Evil vs. the Angels of Stony Island
by Jim Heaney

“Help me feel good now,” she moaned.
“Quick, before the rush goes away!” I didn’t move. She squirmed for a few seconds and then she relaxed in a heap as the high left. Next her eyes opened quickly and she reached for another rock and loaded the pipe again. “This one’s for you, lover.” I was stunned, and scared at what I’d just seen, but her writh- ing was intoxicating. She motioned me over, then demanded that I join her.
“Let’s make some fun.” I’d been in this spot a thousand times over a thousand life- times and knew she wanted me only because I’d rejected her in the bar. But by then, I didn’t care, and I also didn’t give flying fig what happened to me. It was all about the moment, about feeling good. I crawled onto the foot of the bed. She sat straight up to shift her body towards mine. “Breath the smoke in and blow it out here,” she said, patting her pelvic area again. She set up the pipe again, melting the rock with the lighter so it wouldn’t fall out.
“Open wide,” she said, reaching to insert the pipe in my mouth.
As the flame moved to the end of the pipe, time slowed down. Her eyes awaited my rush and the destruction of my soul.
“Jim nooooo!” Angel screamed. The flame hit the end of the glass and I began to breath in. The white smoke inside the pipe crawled slowly to my mouth. Pleasure lowered the flame under the end of the pipe.
“Pull hard…Now!” KNOCK KNOCK!
“Room service.” When I rolled back off the bed, Pleasure’s face twisted in confusion. “Hold that thought,” I said.
But it was too late. She had already turned the pipe and inhaled the smoke herself. As I walked to the door, Angel screamed, “eat something quick, Jim! Food will cut your desire.”
I grabbed a ten from the dresser to tip the porter and lifted off the silver plate cover. A cheeseburger and fries had never seemed less appealing. “eat a fry. eat a lot of fries,” Angel whispered, the first time she had ever counseled me toward excess.
“I’m starving,” I told Pleasure.
“I haven’t eaten in two days because I broke up with my girlfriend.” I lifted the bun and splattered ketchup all over the burger, lettuce and onion. I then wolfed down a big bite.
“Hope I’m not ruining the moment,” I said through a mouthful.
Pleasure watched wide-eyed as I held the burger in my hand and continued my one-sided conversation. “Did you know that the Bible promises that whatever a person seeks, they’ll find? Most people think that this particular promise pertains only to goodness, but they’re wrong. The universe is balanced. If you go looking for evil, you’ll find it. That’s why I came to vegas—because vegas is Temptation City. The forces of destruction are very powerful here. I knew evil would find me.” Pleasure’s high was wearing off.
“you calling me evil?” she asked, her voice shrill with irritation.
“Now, here’s where it gets confusing. Are you evil? Only you know for sure. Maybe you’re the devil in disguise! That would make this even more interesting because me and evil, we’ve been playing a long time. either way, it doesn’t matter because we’re all responsible for the moment were in. I believe that if I play with you, it will only damage you more than you already are. That I will not do, both for your sake and because I might not survive the grave you’re lying in.”
“Screw you,” she said. I headed for the table, picked up the ash tray just as her hand reached for her stash. “Have something to eat? you’ll feel better.” She grabbed the bed covers and pulled them up over her body. She started bawling. I took the plate and sat down on the side of the bed. “Do you want me to flush your supply or do you want to take it with you?” She swallowed quickly.
“Don’t flush it. I’m leaving. Please don’t flush it.” She dressed quickly and grabbed her dope. I walked her to the door. She rubbed her mascara-smeared eyes and smiled weakly.
“Sorry. I’m so sorry.” I closed the door and opened the drapes, rubbing my own tired eyes and thinking about Maria. The lights of vegas scrolled on and off, on and off, over the walls of the room while I steadied myself.

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