And just like that, the interrogation began.

“You mean you made us crash and die? What a douche!” Elliot asked.

Beverly was more infuriated. “W-w-who are you then? Mr Mephistopheles??”

Ralph pointed a finger to the ground, meaning stone cold business. “I want answers, guy. Answers! You hear me!?”

The quiet old codger took a non-gregarious mouthful of his rootbeer that Beverly was kind enough to oblige him with. He burped without prejudice, then complimented it with a barking cough. He cleared his throat then sighed deep and long.

And then he spoke. “I’m not about to question if I chose the wrong family as it was ordered unto me but for frick sakes, everyone shut their illustrious pie holes already. Knock off the annoyance factor or nobody gets answers for Christmas, are we somewhat clear?”

The Doornails nodded heartily.

“I am not God and I’m sure as hell not the Devil. I am what you can call an agent of the most high.”

Elliot piped up. “So like an angel?”

“Boy, open your yap one more time, I sincerely dare you, I really do. Now, did you die? You’re darn rights you perished. All y’all, and I’ve never even been to the south. And then?”

He stood up, half-circled the table, looked semi-directly into Bev Jrs eyes and breathed “And then you were born again. From death to life. Why, you might ask? This is for you to discover but I will tell you this: it is a gift.”

Bev Jr held his glance and shot back. “And what about these half-assed bizarre other gifts you (finger quotes) ‘bestowed’ us with?”

The man exhaled deeply. “BJ, I like you, I do but I feel like I need to slap you silly because I already clearly stated I wanted your silence, sister! Dang it, what a crowd. What a crowd. And you even got the coolest gift, yet you question my arse.”

“Let me pose you this: Ralph, if you picked up a ukelele right this hot minute, and hadn’t played a literal lick previous.. would you or wouldn’t you suck?”

Ralph scratched his chin and looked at the ceiling. Beverly took the mic. “Oh for heavens sake, Ralph, answer the demons silly question. It’s not cancer science.”

“Never mind, I’ll do it for you. You’d suck. Royally. These gifts I’ve embedded in you take training to wield.”

Elliot raised a hand.

The man slapped his forehead, hard. “For the love of… yes, Elliot, you will be able to see other girls naked one day, too.”

Elliot smiled bigger than ever and crossed his arms.

“Any other stupid questions, Doornails?”

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