“I don’t want to be the Devil,” I told him. “So you can skip that stuff.”
Gus shrugged. “Doesn’t matter what you want, bro,” he said with a hint of sympathy. “You’re the Devil. You’re stuck here for a while.”
I stared at him. It seemed like he was about to crack a smile at any second and burst into laughter. But he didn’t. “You’re serious,” I said. “Just like that, I’m the Devil?”
He snapped his fingers. “Just like that. Hell of a thing, isn’t it?”
I shook my head. “Don’t you ever get tired of making hell puns?”
“I used to be a comedian,” he said. “I wasn’t very good. So I sold my soul to the Devil in exchange for the ability to come up with kickass material. I got very, very good very, very quickly. Then about two months after I made the deal, I overdosed on cocaine and wound up here, where I’ve had to remain in servitude as the Devil’s personal aide.”
“But he just quit,” I said. “Doesn’t that mean you’re free?”
“Naw,” he dismissed the idea with a wave of his hand. “I sold my soul to the Devil, not a devil. I’m a servant of the office, not the person. As long as there’s a big man in charge down here, I’m his bitch. So…here I am, Gus Pitts, at your service, My Lord.” He pretended to bow.
“You don’t sound angry about any of this,” I said.
He shrugged again. “Hey, it’s what I signed up for. Should’ve expected to get duped so badly, considering who I’d done business with. I made my bed, and now I’m lying in it. It’s the way of the universe, bro.”
I was actually kind of impressed. “Okay,” I said. “So you’re my personal aide?”
“Your Chief of Staff, as it were,” he reiterated with mock theatricality.
“So…how do I get out of this?” I asked.