As always he was sharply dressed in an impeccably tailored suit, but this week, his expensive loafers had been replaced by a pair of expensive snow boots.
My snow boots were among the “paraphernalia” currently littering my foyer. I’m not a fan of shoveling snow, so when I’m done with the task, I tend to drop anything related to it right inside the door. I find that makes it easier to forget about the nightmare that is snow removal.
“Well, someone had to clear the driveway, and the interns miraculously all call out sick whenever it snows,” I grumbled as I took a sip of my Snapple.
“I could have cleared it with one tap of my pitchfork if you’d waited for me to arrive,” Lucifer pointed out as he sat down on his end of the couch.
“One of the perks of being a Maine homeowner is getting to grumble about clearing the snow after a storm,” I informed my guest. “I couldn’t pass up on that little bit of winter joy simply because you have an easier, magical way to complete the task.”
The Prince of Darkness gave me a look as he fished a bottle of Snapple out of the cooler. “Someone clearly did not crush up his happy pills into his morning omelette.”
I shrugged. “Sorry. The first major snowfall of the season always sets off my Post Traumatic Snow Disorder. I was hoping I’d handle it better and maybe build an army of waving snowman to welcome you when you arrived, but it was the same old reaction.”
“You can’t beat yourself up for not being a fan of forced manual labor,” Satan encouraged me with a genuine grin. “I don’t like snow, either. That’s why it has never snowed a single day in the history of Hell.”
“I thought it didn’t snow down there because it was so hot,” I mumbled.
“The sweltering conditions were a choice,” The Devil replied. “Sure, severe heat is an excellent way to make the Damned suffer for all eternity, but frigid temperatures and constant snow and ice would have had the same effect. I just prefer it to be warm, and I’m the only one with control of the thermostat.”
“But a ring of Hell in which people had to shovel snow for all eternity would be a pretty horrific punishment,” I suggested.
Lucifer shook his head emphatically. “Never going to happen. If someone wants to spend eternity clearing snow, I’ll send them to Maine.”
“You can’t equate Maine with Hell,” I argued and slammed my Snapple bottle down on the table in anger. “Sure, it’s cold, snowy, desolate, the Governor is a madman, and there are apparently no available single women here, but that doesn’t make it Hell. It just makes it something of a challenge.”
“If you finally found someone special to share your life at The House on the Hill, you could add a second set of hands to the snow removal process,” The Prince of Darkness offered with a devilish grin. “You could even buy matching snow suits and shovels.”
“Don’t make me take you outside and test my theory that shoving your face into a snowbank would cause all the snow to melt,” I warned as I tossed an icy glare in my guest’s direction.
“I’m going to write off that comment to your Post Traumatic Snow Disorder,” Satan snickered as he eyed his pitchfork in the far corner.
He’d never get to it in time, though, if I wanted to grab him by the scruff of his neck and drag him out into the snow.
But a good host does not bury his guest in a snow drift.
No matter how annoying he might be. Not this close to Christmas.
“I just hope this counts for everyone hoping for a white Christmas,” I steered the subject away from doing bodily harm. “I’d rather it didn’t snow again this Holiday Season.”
The Devil laughed out loud and took a long sip of his Snapple.
He had a point. With my luck, I’d be digging out from under two feet of snow on Christmas morning.
Rather than dwell on the point and make my Sunday anymore depressing, I wandered out to the foyer to pick up my mess.
I took a peek out the front window. It did look like the front of a Christmas card, so I guess snow wasn’t all that bad. As long as I didn’t have to shovel it.