When The Smoke Clears

short story, The Devil, flash fiction, Sundays With Satan Short Story Series, Lost, Stephen King, How I Met Your Mother, humor, Modern Philosopher“I had the craziest dream last night,” I revealed to my guest when the football game finally went to commercial.

“Give me one second,” The Devil requested.

As always, he was well dressed in an impeccably tailored suit.  He had been reading the Sunday paper because the current game didn’t interest him, but now he carefully folded the paper and placed it on the table.  Then he fished a bottle of Snapple out of the cooler.

“Now I’m ready,” Lucifer informed me.  “Your dreams are always so interesting, and I wanted to prepare myself.”

He flashed me a devilish grin and took a long sip of Snapple.

“I was out for a run, and up ahead of me, I noticed a female runner,” I began my wild tale.  “The view from behind was quite enticing, so I decided to speed up my pace in hopes of catching up with her.  Maybe chatting her up and such…”

“A bold move.  I guess you’re much more confident with the opposite sex in your dreams,” The Prince of Darkness teased.

He was right, but I still gave him a dirty look.  This was my house, and you don’t come into my house and start talking smack without any sort of reply.  Even if it’s just a look.

“I finally catch up to her, and she’s a total knockout,” I continued.  “That’s when I realized I knew her.  It was Kate from Lost.  Do you remember that show?  It was about the plane crash survivors on that crazy island that might have been Purgatory?”

Satan nodded.  “I remember.  I’ve also been to Purgatory, and that lovely tropical island was not Purgatory.”

I rolled my eyes at his tossing an amazing personal fact into my story, and just kept moving forward.

short story, The Devil, flash fiction, Sundays With Satan Short Story Series, Lost, Stephen King, How I Met Your Mother, humor, Modern Philosopher“Kate looks over at me, she’s clearly freaked out, but for once, a woman wasn’t upset because I’d tried to talk to her,” I joked.  “She told me we needed to run faster because the Smoke Monster was coming.”

“I turn around and sure enough, that creepy, smoky, black presence that the show never really explained was quickly closing ground on us.”

“So what did you do?” The Devil challenged.  “Did you man up and try to protect the beautiful woman from the sinister smoke, or did you run like the wind to escape?”

“I chose the latter,” I replied without hesitation.  “Kate is a total babe, but I knew she was into either Sawyer or Jack, and I really couldn’t compete with those guys.  So I found that extra gear I always need on the last mile of my run, and left her in the dust.”

“And here I thought the Nuns had raised you to be a proper gentleman,” Lucifer quipped as he took another sip of Snapple.

“They never covered what to do with Smoke Monsters, but survival mode, which is something one picks up from twelve years of Catholic School, kicked in on its own,” I informed him defiantly.  “I’m sure Jesus wanted me to save myself.”

“Jesus wants a lot of things from you, brother,” The Prince of Darkness snickered.

“Anyhow, I’m running as fast as I can, checking over my shoulder often, and the black smoke is still there,” I kept going with my story.  “There was no sign of Kate, so I hoped she had found shelter.  Eager to save my own ass, I cut down a side street I’d never noticed during my previous runs.”

“Oh boy,” Satan chuckled.  “This is where the character always dies in the scary movie.”

short story, The Devil, flash fiction, Sundays With Satan Short Story Series, Lost, Stephen King, How I Met Your Mother, humor, Modern Philosopher“I’m booking down the street faster than I’ve ever run in my life, and next thing I know, I’m in front of Stephen King’s house.”

“Which is nowhere near your running route, and on the other side of the river,” The Devil pointed out for those of you not familiar with the neighborhood.

“Correct,” I agreed.  “But there I was, in front of the iconic gates, stopping like a total fan boy to check out his house.  The Smoke Monster is bearing down on me, but I don’t care because I’m pulling out my cell phone to take a selfie.”

“Stephen King then appears out of nowhere, yells at the Smoke Monster to beat it, and old smoke face turns around and hightails it out of there.”

“Uncle Stevie is a frightening being in his own right,” Lucifer commented.  “The Smoke Monster was probably afraid Pennywise would crawl up out of a sewer to do his master’s bidding.  I’d flee, too.”

“So now it’s just me and Stephen King standing in front of his house,” I explain.  “In the fifteen years I’ve lived only a few miles from him, I’ve never run into the man.  But now he saves me from certain death and even volunteers to pose for a selfie with me.”

“He’s a classy guy,” The Prince of Darkness offered.

“The crazy thing is, he knows who I am,” I tell him with shock in my voice.  “He says he’s glad we had this run in because he was about to call me.  He’d read my blog, he’d watched the trailers for my movies, and he’d even called Danny to ask about how I was as a writer for The Nite Show.”

“And why was Maine’s most famous resident stalking you?” Satan asked.

short story, The Devil, flash fiction, Sundays With Satan Short Story Series, Lost, Stephen King, How I Met Your Mother, humor, Modern Philosopher“He wanted me to write the screenplay for the remake of Salem’s Lot,” I excitedly replied.  “With the success of IT, Hollywood is all up in his business again, and he wanted the next movie written by a fellow Mainer.”

“He made a very generous offer, right there in the street.  Money up front to write the screenplay, enough to let me quit my job, and then an even bigger payday when I delivered the finished script.  It was unbelievable.”

“Like a dream come true?” The Devil snickered.

“Exactly!” I answered.  “It was everything I could want.”

“And you didn’t have to give up your eternal soul in the process,” Lucifer added with that devilish grin I had come to know so well.  “I hope you played hardball and told him he had to throw in a date with Kate before you’d accept.”

I chuckled as I reached for a Snapple from the cooler.

“Actually, there was one catch to the deal,” I admitted after taking a long, refreshing sip of my iced tea.  “Luckily, it did not involve my soul, but it was quite an ask.”

“Now this I need to hear,”  The Prince of Darkness admitted as he inched a little closer.

“He told me that he really liked my blog, enjoyed the trailers, and had heard great things about my writing from Danny, but before he could trust me with his book, I needed to prove my writing ability one more time.”

“Ooooo!” Satan chirped excitedly.  “Did he want you to write a story scary enough to make him have to sleep with the lights on?”

“That would have made perfect sense and been an awesome challenge,” I replied with a shake of my head.  “What he wanted, though, was a daunting task, but something I knew I could definitely handle…”

The Devil looked at me in consternation.  “Don’t leave me hanging, man.  What did Stephen King think would be a proper test of your writing ability?”

short story, The Devil, flash fiction, Sundays With Satan Short Story Series, Lost, Stephen King, How I Met Your Mother, humor, Modern Philosopher“He wanted me to come up with a better ending for How I Met Your Mother,” I told him in an almost reverent whisper.  “He said he was a huge fan of the show, totally hated the way they wrapped it up, and he wanted me to come up with something that would allow him to finally sleep better at night.”

“I’ve always wondered what gave Stephen King nightmares,” Lucifer admitted.  “I had no idea it was the adventures of Ted Mosby and his quirky entourage.”

“It would explain why some of his writing is so twisted, though,” I offered.

The Prince of Darkness nodded in agreement.  The ending of How I Met Your Mother was a creepy Pandora’s Box neither of us wanted to open on the final Sunday of the Summer.

We would save that for our nightmares…

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
This entry was posted in Humor, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to When The Smoke Clears

  1. this makes perfect sense to me. I like “the mother” so much and then she was just an after thought. I can’t explain how irrationally pissed off this made me. I’m angry now just thinking about it

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