The Yattering and Jack


The Yattering has thrown everything off the mantelpiece. We pan across the litter of cards and broken ornaments to see it lying full length on the mantelpiece itself; its head on its hand.
YATTERING : I'm losing my mind.
It slides off the mantelpiece, and screams to the empty house.
YATTERING : You hear me? I'm losing my mind!
There is a roar from behind it, and it turns to see that in the corner of the room an unnatural darkness has gathered. On the soundtrack the pitiful sound of lost souls. Now in the middle of the darkness, a form is appearing.
A large man, dressed in a grey coat, beneath which he seems to be wearing some kind of fetishistic garment, which encases his neck in cross-laced leather, over which his jowls hang in folds. He is bald. He has a moustache and eyebrows tattoed on his world-weary features; and around his mouth are tattoed several flies.
This is Beelzebub, Lord of the Flies. The sound of insects can be heard once the voices of the lost souls disappear.
YATTERING : (falls on his knees) Beelzebub. My Lord!
BEELZEBUB : We hear you in Hell, demon.
YATTERING : Do you? I mean... I'm sorry. Really. Truly.
BEELZEBUB : What's your problem?
YATTERING : This assignment. Jack Polo. I can't do anything with him. I've tried everything I know. I've turned the house upside down, I've slaughtered his pets, I've spent night after night giving him bad dreams. And he doesn't break.
BEELZEBUB : He will. He must.
BEELZEBUB : Because his mother promised his soul to us, and then cheated us. She died in the arms of a priest -
YATTERING : (genuinely revolted) Oh that's disgusting.
BEELZEBUB : And so was safely escorted to -
Beelzebub stops. He can't bring himself to say the name.
YATTERING : To where, my Lord?
BEELZEBUB : Heaven, damn her. Heaven! That's why we must have him.

First draft - 1986

"I did write, or rather I adapted, one story of mine - the Yattering and Jack - which is a kind of comedic short story, which came out very so-so as far as I was concerned; I was not happy with it... The problem with network television, the thing you're faced with all the time - [with] horror on network TV - is that it has to be so mild and my horror fiction is not mild, so we're always dealing with the problem of, again, censorship, I'm afraid."

The Larry King Show

By Larry King, 11 October 1988

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