At a quiet non-descript diner, Cadillac Jacks, The Man sits at a booth at the end of the aisle. The Man is going through his ledger when a man in a suit, James, comes in and sits down at the booth. When The Man points out that James is late, the newcomer admits that he wasn’t sure if he was coming. He says that he’s picked a girl and The Man asks for details, but James says he doesn’t want to. The Man persists and James says that the girl was four. He continues giving details, describing what the girl was wearing. The Man writes in his ledger and asks why James chose the girl, but James will only say that she’s a child and that he figured she hasn’t lived that long so her parents wouldn’t miss her that much. He says that he followed the girl and her parents home, his hand shaking, and gives The Man the address that he requested. James admits that he’s been having second thoughts and his son’s cancer is in remission. The Man says that it’s good news and assures him that he doesn’t have to. However, when James asks if his son will live if he does what is asked of him, The Man says that’s the deal.
Later, Jenny comes in and asks if he’s “him.” When he asks what she means, she says that they serve a great pastrami sandwich and The Man greets her by name. Jenny sits down and asks if he can do things, and The Man explains that he creates opportunities for people to do things. When he asks what she wants, Jenny says that she wants to be prettier. The Man assures her that can be done and explains that they make an agreement. He checks his ledger and then tells Jenny that she’ll have to rob a bank. When she says that she has no idea how to rob a bank and won’t do it, The Man puts his ledger away and says that there’s nothing else she can do and that he needs her to rob exactly $101,043. When she asks him why he wants $101,043, The Man says that he needs to hear from her how about how she robbed $101,043.
Willem comes in later and sits down at The Man’s booth. He says that he’s thought it over and shows The Man a picture of the woman he wants. The Man tells Willem that’s who he will get and informs him that he has to protect a child like a guardian angel. Willem will find a way to become a part of the girl’s life and protect her. The Man gives him the girl’s address and says that Willem must protect her from any threats for ten weeks. When Willem wonders how he can do it without stalking her, The Man says that it’s his problem but when he’s done, Willem is to come and tell him what he did. Willem hesitates and then describes how his friend John had two women and was happy, and said The Man made it happen. Still, he isn’t sure and The Man admits that it’s understandable... but not his problem. Willem asks for proof and The Man tells him to start and see what happens.
Later, Mrs. Tyler meets with The Man. She asks how he’s doing and The Man admits that he’s been busy. He asks how she’s doing and then asks if she’s found the materials need she. Mrs. Tyler says that she can and found the how-to instructions on the Internet, and it will be ready in a week. The Man asks if she feels comfortable doing it and she admits that it isn’t, and he asks for more details. She describes that her hand shakes as he writes everything down, and asks if it’s worth it. The Man probes for more details of what goes through her mind and Mrs. Tyler says that she feels terrible about all of the people dying, no matter how quickly it happens. But what gets her through it is that her husband will be home when she does it, and The Man assures her that he will. Mrs. Tyler asks if he makes everyone that comes to him hurt someone and The Man says that he only asks it of some.
Melody is The Man’s next client. She says the pastrami sandwich there is good and The Man recognizes her by name. He asks what she needs and Melody says that she needs enough money to make her dad happy. The Man asks for more details and Melody mentions that a friend’s friend’s relative said that The Man helped someone keep their house. When he asks how the person who kept his house is doing, Melody says that he killed himself. The Man says that he can help and explains that he offers her a task. Once she does it, she gets what she wants. He wants Melody to find a shut-in and then get him to leave the place where he feels safest. She hesitates and The Man says that if she does it then she will get what she wants. Melody considers and then asks when she starts.
Detective Allen Grenier is next, returning to see The Man. He angrily tells The Man that he did what he was supposed to and asks what is next, and The Man asks for the details. Allen refuses and The Man reminds him that he had a deal. After a moment, Allen begins, explaining that he chose a criminal named Sharkey that was in prison for killing his girlfriend and her mother. When he says that he lied to get in on the third shift, The Man asks if he likes lying. Allen demands the money but The Man says that he knows he didn’t kill Sharkey. He knows that Allen got Sharkey out of jail but also knows he didn’t kill him. When Allen wonders how he knows, The Man says that if he had done it, Allen would already have the money he wanted. He asks Allen if he really wants what he said he wanted and Allen thinks about it.
Later, Sister Carmel sits down with The Man and immediately asks how she can know if he’s the Devil. The Man admits that she can’t and Sister Carmel tucks her crucifix away. She mentions how a priest she knows told her that the Man worked a miracle for him, and then tells The Man that she was young when she took her vows but happy to do so. She used to feel God’s presence and it was a comfort, but now she doesn’t. The Man asks if she wants to leave her order, and Sister Carmel says that she wants to hear God again. She asks if The Man can do it and he tells her that he can. He tells her that he makes deals and asks if she wants to make a deal.
James returns and says that he doesn’t want the child to suffer. The Man says that’s up to him and James says that he wanted to avoid anything messy to avoid complications. He describes using a plastic bag to smother her and asks what the Man thinks of the idea, and The Man says he wants to know what James thinks. The Man assures him that his son is safe for now and James thanks him, and then says that he can’t let his wife find out.
The next day, Jenny comes back and complains, saying that she doesn’t want to rob a bank. The Man doesn’t care if she does or not, but says she won’t get what she wants if she refuses. Jenny asks how she can start and The Man suggests she watch TV for ideas. When Jenny threatens to tell the police he made her do it if she gets caught, The Man ominously promises her that she won’t. When she wonders if he thinks she can do it, The Man says that he thinks people can do far more than they imagine.
Willem meets with The Man and explains that he went to the address and watched the child and her parents as they played with their dog. When he admits that he worried someone might think he was a perv, The Man asks if he is one. Willem says he isn’t and reminds The Man of their deal, and then talks about how he felt like he was watching a movie of a happy family. When The Man asks if he wants a happy family, Willem says that he doesn’t get to be happy that way. He wants a different kind of happiness, and then asks The Man if someone is after the girl. The Man says that it isn’t his place and informs Willem that it’s his place to continue... or not.
Later, Mrs. Tyler asks The Man what happens if she doesn’t do what he has asked of her. He admits that he doesn’t know, but he figures that things would continue. Her husband’s Alzheimer’s might get better, or it might get worse. When Mrs. Tyler notes that there is no recovery from Alzheimer’s, The Man points out that people have survived amazing things. She worries that her husband doesn’t have much time so she’s hurrying, and then asks if she can do something besides using the bomb that she’s building. The Man takes an interest when she says that it’s built, but tells her that it’s up to her whether she uses it or not: her choice. After a moment, Mrs. Tyler says that she’ll take it to the coffee shop that weekend and use it. The Man tells her to come back and tell him how it went.
James comes again and asks what happens to his son if he gets caught, and The Man says that his son will survive. He writes down notes as James says that he doesn’t want to get caught and have his children think that he’s a bad man. James notices The Man writing and asks if that’s what he wanted to hear, and The Man says that a person’s thoughts are the most important things. After a moment, James says that it should be an accident and leaves. Share this article with your friends