A Banal Chat
rating: +8+x

Sam was sitting at his kitchen table, with only his pen, paper, and a letter labeled "FINAL NOTICE" for company. His writing wasn't some great novel, or anything that a great amount of people were going to read. He figured only his family and the police would read it. He looked around, savoring his apartment. For one moment, he appreciated the cracked walls, dripping ceiling, aging flooring, and the general dampness that was all over the place. The moment passed and he went back to hating it. He sealed his writing in an envelope, grabbed a rope he had brought out onto the counter, and set off to his bedroom. He took his sweet time walking down the short hallway to his room, and after taking a deep breath, stepped in.

It was as he had left it: cold, wet, and utterly dark. He flicked on the single lamp next to the door and approached his bed. He spoke aloud to himself, motivating, encouraging, and justifying what he was about to do. He sat on the edge of his bed and noticed that only he had ever touched it. Well, that wouldn't matter soon, because the police would probably touch it to look for anything suspicious, and maybe his mother would weep on its sheets. He sure hoped she would, after the living hell that she and his father put him through these past few years, he deserved as much. He placed the letter down on his bedside table, and began tying the rope onto his ceiling fan when he heard two distinct popping noises go off next to his right and left ear as he felt the weight of two small objects on his shoulder.

“Hey Geoff. What’s up?"

Sam looked at his right shoulder, a small man who had a nice air about him, clothed in white robes, held a harp and a small sheet of paper. It smiled at him and gestured for him to move his head out of the way.

“Yo Clarence, been a while since you worked advisory.”

Sam turned and looked at his left shoulder, where a small angry looking man, wielding a pitchfork and a similar looking piece of paper, prodded his shoulder.

“Yeah, I got demoted from dispatch for talking back to Gabriel. Man, that guy is crazy when he gets angry.”

“Don’t I know it, he’s the reason I'm still in this job.”

“I think one of us should really talk Daniel about him.”

Sam watched in bewilderment at this strange turn of events. “What are you?”

The one on his right shoulder hushed Sam with his index finger. “Hold your horses man, one moment.” He leaned around Sam’s head and nodded at the opposite shoulder. “So how're the folks?”

“Oh, you know the usual, the missus is smoking all the time and the kids are doing just fine in school.”

“Fun, my wife is getting bored of not being.”

“You should take her out to Purgatory some time, I do a weekly outing with my family, maybe we could meet there. ” The little angry man suddenly lit on fire. “But let's talk about that later, right now is business.”

With a sigh, the one named Clarence quickly skimmed over his sheet of paper, then turned to face Sam. “You are Sam Takeo, are you not?”

Sam nodded an affirmative.

“Alright, well, our specs say that you have had issues with your mom, you lost your job, non-standard chemical balance, yada yada yada. That's really it?”

Sam suddenly found his composure, and his look of shock faded away to one of grim resolve. “Yes, and you can’t stop me.”

The nice man looked at his watch. "No skin off our backs."

The angry one poked Sam on the shoulder with his pitchfork to get his attention, and then with a rehearsed air about him said, “Ahem, so Sam. I heartily encourage you in this endeavor and it is, in my opinion, the best way to solve to all your problems."

The man robed in white tapped him gently on the neck and Sam spun around. He started reading from the sheet of paper in mock enthusiasm. "But Sam! If you do this, you will go to hell! You don't want to go there." He gave a pained smile.

Sam looked between these small entities. "I've been planning this for a while now, if I burn in hell, at least it is better than anything up here." He tossed the final loop around the ceiling fan and with a final look at the room around the room, looped the other end of the rope around his neck.

The nice one nonchalantly pulled an electronic tablet out of thin air and began typing away. "Again, doesn't really affect us."

As Sam finished the noose, he peeked over the edge of the bed, the distance had never seemed so far before. "Goodbye world," he said to nobody in particular. With his eyes closed, he took a step forward into the empty air.

The angry man had zoned out for a moment, but startled when Sam prepared to jump. He quickly yelled, "No! You tied the knot wrong!”.

Sam also startled but had already began to jump, he grasped at his neck in utter fear that his death would be excruciatingly painful, but the knot was to the right and his neck snapped when his weight pulled on the rope.

Geoff and Clarence remained on his shoulders as he hung from his ceiling fan. Geoff laughed. "I love to give em a good scare before they go."

Clarence smiled at Geoff. "You haven't changed a bit."

Geoff smiled back. "Nope, and it's time for the next basket case."

Clarence's smile faded and he sighed. "Story of my life."

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