Entertainingly Evil
18
Jun

In Flight Service By Edward Ahern

“So where are you headed?”

The round man had flopped into his seat, pressing Cassie against the bulkhead.

“West,” she replied, hoping one word wouldn’t provide enough momentum to start a conversation.

“Going to Little Rock myself, for a preacher’s convention. We’ll be working on how to better spread the Good Word.”

“That’s nice.” The jet engines shrilled as they taxied, making conversation impossible.  Once airborne the man again turned his fat-tautened neck toward Cassie.  “Are you a Christian? A real one, born again?”

Cassie wanted to turn away, but her social distance had shrunk to inches.. “Ah, really, my views are a private matter, not something I’d discuss with a stranger.”

“So you’re not. Otherwise, you’d be glad to tell me. I’m Hector Bravo, and I’m really happy to have this chance to talk with you. What’s your name?”

Cassie winced, then sorted through her options, casting off “None of your  business,” and “Helen,” settling for one word truth. “Cassie”

“That’s pretty, Cassie, is it short for something?”

“Cassandra.”

“Well Cassie, I was saved twelve years ago, and my salvation involves bringing the Word to those who live unknowingly in sin. Do you have any religious beliefs?”

Cassie looked around with desperation, but the flight was completely full, with no seat open to escape to. Her only option was to ring the call button and complain to the stewardess that the man next to her was being aggressively religious. With her luck the stewardess would also be born again.

“Look Mr. Bravo…”

“Reverend.”

“Reverend. I turned my back on Catholicism a long time ago…”

“Papism! But I can help you to accept Jesus as your personal savior.”

Cassie smirked despite herself. “That would create quite a conflict of interest, Reverend. I really don’t want to talk religion and was hoping to take a nap.”

“Nonsense. God brought us together so I could help you heal from those perverted Papist teachings and bring you to a better understanding, to your salvation. We’ll have a little service, just you and I. Let’s pray together.”

Cassie squirmed, her left arm pinned against the bulkhead, and her right arm enfolded by the linen wrapped balloon of Hector’s arm. “Really, Reverend, please. Just leave me alone. I’m not into salvation.”

“You need my help Cassie, you just don’t know it yet. Let’s start with a reading from scripture.”

Her pained expression altered just slightly. “Before we start, Reverend, would you mind getting my bag down from the overhead? It’s not heavy and I need to get something. It’s brown crocodile skin.”

Hector Bravo heaved himself up, leaning heavily on the seat back in front of him. He grabbed the small bag and dropped it into Cassie’s lap before wedging himself back into his seat.

“Thanks Hector. May I call you Hector? This will only take a few seconds.”

Cassie opened the clasp on the bag and took out and a small, gold canister.

She carefully unscrewed the lid and held it up to her lips. “Hector?’ she whispered. When he turned his head toward her she blew onto the open canister and into his face. A fine, purple powder covered Hector’s nose and mouth. He inhaled in shock, and Cassie quickly blew twice more, filming Hectors face with a faint, grape-colored tint. She waited for a slow ten count, then whispered again.

“Hector you will do exactly as I say.”

“Of course Cassie.”

“Not so loud, Hector, just whisper back to me. We don’t want other people listening in. Now lean your head forward, please.”

When Hector had rested his head on the seat back in front of him, Cassie took out a pair of cuticle scissors. “I’m going to take just a bit of your hair, Hector, but I wouldn’t want to ruin that beautiful styling of yours, so I’ll clip from behind your ear.”

Cassie snipped, then whispered, “sit back now Hector.”

She rang the call button, and when the stewardess came asked for a glass of water. When the water arrived she held it until the stewardess had left, then slowly poured the water out onto the carpet in front of her.

Cassie reached back into her valise and took out a vial of smoked glass with a gargoyle head on the stopper. She poured a half ounce of snot green liquid into the clear plastic cup, then dropped in Hector’s hair. The hairs writhed and curled as if being poisoned.

“Hector, give me your left hand please. Thank you. My, what a masculine pinky ring. That must be a ruby. I’m going to prick your finger now, Hector, and squeeze out a bit of blood.”

“That’ll be fine, Cassie.”

The blood dropped into the cup and dispersed in wriggling threads.

“Now, what should we do with you, Hector,” Cassie whispered. “What’s appropriate? You haven’t really committed a sin, just been intrusively obnoxious and rude. What to do, what to do.”

She laughed out loud, then leaned over the cup and whispered softly, “Hector, we’re going to have that little service you were so excited about. Drink this please.”

He winced and puckered as he drank, but didn’t complain. Cassie waited a full minute in silence.

“Okay, Hector, you realize now that you don’t really hate Papism. In fact, you’re feeling like it is your true calling. You will renounce your ministry and deed your money, house and cars to the Catholic church. You will join a Trappist monastery as a brother, taking vows of poverty and silence. You will forget that we have had this little service. But after two years your memory will return and you’ll realize that you’ve violated your faith. Is all this clear to you?”

“Yes, Cassie.”

“And you will do as I’ve ordered?”

“Of course, Cassie.”

“Wonderful. You’ll begin practicing silence immediately. You know, Hector, I think you were right. A deity did bring us together.


Ed Ahern resumed writing after forty odd years in foreign intelligence and international sales. He has his original wife, but after forty seven years they are both out of warranty. Ed has had sixty short stories published thus far, and a novella, The Witches’ Bane will be published in May 2015 by World Castle Press.

This story previously appeared in Robbed of Sleep II.





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