first assignment (based on these rules). And this is my first try at comedy so don’t be too hard on me… 😉

A Date with the Devil

She hurried out of her brick house on a brisk October morning. A few rare rays of sunlight illuminated the first rain free morning in weeks. However that was not enough to satisfy Rowena Taylor. Cursing wildly at the malfunctioning alarm clock, she quickly navigated the windling streets of London on her way to work. Most people would probably call Rowena beautiful but her uncombed hair and disastrous make-up, not to mention the beastly sneer of today would most likely put anyone off. Though, as a certain American once said: All generalizations are false, including this one, and the living proof of that was just now standing before poor Rowena on a pavement that was definitely too small for two people to pass each other.

“Good morning”, the above mentioned living proof said in a deep voice with a rather peculiar accent.

Not only would most people call Rowena beautiful, they would also call her curt and polite, but you know what a bad day can do to anyone’s manners, and that was true for her as well. Mumbling something unintelligible under her breath she stepped aside onto the street to get past the stranger. And I know I shouldn’t be too hard on Rowena, after all she was having a really awful day. I would forgive her bad manners if I knew the reason, yes, I would even get past her ghastly demeanour. Then again some things just can’t be explained away. Some things are just plain stupid. Walking out on a street right in front of a bus is one of those things. Luckily for her though, a stranger with a peculiar accent was there to save the day.

Rowena never had time to realize the danger before a heavy hand grabbed her neck and threw her off the street, and not until a huge reddish vehicle roared past her did she understand what had been about to happen. However, this day’s stock of surprises for poor Rowena was far from out yet and as she sat there in a puddle of water on the pavement she finally laid her eyes upon the guardian angel of hers.

He was dressed up in a checked suit and wore a scarlet bowler hat upon his head. Greasy greying hair framed his sunken eyes while the rest of his face was dominated by a moustache that can only be described as gargantuan. I’ve always liked that word… gargantuan… so rarely have an opportunity to use it in a sentence. Anyway, back to our hero of the day. Not only was he an efficient and energetic fellow, he was also modest enough to bow deeply to Rowena before addressing her again:

“Good morning, Serafino Stella del Mattino at your service.”

“Begyourpardon?” our shocked Rowena blurted out.

“Serafino Stella del Mattino. Just call me Stan.”

”Stan?”

”Stan.”

A few moments of awkward silence passed by before he reached out a hand to help her up. Panting slightly she curtsied and forced a smile.

“I… really owe… you know… thanks… but I am late… and… you know… work…”

“Oh, don’t be silly”, the enigmatic stranger chuckled.

“But I…”

“They just can’t need you all the time, can they?”

“Well…”

At that moment a high-pitched ringtone shrieked out from her handbag. Murmuring an excuse she picked up her mobile and answered:

“Taylor.”
“You are late it seems.”

The fateful voice of her boss sent shivers down her spine.
“I am truly sorry I will…”

“Oh no, no problem at all.”

“Sorry?”

“Just you stay at home and take a well deserved break. We have no rush here anyway.”

And with those words he hung up. Stan winked at the baffled Rowena as she dropped the phone in her handbag and stared at him in disbelief.

“You do look terrible today, my dear, why don’t we just sit down and have a little chat?”

She didn’t really understand how it came about but some two minutes later the two of them were sitting in comfy armchairs in a dimly lit café with a heavy scent of oriental spices in the air. The man who called himself Stan sipped on a cappuccino and smiled serenely.

“Now you must forgive me, my dear Rowena, but I am not at all familiar with the customs of your country…”

“I never told you my name”, she snapped in a rather ungrateful tone, especially to someone who has just saved your life and treated you to some hot coffee.

“Indeed you didn’t, is there a problem?”

“Well, I… I guess not”, Rowena replied confusedly, “but, who are you?”

“As I said; Serafino Stella del Mattino”, he said, smiling a bit too widely, “I am a lawyer, a prosecutor even.”

Rowena swallowed and contemplated her coffee in silence.

“And now, over to you, my dear Rowena, what do you do?”

“I work in the Church of Saint Bartholomew-the-Less.”

“Oh, that truly is lovely!” he shouted out excitedly, “what do you do in the Church of Saint Bartholomew-the-Less?”

“Just being a caretaker… doing some house keeping, cleaning… you know, nothing grandiose.”

“But that is wonderful”, he chortled loudly, spilling cappuccino all over the table as he stood up and waved his arms in excitement.

“Uhm…” Rowena started feeling more and more awkward about the whole situation and I can’t but urge you to feel some sympathy for her. After all, how would you feel sitting next to a tremendously laughing Italian with a gargantuan moustache? (Not to mention the checked suit!)

“Do you believe in God?” he carried on in a booming voice that could probably be heard a block away, still chortling to himself all the while.

“Uhm… actually… well, no… I guess”, she answered hesitantly, waiting nervously for his next fit of excitement which by the way came a moment later:

“You are a truly wonderful woman, Rowena my dear! Then I guess you don’t believe in the Devil either?”

“Well… naturally I don’t…”

With a roaring laughter he sat down in his armchair again, pounding his legs and wiping tears from his eyes. “Lovely… just utterly charming”, he snickered to himself between the chuckles.

“Excuse me, mr… Stan, but I fail to see what’s so entertaining…”

“My dear little Rowena”, he broke her off, “you’re a treasure! What does your heart desire?”

“Pardon?”

“What does your heart desire?” he roared, making the windows rattle dangerously.

“Uhm… I’ve always needed a car”, she squeaked.

“Fantastic! Take one! Take two! Take three!”

Loud screeching of car tyres accompanied his shouting and moments later three cars came crashing into the café, sending shattered glass, debris and furniture flying across the room.

“Or perhaps something more elegant?” he continued with his hair on end and dust all over his suit, “a Mercedes!”

His words were followed by a fourth car appearing out of thin air in the middle of the café. Rowena who had spent the last few seconds hidden under a table suddenly found herself sitting in the driver’s seat with a glass of champagne in hand and The Velvet Underground playing on the stereo. The mysterious stranger, suddenly all nice and clean again, winked at her before turning on his heels and strutting away in the direction of the demolished entrance. Rowena wanted to shout something, but neither her body nor her brain seemed to work properly and she couldn’t but silently watch the stranger leave. He stopped on the threshold and picked up a pocket watch from his jacket.

“Dio mio”, he chuckled to himself, “she doesn’t believe in the Devil.”

Then, with a bright red flash he was gone. And at that very moment, she just knew.

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9 comments

  1. Its actually pretty good for your first try at comedy. I liked it.


  2. Great work, dear classmate. 🙂


  3. I think this story is very well written. And it reminden me I should listen to The Velvet Underground more often, great band.


  4. Oh, I really liked this one, especially how the Devil is described, I can really picture him. However, I think your input about the word gargantuan destroys the mood a little bit. Other than that, great story!


  5. Great story, great language. Well done!


  6. Hello,
    I liked the story and the description of the Devil.
    You’ve managed pretty well to describe him. I’ld like to read more about stories like this. Well done.
    by Nilla, July 7, 2008


  7. I love it that his name is Stan, I never thouhgt of the name Stan being so close to S(a)tan. Nice touch!
    I wonder what the poor woman could have done to deserve the date with the italian-accented-devil though?!


  8. Thanks for the comments all of you!

    @ Bella

    I do see where you’re coming from about gargantuan, however that was me showing my geeky side. Watch Kill Bill vol. 2 and you’ll understand 😉

    @ Gunilla

    If you want more in this style I suggest you read “The Master and Margarita” by Michail Bulgakov. That was my main inspiration for this story.


  9. I really liked this one, especially how the Devil is described, I can really picture him. However, I think your input about the word gargantuan destroys the mood a little bit. Other than that, great story!



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