Instead, he slammed an Easter Basket down on the table with so much force, that candy shot up out of it and landed in various places across the floor.
As the cats ran into the room to play with whatever new toys were now rolling around in their domain, I looked up at my guest in a mix of confusion and misguided awe.
“Happy Easter?” I offered to break the silence.
Lucifer continued to glare down at the straw basket, his handsome face strained with anger, and his arms crossed like he intended to hug himself until he crushed a rib.
“That damn jackrabbit does this to me every year!” he finally exclaimed with a fury that made me wish I was someplace, anyplace, other than in his presence.
“He gave you an Easter Basket?” I asked in my best please don’t take it out on my voice.
The Prince of Darkness lashed out with his right arm and sent the basket flying across the room. Suddenly, there was candy and fake grass all over my hardwood floor, and the kitties were in heaven.
“Every year, he passes out gift baskets from Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, and the morons who walk this planet in possession of free will, choose to believe that they should hold out for an eternal reward behind the Pearly Gates because Jesus rose from the dead,” Satan growled. “They don’t realize that Easter is really about Big Pharma’s plot to infect the world with Diabetes and make everyone dependent on their medications.”
That was a lot to digest, and it wasn’t going down without a little assistance. So I snatched a Snapple out of the cooler and took a very long sip while I tried to form some sort of coherent reply to that rant.
“So is the Easter Bunny in cahoots with Big Pharma, or does he still work for Jesus?” I questioned in hopes of lightening the mood a little.
It did not work.
“Don’t mock me, Austin!” The Devil roared. “I spend months working leads, offering just enough temptation to get people on the hook, and then Super Bunny hops on down the Bunny Trail and gives the hopeless hope. My time is far too valuable to be wasted because humans have an insatiable sweet tooth!”
“I wish I could think of something to calm you down, but I get the feeling anything I say is going to be wrong,” I mumbled weakly as I eyed a chocolate peanut butter egg that had rolled to a point not too far out of reach.
I wanted it so badly, but I knew that if I reached for it, I’d end up with a pitchfork through my hand. Just thinking about that made my hand throb.
“There’s nothing to say,” Lucifer conceded. “I just needed to blow off a little steam and feel like I was being heard.”
Oh, he was being heard alright. Probably by every neighbor on my block.
“You really can’t compete with the big time holidays,” I offered in my most supportive voice. “They’ve got ad campaigns, songs, TV specials, and gifts for the kids. I know you can offer people anything they want in exchange for their eternal souls, but The Easter Bunny and Santa Claus give out presents with no strings attached.”
I quickly offered him a Snapple, which he accepted with a kind smile.
“They certainly did stack the odds against me when I went off to work on my own,” Satan sighed. “It’s nearly impossible to compete with no strings attached.”
I felt bad for my guest, and wanted to resurrect his spirits. After all, it was Easter.
“You do a hell of a job considering your handicap,” ended up being my pep talk of choice. “No one can say that any holiday figure out hustles you. You’re working 365 days a year, and you don’t have a team of elves or an army of rabbits behind you.”
He thought on that for a moment as the cats swatted Easter candy across the floor.
“Happy Easter, Austin,” The Devil finally said with a smile as he raised his bottle.
“Happy Easter, Lucifer,” I replied as we tapped bottles in a holiday toast.
Find all the Easter Eggs yet? There’s no need to search for how to follow me on Pinterest…