I sit in front him, trying unsuccessfully to tell myself not to be afraid. This is just an interview, no one's going to get hurt. It will be OK. These words play over and over again on the broken record player in my mind. I can't shake the fear -- a feeling not aided in the slightest by his enormous size, grotesque teeth, spiked horns, coiled wings, and fierce claws. Under other circumstance, I might see the irony of his massive talons delicately holding the Styrofoam cup he drinks from while pondering his answer to my first question. I can't shake the fear that he'll decide he wants to snack on me rather than the fresh fruit tray management put in the interview room this morning.
He gently stabs the tip of one talon through a slice of watermelon, absently bringing it to his mouth. BLAM! I practically jump out of my skin as he destroys the watermelon slice with one swift slash. Juicy red streams of watermelon spray across the room like cheap special effects from a B horror movie. Smoke bellows from his nostrils and his eyes burn with hatred. Just as rapidly, his demeanor changes; the fire in his eyes extinguishes, and he calmly says, "Pardon me, your question reminded me of a time back in Junior Hell School when several demon bullies beat me up for lunch money. The injustice still manages to infuriate me."
Flattened against my leather interview chair, I stutter, "N-n-n-no p-prob-b-blem, sir. Th-that's com-completely understandable." I wonder what bullies must look like if the fearsome creature in front of me wasn't one of them.
"I know that look" his deep baritone voice reverberates across the room. "You wonder that I wasn't one of the bullies."
I stare at him in fear.
"No need to be afraid." The demon chuckles, a laugh that calms my nerves just as effectively as the sound of a trigger click on a gun at point blank range. "I'm trying to change my image. Harming my interviewer wouldn't help that image much, now would it?" He winks at me.
I don't wink back. I don't even manage to smile back. I'm not in the least bit comforted. This interview can't be over soon enough, and there's only one way to get it over. I look at my note sheet and repeat the question.
TWP: "N-no, i-it woul-wouldn't do. L-let's see. W-wh-where were we? Ah, y-yes. W-what is your fav-favorite ch-ch-childhood memory?"
LoC: "My mother's cooking. The smell of fried hell cat wafting down the hallway from the kitchen. The juicy taste of nether plasma pudding for desert."
TWP: "I c-can't s-say I've ever experienced such...de-delicacies."
LoC: "I don't imagine you would have. Drop by the house one evening and I'll make sure you have your fill."
TWP: "You cook?"
The shock of this idea brings me a bit out of the fear zone. It gives me something focus on other than the possibility of a premature death. I grab onto this idea, deliberately pushing all thoughts of fear out of my awareness.
LoC: "Ha! No, no, not me. Jessica cooks a mean zombie pasta."
TWP: "Jessica.....your girlfr--"
LoC: "Oldest daughter, actually."
TWP: "You're married?"
LoC: "Of course. I settled down with the old ball and chain twenty-odd years ago. Four kids - damnedest thing, too, all of them female. Fifth is on the way. I'm hoping for a male progeny to inherit the legacy."
TWP: "Speaking of your legacy, how did you end up in your particular line of work?"
LoC: "It was one of those right place right time things. The old Lord of Chaos was looking to retire. I bumped into him one evening at the local pub, Stan's Kitchen. He was mulling over a pint of Whorl and was in the mood to talk. Long story short: he decided he'd had enough. He wanted to retire within the week and needed someone to take over. I was young and didn't know any better. The job's not cut out for everyone. The hours are hell. Medical benefits are laughable. It does come with a great meal plan and pays well, though. I thought 'what the hell?' and he started training me that night, before I could change my mind. A week and a half later, he transferred the Title, complete with all its glory and money and trappings and hazards, to me. He gave me his cell number, promising to help out with anything that might come up in the future. He did, too-ha!-for three calls. Then he changed his number and I was on my own. Rumor has it he teleported to a tropical island for retirement."
TWP: "Wow, that must have been scary. Being on your own so soon in the new career."
LoC: "It was quite the burden at first, but I warmed up to the job in no time. At first, the locals were a hard crowd, seeing as I was an unproven new kid on the job and the Lord of Chaos that they knew and feared was no where to be seen. No one even believed I was the Lord of Chaos at first. I showed them, though... Oh, I showed them..."
TWP: "That...um..well, I'm sure you did... What's your least favorite thing about the job?"
LoC: "The hours. I'm on call 24/7. Whenever a mage wants to tamper with the control of his opponent's territory, he calls me up. I have to be ready any time. Those damn mages are at it day and night. They take away from family time, you see. I've missed most of my girls dance recitals - Julia had her dance of the dead pageant just last week and I was paged for duty. I'll tell you one thing, those mages always seem to do it at meal time, too. They better have a ready supply of crunchy snacks for me to munch on or I'm out of there faster than they can cast a Possession."
TWP: "Sounds...reasonable, that. Wanting food."
I take this opportunity to offer him some more fruit, just in case he decided I was starting to look tasty. As he stabs a half of a honeydew melon, I continue with the questions.
TWP: "What's your favorite thing about the job?"
LoC: "The travel. I get to see all sorts of exotic places. Last week, I experienced the mountains, the desert, and even a brief world flood! I got to destroy two palaces, three dwarven halls, and a couple of mahals as well. It was a fun week."
TWP: "So, you like the destruction?"
LoC: "Of course! Haven't you ever knocked down a couple walls as a kid? Or wanted to? And I get paid for it!"
TWP: "Right. So what's this about changing your image? Why would you want to do that? Didn't it take a while to build up your fearsome reputation?"
LoC: "It did. And its done me well, but I never get invited to the neighborhood parties anymore. I haven't been asked over for oak tea and mogi biscuits in fifteen years! No one wants to go out bowling or head to the movies with Mr. Chaos. No, I think it might be time to retire and let someone else take up the job. You interested?"
TWP: "Me? Heavens no! I mean--I mean, I wouldn't know the first thing about it. Nope, not the first thing at all. You do such a g-great job that I could n-never fill such shoes. You'll have hard time finding someone that can. N-not that I doubt your ability to train them, m-mind you, N-n-not at all. You'll make a fine teacher, I'm sure!"
LoC: "Yes, I will. I do so hope my wife births a boy this time. I could raise him up to be a fierce Mr. C."
TWP: "Of course you could! So you weren't always called the Lord of Chaos, right?"
LoC: "No. My name magically changed when I took the Title from the old Lord of Chaos. My old name is--you have to promise not to laugh,ok? Ok. My original name was Bartholomew Sexton Harrison the Forth! Can you believe that? As if it wasn't bad enough to have a Bartholomew Sexton Harrison the First, the Second, and the Third! My son isn't going to the Fifth. I can assure you of that."
TWP: "I can see why. What name will you go by once you hand over the reigns to the next Lord? Will we call you Bart, then?"
LoC: "Anyone that calls me Bart won't be able to call anyone anything ever again!!!!!"
I shrink into my chair as the demon rages before me. Fruit juices spray around the room like blood squirting from a freshly crushed Fire Beetle as the demons fist crashes down on the table. The chaos is over in a moment and he calmly apologizes.
LoC: "Sorry about that. I just hate that name. No, I'm going to legally change my name to something else. I've always been partial to Timmy."
I look at the massive figure in front of me. His wings, folded as they are, still take up half the room and brush against the walls and ceiling. His claws could hold five human heads with ease. His feet would easily crush a small truck. Yet all I can think of is how oddly inappropriate the name 'Tiny Tim' would be. I wisely keep this thought to myself.
TWP: "W-well, Mr. Chaos, and soon-to-be Timmy, I really a-appr-appreciate your time with me today. I know you have a busy schedule and a family that misses you. You'd best be getting back to them soon."
LoC: "Not a problem, it's been my pleasure. Is this the end or do you have a final question?"
TWP: "One last question. If you could pass on anything to the next Lord of Chaos, one thing you've gleamed from your tenure as Mr. C. One thing that summarizes your career. What would it be?"
The demon is silent for a few moments, thinking over his answer, and finally says, as he climbs out of his chair and heads to the door. "Well, I think it would be this. It's true what they say. No matter what part of the world they come from, no matter what race they come from, no matter what species....most creatures taste like chicken."
Keyser is an interviewer for The Weekly Platypi (TWP). He is the one and only surviving person to ever interview the Chaos Lord and doesn't plan to repeat the experience. He hopes his next interview will be a bit less life-threatening.
Last edited by Keyser on Fri Sep 11, 2009 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.