Evil vs. the Angels of Stony Island
by Jim Heaney

When they are born, you will see yourself born. When they cry, you’ll comfort them and comfort yourself. When they are happy, you will be filled with their joy. When they face transition, they will not be alone. And as they lead you in goodness, your new memories will dwarf the old. Jim, go to Toronto, claim your future. Do not be afraid.
I was back at The Dealer’s table.
“I’m out,” I told him.
I rose from the table, picked up my shoulder bag, and was almost to the mauve-lit door when I heard a voice which stopped me in my tracks.
“All right. I’ll give it to you. you’ve cheated death and have survived everything I threw at you—but where is your good–good scenario, little Jim? you’re only one person. Right now there is an army of molesters destroying the souls of little children all over the world. you realize you can’t save them, so you’re going to run away to your little family and hide.” I whirled. Larry the Monster now occupied The Dealer’s chair, dressed in the same dirty green clothes as the day he molested me. I saw his crooked eye leering at me. I could smell his putrid breath. His large black shoes spread out from underneath the table like weedy vines reaching for my legs. The fear I felt was suffocating.
“Let me go,” I managed to gasp.
“Never. you came to me because you wanted to feel good. That’s not much different than now, is it? you’ve hated me so long you don’t know how to live without it now.” I leaned up against the pulsating mauve doorframe and breathed deeply. I thought of the little souls in danger.
“He has a point, Angel. What can I do to protect them?” There was a slight pause, and then she chuckled.
“Jim, let’s play cards.” I steadied myself, walked to the table, and slowly picked up the cards.
“I’m in!”
“I want what’s in the shoulder bag, too.”
“No. It’s all I have left.”
“That’s why I want it.” I thought a second. This must be what Angel meant.
“I’ll bet what’s in my bag for the safe passage of all the future infant souls. Winner take all.” “Whatever,” The Monster said.
I unzipped the bag and pulled out my Toshiba portable computer, one of the earlier laptops. I booted it up and found the file named DIVCHILD. I clicked on the file, scrolled down, and turned the screen around to Larry.
“Read this page.” YOU CAN’T WIN IF YOU DON’T PLAY I reached around the screen, highlighted CAN’T, and moved the cursor onto the word. Then I placed my finger on the DELETE key. Larry looked up at me in horror.
“For all the victims,” I said.
“Mission accomplished!”
I pushed down on the DELETE key. CLICK! The word CAN’T disappeared. So did Larry the Monster, blinking off without fanfare. The screen now read: YOU WIN IF YOU DON’T PLAY I shut down the computer and placed it back in my bag. It was a perfect ending, but I still had to ask Maria to marry me and then I would have to finagle a way to get around the immigration laws without her knowing that’s what I was doing. Otherwise, it could be years before she could join me in Chicago. I had faith in Tommy, though. With his contacts in Los Angeles, he was sure to come up with a place close to the border where we could get married without too many questions. A honey- moon on the beaches of southern California would be great. I’d call him in the morning.
“Want to come along for the ride, Angel?”
“As if I have a choice.” I climbed into bed and I heard Larry’s question echo in the room.
“So where is your good–good scenario, little Jim?”
Thinking about all the victims of child abuse that I’d never meet, I decided that, in the end, love is stronger than the worst of struggles, even within the darkness of a seemingly impossible maze. The good-good solution was simple: As I lived it, I wrote it, and as I wrote it, I lived it. I had faith that I’d find the way to the good. God’s infinite wisdom would supply the solution for the other victims.
“Jim?” “What, Angel?” “Were you really going to smoke that stuff?”
“Goodnight, Angel.”
“Just tell me?”
“GOODNIGHT, Angel.” I reached out switched off the bed light, and nestled comfort- ably in the heart of the miracle.
“I love you, Jim.” “I love you too, Angel. Now let’s go to sleep. We have to catch a flight to Toronto in the morning.”


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