It was so quiet out on the porch that I could hear his stomach rumbling.
“This Devil don’t grill,” he replied quickly as he popped his Snapple and took a long pull from the bottle.
I looked over at The Devil, sitting there in his expensive suit, his designer sunglasses, with his $500 haircut and just snickered. “Is grilling beneath you, oh Prince of Darkness?”
He lowered his sunglasses on his nose, and then glared at me over them. “Do you really believe I’m like that, Austin? With the quality of people I deal with everyday, how can you think that about me? I thought you knew me.”
He made a noise that was something like a frustrated growl, and then put his fancy Italian loafers up on my porch railing as he stretched his legs.
I sipped my Snapple and allowed him to simmer down. While I never felt in danger around my frequent uninvited house guest, he was, after all, the Ruler of Hell.
“I was just offering to cook for you, and you made it sound like I had offended you with a trifling request,” I finally replied once I located his pitchfork and saw that it was well beyond his reach.
“I’m sorry,” Lucifer said with remorse. “Do you ever wonder why I spend so much time here at The House on the Hill?”
“I think about it quite often,” I said with a chuckle.
This coaxed a smile out of Lucifer. “Aside from your being one of the few humans who puts up with me, I happen to like Maine very much. You know why? Maine is pretty much the polar opposite of Hell. It’s usually frigid, covered in ice and snow, and everyone is so damn nice and cheerful despite their surroundings.”
I’d never thought of Maine from that perspective. “The Arctic temperatures actually appeal to you?” I asked as I looked at Satan with some skepticism.
“In so much as that it’s major change from what I’m dealing with all day,” he explained. “Sometimes, I just need to get away from all the fire, brimstone, molten lava, and burning flesh. That’s why I don’t grill, dude. It makes me think about the office and all the work and annoyances that are waiting for me when I return.”
My stomach gave a dry heave, and I was suddenly not at all interested in firing up the grill. In fact, I wasn’t hungry at all and might never be again.
I nodded. Despite my gurgling tummy, I’m always up for ice cream…especially when Lucifer is buying.
“Does the fact that you’re offering to pay mean that Hell has frozen over?” I asked.
“I’d tell you to go to Hell, but then I’d have to put up with your stupid jokes even longer,” he quipped.