Saturday, December 21, 2013

Upward Mobility

I frowned.  “You’re kidding me.  That’s got to be one of the most prestigious jobs in all of Hell.”

She winced, nodding.  “Yeah, but…I don’t think you really want me as your Director of Torture.”  She was doing that thing that I always used to do to my mom.  She really, really didn’t want to do it, but she was downplaying that and appealing to other reasons on which she thought I would place greater value.  It never worked on my mom, either.

“Why not?” I asked.

“You just…don’t,” she assured me.  “You need a certain kind of…aimless anger for that.  A predilection for violence.”

“Come on,” I urged.  “This is kind of a time-sensitive thing.”  She still looked uncomfortable.  “It could be a temporary position!” I blurted desperately.  “Call yourself the Interim Director if you want!”

“Please don’t make me do this,” she begged.  She seemed lugubrious, despondent and very unlike herself.  I didn’t enjoy twisting her arm, but it seemed like the fastest and easiest solution.

“After all she’s done for you, you’re going to force her into something she clearly doesn’t want to do?” Torvin spoke up.  I was surprised at the firm indignation in his voice.

“What, now you grow a fucking spine?” I barked.  Turning back to Jaelin, I explained, “Look, we need to put someone over there to get the Pit Guards organized.  You’re a powerful demon.  You can do this.  It’s a quick and effective way to get this done.  So unless you have a better idea….”  I left the sentence unfinished, giving her an expectant look.

“Boss-Man,” Gus announced quietly, “I have a suggestion for someone we could make Director.  It might not be as quick, but it shouldn’t take too long, and as a bonus you could make an ally out of an enemy.”

I glanced nervously at the closed desk drawer that contained one of my enemies’ disembodied heads.  “Gus, if you say Azraal, I swear to God, I will—”

“Malkino,” he interrupted.



  1. D'awh. I wonder why Jaelin so badly didn't want the position. More back story? But she's still my favorite.

    1. All in good time....

      I'm glad you like her, though. She's fun to write.

  2. Oh right, that guy. I'd forgotten he existed.