The Yankees were losing, but I didn’t care. I loved watching baseball after a long week of being chained to my desk.
“Nah,” Satan said as he turned his attention back to the newspaper. “I’m not a fan.”
“Really?” I asked with a curious look on my face that went perfectly with the tone of my voice. “I just assumed fireworks would be your thing.”
“Why is that, Austin?” The Prince of Darkness asked without looking up from an article about Governor LePage’s most recent outburst. “Do you think just because fire is in the name that the overseer of Hell would be interested?”
Rough crowd. I was tempted to spill my drink down the front of my guest’s thousand dollar suit, but I knew that wasting Snapple was a sin.
“I just always thought you enjoyed colorful, sparkly things,” I replied.
Lucifer finally looked up at me and smiled. “That’s me. I am a teenage girl in a male model’s body. The more sparkly the better.”
Once again, The Devil had caught me completely off guard. Fireworks in Hell? Seriously?
“Why do you have nightly fireworks?” I asked in utter befuddlement. “Aren’t they for special occasions?”
Satan flashed a most Devilish smile. “That’s exactly the point, my friend. Up here amongst the living, fireworks are a big treat. In Hell, where the Damned suffer for all eternity, I use them to break the will of my guests.”
Well that didn’t sound very nice. “Oh…” was all I could muster.
The Prince of Darkness sensed my disappointment and he adjusted his silk tie before he responded. “You do realize that those souls sent to my care have done something so horrible that your God, who came up with the Sacrament of Reconciliation, has deemed them beyond forgiveness?”
“I suppose,” I answered as I wondered how a question about Fourth of July fireworks made morphed into a discussion on religion.
“My job is to make sure the dregs of society pay for their sins,” Lucifer pointed out. “I know the Nuns taught you I was the bad guy in this movie, but I’m surrounded by an army of the darkest souls ever to roam the Earth. I get to break them and make them cry for their Mommies. It’s a job so tough, only the Prince of Darkness can do it.”
He smiled proudly at his wit, and I took another drink of my Snapple.
“That’s probably my fault,” The Devil said apologetically. “I’ve hired all the top fireworks guys for my nightly show. Only the best for the Damned, Austin.”
Lucifer was an odd duck, but our conversations were certainly never boring.