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Mike Reyes, aka Mr. Controversy, has considered himself a writer ever since he was a child. He wrote for various school publications from about 1995 until 2006, and currently runs both The Bookish Kind and Mr. Controversy, which is an offshoot of the regular column he wrote in High School. He's also a film journalist/critic for Cocktails & Movies and CinemaBlend, as well as the author of several short stories such as "The Devil v. George W. Bush". Any inquiries for reprinting, writing services, or general contact, should be forwarded to: mikereyeswrites@gmail.com

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Speak of the Devil - Prologue

And now, another short fiction project. This time, something in a longer form, much like "The Devil v. George W. Bush". Only this time, I'm actually writing the prologue first. (As opposed to writing a prologue and epilogue for "The Devil v. GWB" as part of the revised 'Inauguration Day Edition'.)

At any rate, I kindly remind you all that this is a rough cut and as such any criticisms or suggestions are heartily welcome. (My philosophy as of late has become, until it's printed in "the book", it's not final.)

Prologue – The Nature of the Beast

“…and that’s how I got this project sold.”

This last sentence is quite possibly the most important sentence to ever end a book. At least, for our purpose it is. Possibly more important than, “All was well”, slightly more important than, “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all” (considering out subject), and infinitely more important than, “And then we continued blissfully into this small but perfect piece of our forever”, though that last one was pretty much given to its author by our subject. As with any good book, whatever comes before that line is what’s most important. Without the background, development, and even scene setting, those final lines really don’t pack the punch they would if you had actually read the entire work from start to finish. Why? One word: context; which is also very fitting considering a popular turn of phrase for the subject of context: “The Devil is in the details”.

You see, this is a story about the Devil, whom many know by other names. Satan, Beelzebub, the Prince of Darkness, Lars Ulrich…his names are as numerous as they are vexing. The reason trying to give him a name is so frustrating is because he can take any form, at any time, for anyone. Really, depending on who you are, the Devil could be anyone. If you love the old legends of a huge red man with horns, you get the horns and all. If you’re a baseball fan, he might show up as Babe Ruth. If you’re a music fan, he might appear as Britney Spears. If you’re Sarah Palin, then he’d most definitely appear as Levi Johnston. The point is, the Devil will assume whatever form he feels he needs to in order to sell you on an idea and/or keep you in line.

This pitch might be the hardest one he has ever sold, because in an attempt to alter the public’s image of him The Devil has written an autobiography entitled, “The Nature of the Beast”. In it he has a whole bunch of stories about historical events that he’s influenced, people he’s known, and why those who call themselves “Satanists” are right out liars in what they believe and practice. In the case of these so called “Satanists”, they happen to practice all the stuff that comes from the darker stories about Satan. Their influence is from all the evil, malicious, and downright horrible things that he has done, of which there are quite many. This brings us to back to our initial point, that context rules everything. Specific actions taken out of the context of Satan’s life are seen as more lurid, horrid acts than they might have been when seen in their original setting. Make no mistake about it, The Devil is a horrible person, but he’s surprisingly not always the most evil thing in the universe. So keep in mind the line, “…and that’s how I got this project sold.”, because within the context of that line is our story. A story that takes place in a town that is all about proper context, listening to what people have to say, and doing something about what they've actually said…Hollywood, California.

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