An offer you can't refuse
30 Dec 2008
A knock from the door; there are two sunglassed, black-suited, polite, friendly musclemen behind the door. You back away, they step in. One puts a friendly, muscly hand on your shoulder and smiles. Gold flashes in his smile; a cross at his lapel.
"Hello, neighbor. Heard you had moved in, so we, being friendly and all, decided to give you a visit."
His partner stays at the door, unsmiling.
"Nice place you've got here, neighbor. Nice family. Nice dog. Nice body --- go out to the gym a lot, huh?" A finger prods your chest, hard.
"Would be a shame if something were to happen to you, here or on the other side. Not that we're threatening, no, don't misunderstand our intention --- but you know, just in case, it could be nice to have a bit of insurance."
You stammer a request for clarification.
"No! We're not some cartoon mafia bad guys --- neighbor, you grievously wound me with that accusation. We're just your friendly neighbors, worried about the state of your life. It would be a tragedy were your soul to spend an eternity burning in Hell, right? Or were a divinely directed lit cigarette light up your garage? Things aren't built to last in this time, this mortal world. It's such a sad thing. But don't you worry --- such accidents don't need to happen. We're here just to tell you the Big Boss likes you; likes you, kiddo. Loves you. Is deeply concerned about the state of your life, your family, your very soul. Surely you can appreciate that fatherly concern? For your family's sake if not otherwise?"
"Wha--- What do you want?"
He smiles, in a way a temporarily well-fed shark would. "Nothing, neighbor. We just want you to be happy so the Big Boss can be happy. Just be an upstanding citizen; we ask nothing more. Don't get in trouble. Don't look for trouble. Sam!"
Sam --- the other blacksuit --- hands him an immaculately uncrumpled leaflet.
"Life ain't difficult if you don't go looking for difficulties, neighbor. Ain't that the truth? Here --- here's just a brief list of the ways we simple, uncomplicated people life hereabouts. A list of ways you can contribute your little share. It's nice to have you here, neighbor --- you won't mind if I drop by now and then? Or it would be much better if you could come and see the Big Boss now and then --- his reception's every Sunday morning, and I know he'd be just thrilled to see you drop by."
"Oh, and please bring your family with you --- especially your beautiful little daughters Emily and Jennifer. Wouldn't want anyone to think they're disrespecting the Boss --- some people can get a bit heated about things like that."
"Now, I think that was all... oh, yes. The people who used to live here. They weren't team players --- and you know, people don't like people who attract trouble around here."
Sam mutters something about faggots but is quickly hushed; the shark-like smile gets a bit closer, and wider.
"But that's the past. I just know you're a team player. You're a good neighbor, huh?"
You manage an affirmative reply; Mr. Shark nods.
"That's good. The Big Boss would be so unhappy if you were to be one of those troublemaking, rabble-rousing, misbehaving types. It would just break his heart. Who knows what could happen then?"
And with that Mr. Shark and Sam depart, and leave you holding a leaflet titled "The Friendly Valley Church of Don Jesus".