Albert Fernandez – The protagonist
The Visitor/ Damien Martin – - The Devil the Antagonist.
Anthony Adam – Albert’s butler.
John Samuel, Jonathan Robert, David Paul, Andrew Joel and James Philip – -His friends
Sandy Thomas – His girlfriend.
A CHANCE MEETING
A beautiful cottage home is the setting in which the protagonist ALBERT FERNANDEZ is seated and he is now in his living room. He is sitting on a wooden chair smoking a Davidoff Cigarette. His eyes bore a vacant expression. He was thirty years old. He was dressed in a white shirt and black pajamas. ENTERS a man, roughly in his late twenties, and he was dressed in a black Tuxedo, a matching pants and the black shoes. His appearance had an air of superiority around it. He stands before him probably trying his best to elicit a response from a man already lost in his thoughts.
Hello, who are you and why have you come here? I don't even know you.
(Adjusts his necktie and proceeds to speak with refreshing candor)
Pardon my abrupt invasion into your private space. I have come here to meet you and help you. You will know who I am. We will keep that for later conversation; but, we have to discuss something really important.
(Laughs and begins to speak with a condescending tone)
I am sorry, I don't need any help and the last thing I would want on this beautiful Sunday morning is to seek help from a stranger.
I understand that you are very upset at the things which have happened in your life. Don't you think that life should offer you a second chance to set them right?
Hey man, who told you that? And how do you know them?
(Raises his eyebrows and starts waving his hands across)
What if I tell you that I have a solution to all your problems?
I think you have lost your marbles. Now, listen to me, I want you to get out of my property as soon as you can because I am not patient enough to deal with the rubbish you are dishing out now. Please do go away...
(Smiles and looks very sympathetically)
Oh! Who would know the pain of a man who had lost his lover to another man?
(Gets up from the chair and looks stunned by this sudden revelation from a stranger)
What? Tell me who are you and what do you want?
(Places his hand on Albert's shoulder and motions him to sit down and he sits down)
I have told you that I know what you need. I am only here to help you on that.
(Looks at him in the eye)
Do you know who that man is?
(Smiles and then in a clear confident tone, he starts to explain)
Yes, I do, however, we shouldn't be wasting our time on that. Now, Albert, listen to me carefully, I can offer you the life that you want. Think of me as a Genie. All I would want is a signature from you. (Pause)I am a businessman. You know how businessmen are. They love to crunch numbers, get profits and seek new clients. You are my client. I have a contract in my suitcase. All you need to do is to sign on the dotted line.
(Still looks surprised by the directness of the speech, however, is still suspicious of the man and he looks at him carefully and around his premises to see if there are any signs of deception)
I still don't believe you... How can my signature change my life? That sounds really farfetched.
(Speaks as if presenting a sales pitch)
Yes, I know that it’s unbelievable, but, this is my need. I need something in writing. Think of this as a business deal. You will see many changes. It all starts with your affirmation. Your "yes" is your sign.
Give me the contract, I will read it and sign it.
Sounds good. Here it is... (Hands him a dossier of files and gives me a black roller ball pen)
(Looking at the documents and smoking his cigarette)
You can come after a week. I need to read through all the documents. I will sign if and only if I am satisfied with the benefits that are mentioned in this contract
No problem at all, Albert. I will be here in a week's time. (Goes Out)
THE AFFIRMATION AND ITS EVENTUAL RESULT
That very same night, ALBERT sat down in his study and set the dossier on the table ready to read it and understand the contents therein. After reading, he started pacing the room up and down.
(Pensively and to himself)
Why would someone offer so much in return for just a sign? (Sighs) I know what to do... (Pause) What is life without a little experimentation? It wouldn't do much harm to take a leap into the unknown. To change the status quo is the order of the day. The man appeared to be rational and if he could promise so much, why not trust him? He has an air of mystery about him but who cares anyway; I will sign this document and will wait until he comes back.
A Strange Happening
He signs on the document. Suddenly, a strange feeling creeps into his mind and the lights dim in his house. He finds himself drifting into a deep slumber. He woke up with a start only to find himself in a different room, a more spacious one. He rubs his eyes hard to make sure that he is in the right place; however, he is stunned by the abrupt change in the location. The walls of the room are decorated with the wall paintings which belong to the Renaissance era, the bed is of the finest make and the floor is neatly covered by a finely embroidered carpet. He thought to himself "Where am I?
ENTERS a benign looking old man named ANTHONY ADAM and he carried a plate full of choicest delicacies. The sweet aroma of spices and gravy filled the room. ALBERT is totally enamored by this sudden change and then he clears his throat and begins to speak to the man.
Who are you? And where am I?
Sir, I am your servant. My name is Anthony Adam. This is your house. This place is your bedroom. You had asked for the food and so here I am with the food.
(Shocked and confused)
Wait, my house? I can't understand. I live in a small cottage house. I don't even remember seeing you in my life. What is this all about?
Sir, I think that it is the wine which is making you speak such things. Last night, you were celebrating with your friends and you drank much vine. That might be the case, sir.
I can't remember... Who are my friends? Are they still in this house?
(Points the finger towards the door)
Yes sir, they are in the living room. Would you want me to call them?
Yes, bring them in.
Of Camaraderie and Memory
ANTHONY EXITS the room. He then ENTERS with five men. ALBERT immediately recognizes them. They are his best friends. JOHN SAMUEL, JONATHAN ROBERT, DAVID PAUL, ANDREW JOEL AND JAMES PHILIP were their names. His friends come in and smile at him. He is still perplexed.
Hey Albie, good morning, you are up and early.
David, tell me, who brought me here?
(Looks at his other friends, even they express surprise and then he begins to answer)
Man, this is your house. You called us in last night and we had the time of our life.
What about the cottage?
(Makes hand gestures of writing and building a house)
Don't you remember, you had written a book and that book was sold in millions. With the royalty, you had sold your house and then you built this place.
(Startled by this new revelation)
What book? Show me the book, please
Guess our man is having a heavy hangover! (Everyone Laughs)
Guys, this is serious. I need to see the book. Please... Can someone show it to me?
Alright, alright, it is in my bag. (Quickly leaves the room and comes back with the book and gives it to Albert)
ALBERT looks at the book and then he carefully scans it. The book is titled "The Musings of a Distant Soul". He then tries to remember. Suddenly, a sea of memories came flooding to his mind. The night at the cottage, that furious working away at type writer and going to the publisher. The success of his book had left him feeling good. The last night was the celebration of his success. He felt assured.
He got up out of his bed. He was happy. He looked at his friends and hugged all of them.
I almost lost it, haven't I? Now, everything is pretty clear. Fogginess just disappeared. So, what is the plan for today?
(Motions his friends to leave)
I think that we will leave you here to yourself. You need some time alone.
Yes Albie, we're going out now. You enjoy your time now! (Winks)
THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE
ALBERT stands in his room alone and goes towards the window. The view was simply breathtaking. A beautiful river flowing across his landscape where most part of the land was covered with grass, pine trees and flowers. He thought to himself- Life is indeed beautiful.
ENTERS a tall young woman in her early twenties and she was dressed in a pink top and a long black skirt. ALBERT was pleasantly surprised by this new visitor. JAMES' words came to his mind while he looked at this attractive lady. Her name was SANDY THOMAS. She looked at him affectionately and came close toward him. He was taken aback by the apparent directness of her approach. It was almost in the realm of the intimate.
(In a low voice)
Albie, you must be really tired after last night's revelry. I am sure that you needed time alone, but I was bored. So I came here to see you.
(Looks at her and expresses surprise)
Pardon my ignorance. Who are you? I don't remember you.
(Looks at him and she points at the wine glasses on the table and then to herself)
Yes, the wine it is. Don't you know me? I am your girlfriend. You proposed to me last month just days before publishing your book. See the ring. (Points to her left ring finger)
(Scratches his head, looks at her again and then closes his eyes. Then, those memories reentered his mind's landscape and he remembered that this was his woman)
Oh yes, Sandy, how could I forget? Come, my love, I was waiting for you
(She Smiles and then they both go out of the room and are now outside in the meadows)
Then they go towards the bench and are seated in the bench. He was pleased with the things that were happening in his life. He wouldn't have imagined a better life than this.
Albie, those flowers are so pretty. What a wonderful delight…..I love the ones that are golden yellow in color.
Oh yes, they are a delight indeed.
They look at the field, the river and the trees. She leans on his shoulders and finds solace there.
THE MOMENT OF TRUTH
ALBERT returns home after spending some time with his girlfriend. She had gone back home. He finds himself in his bedroom and the phone rings. He picks up the phone. The caller introduced himself as his banker, DAMIEN MARTIN.
(In a polite yet enthusiastic tone)
Good evening sir, I am Damien Martin from the Riverside Bank. I have called in to you to inform you that there is an amount of 2 Million dollars in your bank account. The amount was transferred through an Electronic Funds Transfer from an unknown source. We are trying to trace the payment. Would you want us to block this payment?
No, don't do that. I will come to your bank and talk about this. Please do a thorough check as to who or what this source is this. I'm sure your computer systems are advanced enough to track this payment.
We are trying our best, sir. You can visit our bank tomorrow morning sir.
Alright then, thanks anyway for letting me know.
No problem, sir. You have a great day ahead.
The Truth revealed
ALBERT was disturbed by this present situation. Who would have transferred the money? He couldn't sleep that night. He was tossing restlessly in the bed. He slept for a while and then got up. On his door was a newspaper. He took it and the news on the first page startled him. He stood there as if he was struck by a thunderbolt. He buried his face in the news paper and started weeping aloud. Soon, his crying became so loud that it reverberated across the whole property.
The newspaper headline read - "The Federal Court slaps fine of $15 Million on Albert Fernandez for embezzlement of black money and smuggling of drugs" As he read through the news item, he also saw that all his friends were caught in the act.
He immediately goes to the bank and rushes towards the helpdesk. The lady at the desk greets him politely, however, he wanted to meet his banker and so he asks for DAMIEN MARTIN. The lady guides him to the room, a spacious furnished room. DAMIEN was sitting looking at the window and ALBERT was facing his back. He then turns around. This was the biggest surprise of them all. The banker looked identical to the visitor who had met him at the cottage.
Hello Albert, good to see you back. How are you, my friend?
Is this a joke or what? I am implicated for a crime I didn't commit. My friends are behind bars. God knows what would have happened to Sandy. What is happening here?
(Clears his throat and adopts a rather gruffy deep tone)
I told you that I had solutions to all your problems. I showed them and you enjoyed them. Now it’s time to go.
Why do you speak so vaguely? Tell me who you are. What is your damned name?
(Makes a rhythmic magician-like hand gesture at Albert)
Ah yes! "Damned"! I love it. You have hit the nail on its head. You have called it right, boy. I am the damned one!
There you go again. Again, I ask, who are you?
(With a wave of his hand, he begins to speak)
I am called by different names. Here are few. Lucifer, Devil, Satan, The old Serpent, Shaitan, Iblis, Mephistopheles, The Dragon and the Evil one are my many aliases.
How do I know you are who you say you are?
(In a calm and hypnotic voice)
Now close your eyes, Albert. I will show you what you need to know.
Back to the cottage home
ALBERT closes his eyes. He then opens. He finds himself in the same cottage where he was. Damien was standing right in front of him.
So, whatever has happened until now was a dream? Can a dream be so true?
(Takes two strides towards Albert and whispers into his ears)
That’s deception, my friend. I am a master of it. I create chaos and confusion. I am the author of confusion. Now you're mine. So let’s leave and let’s plunge into the nether world of vileness, pleasure and wickedness.
(Shrugs his shoulders)
Hey, I am not coming with you. You haven't solved my entire problem. You cannot claim my soul because it belongs to me.
(Grins wickedly and looks at him in the eye with burning intensity. He is intimidated)
Ah, that’s wrong, my dear pal. You gave me your soul the moment you signed the contract. I was here all the time. It was I who whispered those inspiring words to your ears when you are deliberating on whether to sign the contract or not. Glad that you fell for my favorite trick - - deception.
(Raises his eyebrows and then points the finger at Damien)
You can't do this to me. If you are the devil, then I have the power to get rid of you. My God has given me the strength.
(Claps his hand mockingly and grins)
I am sick and tired of your rant, you’re mine. No God can save you now for you willingly gave your soul to mine.
(Pointing his right index finger upwards)
I will call upon God now. He will help me.
(Lifting both his hands up in the air as if to mock the way one prays)
Call Him, but He won't hear you now. Albie, why are you flogging the dead horse?
(Looks away and crosses his arms)
I am not coming with you. It’s final.
(Pointing his finger at the body lying on the floor)
Ah wretched mortal! Consider all that had happened up until now. You find it obviously hard to face the truth that is so evident... Look there!
He looks at the floor. The body and the face are so similar that he slowly yet surely realizes that the body is his own. He is lying there, but why is he seeing his own image. He asked himself.
(In a deeper yet grave tone)
You're dead. Your soul is looking at the body. You have no choice, my friend. It’s all over.
ALBERT was disappointed and those words from Damien had a debilitating effect on him... He followed the visitor and then he found himself going down and down into the abyss where all the filth and the profane dwell. The cries of the damned became louder and louder with each passing moment and then all the lights had gone out and the stage became dark. He knew that he was damned for all eternity with no hope of redemption.