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I sigh reading the through the chronicle of the gods for the one hundred billionth time. To my chagrin it reads the same as it did over a hundred years ago. I have no chance whatsoever of joining Lucifer’s Elect by killing a god.
I slam the book shut in disgust. Damn the laws of Hell! I couldn’t kill Isis and now I’ll never achieve my dream of becoming a Lady. If only I hadn’t underestimated the goddess all those years ago I wouldn’t be stuck in this purgatory. He says it’s the second most powerful position in Hell. I feel it’s a glorified dead-end secretarial job to keep me from being a threat to his political base. In his eyes I’m probably too dangerous to have roaming freely around the realms. So he piles up the mindless busy work to keep me occupied while he roams the Earth causing trouble for everyone else.
And the monotony of it has been keeping me quite busy. I only read those old family lineages to give myself a break from writing. I’ve been developing a wonderful case of carpal tunnel syndrome transcribing ancient texts by hand for the past six months. The same ancient texts he had me transcribe six months before. Except I wrote them using blue ink and not black ink and now I have to rewrite them all over because the words look wrong to him in the blue ink. Well, my job could be worse. He could hook this old musty library up to a computer network. Then I’d have to spend hours staring into a computer screen typing texts up. With my luck the software would probably prompt some error message after I keyed in the last letter of text and shut down. I think I’d lose my mind if I had to deal with that all the time.
I grimace looking up at the clock on the wall above me. Nine thirty. Three hours until lunch. I better finish transcribing this page before Lucifer returns. He’ll want to review my work and I’ll need to show him something-
Dammit, I’m not going have time to get back to work. The loud clop of the Lord’s expensive Italian leather shoes echo in the hallway as they pound into the old hardwood floors. He grins as he strolls into the library carrying a large leather bound book under his arm. It looks like I won’t be watching my soaps this afternoon.
I twirl my creaky old wooden chair around clockwise and stop it with my toe claws as he approaches my desk. I’m going to find out what color ink he wants these texts written in before I write a single word on paper.
“More texts for me to transcribe Lord?” I ask. “Do you want them in blue or black ink?”
“No E’steem, I have a much more important task to assign you.” Lucifer replies handing me the book.
The title on the cover reads The Life and Times of John Haynes. I don’t see publisher logo on the first page, just the portrait picture of a husky golden brown colored man wearing one of those flat-top-fade hairstyles and a green twill button-down shirt. From the looks of him he’s no one special. If I were on Earth I’d probably pass him by and not pay him any attention.
“Who is John Haynes?” I ask.
“Your assignment.” He spits.
“You sound like you don’t like him.”
“I despise him.”
“From the looks of him he’s not worth spending the time to even talk about. What’s he done to earn your ire?”
“E’steem don’t underestimate John. He’s extremely dangerous.”
“Then why don’t you just kill him?”
“He would die and be with his Lord.”
“He’d be out of your hair dead.”
“Death alone is not enough for this man.”
“If you don’t want him dead, what do you want done to him?”
“To kill a man like John is nothing.” Lucifer continues. “I’d merely have his life for a moment. To destroy someone like him, I must compromise him.”
“Compromise? How can compromise be worse than death?”
“Death only kills the flesh. Compromise kills the soul.”
Even when I was roaming the realms I never would have planned something as insidious as destroying a man’s eternal soul. This will be quite the challenge.
“I want John to betray the beliefs and ideals that are at the essence of himself.” Lucifer continues. “When I’ve made him betray his personal values, he will be at my feet begging for mercy. Then when I kill him, I won’t just have his life. I’ll have his soul for all eternity.”
“This poor soul doesn’t seem like it’s worth the effort.” I dismiss.
“One soul this troublesome is worth all my best efforts. It would bring me the greatest pleasure knowing John Haynes is burning in Hell.”
“How do you propose I compromise this man?”
“I will bring him to you. When you are together, persuade him to lie with you. When the two of you become one, reveal your true self to him and I will kill him.”
I bristle at his request. “You want me to play the harlot?”
“He’s quite vulnerable. His lover has left him and he’s lost his job. In his confused frame of mind it would be very easy for a woman of your great pulchritude to charm him into your bed.”
“I don’t like using my body-”
“You are a demoness. Surely you’ve committed many acts of fornication in your lifetime.”
“Quite a few.”
Lucifer notices my uneasiness. He puts a hand on my shoulder to reassure me. I’m still uneasy.
“I’ve watched you come into this library every day and read that old book for over a hundred years.” Lucifer continues. “It’s a waste of your countless talents.”
“The law clearly states I have to kill a god-”
“I wrote the law. And I’m willing to waive it for you this one time. Destroy this man for me and I will allow you to join my Elect.”
“Y-You’ll make me a Lady?”
“His destruction is that important to me.”
The hatred Lucifer has for John Haynes must run incredibly deep. He’s so passionate about destroying this one man’s soul he’s willing to break his own laws and let me roam among Hell’s demons again. I can’t pass this opportunity up.
“What if I fail to compromise John?”
“You will never be allowed to return to my palace and reside with me again. You will spend the rest of your days walking to and fro the Earth.”
The stakes he’s setting are tremendously high, but the prize is definitely worth the risk. I’ll gamble my position for a chance at becoming the most powerful she-demon in All Hell.
“His soul will be yours Lord.”
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