Thursday, September 15

Chapter 28

"Satan Walks Into a Bar"

He was quite inconspicuous in the long black trench-coat and hat as he approached the neon entry sign to Dave’s Bar. He thought to himself, "oh, what the Hell," and snapped his fingers: immediately his coat began to roll tightly into a rope that hung from his waist with a barb at the end, and his hat to roll into two horns that jutted from his temples. Then his skin turned quickly from jet black to a dark red, then quickly again to a flaming red color from horns to tail. His legs became hairy and cloven hoofs appeared at the bottom. And appearing in his hand was a golden pitch-fork.

"Get me a pint of your strongest ale." He called on entering the building, and making his way to the counter he seated himself on one of the stools with the red tops. "And some peanuts."

"Long day?" The barman asked, turning and filling a pint mug with the rich brown ale. He hadn’t batted an eye at this stranger dressed as a red-devil.

"Just bored." Said the man in red.

"How was the game?" The tapster asked handing him the pint. "Hockey? Basketball?"

"No." The stranger said, taking a long drought of the ale. "I’m Satan."

"Sure." The barman said laughing. Satan smiled. There weren’t too many people who truly believed in him anymore. He wasn’t surprised. He had planned this all out eons before so that it would happen. Without people believing he existed, he could do more harm than ever. That was why he chose this form to enter the bar. People accepted it. People praised it in art. People worshiped it as a team mascot. People recognized it as a symbol of himself. He chuckled thinking of the "Devils" mascot: a man in red tights and shirt with a black cape, horns, pitch-fork, and polka-dotted boxers. This was what he wanted, wasn’t it? People making fun of him? Honoring him by thinking of him?

"So," the bartender said as he wiped out the inside of a mug clean mug, "You are the Devil. Pure Evil? Beelzebub? Prince of Darkness?" Satan lifted his mug in acquiescence. He took the last swig and passed it back across to the bartender for his second round, which, when once refilled, he greedily took and sipped the ale lustily. "That’s me." He sunk his head onto a propped up hand and gestured with his mug around the room. "It’s all me. The First Fallen One. I was the greatest thing God had ever created. Prince among angels. Then God had to go and make man in his own image. He made one better. You. Mankind. The whole filthy stinking lot of you. Stupid waste if you ask me." He downed half his mug in one gulp. "But I took my revenge. Took all of you down a notch, didn’t I!" He laughed at the bartender who just shook his head. "You all went down. I could have kept you too if it weren’t for that... that... Easter Thing." He rolled his eyes and took another drink. "But I didn’t do too shabby a job over the years. But sometimes..." his smile faded, "sometimes I wonder if I didn’t do too good of a job laying down plans and carrying them out." The barman put the mugs he was drying in their racks.

"You preaching? I’ll say this for you: it is creative. Very creative. Dressing up like a devil and coming in here as if you’r all high and mighty Satan"

"Low and mighty thank you."

"Quite a gimmick." The barman said. "Quite a gimmick. But you’re preaching to the choir; I used to go to church when I was younger, but I turned away from all that years ago."

"Duh," Satan said, "why do you think I chose this place? It’s safe. I don’t have to do much dammage in here... damage is already done." His face drooped a bit, "damage is done most everywhere these days. I don’t have to do anything to get any of you away from... from... Him. You have already chosen your paths."

"As I said," the bartender said, "creative. Not going to work on me though."

"I know," Satan said with a grin as he passed the empty mug back for a third pint.

"So then, Satan," the man behind the counter said, "what brings you here tonight?"

"Drinking." Satan said, grabbing the pint away from the hands of the bartender. "You see that guy over there?" He pointed to the man banging on the juke box. "Good friend of mine. I tell him to do something like beat his dog, kid, or wife, and ‘Wham,’ he does it." Satan waved his mug at the man who saluted him back. "You still don’t get it, do you," he said turning his full attention to the barman, "I have done my job so well that, even if I were to disappear for good, people would still sin. Take the first murderer: Cain..." he smiled thinking back, "I didn’t have to lift a finger on that one. The boy did it all by himself. That, my friend, is human nature for you. Humanism has it backwards." He downed a bit more of his pint, "what with violence in video games, false reporting on the news, internet pornography, the prevalence of cussing..." he set the mug down with a somber look on his face, "it’s all too easy. It’s too far out of my hands." He drained a bit more and slammed the mug down hard. "And you know what that means for Him? ‘The field is ripe unto harvest’ and all that." He shuddered a bit and finished off the last of his fourth pint of ale. "It’s not about power... nah. Don’t buy that jazz. It’s about controll." He clinched his fists, then loosened them. "That’s all I want: absolute controll."

"So," the bartender asked skeptically, "now you’re bored?"

"Coming into these places always refreshes me... so many familiar faces." Satan held out his empty hand before the bartender. "For your troubles," he said. In the empty hand appeared seven gold coins: all twenty-four carats, and each weighing 16 ounces each. Satan dumped these on the table, and got up from his stool. The bartender was picking the gold pieces up one at a time and looking at them in the dim lights of the bar, not noticing that others were watching as well.

Satan’s wicked smile went un-noticed as he left the bar, while all eyes were glued to the man with the gold.


At 10:51 AM, Blogger Sbyllek said...

One of your best stories. Very good.
I almost thought it was going to be a long joke the way the Title started!! :)


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