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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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God and the Devil: The Exit Interview

 

by Corey Mesler

 

"Satan, Satan, come in. Sit down."

"Thank you."

"Comfortable?"

"Yes, of course. Your amenities have always been first class."

"Drink?"

"Nothing, thank you."

"Smoke."

"Hm."

"Sorry."

"It’s alright. I see you’ve got a Bosch."

"An original. Bet they’d like to see this one down on Number One, eh?"

"Mine also."

"Yes. A Bosch? Yes, I can imagine."

"Of course you can. You are the First Imagination."

"—Flatterer."

"Not at all."

"So—sure you won’t have a drink?"

"No, thank you. I only have a little time left. As you know."

"Right. Sorry."

"Stop apologizing."

"Ahem. This might not seem fair after, you know, kicking you out of Paradise."

"What do I know from fair?"

"Right, ha. So, listen, have you had a chance to look over what I’ve written. I trust your opinion because, you know, the devil is in the details."

"The devil is in the fine print."

"Right. That’s the kind of thing I’m looking for."

"Well, I have read it through. It’s good."

"But…"

"No, really, it’s good. There are a few things I would have done differently."

"Tell me."

"You’re presumably writing this with one of them."

"Yes, I am the—ghost writer."

"This opening chapter, I Made a Little Mistake: I Call it Man."

"Yes?"

"A little harsh, isn’t it? I mean, consider your audience."

"I see your point. Better idea?"

"How about keeping it simple? Commencement."

"Hm."

"Or, So It Begins."

"Yes, I like that one."

"Genesis."

"Now, that’s a beautiful name. Hasn’t been used before?"

"Not to my knowledge."

"Good, good. Done. Anything else?"

"Put some more jokes in. You’re so damned solemn. Use your humor."

"I’m not funny like you."

"You have your own special brand of humor. The platypus for example. Gnats. Twisters. Those little fluke things that penetrate their soles and worm upward. Kneecaps that last only 30 years."

(stifles chortle)

"Sexual desire."

(Snorts) "Partly yours."

"Still. You had final approval."

(chuckling) "Giving them a right royal amount of turmoil, isn’t it?"

"Yes. I am particularly pleased with how out of control the males are."

"Ha. I know. Anyway. More humor. Okay. I’ll work on that but I can’t promise."

"You can."

"But I have to follow through."

"Unlike yours truly."

"Exactly. Did you like the action scenes?"

"The wars. The murders, rapes, haircuts. Of course."

"Good, good. Job is all over me about promoting violence. It’s not like it’s a video game, right?"

"Video game?"

"It comes later. They make them."

"Ah. Leave it to the monkeys to even raise you on the violence scale."

"What about the ending?"

"Polecats and Carrion in the Kiln House?"

"Yes. Good, right?"

"My favorite chapter. Should scare the holy shit out of them."

"I know. A little fear never hurt, right? A little warning shot across the bow."

"Yes. Keep the monkeys harried and unsure. The title though?"

"Again? Not good?"

"Too…literary. You’re showing your hand. Let them come to it suddenly, like a spectre around a dark corner. Let them draw their own conclusions."

"I see."

"How about Pilliwinks?"

"I don’t know what that means."

"Neither will they."

"I see."

"Ok, too obscure. You’re right. How about Revolutions? No—wait—Revelations."

"Revelation. Hm. You think that’s a kind of, what? teaser?"

"Exactly."

"Could work."

"It will."

"Great then. Revelation. To close. Just so."

"Is that all? Free to fall now?"

"Don’t do me that way. I’m sorry."

"Stop."

"Ok. Anything before you go? Really. I appreciate the help. What would you like?"

"10,000 virgins?"

"You’ll have your little joke. I told you your sense of humor is better than mine."

"How about some of the lesser angels? Someone to add to my army."

"Army?"

"Just kidding."

"Right. Ok. Sure. Got anyone in mind?"

"Mammon?"

"Greedy little bastard."

"Exactly."

"He’s yours."

"Thanks."

"Ok, listen. Thanks. Sorry about the expulsion. Keep in touch."

"Count on it."