He stood at the bottom of the stairs that had led him down into the basement bunker of The House on the Hill, and surveyed his new surroundings.
“This place is worse than at least three rings of Hell,” Lucifer complained as he peered at me across the dimly lit room. “Can’t we go upstairs and rejoin the living for the afternoon? I promise to protect you from whatever it is that drove you down here in the first place.”
“You have the ability to protect me from an extinction level event?” I asked from my position deep within the shadows.
“What did you say?” The Prince of Darkness asked as he stepped a little further into the bunker. “That creepy gas mask you’re wearing is seriously muffling your words.”
I begrudgingly removed my gas mask to better address my guest.
“I’m not leaving the safety of the basement bunker while the apocalypse is looming.” I made sure to enunciate so there would be no more complaints.
“When I couldn’t find you on the main level, I wandered up to the roof to inquire as to your whereabouts with the Gargoyle,” Satan explained as he stood in the middle of the room, far enough away from anything that might be a hiding place for dust. “He told me about your little meltdown yesterday regarding Election Day.”
“It’s only an election,” The Devil reminded me with a charming smile that did nothing to reassure me. “Regardless of who wins, it’s not the end of the world.”
“But it would be a giant leap towards the apocalypse,” I shouted as I stepped out of the shadows to allow my guest the opportunity to see me in all my paranoid glory. “Don’t you dare try to downplay it!”
Lucifer held up both hands as if surrendering to my crazy.
“I’m just trying to quell your fears,” he promised in a calm, quiet voice. “When the end of days comes, it’s going to be precipitated by something other than the shepherding of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump into the White House.”
I put my finger to my lips to politely indicate that he should shut the Hell up.
“Don’t ever say their names down here!” I admonished him. “These walls are strong enough to withstand a nuclear blast, but they won’t do me any good if you allow the evil inside them with your loose lips.”
The Prince of Darkness rolled his eyes, looked around for a place to sit, and then thought the better of it. “I know this election has been rough, but you can’t allow it to turn you into someone who wears a tinfoil hat and constantly checks over his shoulder to see if he’s being followed by men in black suits.”
“No need to check since they can’t get into my bunker,” I pointed out with a crazed chuckle. “You can say what you want to try to soothe my nerves, but I know better. I tempted fate by mocking the election, writing monologue jokes about it, and crafting blog post after blog post about the insanity of it all.”
“Sometimes, finding humor in the madness is the best course of action,” Satan assured me. “It’s the only way to stay sane.”
I shook my head emphatically. “No, no, no! We shouldn’t be making jokes and seeing the entertainment value in this ridiculous election. By doing that, we’re like the dinosaurs standing around and admiring the meteor as it flashed across the sky on its way to deliver their extinction.”
“You’re in a very dark place,” The Devil commented. “And I’m not just talking about the atrocious lighting down here.”
“Don’t blame me!” I fought back. “The fault with that rests with my fellow Americans, as well as with the Republican and Democratic parties. Do you really think I want to be lurking in the shadows like a mole man? This is not how I saw my life unfolding!”
“I understand,” Lucifer said with a sad, pitying shake of the head. “Do you have any Snapple down here? That usually makes everything better.”
I shuffled over to my mini fridge, dialed the combination on the lock that protected my most precious supplies from intruders, and then opened the door to reveal that it was packed with bottles of Snapple.
“Snapple is only a temporary solution, but I do have enough to get me through Election Day,” I answered with a sigh. “Silver linings and all.”
“To silver linings!” The Prince of Darkness exclaimed as he raised his bottle in a toast. “May this election not be the meteor that wipes the human race from existence.”
“I’ll second that,” I mumbled as I took a sip of my Snapple and then pulled down my gas mask to add the extra layer of protection I felt I needed.
“Honestly, this can’t be the end,” Satan said with a hint of trepidation in his usually confident voice. “Hell isn’t prepared to take on so many new admissions…”
The Devil rubbed his brow in concern as he realized that Election Day could be a big problem for him as well.
“Do you have another one of those masks?” he asked hopefully.
I shook my head and sipped my Snapple through a strategically placed straw.
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