In an interview with Old Scratch last week, he stated:
“Yes, of course, absolutely, what other gift populates Hell with so little work on my part than man’s assumption of his own omnipotence. That explains the ease in which I operate. No need for the silly horned devil image. The Age of Reason scoffed that view, and I appreciated the tip. Sneak in on what people conceive of what they think is an absolute need and bang . . . ingenious how insidious I am.”
“Fine, but would you care to elaborate on your ‘disagreement’ with God? Isaiah and Ezekiel were quite explicit regarding your conduct.”
“Really, that is so irrelevant. This interview is all about me, not Him. I preferred Milton’s intellectual take on the situation, ‘Far better to rule in hell than to serve in Heaven.’ End of discussion. Delightful chap, too bad he stayed so incorruptible. He would have done well enticing other writers. Are you aware of how many pray for publication? So willing to sell their souls for even one chance, pitiful, and in my business too easy.
Almost got Poe when he died, but I was a little busy with a few industrialists. Heads did roll, I can tell you . . . not wise to disobey my orders.”
“Well, yes, perhaps, but that is not in your power on earth, though, is it, only the suggestive. . . .”
“And you a mere feeble human dare to abase and question the extent of my talents of invasion?”
“There is a history of several rebukes, which even you must take into account, regarding your attempts at theft.”
“Excuse me, rebukes, silly misunderstandings, yet they did foster my strength, especially for the holier than thous. My, my, they are an amusing bunch when they arrive. Befuddled and disbelieving that their outrageous fees demanded of their parishioners for the only path to salvation, brought them instead, the best in my house . . . for the repent and be cleansed routine on stage. Hilarious, really; our standup comic nights are always a hit when they’re on stage and, yes, very popular for eternity. Good old deceit, works every time for the laughs. See, thirty pieces of silver buys much.”
“Yes, about that. Would you care to explain your shady dealings? I mean, here’s Judas believing Christ was to begin the revolution against Rome and then, wham . . . clotheslined.”
“Ah, outside of my more infamous characters from that very silly book, Judas was my first real masterpiece; Eve fell into sideshow material. Simple in execution, I preyed onto his fears. Really, I almost blush with the ease of the whole political fallout.”
“Yes, things did get out of hand, but was that not foretold by the prophets?”
“Whatever, the accomplishment is mine. I decreed the 15 minutes of fame thing, the martyrs, and that blimp on the screen that should have disappeared. Imagine my surprise, didn’t think the kid had it in him to cause such a ruckus in my plans.”
“Silly you, who’d a thought, still quite popular, that 15-minute deal garnered over 2,000 years, still going quite strong, go figure.”
“Perhaps, yet I have vast riches in my collection, the Crusades, the Inquisition, a few plagues, internment camps, war, Planned Parenthood, I could go on forever. I still rule over the pathetic and the desperate greedy, the weak-minded believing my being their God.
“Yes, your talents of acquiring the sordid in their bottoming out.’
Oh, terribly sorry and all that, got to go, got to go, gang war going down; ought to collect at least 50 before the hour’s out. You see, I have no need to proclaim overseer, man brings me in of his own volition, the most profitable to be found. See you.”
And for this interviewer that was that; he vanished. The interview was over, except for the evidence of his thoughtless conviction of the forsaken souls he, in foolish haste, left behind knowing the mercy in the confessional.