There Is No Kill Like Overkill
The Saint Boniface Maximum Security Prison. What a shithole.
"Hello, I would like to meet warden Titus Riccitelli", I said. The guard was a thin, old man that looked very bored. I gave him my business card.
"Miroslav...", he read it, paused, and said "Like the car?"
"No. Like the boat, but with a double T."
"A boat with a double what?"
"Is warden Riccitelli on premises? I have an appointment, I think."
After waiting for a long time and crossing a myriad of corridors and annoying check points I finally got to the warden office.
"So you are Miroslav Corbett", said the warden, a bald, sweaty man with a ridiculous mustache. "I got a message from an angry bureaucrat from the government that you were about to come here. You have very important friends up there."
"Oh, I don't think so."
"Do you want a drink?"
"I don't do alcohol."
He looked at me with disdain in his face.
"Listen to me, young man. We are very busy here. I'm sure you don't understand the very important job that we..."
I interrupted him.
"I'm sorry, warden Riccitelli. I'm here for a very specific thing. I'd rather not be here, believe me. I don't want to waste your time. I'm only interested in one of your inmates. Just a short interview in her cell."
"As it says on my business card, I document things."
"What kind of things?"
"I keep a log of out-of-place happenings, reality distortions, unexpected presences and such. The duty of my department is to document the bizarre things that happen since the Great Anomaly..."
"Oh don't talk me about the Great Fucking Anomaly."
"I don't want to talk about it neither. I just need to meet a person that is incarcerated here. I just want to talk to Desdemona Dunkelmorgen."
He looked very upset or surprised or whatever.
"What? No way", he said. "She is the most dangerous person here. She is the most dangerous person in the whole fucking world. And I won't risk my resources by putting anyone of them near that damned bitch from hell."
"Do your employees know that you call them 'resources'?"
Warden Riccitelli took a ceramic ashtray from his table and launched it onto the wall. It exploded into pieces.
"Listen to me, little bastard..."
"Mr. Riccitelli," I interrupted him while browsing my papers, "I know everything. Desdemona Dunkelmorgen, aka the Queen of Deception, aka the Mistress of Disguise, aka One-Trouble-On-Two-Legs. Born in Madrid, Spain. Who would say, bearing that name? Con artist, mischievous robber, ruthless blackmailer, despicable criminal, drinks while driving. Previous warden report: 'Handle with special care. Do NOT listen to her lies. She could be anywhere, anyone. She could be me or she could be you and you will not notice.' I'm not sure to understand what this last quote means."
"Damn. Holy Christ. I won't send my men to her cell because she will trick those dickheads and everything will go to hell again. I don't want another prison break from that motherfucking vixen. I will go there with you personally."
"I'm sure that is a very intelligent decision on your part."
"Come on, let's do it once for all."
He grabbed his own copy of the keys and we went down the belly of the prison. While on our way, I asked:
"Is it true what they say about her?"
"What do they say?"
"That she looks like no other woman in the world."
He took some time to answer. "To be honest, I don't know how she looks like."
"Haven't you seen her?"
Not personally, I repeated to myself. What a douchebag.
We crossed the threshold to the hyper-ultra-high security block or whatever they called it and finally got to her cell's door.
"Ok, here we are", he said, "Be extremely careful."
He unlocked the gate and we entered the cell. A small, barred window almost by the ceiling. Grey and dull walls. A dirty toilet. A chair and a table, no features. And nobody to be seen.
"What the fuck...?", he yelled, "But where...?"
He searched for her like crazy while swearing like a sailor: under the table, under the bed, as if she was as small as a mouse. Then he got back at me, his face red and swollen and sweaty:
"Why are you so calm? What the hell is happening here?"
"Have you heard the adage that the highest achievement of the devil was convincing men that he doesn't exist? Well, they don't call Desdemona Dunkelmorgen the Queen of Deception for nothing. She tricked you, all of you, into believing that she was here. She made you believe that you were able to catch her. In fact, it's a little more complicated; the highest achievement of Desdemona Dunkelmorgen was convincing men that she DOES exist. She is a trick of the mind. She is a glitch, a mirage. She is something that isn't and that shouldn't be."
Warden Riccitelli dropped to the floor, crying like a child.
"Oh my. I'm finished. Everybody will laugh at me for years."
"They'll do", said I, "but don't be too mean to yourself. Everybody was mislead. These illogical issues are overwhelming. All we can do is write about how this unfaithful reality is playing with us."
He jumped up in an explosion of rage, ran to the passage and started yelling at everybody.
"What are you doing there? Do something! Find her! Nuke this fucking place from above! It's the only way to be sure!"
"I'm afraid I have to leave", I said, but he was no longer listening to me.
It was a quiet evening out there. The parking lot at Saint Boniface was almost empty. There was only one thing left: to make a telephone call to say that everything worked as planned.