There is something to be said about punctuality; it shows respect, dedication, commitment, and time management skills to name a few rather important traits. As I sat on a park bench waiting for my interview to show, I wondered if I was making a mistake. He was twenty-two minutes late. I doubt he owned a cellphone but he could have called ahead, right? It would have been decent of the man.
“Miss Daniels.” It wasn’t a question of whether I was who I am. He knew it was me. “Did you expect me at noon?” The crooked smile and dark eyes held the same dangerous mystery his voice did.
“It was the agreed upon time.”
I moved my bag and jacket to my other side to free the spot he was pointedly staring at. Only after he sat did he turn his smile on me again.
“First lesson has been learned.” He said proudly.
“And what’s that?”
“Never believe the embodiment of lies and deceit.”
He looked away from me briefly. It was a relief not to feel the weight of his attention. I couldn’t ignore the feeling that he knew something I didn’t, something about me. I didn’t want to risk asking. There was the possibility it was something I wasn’t meant to know yet about myself so instead I took out my recorder and started the interview that was, by then, thirty-one minutes late.
“What’s your name?”
“You’ll have to try being more direct than that if you want a real answer.” He said with a glint in those black eyes of his. “I have many but I rather like the name Derius. It fits me and is far better than going around using my true name.”
“What is your true name?” I pushed.
His usual smile fell and I found myself missing it. There was a darkness around him without it that made me nervous. I’m guessing he noticed since he laughed and mentioned humans were always fun to rile.
“Do you rile humans often?” I skipped a few questions for that one but I learned early it’s best to go with the questions that present themselves when you least expect it.
“I’ve begun a war or two but of late I’ve been very well-behaved.”
“I see,” my eyes drifted down to his well manicured nails. “Is it correct to say you are a demon?”
Chuckling, he pointed at two girls who were coming our way. “Watch.” And I did. He hadn’t raised a finger or moved out of his comfortable slouch but the girls began arguing, rather loudly, about who sabotaged who in the recent work promotion that neither received.
“You can cause arguments?”
“No,” he smirked, giving me a sidelong glance, “I can create, nurture, and expand lies. With these two, that little blonde one secretly doubted the taller blonde. She thought she had something to do with her being overlooked and with my help, she now believes said something were nasty rumors about her sleeping with the competition.”
I tried to hide my horror as he went on as if he was describing why grass grows. “What about the other girl?”
“She believes Shorty told their boss that she leaks information and can’t be trusted.” He sighed happily and balanced his leg on his knee. “Aren’t friendships fun to watch. They’re so fragile when you really get to the core.”
“Do you have friends?” If that was his stance, I doubted it.
“I have brothers and sisters, enemies, rivals, lovers, acquaintances, and one friend.”
“And is this all true?”
“Of course, I keep my word.” He looked hurt by the question when he finally stopped watching the meltdown he caused.
“You didn’t about the time.” I countered.
“I never gave my word then. You said how’s noon, I said that’s a good time, and you took that as a yes.” He had me there. “But I promised I’d do an honest interview.”
“Are you capable of honesty as the embodiment of lies?”
“As sad as it is, I am.”
“Why is that?”
“Because as lies, I control the other half. If it is more beneficial for the truth to be told then I can erase all lies.”
Based on the way he was inspecting his pant leg to brush leaf fragments from it, I didn’t think he liked the other side of his power.
“You never answered. Are you a demon?”
“What do you think?” He asked, turning some to face me.
“I think you enjoy messing with people and can be considered a demon.”
“True on both accounts but wrong. I, miss Daniels, am Lies. I am one of the Minor Sins that always get overlooked when the insufferable box story is told. I’m above demons.” Which he looked proud of. The only time his face twisted into disgust was when he mentioned the box.
“Would that be Pandora’s Box?”
“Pandora has been dead for many years now.”
“And what of the box?”
“A sin controls it.”
Smiling, he leaned forward. “There are seven Majors. Start guessing.”
It was hard to recall the seven when he was so close. I could see that the his eyes really were black and held a flicker of gold as he got up to go.
“What about the box?” I hurried to get out before I lost my chance.
“Next time we’ll play that game.” Derius bowed despite it being an own world custom. “Have a fun day miss Daniels.”