Read The Devil's Fate Online

Authors: Massimo Russo

The Devil's Fate




Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Massimo Russo


Massimo Russo

The Devil’s




The Devil’s Fate

Pietro Macchione Publisher - Varese - Italy

All rights reserved

Translation copyright © Susi Clare 2011

e-book version by Massimo Russo


 For Chiara, without whom

the world would be a place to forget,

where I live each day solely 

to hear the sound of her voice...


te cannot choose for itself. It has been assigned the task of doing that for others, of giving the illusion of choice to convince people it does not exist.


Love lives alone, eats chocolate and talks to fate, telling it that the world is a better place than the one it conditions.


Life is the country where emotions find peace, staring at fate and speaking to a dream of love.


Hell does not exist, like all things that find no place in life, like everything that cries out to fate in order to be able to live without pain.


Chapter 1

The shadows in the room said that it was almost time to go to bed, and the heat of the night intimated that it would, perhaps, have been better to set out again along the path he had left. Dustin wasn’t fazed. He closed the book and wondered what he could do with the time he had been allotted to see with a child’s eyes. He decided that his mission didn’t allow him the luxury of leisure. He looked through the picture windows of his house at the view that always excited a fresh emotion, which his eyes translated into peace of mind. The sight of the lake in front of him became even more beautiful when the lights on the shore framed a fairytale that wanted nothing more than to be told, and the sun asked a tired-eyed night for the space it was due.

He walked out onto the balcony and breathed in the fresh air the season had brought; it was like being reborn. The room, the darkness, being outside, the lights. He clearly remembered deciding the moment and, above all, the reason for coming back. He missed his house, the colors of his friends’ happy eyes and the words of a family that always managed to surprise him and show him how to see his mistakes from a different point of view, how to rectify them without ever being afraid. Ah yes…fear. He had been filled with that the first time he had arrived. He just couldn’t understand the sentiments of the people who lived there, and even less their purpose. The only thing he had noticed was their absurd desire to be considered better than anyone else, superior even to their capacity to exist. That occurred to him later, after he had made the initial contact; he still remembered the weird character he had bumped into. He had looked as if he hadn’t slept for at least a decade. That was his first failure. The first in a never-ending series. He had lost count of the defeats he had suffered, but he had to admit that his adversary was a hard nut to crack.

The telephone rang and brought him out of his reverie. It could be only one person at that late hour. He placed his glass of vodka on the coffee table in front of the dark leather settee that gave a respectable touch to the room and answered on the third ring. 

“It’s almost time.”

“Give me two minutes. Is everything ready?”

“They’re waiting for you; the instructions are in the memory bank.”

“Any problems?”

“Luc’s already set things in motion.”

“It’s not the first time. How many are there?”

“Only him.”

“It must be important then.”

“Never more so. He called Daisy for the first contact.”

“I’ll do the same.”

“Good luck.”

The line went dead, signaling the end of the conversation, as well as the peace and quiet that time had allowed him to savor, even for that short moment. He stared into space, fully aware of what awaited him. If only he had been able, he would have tasted fear in his mouth.


Chapter 2

The alarm clock dragged Norman Lae back from the fantastic places his mind had roamed with stunning women on board a luxury yacht hired from a skilled pedlar of dreams. Time presented itself to the morning dressed for 7:22. It was still early, but Norman was used to doing exercises before he went to work, so he got up that bit sooner to prime his body. Julia was still asleep. There was no need to wake her. He made his way to the bathroom, thinking about what the immediate future held for him: a meeting with his bosses. The job had become intolerable and his bosses were never happy with his work. They probably expected him to sell his soul to satisfy their craving for money. Damn money! It was always on his mind. If he could, he would tell the lot of them to go to hell and start doing what he had always dreamed of: traveling with a harem of women until he was thoroughly sick of it. The girl he had been living with for years was adorable. With her he had finally begun to feel alive and perhaps even happy. He wasn’t certain, because he had always doubted the existence of happiness and preferred a more worldly term better suited to his material way of thinking. He always said he was fine, but just as everything needs the right context to become perfect, even the affair with Julia was cramping his style. The problem was undoubtedly him, not her. Chasing his dreams was distancing him from reality and making him neglect his relationships with those who, of this he was sure, loved him. What probably prompted his state of mind was a bank balance that would hardly cover the cost of his smallest thoughts, let alone a dream.

He headed for the kitchen and took from the fridge the usual bottle of milk that would help him shake off the last remnants of sleep. He switched on the coffee machine; the espresso would bubble up shortly and give him the adrenalin he needed. Then he went into the bathroom and gave his eyes a minute to get used to the glare of unnatural light from the halogen lamp. He turned on the tap and looked at himself in the mirror before washing his face. He looked tired. His eyes were lackluster and that deadened any enthusiasm that might have been hiding there. He always wondered whether the man in the mirror felt the same emotions he did.

“How’s it going, Ayr?”

“Oh good, Norman! How about you?”

“Well, last night was a total drag. Pizza with her friends, cinema, romantic movie that obviously sent me to sleep! You?”

“Last night I was in Spain. Paella and sangria by the sea. Moonlight boat trip and champagne with three Spanish models... I leave the rest to your imagination. This morning I’ve got an appointment with the President of World Computers. He’s pissed off because the most important magazine in the world ran my face instead of his.”

Norman often used the nickname “Ayr”, the initials of the other three names his parents had chosen to give him: Andrew Yuri Ronald, in honor, respectively, of his maternal grandfather, his paternal grandfather and their favorite president. They had named him “Norman” for the simple reason that they both liked it. Of the four, his own favorite was Norman; he used the first letters of the others as a reminder of the nickname given to his long-standing hero, the only true basketball legend. He was proud of the analogy and always insisted that his friends call him Ayr Norman. There was no age limit, in his opinion, to self-aggrandizement.

Ayr Norman Lae always talked to himself in the mirror, following a ritual he thought fitting, namely, the exact opposite of a normal existence like his own. A life on the edge, for ever on the move, searching for new adventures and powerful sensations, so that one day he could tell his grandchildren such a wealth of tales that it would take their whole lives and more to hear them all. Sometimes he wished he were on the other side, so he could understand the mystery hidden in mirrors and find out whether his imagination was right or not. He couldn’t deny that lately he had even prayed for this to happen, though he didn’t really believe in God. Maybe his reflection thought the same thing; maybe it was tired of its own life, even if he deemed it impossible.

He sometimes worried that the yearning to follow his dreams would make him incapable of controling his life. He believed that fate and its sense of humor would one day knock on his door and, with the sneering smile of one who has already and irrevocably come to a decision, tell him that his life was over, at the precise moment he achieved his goal. He had a deep respect for fate, even though it rankled to think that someone else could decide something that affected him without even consulting him.

“Have you ever seen fate, Norman?”

“Oh sure, I know him. I invited him aboard my boat yesterday and paid him to tell me my future. He burst out laughing and told me he couldn’t grant my request. ‘You haven’t got enough money!’ the bastard said!”

They both had a good laugh at that.

“Ha, ha, ha... very funny!” As if fate could be bought, he thought in a moment of madness. I wonder how much he’d want? was his next, and even more extraordinary thought.

“Be seeing you, my friend! Anyway, if you want to swap, just give me a shout, I’m up for it. All you have to do is ask and my life is yours. That way you’ll go to the office this morning and brown-nose the bosses for a raise.”

He was still chuckling when he turned away from his reflection. It was a ridiculous notion, but he could have sworn it had the same mocking grin he imagined plastered on the face of fate. He finished washing and tiptoed from the bathroom to avoid waking Julia from wherever she was sailing her ship in that parallel world called dreams. He went into the kitchen. The coffee would be ready by now. He imagined the bitter flavor he was about to taste that would mellow the start of his day. He switched on the light. The glare was so strong that his eyes cried for revenge just as the bulb popped.

“Damn and blast!” he cursed. “So much for a mellow start...” He decided to change the bulb when he got home. He fetched a cup from the cupboard above the sink and poured himself a generous fix of steaming black coffee. The perfume was sheer bliss, the taste revitalizing. He looked at the time.

“Shit, it’s late!” The conversation with his counterpart had lasted longer than usual. He postponed his exercises until the following morning and went into the dressing-room to prepare his body for the respectable role it was about to play, clothing it with taste and elegance.


I’m going to describe my fate briefly, speaking to it so that it doesn’t fall asleep...

I can even believe it really exists...

I can bear the thought of being right, even if my mind is confused and doesn’t understand...

I ask, deny, risk, expect... but everything is “alone and for ever”, nothing more...

So, silently, I stand up and agree... and write down the words my heart whispers:

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