#114 A List of Things to Keep in Mind When You Meet the Devil

by Andrew Lindsay

You’ll hear his cloven hooves clack when he walks up behind you. Don’t bother turning to look. You’ll already know who it is. Just pretend his hooves are Italian loafers.

The doctor won’t let him smoke, or drink and he can only have decaf, so keep that in mind.

Talk about the weather. While he listens, he’ll play with his tail that’s got the same thin, wiry hair as his head—each about as bald as the other. When he replies, he’ll speak with his hands and his voice will have this lisp because of his forked-tongue. Don’t giggle. It’ll make him feel self-conscious.

Compliment him. He’ll thank you, keeping his eyes down while drawing shapes with his hooves. He’ll know you’re beating around the bush and that’s okay. He’ll also beat around the bush and that’s okay, too.

He has a scar on his face—deep, ugly and purple. It fissures his fire-truck-complexion. Unless you want to hear the saddest story, don’t ask about it or even so much as look at it.

When he puts his arm around you, you’ll notice that he doesn’t smell like sulfur, brimstone and burning flesh, but more like butane.

He genuinely doesn’t like doing this—it keeps him awake at night—but his hands are tied. The ticket price home is steep. You’ve got a problem; he can solve it, sadly, at the price of your soul.

You don’t really have a choice, either. Let him know. It’ll make him feel better.

6 comments:

JRVogt said...

I like this. A compassionate perspective on the Devil and the usual "deal."

Shona Snowden said...

Poor little devil. An interesting approach.

stacy said...

Inventive!

conboyhillfiction said...

What an interesting perspective. I do like the way in which we are drawn into sympathy for the devil [and what could you have been listening to when you wrote this?!].

Andrew L said...

Thank you all for the wonderful compliments!

Funny you should ask, Conboy. I pretty much put this on loop:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3L6M3RC6Ohk

C.W. said...

I read the original drafts of this! Atta boy!