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Lucas Marten

“ `ffffff kj oip noinppi tyhgnajfrq pwxyz. nbv twt 222 665 hijwvuk “

What may look, to the untrained and unexperienced eye, like a typical button mash on a standard computer keyboard, was actually an unfortunately intentional sequence. It isn’t a code. It isn’t a message. James L. Pedagon, its author, had very meaningfully typed each and every letter, and number, and whatever else had come to mind at the moment.

You see, James L Pedagon was high as fuck when he typed that. With no other recourse, poor and unsuspecting James had lit up and fucked his life forever hereafter. Everybody knew as soon as it happened.

James used to be quite the equestrian; his horse, Lord Goring, was his close partner through many a successful jump.

Now, fucked.

James used to teach basic math to preschoolers.

Fucked.

James used to be an avid student of the flute and Schopenhauer.

Fucked. From this moment on, James is no longer in any condition to do
anything.

Joanne had said never to smoke as an escape. It seemed like a paradox now. Everything seemed like a paradox now. Lord Goring was right, haha.

“ Haha, wait, haha. ”

He is a demon. James had become a demon, perhaps the Devil himself.

For the rest of his life, people will see him and know exactly who he is and what he is. They will tell their children to look away from James the Demon because, of course, everyone will know him. They will know him for the deep scratches on his skin. His shoes: always the same. His fingernails: a mess, except that one. And his eyes. His bloodshot, dazed and confused, demonic EYES are always the kicker. Don’t look, Watson. That’s what happens. James the Demon. He used to work with kids. HOW? I don’t know.

Is there a way out of his seeming fate? Is demonhood the only option? Can James turn it all around, right now, and have the world open its arms back up to The Prodigal James ever again?

No.

James is fucked. Forever. Fucked. Forever.

There’s nothing anyone can do. One strike rule, and James will have many more strikes. One and done, more and demonhood. James the Demon.

Nice to have known you, James. Such a good boy, gone to waste. Could have been President of the United States, could have steered the great ship of democracy and shined the light on many a foreign shore.

James, do you even know how to make coffee?

Published by: in Issue 1: Fall 2014, Prose, Volume 71

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