Note to the readers from the writer-
First and foremost, thank you for reading. You are truly the reason I write, you being a reader and critic.
Drop me a critique, won't you? Even if it's a 'good job' or whatever.
This is the third in my ongoing series about everyone's favorite Satanic employee, Scratch.
If you haven't read the first and second parts, go ahead and read them. I've linked them below.
Irregardless of status, please do enjoy.
The Devil's Delivery Man, Part One
The Devil's Delivery Man, Part Two: May the Road Rise Up
A man dressed in an all-white suit sits behind a marvelous mahogany desk in a chair worthy of a God. His voice is a step ahead of the greatest narrator’s, it being a deep, resonating baritone that could make a pregnant cat meow for its milk. “You don’t like this, do you, Michael?”
Michael sits in faux anger, tapping his crossed leg out of nervous habit. You should never criticize your boss if you expect good results. In Michael’s case, this was a very serious concern. Though confident and cocky and brash, he never grew the ability to vocally vary the head honcho of it all. “I’m indifferent toward the matter, sir.”
“You do realize I can tell when you’re lying, right?” the man in white asks, reclining back in his chair and placing his hands in a pyramid shape over his lap. “And, Michael?” he nods toward his protégé. “You’re lying. You never did care much for Gabriel.”
Michael crosses his arms and looks off into the distance. “He’s an archangel. Like it or not, I’m always going to have to work with him…sir.” He tags on the final word with a defiant glare at the boss, the first time he had made eye contact all conversation.
The boss man’s voice dribbles of sarcasm. “That’s not true. I will always take your opinion ahead of my own. After all, you are Saint Michael. Who am I to decide what’s right or wrong when Michael has an opinion on the matter?”
“No, not really. Actually, I could care less what you think. You work for me, not the other way around. And you’ll do as ordered. I don’t care if you two have bashed heads in the past. He’s in on this and you will help him. Gabriel has always gotten me the results I wanted. Understood?”
The man in white shakes his head and stands up. “These are dark times, Michael. And knowing Lucy like I do, she’ll jump at the chance to take advantage of the aforementioned darkness of these times.”
Suddenly, a scrawny, nerdy-looking male walks in carrying a solid gold staff. “Sir?”
“Raphael, you come bearing news?”
“He’s got them: the two delivery men.”
The man in white turns toward the now aghast Michael and smirks. “You see? RESULTS!” he turns back to the staffed nerd. “What’s his position?”
“He’s making his way through limbo. Should only take a few minutes before the three of them arrive.”
“Good. When they do, have them come in here.”
“Yes, sir,” Raphael ducks out of the room as sudden as he had entered.
The boss returns to his glorious throne. Michael, overly frustrated, leans in toward his boss and mentor. “Remind me what we’re doing, sir?”
“We’re stopping a war before it starts, Michael. I cannot do battle with Lucy again. At the same time, I cannot allow her to continue snatching up loose souls like they are going out of business. Over a million people have sold their souls since 1984. I guess once everyone realized Orwell was wrong they started living a little bit,” the head honcho scratches his nose and stops to consider his next words. “I am stricken, you see, my son. Stricken between not wanting to engage in war and not wanting to have innocent souls taken advantage of. If I must do both to complete the other, so be it. But I’d prefer to have this stopped now.” He snaps open his desk and pulls out a heavenly-sized cigar and sparks it with a golden lighter.
“So, you bring in the top two soul-deliverers in Lucy’s employment and have them do what- hurt her feelings enough to convince her to stop? This plan is weak, jefe, and you know it.”
The man in white exhales a large amount of Cuban smoke. “I assume you have a better idea?”
“Yes…yes, I do. It’s called making an example. We kill their souls and send the metaphysical corpses to Lucy’s front door. Let her know what’s coming. Knowing her, she’ll stop temporarily. That will give you enough time to at least prepare for her response. It’s brilliant.” He places his hands on his hips and strikes a pose that stinks of over-confidence.
“Oh, of course, the Michael-patented ‘Kill-Everything-and-Let-Someone-Else-Deal-with-the-Reprecussions’ Plan! That’s my favorite!”
“No, not really.”
The door to the office swings open. Raphael enters first and takes his place behind his boss. Into the room walks a grisly man dressed in a wrinkled, white dress shirt, black suspenders, and a black fedora. His face sports a one a.m. shadow. “Told you they’d go for the priest first.”
The man in white stands up and walks toward the entrance. “I never doubted you, Gabriel.” Two men walk into the room. One wears a soaking wet t-shirt and swim trunks. His hair constantly drips of never-ending water. The other wears all-black and stinks like a furnace. “You must be Scratch and Charles. Please, gentlemen, take a seat.”
Charles looks at the leather piece of furniture offered to him. “I’ll stand.”
Scratch, already seated, grabs his partner by the shirt and forces him into the chair. “Don’t be rude, Chucky; he’s being nice. This is how he works.”
The boss sits behind his desk again and waits for Raphael to come stand behind him before talking. Gabriel lights a cigar and leans against a matching mahogany bookcase. Michael guffaws and sits in a corner chair. “Gentlemen, I’m quite sure we don’t need to introduce ourselves. You can safely assume that I know everything about you two that there is to know. Now…you’re probably wondering why I brought you two here today.”
Scratch sits staring at his knuckles. “You didn’t,” the man in black nods at Gabriel. “he did. Quite efficiently. I don’t like fake deliveries. Ruins my average. And I’m a three-spot hitter, Chief.”
“I’m sure your boss will make an exception, seeing as how Father Drag has been employed by my association for quite awhile now. His soul was never up for sale.”
Charles asks, “You said you had a reason to bring us here?”
“That I do, Mister Charles. You see, your association and my association are about to have a serious falling out if your association doesn’t stop doing what it’s doing at such a high rate. I’m going to ask you two to deliver a message to your boss.”
“And what’s that, capitan?” asks Scratch, demonstrating obvious discontent with the situation at hand.
“That she will have to deal with some serious consequences if she doesn’t slow her pace soon.” The man in white turns toward Raphael and places his now-unlit cigar in his mouth. Raphael quickly lights it.
“Sounds like a plan. Me and Chucky will go ahead and slither our way back into our cubicles, hop on the ol’ landline, let the boss of bosses of evil people know that He-that-shall-be-reckoned-with has put her on His shit-list, and expect to make it out of her office without losing our immortal souls. That sounds like a really good plan, big man.” Scratch slaps a cigarette into his mouth and torches it. “You know, for the most famous deity, you really are quite fucking retarded. I’d rather get my head cut off by your boy Michael over there than get tortured for a century by my hot tamale of a boss…Jesus Christ…is your son. You know- you never expect to be able to say that, but here I am.”
“Scratch, shut your mouth for once, please? This is the King of Kings, partner,” protests Charles. “I think we should consider his offer.”
“Offer? This ain’t no offer, Chucky. This is a suicide request by the guy who made sacrificing yourself look cool.” Scratch turns to the man in white. “How is that son of yours, by the way? Still building things with wood or is he into modern architecture tools these days?”
“Scratch, shut- your- MOUTH!” Charles reaches out and pulls his partner back into his chair.
“You know what? Fuck this. You can deal with your own treacherous ways, Chuck. I’m gonna go prove my unity, you feel me? So mote it be, as they say.” Scratch snaps his fingers and disappears off to a hot paradise.
Charles stands up and looks straight into the eyes of His maker. "I was religious once. A long time ago."
"You never stopped."
"I never stopped."