Friday, July 21, 2017
“A Conversation with Scratch”; Free Download: Christopher Marlowe, "Doctor Faustus"
“A Conversation with Scratch”
by Norman Franklin
“Laying in his opulent hospital bed it finally occurs to McCain that he is not immortal, he cries out for God’s loving mercy… nothing. He cries out again and a nurse appears. “What can I do for you Senator?” “Get me a priest, please I can’t stand it anymore.” “That’s a good one Senator, how ’bout I just give you some more pain meds?” McCain drifts off…
McCain is awakened to the sound of peanut shells cracking and hitting the floor. As his eyes begin to focus he sees a dapper looking young man with a neatly trimmed beard sitting cross legged in the chair next to his bed. “Who are you and what are you doing here?” McCain asks. “The name is Scratch, and I have come to collect on your mortal soul.” “Listen” McCain says. “You need to leave now before I have a MOAB dropped on the house of your family, got it wacko bird?” “Just calm down old man, you need to save your strength. You won’t be dropping anything on anyone anymore.” Scratch turns on his tablet and swipes through some pages, snaps his fingers and a sheepskin copy of a document appears. “I have here in my formerly blood stained fingers a contract, signed by your hand, in your blood which gives me ownership of your soul.”
“I never signed anything with you,” McCain snarls. “So… technically you are correct, you signed it with my Father after you blew up that plane and killed all those sailors on the ship. Remember how that all went away? That was our show of good faith. Certainly you remember in the Hanoi Hilton when you sold your mates out for your own private cell and some extra rice, or when we got you elected to congress even after your despicable behavior towards your first wife and kids. Or when you sold your country out by throwing open the borders and we protected you. Any of this ringing a bell to you?”
“I was told I would live forever,” McCain rails. “I was told if I was a loyal soldier I would get whatever I wanted in this life.” Scratch looks up from his tablet. “What in the world are you babbling about you doddering old fool? Have you lost your mind? You have all the filthy lucre you or your family could spend in 10 lifetimes, what else did you want?” “I wanted to be president,” McCain screams. “I did everything you asked of me.” Scratch looks McCain right in the eyes. “Listen old man, you better take that bass out of your voice or I’ll snuff you out right here, right now.”
Scratch swipes through more pages in his tablet. “It says here you agreed to throw the election to the Muslim and make it look legit.” “I did exactly what you asked,” McCain says his voice straining. “Listen meat sack,” says Scratch, “You were supposed to make it believable. That was one of the worst performances I have ever seen. You looked like Punchy the prize fighting clown going down in the first round with out ever throwing a punch. If it were up to me I would have pulled your ticket right then and there, but apparently my Pops has a soft spot for you boomers. Once I take over this outfit things are going to change. We millennial’s are the weaponized version of you boomers. I have a whole new program to run once the Clintons and Soros are gone.”
“I want to talk to the boss you piss ant,” McCain says. “The big guy and I have always been able to do business.” “Listen” Scratch says, “Pops told me before I came up here he will talk to you when he sees you, which will be soon.” “Please” McCain begs, “Please I will do anything, anything you want, I will go to Fantasy Island again with Bill and Hill. Remember that weekend in Tel Aviv with the Rabbi and Lindsey my cabana boy? I will do all that and more, whatever you say please I will eat any amount of pizza with your choice of toppings, please just give me more time I am not ready yet.” “No one ever is,” says Scratch.
“Listen McCain, you know whats funny, I just thought of it. The Twilight Zone episode where the head of the evil U.N. council tells the guy he is obsolete. Romney Wordsworth McCain, you are obsolete. I gotta say it again this time in my Rod Serling voice, YOU ARE OBSOLETE. Too funny.”
At this point McCain begins sobbing like a little baby. Just then his doctor and his daughter Meghan come in the room. “Daddy who are you talking to?” “Scratch, the devil, lord of vermin, don’t you see him?” McCain asks. “Daddy no one is here but you and I and doctor Mengala.” Scratch chimes in “Only those who I have paper on can see or hear me John.” Meghan begins to cry “Oh Daddy you are the greatest American that ever lived I will carry on your legacy as the greatest man ever, daddy you are my rock, my hero, my daddy the fighter.” “Mizz McCain we can up your dads pain meds so he won’t have such strong hallucinations,” Dr. Mengala says as he winks at Scratch. “Thank you doctor. God bless you and God bless the US of A.”
As McCain regains consciousness he sees that Scratch is still by his side. He begins to sob. “I thought you were just a bad dream.” “Oh yeah” Scratch says, “I am your worst nightmare, wet start. You are going to wish it was a nightmare when you get where you’re going.” “What if I beg God’s forgiveness for my sins?” McCain asks. “What if I renounce Satan and all his ways, surely god will forgive me! Listen Scratch, you get St. Peter on the phone right now! Right now, do you hear me you damn devil, right now!”
Scratch rolls his eyes. “So…OK. Johnnie, I feel… as if you are not hearing me. Pops thought you might try to weasel your way out of our contract. We in the outfit have a decent respect for the All Mighty. The laws of the universe require us to follow the rules. So we took the liberty of asking St. Peter about a certain hypothetical ‘War Hero’ before I came up here. St. Peter said and I quote. ‘Not if he crawled on his belly like the slimy worm that he is, begging forgiveness from every darkened doorway of every person who died in hate from his extreme warlike behavior would we allow him within a million miles of the celestial kingdom.’ That and the fact that Kek says he would spit you out of his mouth, and Odin says you are the biggest milk-sop he’s ever seen. Sorry John, you belong to us, time to get your affairs in order, bro.”
McCain weakly asks “Will you take Hillary or Soros instead?” “Sorry,” says Scratch. “You had your last chance when we tasked you with taking down Trump. The best you could do was showing everyone your piss stained sheets, and saying they belonged to Trump. You failed us for the last time and the old man still gave you another term in the Senate. We have other plans for the nasty woman and her mentor. Look John, RockaFella And Mika’s dad need someone to clean their colostomy bags everyday. That will be your job for the eternity of evermore. Tough break huh, well get it together Johnnie boy, when I come back your soul will be mine.”
“Don’t have the sadz,” Scratch says. “My Pops wrote a poem to be the epitaph on your tombstone.”
“By the dying light on the war hero’s tombstone.
Stands Mephistopheles, in love with fire and Brimstone.
The rotting carcasses, like a vulture he debones.
Hands covered in blood, he lets out a groan.
To the people he has defiled, he will not atone.
This is the legacy of Senator Johnnie Jubilation Corn Pone.”
As Scratch leaves the hospital in a puff of sulfur smoke he snaps his fingers and the PA system throughout the hospital begins playing ‘Nothings gonna save you from the love that’s blind… Slip through the dark side and cross that line... On the dark side, oh yeah on the dark side, oh yeah.’ It’s one thing when you turn to the dark side, it is quite another when the dark side turns to you.”
“Stipendium peccati mors est.”
“The reward of sin is death.”
Free download: Christopher Marlowe, "Doctor Faustus"
"'The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, normally known simply as 'Doctor Faustus,' is a play by Christopher Marlowe, based on the Faust story, in which a man sells his soul to the devil for power and worldly goods."
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