Sweeter Than Sadness

Rb: “Hey, Randy.”

Randy: “Hey Rb… *sigh* Did you know E=mc^2?”

Rb: “Yeah, heard about that-”

Randy: “Did you also know that red and blue paint mixed together makes purple paint?”

Rb: “You don’t say. Listen-”

Randy: “And that love is a fleeting emotion that’s followed by the devastating shatter of the fragile ego and delicate heart?”

Rb: “Right… That’s what I want to talk to you about actually.”

Randy: “Me? Why would anyone want to talk to me?”

Rb: “There is something I want to show you… Something I believe will make you feel better. Read it.”

Randy: *sigh* “Ok, but nothing will ever make this pain go away…”


Randy didn’t believe his life would even come to this. Angel and he grew up together, both good kid to their parents and obedient minds at school. She should be with him even now. The two weren’t supposed to be separated. The idea of it felt as wrong as actually being apart from her.

Strolling around the corner, he pressed his back to the exterior brick of the building, then kissed the ring on his finger. They studied together in high school, always in the library, stealing glances at each other. Then one day they were stealing kisses from one another. After graduation, they planned to marry upon entering college. Both families anticipated and welcomed the engagement. Angel was his angel. His heart.

Pounding foot falls brought his attention to focus. When the first sharp tip of a horn appeared at the corner of Randy’s eye, magic pooled into his fist. He turned and struck out, magic shooting the unsuspecting malevolence off its hairy feet.

What possessed him wasn’t the magic he and Angel were born with. No, it was the magic Angel had bestowed upon him while dying. “I’m sorry… Randy, I love you… I’m sorry this… Please live… fight… And be happy.”

Angel!He begged, pleaded for her to stay with him.

Live… hunt…”

The tears abandoned him long ago. Something sweeter than sadness filled him. Magic pumped a fever into his veins awakening the hunger of justice. Justice that Angel’s death demanded.

Neither college nor family had meaning. Every breath, every bead of sweat, and every moment damned in an existence without her was only about the hunt. The kill.

Crouched patiently, Randy waited over the hairy black horned brute lying splayed in the street… cattle primed for the slaughter. When the demon finally stirred, lifting his head in surprise, Randy said, “Good evening you goat looking son of a bitch. How was your nap?”

“How! How did you catch me?” The demon’s voice was a savage growl as he tried to get up.

Randy’s hand pushed downward toward the demon’s chest, so close, but not touching. Magic pressed hell’s spawn into asphalt keeping him immobile. “Wasn’t hard to find you. Demons are pretty eager to give up their secrets when they’re presented with a quick death after a dose of torture. No matter how much hell a demon endures, they still get antsy at the sight of fire.”

A low chuckle came from the creature. “Watch it kid? You tip too far into evil, you’ll curse yourself.”

“Doesn’t matter.” With a slow intake of breath, the image of Angel dying flashed before him. “I’m already cursed.”

“I can bring her back you know.”

Randy nodded. “I know.”

“Then let’s make a deal.” Sharp brown and yellow teeth appeared through his sick grin.

Magic grabbed the demon’s throat, squeezing. “I’m sorry, I’ve already made a deal with Angel: to hunt the horde of you down and end you. For her, I would do anything. She may be dead, but she lives here,” he pointed to his head, “And here.” His hand covered his chest. “And do you know how many demons have tried to make a deal with me? That shit’s old.” Randy squeezed harder.

“Wait, no, I…”

“No begging. That’s pathetic,” Randy said, before the force of his magic ended the beast with a snap. Flames erupted, engulfing the body turning it into ash. Randy stepped back and turned away, before saying, “Rest in peace, Angel.”


Randy: “I… don’t understand?”

Rb: “Do you know why I write? To explore all the possibilities that could play out in this world or any world: good, bad, magic, odd, crazy, or impossible. There are so many possibilities available through writing that reality just doesn’t provide. The heartache we live, doesn’t have to be the same in a story. Yeah it hurts to be rejected by Angel and humiliated by Demon, ending up looking like a crying wimp. But in a story, in your imagination, you can become a god, a force of nature no one can touch… Now do you get it?”

Randy: “Yeah. And this is for me?” He grins down at the paper.

Rb: “Sure.”

Randy: “There is only one problem with your story.”

Rb: “Let me guess, you didn’t get the girl?”

Randy: “Exactly!”

Rb: “Then by all means rewrite it and spin it your way. Go get the girl, Randy. Go get the girl.”



  1. Rb, I have a question, which is totally unrelated to this post.

    Would you mind if we shared a screencapped excerpt of your book (the first paragraph of the first page) on the We Drink Because We’re Poets Facebook fan page? My lady Blu does this promotional thing where we try to get out people’s work every Friday, and she wanted your permission to do that. Let me know if that’s cool. I told her I’d get in touch with you about it.

      1. No. Thank you. Gives me something entertaining and well written to read, as well as a bar to strive for (it’s the authors I read that inspire me to write, but I suppose that’s true of all authors, isn’t it?).

        1. Catching up on my social media stuff and seeing she posted something on my facebook page earlier… I really have to do better about checking facebook.

          1. Rb, that makes two of us. She had asked me to get in contact with you this morning. In my defense, I had other things I needed to take care of, though, admittedly, I had a moment of spare time when I could have just done it… :/ Social Media, smh…

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