In the light of the flickering candles, I could faintly see the designs and engravings on the walls of Victor's chamber. Hundreds of archaic Victor likenesses, performing hundreds of divine tasks.
Some showed him healing, a pointed star shining from his hands, easing the kneeling afflicted before him.(more)
Others showed him granting wisdom, an oblong oval connecting his palm to the closed-eyed recipient facing him him.
And still others showed him solitary, cross-legged and floating in a sea of stars, traversing the universe while reflecting on his own divinity.
But today, standing on his sacred prayer mats, his expression did not show the joy of holy ventures. Instead, his crossed arms and half-closed eyes showed a bored and irritated expression. Unfortunately for Victor, today, there was work to be done.
It wasn't the first time I had briefed Victor on the demands of his people - in fact, these meetings had occurred over a dozen times since my assignment as Mediator. But the strangeness of his divine aura, the coldness of his azure skin, and the unblemished clarity of his green eyes still continued to give me intense shivers of unsettledness.
"The n-n-next order of b-business should be the rise of m-m-materialism in the Southern I-Isle," I stammered.
His expression did not change.
"How about... 'AND VICTOR SPEAKS FROM THE HEAVENS, THAT US HUMANS ARE MORE THAN THE TREASURES OF EARTH, BEYOND THE PLEASURES OF FLESH, TRANSCENDING THE APPROVAL OF OTHERS. YOU ARE THE ESSENCE OF THE COSMOS.'"
I shivered as I copied his words onto holy parchment. "Th-th-that should work j-just fine. With th-this, there should be a decline in superficiality."
"Good." He sighed with relief. "The Northern headaches were unpleasant...but the rashes from sin in the South can be much, much worse."
Johnny's heart swelled with passion. He'd never felt this way about anyone before, but Paula was different.
"You're the only person in the world for me," he said.
"You're my life," Paula said. She grabbed his hands, smiling as she looked deep into his eyes. "I don't know wha(more)t I'd do without you."
"Let's go to Vegas and get married."
Paula's jaw dropped. "Really?"
"Really. I love you, I want to make you mine forever, 'til death do us part." Johnny dropped to one knee and opened an imaginary ring box. "Paula Consentino, will you marry me?"
Johnny stood and Paula wrapped her arms around his neck, kissing him deeply.
"Let's go," he said. "Let's just leave everything behind and go. We won't tell anyone. They'll just try to stop us. Fuck 'em. Let's hop in the car and just drive west until we see neon."
"My god, I love you." Paula ran to the driver's side door and froze when she saw the corpse behind the wheel, blood still drying on the seat. "Shit. Wait. What do we do about Dad?"