A boy, Bobby, goes into a diner and approaches The Man, who is
sitting in the corner. The Man initially denies he can do anything for
Bobby, but Bobby explains that his friend Conner's dad got kicked out of
the house, and he's really sick. He wants to help Conner but The Man
warns him that when people come to him, anything can happen. Bobby
considers and leaves.
Cheryl comes to see The Man and tries to show him MRIs of what is wrong with her three-year-old daughter so that he can fix her. He tells her that he needs actual photos and focus on Cheryl, and explains that he doesn't fix thing. Cheryl doesn't understand, having heard that The Man got a convicted killer out of prison, and he tells her that to cure her daughter, she'll have to torture a woman without family or friends.
Later, Dillon comes to see The Man and says hat he wants it so that he won't die. He doesn't want to age and he doesn't want to be hurt. The Man wonders why and Dillon explains that he wants to have plenty of time to enjoy his life, even though he doesn't know how. He asks if The Man can make it real and The Man says that he can but he'll have to be honest with him.
Maria arrives to see The Man and explains that her mother is unhappy. Maria's father died recently and her sister is a drug addict. She considers having her sister cured, and The Man says that it can go even further and that her father can come back from the dead. Maria worries that it's too much power for him to have, but The Man says that she's the one who will do it by completing her task, and that they crack the world with each action they take. Upon consideration, Maria says that she wants her mother to feel love for what is in front of her. The man consults his notebook and tells Maria that she'll have to make five people cry.
An early appointment, Henry, comes back to the diner and tells The Man that he wants to wipe out his current marriage of twenty years to Heather and replace it with one to another woman, Katie. The Man points out that Henry won't actually have had those twenty years with Katie, but Henry insists that is what he wants. The Man wants details about why Henry wants to change his marriage, but Henry refuses to give specifics until The Man tells him that it's part of their arrangement. Henry finally admits that there's no sex and The Man asks if it's important enough to eliminate twenty years of marriage.
Theresa comes in later and tells The Man that she picked a man that she saw in a movie theater. When he asked why Theresa picked that particular man, Theresa says that he looked lonely because he's the kind of man that no one notices. As she describes how they sat together and pretended to watch the movie, her cell phone rings. Theresa says that it's her son and steps away to take the call.
Next, Jack returns to see The Man and shows him a pen that he stole from a house. He describes how he goes out at night and tells his wife that he's walking around to think, and figures that she believes he's demented. Jack admits that he is, since he's taking orders from a stranger in a diner. He explains how he easily broke into the house and that people make it too easy for him. This time, Jack took a pen that was out in plain sight, even though before he's taken less noticeable objects. The Man asks why he risked it and Jack says that he's angry at people, and that if they paid more attention then he wouldn't need to make his deal. When Jack wonders how many more thefts he has to commit, The Man tells him that he has to steal five more times and then Jack's grandchildren will be safe.
When Cheryl returns, she tells The Man that she can't do it, but he assures her that she'll eventually find a good reason to torture someone. Cheryl says that she doesn't know where to start and The Man suggests that she imagine all of things that she wouldn't do to someone. She closes her eyes and imagines, and then starts in horror.
Bobby comes back with Conner and asks to make a deal, but The Man refuses. They wonder what age they have to be to make a deal, and The Man says that it isn't precise. Conner complains that only adults get to get what they want and that he wants things with his father back to the way they were. The Man hesitantly tells him that there are always consequence but Bobby says that his friend only wants to change his dad. At that, The Man tells them that changing a person is no small thing and Conner agrees. The Man scrutinizes Conner and then agrees to make a deal with him.
Later, The Man is alone at his table when Doris the waitress seats herself in the booth next to him. She says that it has been a while but The Man says that it hasn't, and that he likes to move on. Doris explains that she followed a girl named Melody that she saw talking to him at the last diner. Everyone thought that she died, but it turned out that the shut-in killed another woman and beat her up so badly that they couldn't confirm it was Melody. Melody then showed up later. The Man refuses to discuss it and says that he needs to go back to work, but Doris points out that she also saw Melody's father talk with The Man. He finally asks who she is and what she wants, but Doris simply says that she asked him first.
Sometime later, The Man is pouring himself hot water for his tea and sees Melody outside the window, watching him. After a moment she turns and walks away down the street.
Written by Gadfly on Oct 29, 2018