Friday, May 4, 2012


“You’re the boss, Boss,” Gus said.  I wondered briefly whether he had died before or after Back to the Future came out.  “There are plenty of options.  Hell’s a big place.  Lots to see.”

I shrugged.  “Well,” I suggested, “Maybe you could run through a shortlist of where you think we should head next and I’ll pick one.”

“Okay,” Gus agreed.  Then there was a brief shuffling noise behind me, a hand on my shoulder, and I was gone.

I instantly found myself standing in an entirely different location.  I had no idea where I was.  It appeared to be some kind of cramped cave made of rough stone the rusty color of dried blood.  The stone appeared to be illuminated dimly from the inside, giving the cave a dull, eerie glow.  

The hand was still on my shoulder.  It gave a slow, firm squeeze.  I winced as I felt the jagged fingernails dig into my collarbone. 

“So,” said a rich, deep, and dangerous voice.  “You’re the new Devil, are you?”

A tall, muscular (and, of course, naked) male demon released his grip on my shoulder and walked around to stand in front of me.  He gazed at me appraisingly.  “Let’s have a look at you.”

He pretended to think.  He made a show of it.  It was clear he’d known exactly what he was going to do to me as soon as he’d zapped me over here to…wherever I was now.  “Hmm,” he mused. 

Then he pretended to have been struck with an ingenious idea.  “Ah!  I know!  I think I’ll kill you.”

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