“What’s with the tux?” I asked without really looking up from my book. “Are all the dry cleaners in Hell closed, and you can’t access your seemingly endless supply of impeccably tailored suits?”
“Darkness,” Lucifer replied in his best James Bond imitation. “Prince of Darkness.”
Befuddled by the comment and troubled by the horrible British accent, I gave my guest my full attention.
“You’re acting more annoying than usual,” I informed him. “What’s going on?”
“Have you forgotten what day it is?” The Prince of Darkness asked as he walked over to the couch and sat on the far end.
“It must be Sunday if you’re spreading all this sunshine in my life,” I quipped and reached for my Snapple.
I took a long hit from the bottle, wishing the contents were a bit stronger.
“I should be asking what’s wrong with you,” Satan countered. “It’s Academy Awards Sunday. It’s Super Bowl Sunday for movie nerds like you. Why aren’t you more excited?”
“I don’t even care about the Oscars this year,” I admitted with a sigh. “I haven’t seen any of the nominated movies. Hell, I never even go to the movies anymore because I hate going alone and I can never find a date.”
“If you put off doing things until you have a date, Austin, you might never do anything again,” The Devil quipped and then flashed a most Devilish smile.
I stared at his handsome, smiling face for the longest time and then sighed heavily.
“It has always been my dream to win an Oscar,” I reminded him as I tapped nervously on the side of my Snapple bottle. “Best Original Screenplay. I’d give an awesome acceptance speech, hit all the after parties and get my picture taken with as many celebrities as possible, and then go home and get to work on writing my next Oscar winner.”
Lucifer smiled as he fished a Snapple out of the cooler.
“Very nice,” he said. “Have you given up on that dream?”
“Not necessarily, but with every Oscar ceremony that passes without my being a full time writer, I feel like the dream becomes that much less attainable,” I confessed.
“Nonsense!” The Prince of Darkness exclaimed as he slammed his bottle down on the table. “You’re never to give up on that dream. It’s what keeps you going. You were never meant to be a desk jockey, but if you abandon your Oscar dream, you’re going to die bored and unfulfilled in your office chair.”
Satan shifted uncomfortably on his side of the couch.
“I’m sorry about that, but I’m just as passionate about your achieving that dream,” he explained. “You are destined for bigger and better things, and it pains me to see you so unhappy and dissatisfied with your life. That’s why I got you a little something.”
I looked at his empty hands in confusion.
“You got me something?” I asked. “I hope it’s not a matching tuxedo.”
The Devil flashed a charming smile. “You could never pull off this look. Besides, your gift is far better than an article of clothing you’d never wear or appreciate.”
He snapped his fingers and a gold statue appeared in his hand. It looked a lot like an Oscar, only it wasn’t.
“Congratulations,” he beamed as he handed me the prize. “It’s a Lucifer.”
I looked at the gold man in wonder and bewilderment. It really was a work of art. Heavier than I expected, and pretty cool.
“Is he wearing a suit?” I questioned as I studied my award closely. “And is that a pitchfork he’s holding instead of a sword?”
“Yes, on both counts,” The Prince of Darkness answered proudly. “If you look closely, you’ll notice the horns protruding from his forehead. I have some wonderful sculptors in Hell, and I think they did an exceptional job. Check out the engraving.”
I had been so mesmerized by the little gold Devil that I hadn’t even thought to look at the engraving on the base.
“Best Supporting Catholic,” I read aloud with a chuckle.
“You really have been a gracious host and supportive friend,” Satan replied as his eyes appeared to water slightly. “The fact that you’re a Catholic raised by The Nuns to fear and reject me only makes your friendship mean that much more. Thank you, Austin.”
And for the first time I can ever remember, The Devil hugged me. It was an odd sensation, but it felt right given the circumstances.
When we finally broke the awkward embrace, I held my Lucifer over my head and then pumped it towards Heaven.
“Who’s ready for the Oscars?” I asked excitedly even though I already knew the answer.
And the winner is…anyone who follows me on my blog and on Pinterest!