One night I am alone in my house, compliling lists of friends from the past.
It grows dark, and I begin to wish for company. The list sits before me on
the table, reproaching me with intimations of missed opportunities and
There is a scratching at the window, and absently I
open it, assuming that one of my cats is feeling lonely too. To my dismay, a
small devil-creature, salivating with anticipation, leaps squatly into the
room. I recognise it immediately as being of the type to possess the soul
without hesitation. Backing away from its gleaming eyes, I consider my
options. With a flash of intelligence, I announce to the devil-creature that
it is yesterday, and today I am dead.
The creature looks quizzically at me.
I insist that it has made an error - it is yesterday, and later this evening I
kill myself with a large, sharp kitchen knife. I am dead. My soul has gone.
The devil-creature is too late. It looks puzzled, but I explain, with
placatory hand movements, that this is really a simple matter. As I am
already dead, there is no point in attempting to take my soul. Come back in a
week, I tell the devil-creature. The landlord will have re-let the house, and
there will be fresh prey. Huffing and puffing, the creature waddles back to
the window, and lurches off into the night.
Congratulating myself on my quick
thinking, I close the window. I sit down once more in front of my list, and
it is with a heavy heart that I wander into the kitchen and begin rifling
through the knife drawer.