Last night, I posted part one of my interview with Judas Kane Thernardier. I hope you’ve all had a chance to take it in, because part two is fresh, piping hot, and coming right up!
“Alright Jude. Or Judas. Whoever you are at the moment. Let’s move on. Emily wants to know…” The scraping of Judas’s chair being forced back cuts me off, and my head snaps up from the page of questions.
“Well of course Emily does. Hannah, let me ask you something. Are any of your questions from someone other than Emily?!” Oh boy. Here comes Judas. Great Emily. You’ve brought out his violent side. Happy now?
“Oh hush. Judas Kane Thernardier, don’t you even think about backing out now. I will not leave this rotten prison with nothing. Now, Emily wants to know if you see yourself as a tool to be manipulated [by the government], or are you the one doing the manipulating?” Judas lets out an assertive snort, and both of his bare feet clunk down on the table. He leans back in the chair, for once giving the appearance of being cool and collected. That can’t be comfortable, with his hands cuffed behind him.
“The army you mean? Hah! They don’t have a clue. They’re perfectly content to throw me to the wolves, as long as I toss them a bone every now and then. I surpassed their training requirements with ease, and after a few bogus missions they saw my true potential. They give me what little information they have – typically just “there’s a group of unknown size and origins in this general area that might eventually turn into something lethal” – and tell me to have fun. Occasionally they give me some kind of timeline… but mostly they just let me have my way with it. They know they can’t contain me. At any time, I could break free from them and carry out my business on my own. So would they rather have me on their side? Of course. But can they really exert any power on me? Never.” The sickly sweet, toxic tone to his voice makes my stomach turn. I sigh, trying to collect myself before speaking.
“Something wrong?” He scoffs, with a haughty glare.
“Nothing at all, Judas. Nothing at all. Ready for the next question?” He rolls his eyes. “I’ll take that as a surly yes. What caused your split in personality?”
“Well… that’s a new one. I suppose I’ve never really thought about it, he’s been here so long.” His voice is placid, eyes thoughtful. Looks like I’ve got Jude back.
“Was there any time you can remembernot having him?” I prod. He sighs thoughtfully.
“When father was still around. Now that I think about it, I guess it must have been the day that they…” He chokes, and tears spring to my eyes. It’s hard not to feel sorry for Jude. He’s not the one that’s done this. It’s always Judas. “The first time I really remember Judas showing up was when they took me back to the house. I guess I just couldn’t take being there again… so he stepped in. Maybe he’s always been there, and just didn’t come out until then. Like Shakespeare once wrote, “Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires. The eye wink at the hand; yet let that be, Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see.” I had not the strength to do these terrible things. But, as with all of us, within me there was a seed of wickedness, of cruelty, of strength. The things I’d witnessed that day were things no one should ever have to experience, and must have awoken that seed, lit that spark within me. Since then, Judas has grown strong… So horribly strong. For a time, I could control him if I let him take his share of blood every now and then. But now I see that feeding his thirst only made him grow stronger.” Again I cough back tears, not daring to feel pity for this lost soul.
“Alright. Last one from Emily, for now. Could anyone or anything cause you to change the path you’ve chosen? Or are you too far gone for saving grace?”
“There was a time when I wanted to believe so. And I’ve begun to believe so again. But every time I’ve found my saving grace, nearly committed to breaking my vengeful vow and letting myself love again… I’ve either been crushed, or Judas has decided to cut my loose ends.” Tears glisten in his eyes, and a mixture of heart-wrenching pain and regret cast a shadow upon his face. I can’t really be nearing tears for this monster… can I?
“Jude, let’s take a short break. I think we both need a moment to clear our heads.”
END OF PART TWO