I walked up to one of the pit guards who was disinterestedly cracking his toes to torment the poor man who writhed under a swarm of white feathers. “Hey,” I barked. “I need to talk to whoever’s in charge.”
The pit guard gave his pinky toe a nice crisp pop and nodded in the direction of a woman whose punishment appeared to be eternally trying on shoes that were two sizes too small. Behind her strutted a dark purple demon with a long bullwhip wrapped around his muscular torso. He gazed importantly at his surroundings and occasionally leaned over to mutter instructions to the torturers under his command.
I led my recently shrunken posse over to him. He saw us approaching and stepped out to greet us, looking excited but mildly confused. “Sir!” he exulted. Apparently he recognized my Devilish aura.
“You in charge here?” I asked. I was playing the part of the gruff, terse military commander from every war movie ever and I was enjoying t.
The demon nodded eagerly. “Doorknob at your service, sir,” he said.
Gus snickered. Eyebrows raised, I asked, “Did you just say your name is Doorknob?”
He hung his head. “It’s not what it sounds like, sir,” he mumbled miserably. “It means beacon of depravity in the ancient demonic tongue.”
I nodded. “Right. Well, that’s an unfortunate linguistic coincidence.” Gus snorted, still struggling to keep from open laughter. He was ruining the role I was trying to play, too. Trying not to smile, I said, “I’m looking for Quinn Madsen. He’s in this sector, correct?”
“Yes, sir,” Doorknob said. “Would you like me to take you to him?”
“Yeah, that would be great,” I replied, finding his helpfulness a little surprising.
“Right this way,” he said pleasantly and he hurried off further into the crowd of tortured souls.