Bedeviled At The Bazaar

Sweet Revenge“, said Satan as he offered me the brightly-colored bag full of lost souls. “Stewed in their own bitter bile, imbued with hatred over perceived slights, and smothered with a desire to get even, no matter the cost. Of course, they complain about the cost as they are being dumped in the bag.”

He pointed to a row of candy boxes with plastic-covered cut-outs so one could see the contents, which in this case were terrified faces, many familiar to readers.  “Bitter Ends, Hitler in the bunker, Saddam on the gallows, Al Capone crazed by veneral disease, a pit-bull fighter killed by his own dogs. Hard Feelings, wife abusers, interrogators who use torture, pederast priests and others who abused children’s trust. A hard exterior that cracks under pressure, revealing a weak, jelly-like center.”

His laughter echoed through the mountains of Pakistan, where we had both come to oversee the transfer of a particularly evil soul unto the Devil’s realm. Satan was there to welcome the odious fellow, I was there to ensure that the new arrival wasn’t coddled by his new landlord, given a supervisory job in an air conditioned office, taking body shots off Lucretia Borgia, that sort of thing. It wasn’t happening on my watch, and it is ALWAYS my watch.

The miserable little soul for whom we had convened was being shown the results of his evil actions, forced to feel the sadness and loss of the survivors, and the pain of each victim. My angels would be dropping him off soon.

Satan was miffed at the delay. “I thought you were perfect, that you knew everything.” He made a point of looking at his watch, an old-fashioned variety with a face and hands. The current face was that of  Nazi scientist Mengele, the hands once belonged to Jeffrey Dahmer. Each sweep of the hour and minute across the Doctor’s visage left another trail of blood and rent flesh. “It’s a Slimex, takes the sickening to keep it ticking.” he cackled.

“I am, and I do.” I replied, “But my posse isn’t. I could do it all, but then the angels would feel useless, the cherubs would hassle the incoming out of sheer boredom, St. Peter would just get in the way.”

“I get that, and by its nature, the pool of middle-management candidates I get to choose from is far less stellar then yours. Excuse me, I must attend to a paying customer.” Satan had assumed the guise of a merchant in a bazaar in Abbottabad. The figure to which he pointed was a Taliban fighter, shopping for cell-phones, which can be used to trigger IED’s. He and the Proprieter exchanged greetings and wished the blessings of Allah upon one another.

Allah is only one of my many nicknames, but I did not care for it being sullied by someone who had killed women and children in villages not sufficiently anti-infidel. As he left Satan’s kiosk, I dialed his new phone, and when he answered, I ignited the plastique in his backpack.

Satan blew the dust and debris off his display table. “Still got that wrathful Old Testament thing going on, I see. At least you waited until he paid.”

“It was his time.”

“Right, Time to spontaneously explode. You are all-powerful, but you haven’t written it all out. The broad strokes, maybe, but not every action.” Then he added, “I can read you like a book.”

“Like the book you quote, the one you pervert to your own ends?”

Just then, through the smoke and debris, came the angels charged with collecting and transferring the damned soul, who did not stand so tall, now that the weight of the misery he had caused was strapped to his naked shoulders. A gaping hole opened in the ground in front of the stand, out of which poured yellow and gray smokes, black puffs of oily mist, and shimmering fumes. A trio of black dogs leapt out of the noxious maw, and with their powerful jaws seized the figure by various sensitive points of the body. My angels rose into the air as Osama Bin Laden plummeted into the depths of Hell.

Satan leaned over the hole, one hand cupped to his ear, and listened to the screams as the hole disappeared. “That’s gonna sound right tasty on my new Doc Dre’s.”

“So we’re done here,” I said, fashioning a chair out of a passing cloud.

“Stick around, have a glass of Delicious Irony with me, pureed and filtered….”

“I have been in your presence long enough that your smell lingers in my garment.”

My vessel completed, I sat down and started off in direction of the still-pristine Himalayas. His voice faded as the distance between us grew.

“Well I guess I can eat both of these Hot Grudge Sundays by myself, done it before….”

*I’ve committed this particular sacrilege before, here, and here

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