Yeah this one gets a bit Meta for sure.
The sun glared through the living room window as I found myself lounging on the couch. The angle of the mid-January sun-setting was so perfectly obstructive that I barely could see anything on the television.
“Screw this,” I grunted to myself as I reached for the remote.
I tossed the remote on the floor and scooped up my laptop off the coffee table, turned, and put my feet up where the laptop had been.
‘Might as well try and write something’ I thought.
I navigated to reddit for a touch of inspiration and perhaps a prompt. Many had to do with the Devil it seemed–even more than usual. I found a prompt to work with entitled: ‘You find out the Devil is actually an annoying coworker and that your office building is Hell, how do you piece together that you’ve ended up here?’ I smirked and let loose a symphony of clicking and clacks onto the keyboard. The sound of hard plastic shoes scraped on the steps outside the front door and then, there came a knock.
“Hello?” I called. “Who’s there?”
“It’s the mailman,” they shouted through the door.
“One sec. Hnng.” I grunted as I lurched to my feet. In my sweats and slippers I padded over to the door and undid the deadbolt.
“Yeah?” I asked opening the door.
At the foot of the door lay a lonely envelop.
‘What did I order’ thinking back through my recent Amazon window shopping. My first thought was that I’d done a spot of shopping after a drink or two.
A voice from behind me chimed in.
“I think you’ll like it. It’s one of my favorites.”
I wheeled around to a balding, sharply-dressed figure sitting where I had been just moments earlier. His face curled into a huge smile and I felt strangely at ease with this stranger in my house.
“Lloyd Blankfein?” was all I managed in my utter confusion.
“Not quite,” the man laughed. “Though he gets likened to me all the time.”
“Well who the fuck are you and how did you get in here?” My confusion began to spark into panic.
“I’ve had many names. But you can call me Lucifer.”
“As in the Devil?”
“Yes,” he squinted, “That’s another.”
“Aw fuck, am I going to Hell?” I said feeling a tightness in my chest. “What did I do?”
“Of course not m’boy, just calm down.” Lucifer laughed. “That’s not how any of this works. No I’m just here to ask you to stop using my likeness in your stories. That’s it. You’re making me out to be some penultimate evil but really, I’m not a bad guy.”
Lucifer’s nostrils flared and his dark pupils flashed an angry red.
“But,” I stuttered. “But, my draft. You’re why my protagonist descends into madness. I’m already 600 words in, I don’t really want to change it now.”
Lucifers smile dropped and he seemed to grow taller. A draft entered the room and the light overhead began to dim. The faint scent of sulfur swept through the room.
“Listen,” Lucifer started, “I’m not evil. I’m not responsible for any worldly evil. And, I’m getting quite tired of taking all this heat all the time. Yes fine, I’m in charge of a nasty little place called Hell but not by my choice.”
I began to speak but a quick finger in the air cut that short.
“So,” he continued. “You will take me out of your story.” Lucifer’s tone indicating that the last was not a request rather a demand. I saw that there was no winning the argument at this point.
“Wonderful,” he said smiling and clasping his hands together. “I think your story will benefit ultimately. Too many stories nowaday suffer from one-dimensional characters who are either good or evil. Let me tell you, I’ve been around the block a bit and let me tell you–nothing is black and white so your characters certainly shouldn’t be.”
Lucifer now stood from his, well, my seat on the couch and rose to reveal a ‘man’ taller than I had ever seen.
“I should be going.” He said, hooves clacking on the hardwood floors. “Many writers to visit. Also you didn’t buy that package drunk,” he continued pointing at the envelope still in my hands. “I bought that for you. Enjoy.”
I watched wordlessly as this giant goat man strode out my front door and into the still grayness of the dying day. I turned back to the package and ripped the top of the envelope. Upended, the envelope produced an old copy of Mein Kampf accompanied by a note which read: “Even evil thinks it intentions are pure. Take it from one of the greatest villains in history.”