The Brand of Cain

By Larry Sun
Episode 11

     “I can’t imagine myself becoming dumb. I may commit suicide because some idiots like you need serious scolding.”

“Maybe I can help you in the killing yourself part.”
“Oh, thank you, moron. I’m not dumb.” Cain’s rough manner of speech was too well known to Michael to give offence.
“Manners out the window.”
“You know what you are, hm? You’re a nincompoop. A real, honest-to-God nincompoop. Can you help one commit suicide?”
“Let me tell you a secret. I’ve been counting your insults lately and I’m gently waiting till they reach a certain number before I shoot you dead in the face. You’ve given me twenty-three insults altogether, ride on, will you?” they both laughed it off, and then they embraced each other warmly before sitting down.
“You know that’s simply impossible, I’m invincible,” said Cain, frowning humorously.
“Whenever you frown you look like a man who eats live chickens for breakfast.”
“My, that’s not a delicacy I’m looking forward to enjoy.”
“Don’t be surprised if you suddenly find yourself in hell, hip-deep in dung polishing Satan’s boots. It simply means you are dead.” Michael said, smiling warmly at his friend, “You know I have access to any gun of my choice. I can just borrow a bullet from the government to do it all.”
“See goose pimples all over my body, freaky fool.” He laughed and poured himself another glass of rum.
“Mind a glass?” he asked.
“Yes, I’m practically a teetotaler. You should have noticed I never drink anything but water—perhaps fruit juice or herbs. I cannot just bear the taste of spirit.” Michael explained,   “And mind you, I’m a devout Catholic.”
“Okay then, I should get you some water.”
“No, thank you. Peeing isn’t one of my favourite pastimes these days. I know that your own idea of water is liquor.”
“Of course, even Jesus turned water to wine.”
Michael grimaced, “Your bibulous personality is enough to make a dog vomit.”
Cain laughed at the statement and asked, “Do you have a gun?”
“Of course, I have license to guns, my profession demands it.”
“For what do you use them?”
“What a question! For self-protection, of course.” Michael answered, “Why do you ask?”
“You call yourself a Christian but it’s hard to see God encouraging his son to make use of guns. I wonder what kind of religion you people who call yourselves Christians practice.”
“You ever read the Bible?”
“Sure—once in a while.”
“If you look through Gideon in the Bible you would find tales of destruction. I quote from Genesis chapter nineteen, verse twenty-three down to twenty-five: ‘The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zo-ar. Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; and he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.’ Those were vile people in both those cities, as is well known. God knew that the world would be better off without those inhabitants, so he wiped out evil people in Sodom and Gomorrah with volcanoes, earthquakes, rains of fire, decided to turn Lot’s disobedient wife to a pillar of salt. He flooded the whole world once in the time of Noah, didn’t he? Made the Red Sea wash over the Pharaoh’s soldiers, drowned them all. I don’t think God is going to be skittish about one of his faithful servants having a little collection of guns for protection purpose. I think you should get one, too.”
“I know the tale about Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot’s wife was told not to look back where all those people and their homes had been. But she did look back and I loved her for that.”
“And she was turned to a pillar of salt. People are not supposed to look back.”
“Maybe it wasn’t God who turned her to salt. Maybe what she saw from looking back turned her into sodium chloride. I don’t think God turning her to salt was actually printed in the Bible.”
“I quote again, ‘But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.’ We’re never going to know, anyway.”
“Those stories you listed were carried out by God of the Old Testament. Do you hear about God of the New Testament—understanding, compassionate, merciful? Though I don’t believe in your religious fundamentalism.”
“God of the Old Testament and God of the New, what’s the difference? I have much experience in crime field than you. I’ve met with some scum who are not fit to live. They are danger to themselves and the community. I will never hesitate to send any of them to his death. If I thought God always dealt mercifully with their kind, I wouldn’t have had anything to do with God. The word ‘mercy’ cannot be found even in your own lexicon, your profanity can bear me witness.”
Cain smiled ruefully as Abigail came into the sitting room rubbing her eyes.
“I was having a good dream when you two cut it out with your incessant persiflage. Hi, Barrister Kish.”
“That’s the old devil.”
“Cain—Good Lord, what happened to your hospitality?”
“See me; he has been insulting me for about thirty minutes now. Your husband’s only values are stubbornness and rudeness. He didn’t even offer me a lollipop.”
“Too bad of him.”
“Not my fault, I offered him a glass of poison but he refused.” Cain said.
“Where are your manners, Cain?”
“Divorce him and marry me.” Michael said and smiled at his own joke.
She noticed the barrister’s attire and asked, “Isn’t it a little warm today for black, Barrister?”
“No,” Michael replied almost immediately, “As a matter of fact, black is an excellent colour for heat. In contradiction to popular belief, black is actually best in heat, efficient radiation. In any case, I wear only two colours; black and grey. These colours are appropriate for any occasion, and they go well together, should I mistakenly put on a pair of grey socks with my black trousers.”
“But don’t you find it boring to wear only two colours?”
“Not at all. I find it liberating; I don’t want to waste my time thinking about what I wear in the morning. I can’t imagine anything more boring than fashion. Professional football, maybe. Grown men sweating, jumping, running and kicking each other just because of one small spherical object, while the rest of the world pays money to watch, applaud and become fans. But on the whole, I find fashion even more unimpressive than sports.”
Abigail smiled at the lawyer, this was one topic the barrister was never tired of arguing about. Sports.
“Has Richie arrived?” she asked her husband.
“Richie, who’s Richie?”
“Your new driver.”
“Oh, you mean the fool? I haven’t seen him.”
“He’s a lazy chap, I hate his guts.”
Michael threw back his head in laughter at his misanthropic friend’s statement. “My friend finds fault in everybody.”
Cain smiled at Michael, giving him a thumb-up. “Nice sense of alliteration.”
The door was opened gently and the gatekeeper entered. “The young man who came last week is at the gate.” He told Abigail, “Should I let him in?”
“Richard Philip?”
“That’s what he called himself.”
“Allow him in.”
“Talk of the devil,” murmured Cain. “What an idiot that gateman is? An old dirty fool he is, his appearance disgusts me. He has a brain even chickens wouldn’t envy.”
“Oh, not again, please.” Abigail pleaded.
“I should find a replacement; he’s spending too long a time here.”
“Is that blood or ice water in those veins of yours?” Michael asked.
Mr. Eze Chima shook his head as he walked out, he’d heard the denigration of him made by Cain. Three minutes later came the knock on the door of the sitting-room.
“Come in.” Abigail answered.
The door was slowly and Richard stepped inside. He was dressed in the same black suit he had been wearing since 2006. Cain regarded him with that icy stare meant for cretins, numbskulls, morons and losers.
“Hi, Richie!” Abigail greeted warmly.
“Hey, Richie or Richard or whatever your name may be,” said Cain coldly, “If you are to work under me, you must stick to time, okay?”
“Okay, sir.”
“Okay,” said Abigail, “Richie, meet Barrister Michael Kish. He’s a lawyer.”
“Nice meeting you, sir.” Richard greeted.
“You’re welcome. But look here, you’re a young and handsome man who still has a long way to go. You should be very careful here; your job is to drive Cain and nothing more. I’ll advise you like a father, don’t go ahead and involve yourself in any ugly situation or I’m going to stick your behind in wet cement and watch it hard under you.”
“I don’t understand what you mean, sir.” Richard said. Why am I being treated like something out of a zoo?
“Just do your job and don’t get yourself in trouble.” Michael simply replied.
Abigail flashed her disapproval of the sarcasm in Michael’s voice.
“I won’t, sir.”
“I hope so.”
“You’ll surely get into trouble with me if you’re not extremely careful.” Cain admonished.
We hope you enjoyed this episode. Watch out for the next episode because the story has just begun.


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