Demonic Recession

Recession. I was discussing it with a friend the other day and naturally (well in my world) the talk turned to the supernatural. ‘Ghost, demons, angels. They have it easy really. No worries about bills or losing their job.’ Later, I wondered if what I had said was true. Were these entities so detached from the goings on of our world?

That evening I began writing a little tale questioning just that. Though not the sort of story I normally write, I’m enjoying it. Sometimes it’s nice to break away from troubled souls, murder and guilt and write something with a bit more humour. Hell, we could all do with more of that at the moment. I didn’t really feel this was a suitable piece to develop for submission but it seemed a shame to just leave it festering on my hard-drive, so here it is (well the first part), I hope it may raise a little smile.

Oh, one more thing. Some of this is based on truth. The place Moloch finds himself working at really exists. And if truth be told, it’s even stranger than what I’ve written here.

They had fallen from grace before of course; burning as they descended, their screams rising to the heavens, the skies closing above them, seemingly unconcerned with their suffering. At least then there had been spectacle and consequence. The whole earth had trembled that day, and did the stars in the sky not shake in awe and terror? There was no such reaction now. Man had created his own evil, his own temptations. Demons were no longer to be feared but ridiculed it seemed. Only yesterday, Moloch had turned away from the television in disgust, the object of his distaste; children’s show involving a teenage witch causing him to choke on his coffee. Moloch’s show of disapproval was just that though: a show. Deep down, he knew the television was right. He, like the others around him, were a joke. Has-beens, reduced to entertainment, or even worse than that, they were ignored.

Cutbacks. A ridiculous human term that somehow had found root in the underworld, and my, how quickly it had festered. Within weeks higher demons were going over there employees records, weaning out those who had not reached their targets, had not done enough bad deeds, collected enough souls. Positions became closed, careers stilled and when the axe came, it came without mercy. The first restructuring of Hell saw six hundred of the middle management being sent earthward, the following month, another thousand. And now here he was: Moloch, a simple worker in the confessions department, sitting at his desk, holding the letter that spoke of his redundancy. He had tried his best to ignore it for as long as he could, concentrate instead on his days work, a priest laying spread-eagled on the table before him. Though he tortured the man for confession, the priest wasn’t being very co-operative , and seeing the letter there, waiting for him, eager to spread its news, his concentration on the task in hand was somewhat lacking. In the end he gave in, and opened the letter. The terms were simple: for your hundred and fifty years service you will receive… nothing. This is hell after all. What did you expect? He screwed up the letter and walking over to the table behind him, forcing it into the priests mouth. The priest didn’t like it one bit. In fact, Moloch was certain that the man was about to voice his confession just as he had clogged his windpipe. He had no cause to hear it now. What did it matter if more sinner spoke of his evil doings, he wouldn’t get his promotion, not now. Disheartened, he reached under the table for his tool bag. There were rules to be followed when it came to confession extraction. The subject couldn’t be permantly harmed until they reached the dismemberment factory, but what could they do, sack him? Besides it had been a while. The priest struggled again against his bonds.

‘You think you have it bad Mister?’ Moloch said to him, ‘I lost my job today, can you believe that? ‘.He pulled out the hand saw, running a finger along its length to ensure it was suitably blunt and rusted, then content, rested it upon the priest’s ankles and began to cut.
As it turned out life on the earth wasn’t particularly bad, just dull. He had got a job in an insurance firm (the fake documents given to him on release from the services of Hell not being impressive enough to warrant a more lucrative position) and worked in the post room, sorting letters into relevant pigeon holes, ready for distribution around the building. He tried, of course, to create a little mischief during these working hours; mixing up the letters, losing cheques behind filing cabinets and shredding others all-together. Much to his annoyance, his efforts were not noticed, or if they were the firm were apparently so used to incompetence as to let these mistakes slide. By the third week his mischief had increased to shitting on the photocopier and pissing into the staff room kettle (he was suitably impressed by the kettles manufacture being that his urine could melt plastic yet apart from a mild smoldering held the contents of his bladder as well as any steel) but apart from a meeting called by the supervisor in which he made light of the whole issue, his efforts were meet with at best bewilderment, at worst ignored completely. The world it seemed had fallen into indifference.

Later, whilst eating the neighbours cat and watching television he found out why. At every press of a button he was greeted with enough war, famine and horror to numb even the great Kuzuzazoos’ (praise to his meaty hooves) senses. And even if by some miracle the viewer had dodged these atrocities there were far more disturbing sights to be witnessed. Talent and quiz shows, reality shows, bland music channels and presenters whose faces had been pulled and tightened into grimaces that almost made him envious of their deformity, no wonder the people who resided top side didn’t know trouble when they saw it. Their minds were mush, pulverized by years of sitcoms, trampled by endless soaps and whatever was left of their grey matter beaten into submission by Jeremy Kyle. He almost felt sorry for them. Almost, but not quite. He was a demon after all. But if his time spent sky side was to be anything other than routine he would have to find a way in which to hone his talents. Who knows, if he could create enough misery and send enough souls back home the boss might even give him his old job back, or dare he envision it: a promotion? He picked the remainder of fur from out of his teeth, turned off the television and made his way to the bathroom, studying himself in the mirror. The body he had been given was a sorry sight. Short, overweight and balding, its skin pock marked and red in places, though strangely enough it had good teeth. Whoever’s it was they cared a lot more about toothpaste than they had soap and diet. The human race never failed to mystify them with their peculiarities. He unzipped his trousers, taking out his decidedly average manhood and let out a steady stream into the basin, the water hissing at the touch of his flow. Tomorrow, he thought to himself. Tomorrow will be the start.

The moon gave way to sunlight and rising early he took time to make his appearance more presentable, dressing in a clean shirt and tie, even daubing a little cologne to his weighty cheeks. To be honest, the overall effect wasn’t that much different from what he had presented the day before, but inside, he felt like a new… well, demon. Whistling, he left the house and was halfway up the drive when a purple rinse appeared over the fence.

‘’Happy today are we?’’

‘’Ah, Miss Johnson. Lovely morning isn’t it?’’

The face under the rinse scowled ‘Talks of rain later. And wind’’

‘’That’s England for you. I don’t suppose you’ve seen my cat by any chance have you. She’s not one for roaming and didn’t come home last night’’

‘’Your cat? No, can’t say I have. I’ll keep an eye out though for you.’’

The Johnson woman eyed him suspiciously for a moment, then settled on a “Well let me know if you do. Don’t know what I’d do without my Trumpton’’

It was hard to stifle his laugh hearing the name, but stifle it he did, waving goodbye as he continued towards the gate. As he turned into Parks street, his stomach rumbled and squeezing his bowl let out a loud rasp. Trumpton by name, Trumpton by nature he thought leaving the remains of Miss Johnson cat mingling with the air.

Part 2 to follow.

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One Response to Demonic Recession

  1. Good job dude as always. Looking forward to part 2 Smilie: :D