Among all the wonders that magic can do, going back in time might not be in the list, because if I ever knew about the most unlikely way to realize it, I would try it without any hesitation. They say everybody deserves a second chance in life, however, the hard reality that stands before me each time I open my eyes renders the statement false. There are mistakes in life that generate indelible and unforgiving consequences. I wish somebody could please save me from what I have done to myself, whatever the mean so that I can properly rest again. Moreover, I cannot say that I could really close my eyes since that night.
"Get the hell outta here! I hope you rot in your hole and never work again!" my last boss yelled behind me as I turned to him and replied with two middle fingers up, more out of annoyance than in a willingness to disrespect him.
With nothing but my hands in my pocket, I had to walk home on a distance of thirty-six kilometers under the hot sun of the summer. I made my way on the boulevard through the river of carefree bystanders, busy enjoying the good things that a beautiful Saturday could offer. A stunning mother gave an ice-cream to her little son, while a man dressed in a classy suit with a suitcase in his hand was rejoicing on the phone about a done deal, and just beside me on the road, a group of people was pushing joyful screams in their car as they were going to a destination unknown to me.
Tired from the hardship I was facing all along, I became convinced that all my suffering came from the bad choices I made in my life and I began listing them in my head as my steps became slower. Eyes down, walking like the dead, my frustration grew along the distance I traveled, whispering to me that maybe I should have chosen that job advertisement instead of the one I picked, that maybe I should have chosen to pursue my own goals instead of embracing the cause of other people, that maybe I should have traveled to another country or town instead of staying here, and many other thoughts of that kind invaded my mind.
Many of the people I knew were doing well, especially Sean Kovaridis, an old acquaintance I could never get along with during my time in college. I met him months ago at a jewelry store in downtown, where he had just bought countless diamond rings and bracelets like a bunch of snacks. He seemed in a real hurry and we did not even exchange contacts or anything as he sped up through the door and entered his luxurious car. After doing a little search, I learned that he owned a real estate agency that I then visited a lot of times without finding him there even once.
"Hey man!" I heard someone calling behind me.
With my level of frustration, I did not pay attention to who it was and continued my walk, lost in my thinking, like I did not hear anything with my eyes still riveted on the ground.
"Hey Timmy!" I heard the man again behind me and turned to face him, immediately getting appalled by the unbelievable coincidence.
Dressed in a fancy shirt and arms wide opened, Sean approached me with a big smile on his face, quickly noticed by most of the bystanders all around him. After all, he is Sean Kovaridis, the rising force of the real estate business. Many thoughts flooded my brain as I considered several options from just behaving like an old friend who is happy to see him, asking him for a possible job opportunity or begging him for a few bucks.
"Hey dude! What's up? I been calling you all along bro. You look tense you okay?"
"Yeah bro I'm alright, I'm good. What about you?" I said, pathetically forcing myself into acting cool and unfazed.
"About me?" he asked after chuckling. "Bro, I'm Sean Kovaridis man, I really think I'm good."
"Uh yeah, obviously." I said, thinking to myself that he was still the same proud douchebag.
"Where you up to? You going to work or something?" he asked then squinted to read the inscription on my cap. "And you working for Gerry Builderz Warehouse?"
"Yeah, I work for that company yeah."
"Ah, that sounds cool. And everything fine there?" he questioned as he took a tissue from his pocket and began to clean his sunglasses.
"Yeah, yeah in fact I was just going home now."
"On foot?" he asked with a mocking smile on his face.
"Yeah you know, I like to enjoy the hot summer sun."
"Yeah, of course you do. You live far from here?" he asked, looking at me through his sunglasses before wearing them back.
"No, not at all, think I'll be home in less than half an hour."
"Oh okay, good. Dude, it's been a pleasure bro, but I've more important stuff to do, stay strong." he said, walking backward before he turned and took the direction of his luxurious cabriolet, inside which a first-class model was patiently waiting for him. "You'll make it one day!" he added, raising one arm up.
I watched him walk away, wondering if he started this little talk just to mock me like he used to do back in college, or if I just failed to seize an opportunity to humble myself and win a ticket for the upper class. The clock was ticking and I was sweating, trying to convince myself to do something that would either break me or make me. When Sean closed the door of his car and started the engine, I dashed toward the vehicle.
"Hey, hey, hey! Sean wait! Wait man! Wait!" I shouted, tapping on the door before he could move the car.
"Woah! Hey bro, relax! Go easy bro that's a brand new car right here!"
"Okay, okay sorry!"
"Yeah uh, look. In fact, I just wanted to know if you could, I don't know, find me a little place in your business you know, or anywhere else you know, in memory of good old time man." I said with my little smile of embarrassment.
"Good old time? Didn't you just tell me that everything was good in that quote and quote company you work in?"
"Yeah, yeah of course but you know the—"
"Take this." he said, handing me a visit card. There was his name and maybe his personal phone number on it.
"Thanks, thank you bro. I really appreciate."
"Of course you do, but I gotta go now I—"
"Wait, wait! Uh, I know it sounds weird but, can you lend me like twenty bucks or something, so I can catch the bus you know."
"Dude, don't lose that card and you'll never be begging for shit in your whole life again."
"Uh, okay, alright." I said, avoiding being pushy about it. "Hello beauty!" I greeted the lady next to him on the passenger seat but she did not reply. In fact, I remember her not moving or saying anything as if she was just a perfectly made doll, with her brown hair and her sunglasses, but I definitely knew she was not.
The luxurious car sped on the road toward the sunny horizon, while I rejoiced because I just had a new one to follow, and I continued my walk home with a luminous smile on my face. After walking for three more good hours, I finally entered the crappy building in which I rented an old, small and dusty apartment, welcomed by the usual stench of cigarette and urine of the derelict construction. Under the dim light of the third-floor corridor, as usual, I slowed down and watched my steps to avoid being heard by Max, my landlord, who resided just three doors away from mine. However, I did not realize how life-saving that little habit would be when I saw 'death' exit my apartment.
As silently as possible, I entered my old neighbor's apartment and hid behind the front door without closing it, praying not to be seen or heard while I felt my heart almost exploding in my chest. The slow footsteps of my grim reaper made heavy sounds on the floor as he advanced in the direction from which I arrived, and through the half-opening of the door, I could glimpse him put his silver tool of death on his belt.
"Hey? What the hell you doing here?" my old neighbor yelled from behind me.
The grim reaper stopped his walk then slowly turned his head in the direction of the half-opened door, and before he could see me, I dashed toward my neighbor, held her from behind, dragged the old woman to an unseen spot from the front door and covered her mouth with my hand. I waited at least ten minutes, attentive to any sound that could confirm that danger entered the premises despite the muffled noises of my neighbor, struggling to free herself from my grip.
Minutes after, I released the old lady and went behind the door to check if I was out of the woods, only to see that the assailant had left. I was still looking in the corridor when I felt something strong land on my head. I turned and almost laughed at the view of my neighbor, standing in front of me with a baseball bat she struggled to hold in her hands, while she strove to gather enough strength to strike again.
"Little dirty shit! I'm gonna teach you the lesson of your life tonight!" she yelled.
"Sorry! I'm so sorry for that Mrs. Albertson, it's just that there was—I mean I saw—"
"Eat that you little freak!" she yelled as she hit me on the forearm while I tried to protect myself.
Her perfectly understandable attitude made me realize the impossible mission of reasoning her at that moment, so before things could get messy with the potential arrival of the landlord, I hurried in the corridor, taking the direction of my apartment. I could still hear her yell after I locked the door behind me. A smile on my face, I sighed, a little bit amused following that moment of tension.
Poorly lighted by the street lamps, the sad decor of my apartment seemed to make an attempt in increasing my frustration. I wondered at that moment how on earth the assailant I just escaped managed to know where I stayed, certain that he did not find what he came for. I crept through the shards on the floor and passed several of my broken movables, before crashing on my only sofa, finally free from the weight of my long walk home.
Eyes on the ceiling covered with molds, I dived again into the river of my thoughts which strong flow led me to remember Sean's card in my pocket. I quickly took it out then sat, completely caught off guard by a disturbing spectacle and even used the flashlight of my phone to clearly see what had just occurred. The card had entirely changed in color, in content and even in size to my pure amazement. Alone in the obscurity of my apartment strongly reminiscent of my life's darkness, I widened my eyes to the unreal and unbelievable inscriptions that would soon shine an incredible light in my existence.
The loud noise of my front door being kicked open then made me jump and turn to its direction, only to see 'death' returns after having left less than half an hour ago. Its deadly weapon out and pointed at me, it smiled and let its golden teeth shine in the dark thanks to the light of the street lamps before addressing me the question that drove all its actions. I just dropped the card and put my hands up to surrender.
"Hi Tyron. Long time no see." I quietly said with a trembling voice.
"You said it man! Long time no see!" he said, still smiling, before slamming the door behind him.
"How you doing?" I said with a fake smile, my hands still up.
"Quite okay you know. And oh, excuse me for redoing the decoration while you were out. You know I'm a kind person. You don't have a problem with that right?" he questioned, smashing my only flower pot on the floor.
"No—no problem at all—Tyron. You welcome here."
"Thank you! That's so kind of you Timmy! Well, since I had a hard time finding you, I guess you had enough time getting ready to pay me back. Right? So where my money at Timmy?" he said, approaching me and pointing the gun at my head.
"Oh that?" I asked, slowly stepping back.
"In fact, I wanted to call you about that, you see—"
"What bro? What?" he yelled, grabbing me by my T-shirt collar and pressing the gun against my temple.
"I got an appointment bro—a—an appointment! Tonight, with Sean Kovaridis I swear."
"Kovaridis. Sean Kovaridis, the big name of the real estate bus—"
"Whatever dude. Why a guy full of cash like him would meet with a lowlife scum like you on a peaceful evening like this?"
"We know each other Tyron, I swear. We were college buddies."
"College buddies? So now you went to college? You stupid but hella funny bro. I'll give you that." he said, shaken by his sarcastic laugh.
"Tomorrow. Tomorrow morning Tyron, you'll have all your money."
"Okay. Let's do this. Let's play! I'll pretend like you didn't just tell me stupid lies right now and let you go. But know this Timmy. Even if you not there when I come back on morning, I'll find you and kill you bro. Simple as that. You know, they don't call me Death for nothing."
"You'll have it I swear."
"Of course. Good boy." he said, tapping the gun twice on my head and left without closing the door behind him.
I sat back on my sofa and placed my hands over my face before sliding my fingers through my hair, caught again in the midst of my thinking. Problems just kept piling up and Tyron was without a doubt a deadly one that I could not avoid anymore. My eyes on the floor, I soon spotted Sean's card and hurried to pick it up as I remembered seeing something that could help me even though I did not really believe it at first.
'The great Ahmnnhod, god of riches, healer of poverty'
An inscription I found amusing since nowadays the world is filled with countless quacks that promise the world to people, only to rob them from the little they hardly earn. Along with the name and the honorific titles of that individual was an address that did not lead to a really recommendable area but, dangerous or not, quack or not at that point, I had nothing to lose and kept on replaying in my mind the last thing Sean told me earlier. After standing and thinking for almost one hour, I dropped the card on the floor once again and finally made the first steps towards my last hope.
Under an abnormally cloudy sky for a summer night, I arrived at the exact place indicated on the card; a dark alley stained with the bad reputation of being the deadliest of the whole city. Surprisingly, at that time of the night, they were not even one of the hardened drug dealers or robbers that usually waited for potential customers or victims with their backs against the tagged and dirty walls. I stood in the middle of empty cans, cigarette butts and paper junk with a wandering white cat for only company.
"Tim." I suddenly heard without seeing the caller as I looked everywhere around me.
"Hello?" I said, trying to get a response.
"Tim Dharoz." I heard my own voice calling.
"Who—Who's that? Who are you?" I shouted now completely in terror, looking everywhere until I found myself in front of Sean, dressed in a fancy all-white suit, smiling at me with his hands behind his back.
"Well Tim, I hope that appearance calms you down a little bit. Right?" he said.
"Sean? What you doing here? And what's the meaning of this, with the—card and—"
"Sean? Don't be so impolite Tim Dharoz. Have you come here to meet with Sean?" he said before transforming into the lady that was in Sean's car, dressed in a sexy white silk robe and white high heels.
"Oh man! Oh shit!" I said, turning to make an escape from that nightmare, but saw him mysteriously standing in my way.
"Oh no Timmy! At this point there are several things you should know and do before the end of this meeting." he said, then transformed into myself dressed in a fancier white suit.
"What? This can't be real!"
"Oh trust me it is. And now you have to listen carefully. Sit!"
"Oh man. Why are the newbies always so difficult and clueless? I said sit sir! On the floor! Now!"
"Okay!" I said and obeyed, trembling to the complete ignorance of what would happen in the dark alley.
"Well, we shall begin. In case you forgot whom you had to meet here, I shall introduce myself. They call me all sort of names but for you, as you read on the card, my name is—"
"Oh wow! Look who just recovered his memory! That's excellent! Now, I will ask it to you only once Tim Dharoz. Be wise in your answer young man. What do you want?"
Among all the craziest things I could have witnessed at that point of my life, that was way beyond the top of the list, but I did not know how surreal things were about to get. Remembering the purpose of my visit as well as being in front of the so-called 'god of riches' as unreal as it can be, I concentrated, to the point I could feel and listen to my heartbeats along with his encouragements even though he had his mouth closed, looking at me with a malicious smile.
"Good Timmy. Concentrate. Think twice. Think carefully. Give me the best answer you can think of."
"I came here because I want money. Money that I can't even count and that could fill a whole room. I wanna be so rich that I would spend a whole fortune in one day without thinking about tomorrow, and do it again the day after until the end of my life. I wanna have money to buy so many things that I would even forget that they belong to me because of having too many possessions. So rich, even richer than Sean so I could shut his mouth once for all and prove to every people that doubted me that they made a big mistake. I want you to make me the prince of riches." I said then looked at him as he was leisurely looking at his fingernails.
"Oh, you done? So that's it?"
"Uh, yes. Ahmnnhod."
"Well, take this." he said, handing me a little black bottle.
"There's nothing inside but, I want you to fill it right now with your urine, saliva, and blood."
"Wait wait. What?" I asked, and he gave me a terrifying look I am still unable to describe to this day. "Okay, okay!" I added.
"Don't you worry Timmy! I'm not rude, I promise to look away."
Following the execution of the weird instruction, I walked back to him with the bottle that he quickly put back in his suit inside pocket after displaying a big smile like the one of a lottery winner. His skin then turned gray and his veins became progressively black as if something poisonous traveled into them, while he seemed to enjoy the sensation like a drug addict who just took a dose. His eyes glistening, he addressed me with a gruff voice, about to give me the last and most important instructions. I recall feeling a deep sentiment of uneasiness, seeing my doppelganger with gray skin and strange eyes plunged into mine.
"Listen carefully, Tim Dharoz. You're about to be rich like you never could imagine. But remember. Never fail to spend everything you get every day. No charity."
"What? I—I don't follow."
"Find your heart in the dirtiest place of your home, but for this first time, watch your step before you enter or it's over." he said as he began to fade away like some smoke.
"What? I don't understand please what you mean?"
"Actually, you don't have to worry about that anymore. Just tell him that it's in the toilet room."
"What? What you talking about?" I asked then turned when I heard the police siren behind me.
Lighted up by the officer's long-range flashlight, I played dumb, talking to myself while making big gestures. Certainly thinking that I was just another junkie lost in my addiction, he drove off and thus allowed me to stay out of trouble. I stopped my little comedy and began the long walk back to my apartment, wondering how on earth I would manage to pay my debt. Expecting to get something immediate and consistent from Ahmnnhod turned out to be a vain hope, and I already considered stealing something from my old neighbor in the middle of the night just to keep Tyron calm, oblivious to the reality that awaited in my apartment.
"Hey Timmy! Come on in!" Tyron said, inviting me in my own apartment as soon as I opened the door.
Considering a run, I trembled, reflecting on several options while he was insisting on me coming in. I just resolved myself to find an umpteenth excuse to survive him once more.
"Tyron? What you doing here in the middle of the night?"
"You saying I'm not welcome here?" he said, pulling his gun out.
"No, no. We're cool, mi casa es su casa Tyron." I nervously said with a fake smile.
"It's mi casa es tu casa dumbass! So, I got an interesting call from one of my contacts, and he told me that he saw you leave a street which happens to be one of the main points of my drug business. No no excuse me, my drug empire. And since you no drug dealer, that leads me to the conclusion that you were there to buy. And if you were there to buy, then you got my money."
"What? No, no in fact—I told you that I was—"
"Meeting Sean Kova—whatever right? Damn, you so stupid you can't even lie. You really saying that a millionaire boy wanted to meet you on evening in the darkest and most dangerous street of the whole city? Really?"
"I swear man I went there, in fact I—" I tried explaining, quickly interrupted, as a powerful gun butt hammered my face. I fell on the floor and my vision became a little blurry.
"Look what you making me do. I'm losing my good manners again because of you. I'm really trying to change you know."
Down on the floor, I desperately crawled toward the door and spotted Sean's card among the debris. Ahmnnhod's words then flooded in my mind as Tyron grabbed me by my T-shirt collar and lifted me up before he asked me a question I already had the answer for.
"Alright Timmy! I was kind enough to lend you some money, now be kind enough to pay me back. Okay? Where's my cash?" he asked, holding me by my T-shirt collar with one hand and at gunpoint with the other.
"It's—in the—toilet room." I answered, struggling to speak.
"In the toilet room?" he asked back with a smile. "You not trying to make a run for it do you?" he asked again but I just looked at him straight in the eyes. "Alright Timmy!" he added then released his grip on me. "Let's check the toilet!"
He walked to the end of the short corridor leading to the small room he intended to check, while I thought of running for my life but froze, curious about why Ahmnnhod instructed me to give him that strange answer. Tyron stood in front of the door, looked at me with a smile then at the door handle, and laughed a little as if everything occurring was just a little game for him. After putting his gun back on his belt, he opened the door and to my horror, I saw him being pulled inside by three dark inhumane arms.
Loud were the creature's bestial noises and Tyron's screams that forced me to bar my door with the sofa so that curious neighbors would not come to see what was happening. I then watched the door shake as loud bangs echoed in the silence of the night while Tyron's screams ceased, quickly replaced by noises of clothes and flesh being savagely torn apart. Blood streamed from under the door and the tumult continued for at least ten minutes before it abruptly stopped.
Never had I experience a silence so loud, and although it disturbed me more than the horror that I just witnessed, I unconsciously found the courage to creep in the direction of the door, perhaps ready to uncover the bloody scene. At the moment I had to step on the pool of blood, it retracted as if it was being vacuumed back in the bathroom and disappeared under the door. I fell on my back and looked at it, realizing that everything just appeared normal again like nothing ever happened.
Seeing that rendered me unable to open the door because of the dread the creature behind it inspired me. I asked myself thousands of questions and considered even more options, walking in a circle and repeatedly rubbing my head for hours. What if somebody called the police? What if that thing was still behind the door? What if it kicks it open and attacks me? What were the meanings of all those strange things Ahmnnhod said? What about just leaving the city before people and the police discover Tyron's body?
Dawn enlightened my apartment when I finally decided to open that door. My heartbeat fastened and I began breathing heavily at each step I made toward the toilet room, covered with sweat and armed with a steel bar I brought back months ago from my last job. I listened to my heart beating hard in my chest as my hand got closer to the door handle and let out a scream when somebody knocked at the front door.
"Police! Open the door!"
I looked at the main entrance door then at the windows already thinking of a run but hesitated long enough while the officer kept on knocking before I chose to just answer and let my downfall in. Trembling, I walked toward the door, pulled back the sofa, threw the steel bar on the floor and opened to a pleasing surprise.
"So Timmy? Big party last night?" Max asked.
"What the hell Max? Why did you say you were the damn police?"
"I got you on this one right? I always knew I was a good actor. Now step aside!"
"Hey! Max! What you do—"
"What the hell just happened in here?" he questioned, after forcing himself in.
"You don't have the right to—"
"Shut your damn mouth up boy! I'm the big boss landlord in here, and after owing me three months you shouldn't be running your mouth like you do. And nothing gives you the right to mess up a place that isn't even yours."
"Max please! Please this not the moment for your bullshit please just leave!"
"Leave? Please? You got some nerves kid, and you kinda weird since yesterday. You broke into Mrs. Albertson's apart—"
"That was an accident Max I—"
"Then there were loud noises in here all night long, I see what you did to my place, and now you begging me to leave? Man what happened? You hiding something in here?"
"What you talking about?"
Max crept through the debris on the floor and went to open my bedroom door. He even crouched so he could spot anything suspicious under the bed, while I yelled at him, asking him to leave. He went on with his investigator little game and opened the bathroom door without seeing anything extraordinary once again.
"Nooooo Max!" I yelled to prevent him from opening the toilet room.
"Well, I guess the victim's inside." he said and placed his hand on the door handle.
"Maxou?" we both heard from behind us, seeing his wife standing at the front door.
"Janet. How many times I already told you not to call me that?" Max asked.
"Maxou? What on earth happened here?"
"You better ask Mr. party hard about that."
"Later Maxou, now it's time to change your diaper."
"Diaper?" I asked, baffled by what I just heard.
"Why did you have to say it here?" Max yelled, walking to his wife.
"Come on Maxou, don't make things difficult you know we have to go."
They continued their early morning argument walking to their apartment as I closed my door and sighed in relief, then put the sofa back against it. Facing the toilet room, I took a deep breath then advanced toward it as fast as I could with all the courage I managed to gather even without my steel bar. My hand on the door handle, I took another deep breath and pulled with all my strength only to get showered by the only thing I wished to possess the most. Money. Money like I just robbed a bank.
It poured on me so strong like a river that I fell on the floor with my eyes completely widened in amazement. I almost lost my breath as if I was having an asthma attack while a radiant smile enlightened my face before I screamed in joy, immediately stopping right after to avoid drawing attention. That money was countless, bills were stacked from the floor to the ceiling and I noticed that there was no trace of Tyron's body whatsoever.
Ahmnnhod's words soon rang in my mind as I remembered the obligation to spend everything before the day ends or my life would end. I stood up and decided to put a big part of the money in the only suitcase I had, hid another part in the closet and the rest under my bed, prior to storming out of my apartment to fulfill my spending duty. The hot summer sun burned my face as soon as I stepped outside, walking with absolutely no idea of what I could buy to dilapidate all that money I was never used to possess. A call of nature soon resonated from the depths of my stomach and I went in a fast-food to prepare for the long day ahead.
Fries and chicken never tasted so good before that bright day. Sean was right, I would never be begging for anything again in my life. Ideas of where I could start spending my money for the day began to flood my mind when, all of a sudden, Tyron appeared, pulled the chair facing mine and sat, smiling at me. Dressed in all dark blue clothes with golden chains around his neck, he leisurely served himself in my plate, taking and eating three fries that he delicately chewed before giving his appreciation.
"It doesn't stand a chance against Tyron's fingers but, it's kinda worth it." he said.
"Tyron?" I asked, and he looked at me, surprised that I called him using that name.
"You really don't understand anything do you?"
"Yes, that's that. Smart up a little bit young man, take this as a piece of advice because you'll seriously need a very good brain from now."
"What was that in my toilet? You tricked me into killing someone."
"Error Tim. I got you rid of a big problem and just happened to feed myself in the process."
"Feed? What are you? And—don't you have your own—"
"Face? Form? Gender? Kid, you not ready to see my real appearance." he said before we both stayed silent for seconds.
"Are you—the devil?"
"The devil? Timmy, if I was him, you would be dead in that alley last night. And do you really think the grand master has time for a lowlife loser like you? Do you even know what it takes to meet him?"
"I don't know I just—"
"What you doing here Timmy?"
"I'm—I was just—"
"Grabbing a bite? Don't you have something more important to do?"
"I was thinking about what to buy and where to start. This just crazy, it's too much money."
"This is your problem, Tim Dharoz. You got what you asked for remember."
"How am I supposed to spend amounts like that every day? Will I even get the time to sleep? Or to live?"
"Timmy, money doesn't sleep, so why would you?"
"What? But that's crazy!"
"Yeah I can give you that. It's crazy, but it's too late to back down Tim Dharoz. You know, those things are like mazes, it's often easy to get in but impossible to get out. Now listen, if you try to give up, I'll take your life. If you talk to someone about all that, I'll take your life. If you fail to spend all that money before midnight, I'll take your life. If you use it for any kind of charity, I'll take your life. Do you understand what I'm saying?"
"I understand." I said, after looking at him silently in a daze as I just felt out of my mind after what I just heard him say.
"Oh really you understand? So what are those extra bills in that little basket? A generous tip? No charity dumbass, pay for your meal and get the change."
"Okay. Okay, I'll do that. I won't fail, I will spend all the money, I promise."
"Well, if you think that's an easy thing to do. Have a nice day!" he said, standing up and taking the direction of the door. "Remember Timmy, money doesn't sleep! Never at all!"
Following that encounter with Ahmnnhod, I sped to Sean's real estate agency with the hope he could help me out fast with the spending by selling me a dozen or more houses just to get rid of all that money. Upon arriving, I asked for Sean Kovaridis frantically but the entire staff was nonchalant about answering me and treated me like an impatient customer that had to be taken care of by the security. One of the guards eventually recognized me from my previous visits at the agency months ago and once outside, he discreetly let me in on the secret about Sean's whereabouts.
"Mr. Kovaridis is dead sir, and it's been eight months now."
Eight months from now but I could swear on my own life that I saw him yesterday. I thus understood Ahmnnhod to be the one that approached me at that moment of frustration and set a trap in which I foolishly run in like a donkey in front of a carrot. I then successfully negotiated my way back into the agency so that I could purchase whatever property they had for sale.
I had my eyes on every clock and on every watch, barely looking at all the brochures I was showed, while just repeatedly telling the real estate agent that I was willing to buy any house available. She rejoiced to that then struck me with a missile straight to my heart when she explained to me that I had to follow several days procedures before realizing the payment, that I was not meant to make in cash anyway. Once again, the tone was turned up a notch and the raising voices attracted the security guards that threw me out of the building for good.
An idea then came into my mind and I pulled out my phone. My cousin Derek was not in a financial good shape either after just coming out of prison. In panic and despair, I intended to make him a weird proposition, hoping that he would not reject it. I phoned Derek, met and asked him to help me spend a large amount in purchasing things for my count that we would later share, with the promise of giving him more money the next morning, knowing that if I could not donate money, I could at least donate what I bought with it. Together, we went to my apartment and I had to tell him the best lies I could craft just to explain how I earned all that money before I let him leave with a suitcase I bought for the occasion, so full of money it had to weight more than twenty kilograms.
On my side, with two suitcases, I spent my way into the black market and bought several things at crazy prices, acting the best way I could to avoid raising suspicions. At eleven in the evening, I had bought several pickup trucks at eighty million, several SUVs at more than a hundred millions and a whole tone of jewelry at the same price. As soon as I did that, relief rang on my phone in the form of a text message from Derek, saying that he successfully fulfilled his task. I only kept a few bills for one of my car's gas as I intended to spend all the change in another meal in the nearest fast food to my apartment. With a little smile, I drove at least a quarter hour till I saw the lit signs of the one in which I had a meal in the morning. Minutes after parking near the restaurant, somebody opened the door of my SUV and sat on the passenger seat.
"Timmy, Timmy, Timmy." the man said, shaking his head. He was dressed in a classy all-black suit and I recognized him to be a celebrity.
"You not going to ask for an autograph are you?"
"Tyron was right kid. You slow and stupid as hell. At least, more than he was."
"I'm about to end the task for today. I'll walk to that fast food and will be done for to—"
"You not close to being done with anything stupid dumbass! Look at the backseat!"
"What you—" I interrupted myself upon seeing a lot of money in the back seat.
"That should be enough to shut your damn stupid mouth right?"
"What's that? Why you doing this? We spent all the money—"
"We, Timmy, we! That's all the problem here! Now let me spell it out for you. No—help. Since stupidity is rampant in your family, your dumbass cousin had a change of mind and decided to keep the whole money for himself. He sent that text message to you and of course, you believed that guy that you know was dishonest! What was that deal between you guys anyway?"
"I didn't know what to fucking do!"
"And I told you to smart up remember! So do it as soon as possible, or you'll die!" he yelled, then smiled at me before he continued. "Well, I forgave you since it wasn't a voluntary donation to your cousin but, I did serve myself and I admit that his ribs were succulent. What a meal!"
"A meal? You—ate Derek?"
"Like I would hesitate. Look, I won't hesitate if you fail just like I didn't with Sean. That was funny you know, he forgot the last bill in his pocket and you should have seen the look on his face when I show up at midnight." he said before laughing uncontrollably.
"You're a monster. A demon!"
"Oh you have no idea Timmy. And, you have around forty minutes left. Now go!"
I stormed out of the car and sped in the fast food, asking to see the owner immediately. Unlike what I faced at the real estate agency, the employees went straight to notify him, and he appeared in a few minutes, appalled about somebody asking to see him at that time of the night. After telling him about my proposition of buying his establishment on the spot, he examined me for several seconds as I pressured him to take a decision. Unfortunately, he threatened me by saying that he would contact the police if I did not exit the building with my dirty money.
"Get the hell outta here! And never come back here again!" I heard him yelling after me as I dashed to the door. The kind of things I became really accustomed to hearing after getting fired from several jobs.
My last hope in mind, I just ran to the apartment of the only person left that could save my life from imminent death. Drenched in sweat, my legs and arms sore from the long run I had been submitted to all day long, I flew along the stairs and hysterically knocked at his door. He wasted at least five good minutes just to wake up and to come at the door while I was counting every single second to survive.
"I know you here, open the damn door!"
"What the hell you looking for at this time of the night kid?" he quietly questioned when he opened.
"Max, I need a favor from you Max. Right now!" I said, inviting myself into his apartment.
"What do you need Tim? What is it? I already know you won't be able to pay for the next month. It's not a reason to—"
"Look, I've got a whole lot of money right now. I'm talking millions, millions right there in my car. But I need you to sell me the building right now in the next minutes."
"You kidding right?" he said after chuckling. His smile vanished from his face when he saw how much I was utterly serious. "Okay what shit are you on, tell me."
"I'm not on something right now man! You the owner right? Just sell me the building I need it!"
"Maxou? What's going on here?"
"Janet I thought I told you to stay inside there. And why you keep calling me that in front of strangers? Why you never listen to—"
"That's not the fucking point right now dammit!" I yelled after seeing on my phone that only ten minutes remained.
"Look man, there's some paperwork before you can even buy the first brick of that building."
"Okay. Okay fine. Sell me your old minivan man. You can do it right? You can. For the same price, I'll give you all the millions I got right there. But we gotta do it now!"
"Alright man, okay, so where are those mill—"
"Grab a suitcase, your largest one and the keys! Let's go let's hurry!"
"Fine, fine!" he said with a mocking smile on his face, certainly thinking that I was joking.
Running through the stairs, followed by Max with his suitcase, we arrived on the streets where my car was parked, and my heart almost shattered because of the despair I felt in front of another horrific vision. The car had vanished and was nowhere to be seen. Ignoring Max comments and yelling, I put my hands on my head and fell on my knees to wait for my death, already thinking of which part of my body Ahmnnhod would devour first. They say everybody sees their whole life flash in their head before the instant of their death, however, I felt that the only thing I would see was Ahmnnhod's arms grabbing and dragging me to my death just like with Tyron.
"Timmy! Timmy!" a woman dressed in all black clothes called behind us from my SUV on the other side of the street, immediately filling my eyes with a bright light of hope.
"Hey. Hey! This my car! Come on Max! Come!" I said before I ran to her, crossing the street as I almost got hit by a truck.
"Hey slow down kid, you tryna get killed?"
"I'm trying to avoid getting killed! Come on!" I replied to Max as we reached the other side of the road.
"Wow! Nice wheels Timmy! And who's that model? Hello sweetie! How you—"
"Give me the keys and the suitcase!" I yelled.
"Calm down! Damn!" he replied.
Without caring about the stupid conversation Max and the lady engaged in, I put the keys of the minivan in my pocket and began loading the bills from the back seat into the suitcase. During the operation, my eyes accidentally fell on the car's screen where I could see midnight to be in two minutes. I sped up as fast as I could, looked in every corner of the car to spot any hidden bill and would swear that I put them all in, along with the money I had in my pocket for the meal at the fast food. Several seconds before midnight, I then threw the suitcase to Max as soon as I was done and both of them looked at me, surprised by my act.
"Dude you good?" Max questioned.
"I did it! It's done! Before midnight it's done!"
"What you talking about?" the unknown lady asked with a piercing look in her eyes, making me realize that I almost made the huge blunder of revealing my dirty secret.
"Janet, why do you have to follow me everywhere I go?"
"I was worried and—hello guys!"
"By the planets of the universe!" Max shouted when he opened the suitcase. "Kid, you were not kidding about that money!"
"Oh my!" Janet said, placing her hands over her mouth.
"Baby, we about to leave that crappy place for good. Oh shit! Oh fuck!" Max said, trembling in joy and excitement.
"So all that money just for our minivan? Why do you want that old carcass while—"
"That's not the point right now Janet!" Max interrupted. "Kid, it's been nice to do business with you. Have a good night! Janet, let's go!" he added before pulling his wife by the arm and speeding to his apartment, while the unknown lady and I watched them leave.
"He's a charming guy. Dumb but quite charming." she said with a smile, passing her fingers through her blonde hair.
"I did it Ahmnnhod. I did it. I spent every—"
"Relax, I know you did spend every iota without exception. Congratulations!" she said, still smiling.
"Why did you move the car Ahmnnhod?"
"Moved? I just took back what's mine. Some punk just decided to steal the car and I had to eat him because it's my money he almost stole. And I came back with everything right here."
"Really?" I asked, staring at her or him or whatever that Ahmnnhod being could be. "Thanks."
"Thanks? You think I did it for you? How naive! How dumb!" Ahmnnhod said, approaching me sensually as if she wanted to seduce me. "I did it because it's my money. I give it to who I want, and I take it back from who I want. Besides, Max not going to have that for long, and he'll die very soon from—I don't know, cancer, heart attack, I'll find something."
"What? Wait, you didn't—"
"Thanks to you Timmy! What a day! I never ate three people in one day, that's a new record!" Ahmnnhod said, walking backward to leave. "And remember Timmy, money doesn't sleep! Never." she added before turning and disappearing in thin air like a ghost.
On the verge of fainting after that crazy day, I got in my car and drove home, only thinking about getting some rest to be ready for the next spending spree. But I soon understood that Ahmnnhod words were to take literally and that money does indeed never sleeps when I opened my bedroom door only to get showered by a new and bigger river of cash. I stood up and began thinking of where I could immediately start, because the sooner I spend, the sooner I am safe, and that continued for the next two years.
This is my life right now if you allow me to still call it as such. I barely sleep, barely eat, barely talk and never really smile. I thought I had nothing to lose but I was wrong, I lost my soul as I became an angel of death and I can see myself that I have no light left in my eyes. A strange disease has struck me, making me urinate a smelly black substance as gray sore marks appear every day on my torso. Definitely, my whole life consists of an unfortunate succession of bad choices, a complete failure despite the riches I managed to amass after two good years of runs, spending sprees and survival.
Ironically, everything happened exactly as I asked since I possess things that I often forget owning. As they often say, be careful what you wish for. Ahmnnhod literally said that I would be dead if I talk to anybody about all that, but here I am writing it, which is a different form of communication and that little difference keeps me safe. Even though I became a really busy person, I felt compelled to share my story and hopefully get any help possible so that I can be saved.
Of course, if I knew that I would end up in a restless existence, I would have never gone to that alley and met with that evil supernatural being. I heard myths about monsters like Ahmnnhod without paying much attention to them, but I can assure you now that fallen ones exist. Before you judge me for what I have done, I would like to know something. Honestly, if you were in my position and if Ahmnnhod came to you, what would you have chosen to do?