As always, he was dressed in an impeccably tailored suit, his hair was perfectly slicked back from his handsome face, and he flashed a charming, yet Devilish smile.
But he looked exhausted.
“Late night in the Windy City?” I asked as I hungrily accepted Lucifer’s offering of the most delicious chicken wings I’ve ever eaten.
“How did you ever guess?” The Prince of Darkness chuckled as he came around to sit on his end of the couch.
He let out a heavy sigh and closed his eyes for a moment.
“I stayed up to watch the game,” I explained as I fished an ice cold Snapple out of the cooler and placed it on the table in front of my weary guest. “The Yankees might be out of it, but I still like to watch history being made.”
“What an amazing crowd. Wrigley was pulsating,” Satan explained and then took a long sip of his iced tea. “I got to hang out with Eddie Vedder and John Cusack. Both gentleman are very cool.”
I took a big bite out of a Hellfire Wing to hide my jealousy. I was a huge fan of Vedder and Cusack. Why didn’t my annoying house guest take me to the game with him so I could have met them?
“Sorry I didn’t think to invite you,” The Devil said as if reading my mind. “I just assumed that since your beloved Yankees weren’t involved, you wouldn’t be interested. I did get autographs, though. I know how much you idolize both men.”
He handed me two baseballs. One was signed by the lead singer of Pearl Jam and the star of The Sure Thing. The other was covered in dozens of signatures.
“Who signed the second one?” I questioned as my voice trailed off as I began to read the names on the ball.
“Every member of the Cubs plus the coaches and Theo Epstein,” Lucifer replied with a smile and a wink. “Does that make up for my not inviting you?”
Despite my strict Catholic upbringing, I was giving serious thought to smothering The Prince of Darkness in a massive bear hug.
“It makes up for a lot of things,” I told him sincerely. “Thank you. But what happened? You told me you’d never let the Cubs win the World Series regardless of how many people offered you their souls in exchange for that miracle.”
“First of all,” Satan began in a most serious voice, “they haven’t won the World Series yet. They have simply earned the right to crush the spirits of every person in Illinois by choking against the Indians in the Fall Classic.”
The Devil’s eyes darkened and his horns momentarily became visible on his forehead before he got his anger under control again.
“It was more than a mere slight, Austin,” Lucifer explained in a calm, relaxed tone. “It was 1908. The night the Cubs clinched their last World Series title. I was in town for the celebration and to collect the souls owed to me for the victory. It was some bar down the street from Wrigley…”
The Prince of Darkness, though incredibly exhausted, found the strength to get to his feet and pace the living room as he recounted his tale.
“We were celebrating the Cubs’ second consecutive World Series Championship. I asked a beautiful redhead if I could buy her a drink, and next thing I knew, a fist cracked my nose and worse yet, a drink was tossed onto my gorgeous new suit.”
I fought to hold back a smile. “So you flirted with the wrong woman?”
“That is what I was told by the Neanderthal who had thrown the punch and the beverage,” Satan answered in a growl. “After he refused to reimburse me for my suit, I swore that the Cubs would never again win the World Series.”
“That’s a pretty stiff penalty,” I declared as I grabbed another wing off the plate.
I just laughed. He was so protective of his precious suits.
“So you’re telling me I shouldn’t bet The House on the Hill on the Cubs winning the World Series?” I asked as I wiped Hellfire sauce off my face.
“You should do the exact opposite,” Lucifer advised as he came back to the couch, sat down, and immediately fell asleep.
I made a mental note to head down to the casino one night after work to place a little bet.
Hey, don’t judge. I didn’t make that guy punch The Prince of Darkness!
Take me out to the ballgame! But follow me on Pinterest first…