"Lucifer?" I echoed nervously. "Why is he here?"
God shook his head. "He's not what you think," he assured me. "We're old friends." It wasn't very comforting coming from him.
A tall, thin, and strikingly handsome olive-skinned man in a dark suit sat down next to the creator of the universe. He flashed me a brilliant grin, causing the thin goatee around his mouth to stretch comically. "How ya doin, man?" he said, extending a hand. "Name's Lucifer, good to meet you."
I shook his hand mostly because I didn't think it would be a good idea to offend him. As I limply slipped my fingers into his firm grip, I noticed he had a pair of gold cufflinks that had a pitchforks engraved on them. I wonder if he got those custom-made. "Jason," I replied, hearing my dry voice crack a little.
"Alrighty, so here's the scoop," God said, pushing his sandwich aside and leaning forward earnestly. "We need your help."
"We?" I asked. "As in, both of you?"
"This kid's sharp," Lucifer whispered semi-confidentially. "He's already picked up on the nuances of plural pronouns."
God chuckled and slapped him playfully on the arm. "Luce, be nice. He's probably a little bit in shock right now. You'll have to excuse him," he added for my benefit. "Sometimes he just can't resist the urge to crack wise."
"It's a gift and a curse," Lucifer agreed apologetically.
"Why do you guys need my help?" I said.
"Because Hell is broken," God told me. "And you're the first good chance we've had in ages to get it fixed."
"I don't understand," I confessed.
"He doesn't understand," Lucifer told the balding deity.
"Maybe you need some background, then," God said. He rested his chin on his palm again and stared off wistfully into space.
Lucifer rolled his eyes. "Get ready for a flashback," he warned me.
God gave what was probably a nostalgic sigh. "It all started when I was creating the universe…."