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Interview With The Devil

Story ID:7253
Written by:Lisa Godin (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Story
Location:Cleveland Ohio USA
Year:1999
Person:me
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"Greetings everyone. I'm sitting here live and direct in a little room where it's hot and it smells of noxious gases and...oh hell, I might as well admit it, I'm temporarily in Hell, in this little office sitting before a large desk on a very warm chair. It's very interesting because it just says on the door Waiting Room. Whoops I think I hear...yup, the door is opening and here comes the Devil himself. Wow I can't believe what I'm seeing. He looks like the every day Joe on the street, a little pale, skinny, quite handsome actually, dressed in all things, a very expensive Armani suit!"
The Devil seated himself behind the desk his chair exploding into flames.
"Thank you Mr. Devil for granting me this interview."
"Ah don't mention it kiddo. I'm here to serve. Ask me anything you'd like."
"Okay. Uh....when you came through the door I was uh...well I was..."
"Surprised?"
"Uh...yeah."
"Well you know how it is. The red skin, pitch fork, spiked tail and horns, the occasional wings, slobbery fangs, and the ever popular goat fanny with hoofs, that's just my PR man working his magic. Frankly I hate those get ups. But it's great for Halloween parties and the occasional movie part. Did I tell you my favorite movie to do was The Devil's Rain with that Shatner fella? Nice guy. Ernest Borgnine got sick after a couple days of shooting so I was his stand-in. Shape shifting to look like him was hard. He didn't much enjoy my taking over but what the hell. He got paid for what he did. I didn't get a flaming red cent."
"I saw the movie. Pretty horrid."
"Well, I don't exactly have the best agent, but what can ya say. It was a job and you know movie people. They love authenticity and I'm always available. Good or bad movie, doesn't matter to me. It's good to get out on occasion."
"Can we get on with this? It's getting quite hot down here."
"Sorry. Air conditioner broke."
"That's not funny!"
"Hellish humor." Devil chuckles. "Can't help it."
Unamused I continue.
"Now tell me, Mr. Devil--"
"Ah! Call me Mr. D. Has a hotter feel to it. Get it? Hotter?"
"Oooookay. Mr. D. it is. Now tell me. How long have you been here?"
"Oh, well, let's see...one...two...three...
gee, baby cakes, I don't remember. Forever would be a good word for it since I can't count beyond 666."
"Wow, that's a long time!"
"Yeah, but hey down here, time flies."
"Well I..uh..."
"Tell me, kiddo, how in the world did you get down here? You're not dead, and you certainly don't look like a sinner."
"Well I talked to the Big Guy..."
"He gets all the fun!"
"Pardon me?"
"He gets to talk to pretty women like you and I'm stuck with naked savages screaming all the time burning in brimstone and fire. All that yelling makes for pretty ugly folk lemme tell ya!"
"No doubt. What kinda people do you get down here?"
"The usual. We got your adulterers, child molesters, executed Death Row inmates, women who had bad hair days. They're something else lemme tell you, sweet thing! They keep yelping "I repent! I repent!" No such animal down here, girlfriend. Once you're sent here, there's nooooo goin' back up there."
"You mean Heaven?"
"Since the Big Guy kicked me out, insulting me by calling me a fallen angel, I can't even say hev-hev-hev--"
"Heaven."
"Yeah, that's it, sister. I always stutter when I try to say hev-hev-"
"Heaven."
"You got it cutie pie."
"Stop calling me those names!"
"Oh I'm sorry! I've been without a good lookin' lady for so long that I've forgotten my manners."
"Forgiven."
"I wish!"
"Now, tell me, Mr. Devil--"
"Mr. D!"
"Mr. D. Tell me how do you find all your...shall we say..tenants?"
"Good word. Got me a few slum lords down here too! Man, trying to get them to fix the brimstone and fire vents is a real hassle. I have a devil of a time. Get it?"
Mr. Devil laughs.
"I get it! Get to the point!"
"Damn! You're a tough room when it comes to humor! What was the question? Just kidding. Well I get 'em the usual way. I go in my dazzling silver suit. That throws 'em off guard all the time! I go to homes, hospitals, accidents, suicides, gas chambers, electric chairs, wherever I get the itch to go and I say look fella or m'am, I can be very polite."
"Sly."
"Whatever. Anyway, I say I've reviewed your file and you just suck! You've perpetrated some pretty heavy crap. Time to meet your maker. That's me!"
"I gathered that."
"So you did. Anyway, I haul out the 'ol contract with the usual I got your soul for all Eternity, yadda yadda yadda, you're going to be bathing buck naked in brimstone, fire, acid, boiling mud, yadda yadda yadda, you can come the easy way or the hard way, yadda yadda yadda, sign on the dotted line."
"And if they don't agree?"
"Honey they've got no choice. Oh! Did I tell you I just redecorated?"
"Uh...no."
"Yup. Do you realize how many shades of red there are? Whew! The place is Red Hot with color. The place could use some curtains but can't find any that last too long. Same with linoleum. Keeps melting and sticks to the soles of my tenants' feet."
"You know you're not funny at all."
"Hey! I try. Gimme a break, will ya? Can I ask a favor of you?"
"What?"
"I hope you'll tell everyone I'm not such a bad guy really. I can be quite friendly, I'm great at parties, and I just love people. Who cares if they're the scum of the earth. Everyone needs someone. Just doin' my job."
"Y'know some don't believe in you."
"That's hardly a sin. I'm sure some don't believe the other way either. At the risk of sounding political, and we do have a few politicians and their lobbyists down here too, I say believe or don't believe. Whatever floats your boat. One thing about me is, I don't judge when it comes to beliefs. I'm a people person. I like everyone.
"Will you do what I asked?"
"It'll be a hard sell."
"Well life is tough and then ya die. So what else is new!"
"Okay. I'll do what you asked."
"Thanks. I'd really appreciate it." Mr. Devil reaches into his pocket and pulls out a flaming card which he blows out. "Here's my business card. I'm always open for referrals. A new movie role here and there wouldn't hurt either. Sometimes you've got to get away from it all."
I stand gingerly taking the card.
"See? I didn't bite."
"Well, Mr. D., thanks so much for your...uh...insight on what kind of work you do."
"Yes, my work is never done. No Unemployment Line for me! No siree! Shall I see you to the door?"
"No thank you. I can find my way out."
Mr. Devil chuckles as he rises from his charred chair.
"That's what they all say. Toodles!"
In a puff of sulfur smoke, the Devil disappears. I ran like Hell out of that Damned Waiting Room.