Drink with the Devil
3. Drink with the Devil (One)
Daredevil and related characters belong to Marvel Comics.
Other Marvel Re-Imagined titles can be found here.
Rating: T (Just covering my bases)
“Everyone’s a little scary, Murdock,” Miller said. The words rang as final but Matt could tell, he could anticipate that this old man wanted to continue further. He wanted to be asked ‘what do you mean?’ or ‘why?’; he wanted the questions that would push them into a conversation where they would both unfold and lay themselves bare before the scrutiny of the other.
“What’s your point?” Matt asked as he rested his cue on the table. Enough blindly hitting the white around the table; there was something about Miller’s words that was entrancing. There was probably even a small voice, a faint whisper at most, egging him to push the conversation deeper and darker. Probe the mind, dissect your beliefs.
“Does human nature scare you at all Matt?” he asked. There was a click and the sound of paper catching light, then the smell of smoke. It was a dark smell. “It’s something evil, human nature, yes?”
The question took Matt back through the years. He could feel his father’s large hand holding his own, leading him into that place of burning candles and heavy organs. Tales were read of apples; those Matt could imagine not with reference to colour or shine but by succulent juices and the smoothness of the skin. His teeth would crunch into it and tear off a piece of the apple’s flesh and he would suck away at the juice before swallowing his bite. It was temptation that led to biting into the apple and feeling the juice on the tongue. Sin was the word the tales had used. The word rang as strange. Sin was grey and not the sort of term examined in law school. It wasn’t a word he’d heard in a while. Greyness in a world of black and white; was that what human nature really was? Was it grey?
“I think its grey,” Matt replied after some thought. He could hear Miller chuckle to himself, then blowing his smoke around the room.
“Ah, grey,” the other man muttered to himself, possibly chewing on his chosen poison, “pretty non-committal Murdock.”
He shrugged. Really, it was the sort of question he hadn’t thought to dwell on. There wasn’t any grey in law; it was guilty or found innocent. Black or white; Matt might even go so far as to say it was scientifically clinical. Science hadn’t been his best subject and he wasn’t going to pretend he knew the laws of the universe, but ‘hypothesis’ came to him. This man is innocent; decent enough hypothesis to work with. Throughout the case you then experiment with different witnesses, bring in different samples of evidence and you go about systematically proving that whoever it was being accused was guilty of doing something. Not mildly guilty or very guilty; just plain guilty. They were black or white; guilty or innocent. No room for grey and human error and the fallibility intrinsic to human nature. The law was about finding justice, such a sweet word at times, not giving forgiveness. That was for the confessional. Matt could hear Miller leaning over the pool table.
“Say we made a wager of it Matthew?” he whispered. Matt could feel his hot breath and the smoke against his face. “Say someone does something utterly evil, maybe even the devil could have your soul. Fancy that?”
“Sure?” Matt replied. He didn’t mean the word as it escaped his mouth. There was no way that he’d sell his soul out to the devil. There were rumours after all of a man with his head ablaze tearing up the south on a motorbike, flaying the guilty with hellish powers only the devil could provide. That wasn’t what Matt wanted and even if he did, the devil was a liar. He wished that he could see Miller’s face, judge him by the grin on his face or the look of his eyes, but he couldn’t. All he had were the faint German voice and the smell of cigarettes. That wasn’t enough to tell if a man was evil or the devil or anything except a German smoker. Matt felt Miller’s hand grip his own. They shook and the deal was cemented. Please God, keep the world safe tonight.
To be continued.