The Book Of Judas
Jude turns to Johnny, his shining silver eyes, the dog whimpering. He laughs like a rattler in the dust, and she smiles. She's so strong. How much strength she has. It's beautiful. To stare in his eyes and know that you summoned him. "There you are. The loneliest one of the lot. So what do you want?" Johnny approves: she finally believes. "How did he convince you?" Johnny laughs. "Did he shag some sense into you?" She explains that she made her own mind up. "Such a big wide world, isn't it? Miracles and devils, Heaven and Hell. Don't you feel small?" See, again, this is where I would fuck it up, because I would look him in the face and say it sounded like a stupid role-playing game for little boys, and that they were all dorks. You can't come to the Devil talking that kind of shit. "It was you, wasn't it? You made Frank do it." He's laughing before she finishes the question: "Aww. He hated Steve already -- all we did was push. That's what we do. All those bastard little thoughts...back of your mind, that's us. We're very human." She looks him in the eye: "Didn't work. Steve's still alive." Johnny patiently explains that they weren't looking to kill him. "Lost his best friend. His stepfather's insane. And now you've left him. That's all we need...because we want him to join us." Her face falls. "He'll become one of us. He'll despair, and then he'll fall. Man always falls in the end. Look at him now." (We do; Steve stares down into the pool of Peter's blood, his reflection and his shame.) "Wretched and angry and lonely and vain. When Judgment Day comes, the Lord our God in Heaven will find Steven Baxter -- the man -- and judge him a sinner." And Johnny laughs. It seems plausible. "The Son of God will be sent to reign over Hell. He's almost with us now. Just one more push." And Johnny thanks Jude.