Scene in Hell construction. Pandemonium.


The Scene on Earth

A certain celebrity, who shall remain nameless in the interests of civil action avoidance, was filing her nails and observing herself in an expensive-looking mirror. She was bored and keenly aware of her fleeting years of fame. Instagram would not last forever. There wouldn’t be any kind of legacy that would outlive her. because, well, she hadn’t done anything noteworthy. Most of her time has been spent in clothing and footwear boutiques, and in restaurants where, thankfully, she had no real appetite. It had been part of the bargain.

It was time to speak with her mediator. She searched for her big book of illustrated spells, found it, and mumbled the necessary incantation. There was a brief flash of lightning and the heavy curtain of the bedroom window moved ever so slightly.

Mephistopheles stepped soundlessly into the room.

“You’re looking smug,” she said as if resuming a conversation that had already grown tedious.

“As you are aware, your time here is almost up.” replied the spirit. ‘You are going to go to the place where bad priests get barbecued.

‘I demand to talk to your boss — to God,’ she said, putting on her best professional countenance.

“He’s too busy toasting the planet. All you hideous humans are going to fry in your own carbon dioxide. He is making that stuff flammable and setting its kindling temperature very low. You will soon be exhaling fire like dragons. It’s going to be quite a show. I am going to make a video.”

But in the end, Mephistopheles, bound by contract, agreed to take her message to The Chief. Not even tea with Lucifer would keep her quiet.

The Scene in Heaven

God was in a good mood. He was resetting the combustion temperature of living flesh and trying to figure how much to amp up the sun to make that happen. Oxygen would be dramatically reduced in the atmosphere but there would be enough left so that anyone alive wouldn’t miss the fireworks. Oh, there would be wailing and gnashing of teeth, alright. Drowning people had been anticlimactic. All the real action was underwater. Difficult to make out.

Lucifer warned him after The Flood that this would happen. It was just a matter of time, he said before all the constant worshipping would slip away and humanity would return to its primary instincts, notably the ongoing acquisition of wealth and power, and becoming a major Instagram influencer.

“She wants to talk to you,” said Mephistopheles, nodding at one of the giant monitors that ordained the walls of the heavenly kingdom. On-screen, she was brazenly shaving her legs in a giant bubble bath while her personal photographer captured the spontaneous moment.

God turned his mighty gaze toward the monitor. Down on the planet, his big head appeared floating above the tub. “What now?” He demanded.

She told him she’d been with her legal team and refinements of the contract were required — mainly an extension of its termination date by 10 years or more. God laughed. “In 10 years no one will remember you anyway,” he mused, seeing no reason to change anything that had been cast in stone and signed in blood.

“You only have a couple of days left. Use them wisely.”

The Scene in Hell

Her last days passed. She sweated through the last hours raving about blood streaming in the firmament. Of course, it did no good and the earth opened right on schedule. She was spirited away. A deal’s a deal.

Once consciousness returned she realized she’d been trussed up like a Thanksgiving Turkey and was about to be moved into the Big Pit. The horror was real. Her makeup was threatening to run. The only bright note was that her photographer had been zapped right along with her. There was time for one last picture and one last post. She bravely put on her game face. This was her public life’s end and maybe it would serve as an Instagram warning to others. Maybe even God would reconsider the verdict. She knew he looked at her feed regularly.

Lucifer let out a guffaw as loud as thunder. He knew there was no wifi in Hell.

Hell illustration in red and black