Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters, or the TV series in any form. I am making no profit off of this, or any of my other fanfics. I'm writing it for my own enjoyment, and hopefully for the enjoyment of some of the fellow fans.

Conscience- A short story based on the WB TV Series "Tarzan"

Richard Clayton sat at his desk thinking. It was midnight. He couldn't sleep and had come back to his office to mull through the day's events. He'd thrown his jacket over the back of his chair and had his feet on the desk.

His eye wandered to a side table. He'd brought it back from Africa as a souvenir. It was made of wood except for the top, which was made of ivory. It reminded him of the trips he'd made to the Congo and especially the one during which he'd found his nephew.

The day's court proceedings hadn't gone the way he'd planned. All charges had been dropped against John and his plan to wrest control of Greystoke had gone awry.

"Why do I want it so badly?" He asked himself. "John's not capable of running the business; I should set him up with a Trust Fund. But then he could cause trouble later on, him and Kathleen, lots of trouble. Maybe Kathleen has a point, I've been ruthless. My father wouldn't be proud of me. Maybe I should change?"

Richard got up to pour himself a drink. He mixed a scotch and soda and sat back down at his desk.

"What's the matter with me, I've never had these thoughts before?"

"It's your conscience." A voice spoke loudly.

"Who's there?" Richard said jumping up.

"I told you, your conscience." The voice replied.

"Who the hell are you? "Richard said out loud. "Am I going mad?"

"No, your conscience, that's me, is bothering you and I decided to speak up for a change."

"Well, I've never heard from you before." Richard replied still confused and walking around his office looking for the voice.

"Yeah, well you should have, my fault. I haven't made enough appearances. That's all changed. Now I'm not going to shut up until I've said my piece and you're a new man."

Richard sighed and sat down. "OK fine, I'm going to ignore you." He said still talking out loud.

"I'm not going away, I'm going to stay here and torture you with thoughts about all your past misdeeds. Let's see; let's start with the stray puppy incident when you were ten. You remember the puppy don't you? The puppy you fed to your pet snake."

Richard looked uncomfortable. "Look, I was sorry about that, all ten year old boys have a demon inside of them. My snake was hungry, it was too tempting, and my mother would never have let me keep the stray."

"Yes, I came back and bugged you about that didn't I," laughed his conscience.

"I still have nightmares about it." Richard replied dismally.

"See, I can make your life miserable, time to listen to me again."

"OK, OK, what's the message this time?" Richard said impatiently.

"Treat your nephew with love. He's going to hate you forever. You can't change that. But he may tolerate you instead of wanting to kill you. Next, treat Kathleen with love, respect her. Next, love Jane Porter. She's going to marry John Clayton and be the best thing that ever happened to him. And last fix the mess you made of Greystoke. Got it?"

Richard looked very uncomfortable and swirled the scotch around in his glass. "You're asking too much."

"Well, until you do all the things I just said, I'll just torture you unmercifully. Remember when you had zits and the girls all hated you? Remember Molly and how she rejected you? Remember John, your brother and how he beat you up? Remember your nephew in the park trying to kill you. Remember.." his conscience went on and on and on.

Richard thought he'd go mad, his head hurt, his mouth was dry and he doubled over in physical pain.

"I'm only doing this for your own good. Remember when you cheated in school? Remember when your mother said she loved John more than you? Remember...."

"Stop, stop, I'll do it." Richard said.

"Yeah, right, you think promises are going to make me go away?"

"Watch, I'm going to the computer and I'm going to order a box of chocolates to be delivered to Kathleen tomorrow, with love from Richard. Look I'm doing it." Richard was on the Internet typing in his order.

"You have to call her, tomorrow, say you're sorry and you're a changed man," his conscience ordered.

"All right, I will. Look I'm ordering another box of chocolates to be delivered to Jane Porter too. I'll write on the note that I'm sorry." Richard punched in the second order. "And yes, I'll call her tomorrow."

"John, what about John, how could you treat him that way?" His conscience gave him a physical kick in the gut. "Don't like that do you? Well there's more where that came from." Blows came out of nowhere until Richard was lying on the floor grasping his stomach.

"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry," he whimpered. "I'll buy John a car to make up to him. He'll still hate me I know, but maybe he'll forgive me enough for us to make progress."

"Oh and what can you ever buy him that'll make up for what you did?" His conscience goaded him,

"The car I ordered for myself, the new Mercedes. Look I'll send the dealer an email right now and have it sent over tomorrow. Watch." Richard typed furiously into his computer.

"Oh very touching. You're lucky he doesn't tie you up, strap you to a bed and pump you full of tranquilizers. Want to know what that feels like?"

"No, no, please no more."

"Well, buddy boy, Richard Weasel Clayton, I'll leave you alone for now. But if this is just a show, I'll be back and you know it."

Silence reigned. Richard listened; silence, blessed silence.

"Ha, ha fooled you," Richard said snickering.

"I get the last laugh buddy."

Richard Clayton grasped his chest, a massive heart attack struck out of nowhere. He dropped dead on the floor.

Now there truly was silence.