Rafi by Angel Phillips

Rafi sat down at his desk; he leaned down and slowly removed his shoes, savoring the cool air as it hit his feet. He stood, walked across the room, and placed them neatly by the bookcase. When he returned to his desk, he reached over the brass object, picked up the phone, and pressed 1 on the speed dial.  He waited patiently as the phone rang three times.

“Guiliani’s Pizza, Home of the Mayor’s Pie,” answered a voice with a heavy Brooklyn accent. “This is Marco, how can I help ya?”

“Marco, it’s Rafi, send up the usual, please.”

“You got it man, see ya in twenty.”

Rafi gently set the phone back in its cradle, walked across the room and looked out the window 42nd St. was busy, as was usual in New York, despite the December snow.

“Clueless,” he thought, as he watched below, “All of them! Not even good enough to be sheep.”

The knock at the door brought him out of his thoughts.  He turned and quickly went to the door, opening it to a young, handsome Italian man.

“Hey, Marco, thank you,” said Rafi.

Marco handed over the pizza.  He had a bright smile, innocent dimples, was a diligent worker and always had something nice to say. These were all qualities he had inherited from his mother, whom he’d pushed down a flight of stairs when he was eleven.

“Are you okay, man?” Marco asked concerned.

Rafi jerked, startled. “Uh, ahem, yes.  Sorry, Marco.” He handed him a $100 bill. “Keep the change, kid.”

Marco flashed a quick grin and took off before Rafi could change his mind.  Rafi always tipped well, and today he figured a bit extra was appropriate.  He set the pizza gingerly on his desk, next to the polished instrument. As he returned to his stool, he pulled off his sweater; the fluttering behind him as he stretched was immensely satisfying.  He opened the box, and took a moment to enjoy the aroma.  He took the first bite: meatballs, jalapenos, feta and mozzarella cheeses, seasoned tomato sauce, all atop a perfectly thin crust. He groaned as the flavors blended in his mouth. He was going to miss pizza.

Rafi glanced at the clock, even though he knew what time it was; strange, how easily habits develop. The Boss would be expecting him soon.  The assignment had once seemed so simple, but even after all these years he had been completely unsuccessful. He thought back to the beginning of the mission, when he had been so optimistic that he would find not just one, but hundreds of thousands.  Yet there were none, not even the children, what with torturing animals and disrespecting their parents.  The rules had been so clear; the Boss’s Son had even given them a second chance. Ironically, it was the Christians that were the worst, always telling everyone else what they were doing wrong.  Placing so much focus on such things as homosexuality and abortion, that they failed to see they were committing the biggest atrocity of all- trying to do the Boss’s job. They had been warned about this numerous times in the rule book; funny how they chose to concentrate on the things that had only been mentioned once or sometimes not at all.

During these thoughts, Rafi had finished all but one slice of pizza. He sat staring at it, as though by not eating it he could put off the inevitable. One last slice of perfect goodness; if only pizza were humanity. He ate the last piece slowly, each bite bringing him closer to the end.

He swallowed the last bite, and stood while meticulously wiping his hands with a moist towelette. He was cleansed.  It was time. He picked up the trumpet, and brought it to his still greasy mouth. Light emitted from him and the trumpet, becoming fire everywhere but in his immediate circumference. As the screams of the world slowly ceased, Rafi thought “Damn, he forgot the pepperoni.”

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Categories: Issue 2 - Spring 2012, Periodicals, Short Story | Tags: | Leave a comment

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