A Conflicting Design: Part 1 Jul 11, 2016 14:54:06 GMT -6
Post by Matt Slater on Jul 11, 2016 14:54:06 GMT -6
A Conflicting Design: Part 1
There are certain situations, as inconsequential and miniscule as they are, that cause people to break away from blissful ignorance and act irrationally. Mature responsibility becomes non-existent, transforming even the most earnest and patient individuals into quivering, rage-driven sociopaths. Perhaps it is the excessive volume flowing from the headphones of a passenger on a long train journey, completely oblivious to the growing irritation of their unfortunate neighbour. Perhaps it is the senile octogenarian at the Post Office who sweetly insists on paying for postage and packaging with nickels and dimes, counting each one diligently in her arthritic hand and prolonging the queue to such an extent that time seems to no longer apply. Perhaps it is the incessant ramblings of a man soured by his beloved team’s defeat during a crucial game, unwilling to let the subject rest until everyone becomes compliant and unanimously appreciates his opinion. Or perhaps it is the internet connection that never seems to remain stable, cutting out at inopportune moments despite the signal bar being at maximum level.
Everyone has a similar story to tell, recalling a moment in time where basic human decency suddenly evacuated their system, allowing primal, furious urges to bloom and take over without restraint.
Matt Slater had such a story to share; provided he was calm enough to cleanse the blood from his hands that he internally swore to release from the person constantly ringing his doorbell.
Storming towards his front door, Matt tightened his hands as the bell sounded one time too many. The figure beyond the decorative glass panels looked pixelated, although that was probably a far nicer and scientifically-plausible outcome than what Matt had mentally concocted to explain their sudden rearrangement of flesh and vital organs.
The bell sounded again. A second later the door was thrown open. One second after that, Matt raised his clenched fist for this inaugural, hopefully-never-to-be-repeated welcoming ceremony.
His extravagantly dressed visitor jumped back in surprise, creasing the fabric of his outrageously-coloured suit.
‘Whoa, whoa, whoa!’ Falcon’s rapid exclamation caused Matt to freeze. His body resembled a statue, yet his eyes shifted from side to side. In his mind, he was contemplating whether to hit him because of the doorbell annoyance, or whether to hit him because this well-known acquaintance of his was generally annoying to begin with.
Shielding his face, Falcon took a cautious step forward. Eventually, Matt exhaled and lowered his arm. Rationality had returned; at least for the moment, until Falcon naturally granted him another reason to unleash his anger.
‘Bloody hell, mate, what’s gotten into you?’ Just the mere sound of his unsophisticated voice caused Matt to strongly consider punching him again. Fortunately for him - most likely done out of pity - sensible thought quickly prevailed, allowing Matt to calculate why Falcon was stood on his doorstep without any kind of explanation.
‘I should be asking you the same question,’ Matt groaned, beginning to dread what this inexplicable meeting could mean. ‘Did Claire butcher your hearing with her frustrated screaming?’
‘Well she screams, but not--’ Falcon studied Matt’s expression. He was hardly amused by the juvenile answer that was inevitably going to come out. For a pleasant change, Falcon amended his response. Internally, Matt would have prefered it if he stopped talking altogether. ‘Nevermind. So anyway… how are ya mate?’
Matt knew exactly what to say, and he had zero qualms about the ramifications of his words. ‘I’m currently exchanging dialogue with a man who can’t outwit a used teabag. That wasn’t exactly what I had scheduled this morning.’
‘Alright, mate, ease up. Ya don’t have to be shite with me.’
‘Shite isn’t too far off what I’m thinking about this entire conversation.’ Consequently, Matt began to close the door on his former companion. He figured Falcon’s presence had something to do with money woes or relationship advice. Whatever the case, he was not about to spend three-quarters of his day painstakingly tolerating Falcon’s limited intellect, going over the same details numerous times and solving absolutely nothing in the process.
He had more important matters at hand; matters that his perplexed visitor was currently delaying with his mysterious, unannounced arrival.
‘Hey now, hold it!’ Falcon blocked the door with his foot against the frame. ‘That’s no way to treat a mate!’
‘How about this,’ Matt instantly compromised. ‘If you’re my… mate… then you won’t have any problems paying for something you break. Right?’
‘What the fuck are ya--’
A shrill elicitation of anguish escaped Falcon’s mouth as soon as Matt slammed the door against the side of his foot. Wary of the situation, Matt analysed the damage.
‘This door looks splintered on the edge. That could be a potential issue.’
‘What about my bloody foot, ya fuckin’ lunatic?!’ Every word passed through Falcon’s gritted teeth with painful clarity, carrying a tone of malice that expressed how bewildered he was by Matt’s uncharacteristic behaviour.
‘I suggest you take your foot away before I really get angry.’
‘Have a heart, man! You’re loopier than a box of Cheerios!’
‘Foot in three - two--’
‘For fuck sake!’ Conceding defeat and avoiding further punishment, Falcon slid his foot away, cringing from the swelling that was already taking effect beneath the polished leather. But before he could establish a defensive case, Matt properly shut the door, hardly waiting around to see what the pain-stricken figure did beyond the sculpted glass panels.
Protected inside his spacious abode, Matt sighed and rubbed the back of his neck. Relaxation would certainly lessen the tension. Yet he failed to relax; his mind refused to let him. He had an important objective to complete, the methods of which he was already organising in private. His contractual suspension had given him a new venue to explore, and still he did not regret his vengeful actions in Toledo. Neither would Seth Iser; that much he knew from prior experience.
For all intents and purposes, Ryan Omega would have to agree to his terms. If he resisted, then there would be a future problem for VoW and its assortment of employees to deal with in the form of a loose cannon causing havoc wherever he went.
And he wasn’t even thinking about himself and what he would do once Seth Iser was rightfully disposed of.
Nonetheless, the rush of power that flowed through him that night would not soon be forgotten. The demon was right. Never had smashing a laptop over Seth's head and coating him in hot popcorn been so therapeutic.
Turning around, Matt observed the kitchen, salivating at the prospect of consuming the beef he had been marinating since the previous evening. Unfortunately, his drifting attention span had made him believe everything was back to normal, when in reality his next step was about to be complicated by the pounding of fists on his double-glazed window.
‘What’s happened to you mate?!’ Falcon shouted through the transparent sheet. Matt never acknowledged his presence, deciding to venture to the kitchen as intended. ‘I don’t even know who the fuck this guy is I’m talkin’ to! Where’s the Matty Boy that would look out for anyone and everyone?! Where’s the Matty Boy that would sacrifice his time to make sure others were taken care of?! Where’s the Matty Boy that wouldn’t immediately think of crushin’ my foot against the door frame in a sour attempt to shut me out?! He’s in there somewhere! I know he is!’
During Falcon’s passionate ranting, Matt poured himself a glass of water and stood at the kitchen counter, drinking the liquid without visualizing the disturbance. He had no time for mediocre individuals. He had no time for man-children or attention-seeking sycophants.
‘Look at yourself!’ Falcon continued, pressing his face as close to the glass as he could without leaving a detectable moisture stain. ‘You’re becomin’ the thing you hate! You’re becomin’ just like Seth!’
Such a comparative statement would have generated an immense level of disdain never before witnessed between these two men. Yet for some reason, Matt never switched. Instead, he calmly placed the empty drinking glass down onto the counter and checked his phone.
That was what Falcon would have seen from his perspective. As a matter of fact, Matt was thinking deeply, not even touching the screen or pressing a single button. Despite his inner demon resurrecting all the aspects of his personality he aimed to moderate, there were still respectable pieces left to call upon. His conscience remained intact, despite not being as powerful as it once was.
Furrowing his eyebrows, Matt reached a verdict. He snapped his fingers and returned to the door, slowly opening it and staring at Falcon on the other side.
‘You have five minutes.’
Falcon nodded, then looked around the estate’s garden and interspersed gravel drive-way. ‘See… that’s gonna be a problem, mate.’ Matt chose not to question why. He waited for Falcon to explain, using his facial expressions as a readable guide. A moment later, Falcon produced a ticket from his suit jacket. ‘My return flight isn’t until tomorrow. I need a place to stay for the night.’
Unfazed, Matt lightly shook his head. ‘Then that’s your problem.’
‘I only had enough money for the flights. I can’t afford a bloody hotel… not even a shitty, run-down Motel 6!’
‘Find a box to stay in.’
Flabbergasted, Falcon narrowed his eyes quizzically. ‘So you’re just gonna leave me on the street in the pissin’ rain… if it even does rain?’
‘It wouldn’t be the first time.’
Falcon glanced at the floor, looking noticeably depressed. Then his sadness turned to anger. ‘Just who the hell are you? I don’t even know you anymore.’
Matt remained steadfast. ‘Three minutes left.’
‘You can sod your three minutes, you piece of shit.’ Annoyed and exasperated, Falcon departed the stone-brick porch and collected his small suitcase, which had been concealed behind a supportive pillar attached to the canopy. The gravel crunched underneath his shoes as he limped away, dragging his suitcase across the unstable ground.
Watching Falcon walk away like a lost, dejected animal made Matt consider his options. For one, the man had arrived without warning, completely disrupting any plans Matt had scheduled. Secondly, possessing little-to-no money was a foolish decision; he was likely relying on Matt’s wholehearted nature to cushion his activities with familiar hospitality. Thirdly, automatically assuming Matt would cave to his aspirations based on his reputation was a badly-invested risk, especially after everything that had transpired over the past several months.
Yet for how justified Matt felt exiling Falcon from his property, his conscience struck a common, empathic chord. He could not leave a man to starve amongst these unknown conditions; he was not used to the environment or the populace in general.
Some form of guilt enslaved Matt from the doorway. However, he remained adamant that nothing but complication would arise from this act of generosity.
‘Stop.’ This one-word instruction managed to do the trick, prompting Falcon to pause and swivel on his healthier foot. ‘When do you leave?’
‘Five tomorrow afternoon,’ Falcon dryly responded, uncertain that anything good would occur at this point. To his dismay, he watched Matt open the door fully and stand to the side, motionlessly beckoning him to enter.
After some careful deliberation, Falcon shrugged and returned to the porch. He stood there for a few seconds, absorbing the expression on Matt's face, searching deep into his eyes for any trace of his old friend. Soon enough, his posture relaxed.
‘I knew ya’d come through. You’re still in there… kinda.’
Falcon entered the large house with a smile. Matt remained the exact same way, never easing his stress-related frown.
There better be a benefit to this, he mused, shutting and locking the door without uttering another word.