I had planned on participating in Cindra's Quill Driving Contest, but it was not to be. Yahoo becomes Yapoo, and somehow my e-mail never arrives. In any case, after all the work I put into it, I decided to post it here so my efforts won't be completely lost somewhere in the entrails of that mysterious world we call Internet. When you're finished with this, you should visit The Great Quill Driving Competition and read the terrific stuff people have sent in. Come on, get over there and vote!
The Devil’s Holiday
October 15th. An unusually long line of people has formed just outside the Pearly Gates. St. Peter is perplexed when he discovers that most of them are sinners who have been turned away from Hell. He tells the angel at the gate, “Baxley, get me the Man Down Under, there’s a small matter I need to clear up.”
Phone ringing. A deep voice says, ”You have reached Hell’s Answering Service. If you are interested in selling your soul, please press one. Press two for a complete list of courses offered at Satan’s School of Sin. Press three for information about the Apocalypse. Press four for information on becoming a Hell’s Angel. Press five for information on satanic rituals. If you would like to speak with an operator, please press 666. For all other info, please visit our web site at www.sinnersrus.com and check our FAQ.”
St. Peter mumbles as he pushes the buttons, “Good Lord! What is this all about?”
“All our operators are busy, please stand by.” Strains of Barry Manilow drift over the line. Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl. With yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there…
God’s voice booms over the intercom, “Yes Peter, did you need something?”
“Oh, sorry, I was just muttering to myself”
“Well, don’t let it happen again. You know what I told you about using my name in vain. I’m extremely busy, and I can’t just drop whatever I’m doing just because you are muttering. You caught me right in the middle of a particularly exciting game of croquet with some of the angels.”
“I promise it won’t happen again.” …meet and the angels sing.
The angels sing the sweetest song I ever heard. We speak and the angels...
Operator, in a nasal tone, “This is Jezebel. How may I help you?”
St. Peter exclaims irritably, “Finally! It’s nearly midnight. I’ve been on hold since dawn. Do you have any idea how annoying Barry Manilow gets after a while? Look, there seems to be some sort of misunderstanding. There are a whole bunch of sinners trying to get into heaven, and they aren’t even pretending to have repented.”
“Oh, I’m sorry, but the Master is out.”
“Well, when will he be back?”
“Um, I really can’t say. You see, he’s sort of on vacation.”
St. Peter throws up his arms and exclaims, “What do you mean he’s on vacation? The Devil can’t go on vacation. Do you know how many souls we get up here every day, there’s no room for more. And now assassins are meeting up with their victims, rapists with the raped, and adulterers with the adultered...Oh wait, that’s not right…Well, anyway, it’s mayhem I tell you.”
“I’m sorry, but he was just burnt-out from the great increase in new souls that have been pouring in, and he said he needed some time off, so he closed the place down. Said it might even be permanent, depends on how he feels. The last I heard, he was driving around Michigan in an Aston Martin convertible with the top down. He’s having a wonderful time eating Goobers by the handful, listening to techno music, and scaring the pedestrians by throwing his arms up and shouting, ‘Let’s rawk!’ To my knowledge, he has no intention of coming back any time soon.”
St. Peter, losing his normally placid temper, “Get him on the phone immediately.”
Jezebel, “I’ll see what I can do, but finding him will be harder than trying to catch bullets with your teeth.”
Several hours pass. St. Peter’s phone rings. “The Pearly Gates, this is Baxley. How may I help you?”
“Satan here. Put me through to St. Peter.”
Baxley hands the line to St. Peter, “It’s the Devil, sir.”
“It’s about time. Look, we have a problem. You just can’t go on vacation like that. We can’t fill heaven with murderers, thieves and politicians, it would be a disaster.”
“Look Peter, I’d like to help you out. I’m not really as bad as everyone makes me out to be, but I need a rest. Things have been just crazy down there, we keep getting more souls every day and it’s just too hectic.”
“But you can’t just close down Hell. Heaven wouldn’t make any sense without Hell.” Silence ensues as the Devil considers this.
“Alright, I guess you’re right, but give me until November 1st.”
“Why November 1st?”
“Well, Paris Hilton is having this really huge Halloween party, and I don’t want to miss it. I’m going as myself - that should really scare the shit out of people. Oh, and hey, you need to lower the sin standards a bit. That would lighten our workload a little, and I wouldn’t need to take any more vacations. Maybe instead of the Ten Commandments, you could make it the Nine Commandments. I mean, come on, the whole thing is as obsolete as the Theory of Impetus. The adultery one might be a good one to get rid of; half the souls we get are sent down for that sin alone.”
“But I can’t make a deal with the Devil! Just thinking about it gives me bad karma.”
“Well, it’s either that, or there’ll be hell to pay. Now quit your yappin’ and get on with it.” The Devil hangs up.
St. Peter exclaims, “Oh, Good Lord!”
“Yes Peter, what did you need?” God materializes next to St. Peter.
“Well, I have a rather unorthodox proposition to make…”