“What’s going on?” I asked in utter confusion as Lucifer was definitely more of a taker than a giver when it came to food and drink at The House on the Hill.
“I’m just trying to be a good guest,” he replied as he popped the top off of a Snapple and poured it into the mug for me. “Do you want any chips or pretzels?”
“You’re asking if I want any of my own snacks?” I snapped back as I studied him for clues.
As always, Satan was impeccably dressed in a tailored suit that cost well more than my monthly mortgage payments. He flashed me a devilish smile as he awaited my answer.
“I’m good on snacks,” I finally grunted, pissed off that I couldn’t guess his game.
The Prince of Darkness gave me a nod and then came around to sit on what I’ve come to think of as his end of the couch.
“Thanks for indulging me,” he said as he straightened his tie and reached for the newspaper. “I’ve always wanted to buy a bar. I think it would be quite exciting to make drinks and listen to total strangers pour out their hearts to me.”
“Wouldn’t you much rather they poured out their souls?” I quipped.
“Touche,” The Devil chuckled. “I imagine that’s part of the appeal, too. A drunk person is very likely to sign away his soul in return for very little. The whole establishment could end up being a tax write off.”
“Wait!” I exclaimed as I threw up my arms in the air. “The Devil has to pay taxes?”
“The IRS is a subsidiary of Hell on Earth,” Satan shot back like I should’ve known that. “I file a return every year just to see the kind of work my people are doing.”
Mind blown. I took a long sip of my Snapple and wished it were something a little stronger because this conversation was giving me a brain cramp.
“What would you call it?” I had to ask. The curiosity would’ve kept me awake all night.
Lucifer’s eyes lit up like he would’ve given his soul, had he had one, for me to ask that very question. “Hell,” he told me excitedly. “I know it seems cliche and not at all creative, but consider all the built in marketing opportunities. You’re going to Hell. Welcome to Hell. I’m in Hell. Go to Hell. It’s ideal.”
“I bet it attracts a lot of bikers,” I chipped in sarcastically.
“I’m hoping so,” The Prince of Darkness agreed, too caught up in his dream bar to pick up on my sarcasm. “I’d probably serve appetizers, too. My Hellfire wings are extraordinary.”
“Damn, you’re good at this!” The Devil shouted with surprise in his voice. “I’m going to have to hire you to run the joint.”
“I’ve been figuratively working in Hell for most of my adult life,” I replied. “Might as well make it literally…”