7 Years & 3 Months Old
The little war drums of their tiny stomps pounding the grass and sand.
It’s a celebration of freedom. Liberation after hours of being trapped in school.
But for Suzie Lee, recess was a time for peace and serenity. The seemingly endless green of the playground fields, the labyrinthine of the big toys, and all the possibilities that a ball and a few friends could provide meant little to the young girl. Even all of the staff and other children would know exactly where to find Suzie each and every recess. Regardless of whether or not they knew her name, everyone in the school has heard of the girl who’d always spend her time at the sandbox by the jungle gym. The girl who was always huddled over drawing or building things with the sand.
The small girl, petite even for her age, had her black hair always tied into pigtails as she stared into the grains of sand. It was as if the sands were the cosmos and it was her job to arrange the stardust.
And it was Charles Bogart’s job to kick some of that stardust onto Suzie’s face.
Suzie coughed violently as she rubbed away the sand from her eyes. The special art drawn into the sand all but gone.
“Charles Bogart!” Suzie yelled but didn’t cry. Suzie never cried.
Charles laughed. His chubby cheeks turning red with his bucktooth revealed for the world to see.
“I hope the devil gets you!” Suzie tried to chase after Charles but tripped.
Her wishful omen was obviously a fair and just judgment for getting sand kicked on your face.
Charles ignored Suzie curse and fled with a wide smile stretched across his face. But he didn’t get far until a sight stopped him dead in his tracks and turned the smile, upside-down.
“So you just showed up?” Binkle asked with an amused astonishment. He poured Beelzebub his vodka on the rocks.
“Yep,” Beelzebub answered as he squirted lime into his drink. He then drowned the carcass and stirred.
“Just like that? Poof?”
“Yeah,” Beelzebub sipped on his drink.
There’s a bar in Hell.
Well, there are many bars in Hell but there’s a particular bar in Hell known as The Center for being at the center of Hell. Which made little sense, as Hell was boundless and endless. The infinite plane for those who wanted to live away from God—either by choice or as punishment—and now lived under the mercy of the fallen angels: the princes of hell, i.e., the Devil. Or the devil[s] though the brothers didn’t mind sharing the title.
After an odd bet with even odder wages, Beelzebub had won against his six brothers and named the bar The Center and effectively made his portion of Hell, the center of Hell.
It did well for business.
Yes, people still had to work in Hell and pay their taxes to the princes.
Binkle was the master of the bar and the personal bartender for Beelzebub. While he was alive, Binkle was a comedian. His jokes impressed Beelzebub and his brothers enough that he was able to land the relatively cushy job of being the Beelzebub’s bartender. Though he was once fully human, the princes added bits and pieces to the comedian to their personal amusement. As of now, Binkle had seven nipples (one inside his ear), a hairy rat tail, and taste buds on his anus. The last bit was added by Asmodeus, one of Beelzebub’s brothers, and it was an addition Binkle was still unaware of. And, of course, the name Binkle which Belphegor, with his great sense of humor, had given the comedian. His real name was long forgotten.
“My mouth tastes funny,” Binkle smacked his lips. “It’s been like this all day. Your brother was here earlier, by the way.”
“Did he pay his tab?” Beelzebub sipped on his drink
“Well, he grumbled when I asked him of it,” Binkle prepped some finger foods for the devil then grabbed a mouthwash.
“Well that didn’t help,” Binkle said after a gargle and a spit. “So what made you do that?”
“Do what?” Beelzebub shook his empty glass in the air. Binkle relieved him of it as he handed him another.
“You know. Show up? When the girl summoned?” Binkle pushed a basket of fresh nachos to Beelzebub.
“Just felt like it. I mean, why not,” Beelzebub enjoyed Binkle’s skills as a bar chef.
“Something about the girl just beckoned me over. I don’t know. Maybe I was bored.”
“Did you just show up like that?”
Beelzebub was currently dressed in a way that a Beverly Hills yuppie would dress to look casual. Sports coat, t-shirt of a rock band they’ve barely heard the name of, darkened jeans, and shades.
“No, went with the classic,” Beelzebub turned into a hideous form that’d convince denizens of hell that there wasn’t a God.
“Wow,” Binkle said. “That kid’s going to need therapy.
In fact, Charles was in therapy until his senior year of high school. No one believed that he had seen a monster. As no one should. Everyone believed he was crazy. As one should when a child starts screaming and crying that he’s seen a monster and that everyone else can go to hell for not believing him. Once his parents could no longer afford his therapy, Charles turned to drugs and delved into cults that even Beezlebub’s brother Mammon found to be a senseless waste of goats. Eventually, after an emotional breakthrough with his friends and family, Charles decided to go to a dime-a-dozen art school that the same friends and family couldn’t convince him out of after they recently had such an emotional breakthrough. His obsession with flies didn’t win him many fans nor jobs. So after graduation, Charles worked through various fast food restaurants until he became a manager of one. Where he tried to swat a fly since by this point he grew an insatiable hatred towards them, and ended up falling face first into a deep fryer and died.
Don’t kick sand at people, kids.
“You’re other brothers are not going to not like that. And I’m not talking about the ones in hell. And by brothers I mean just one,” it took a lot of courage from Binkle to warn Beelzebub like that.
He studied carefully of the Lord of the Flies’ reaction. The Lord simply sipped on his drink, deep in thought.
“So, what now?” Binkle asked. “Are you going to try to bring her here?”
“I’m done with her. It was fun. But can’t turn a little fun into a headache,” Beelzebub said as he watched Binkle drink a shot of whiskey to get the funny taste out of his mouth with to no avail.
The heavy padded doors of the bar slammed open. A flood of light filled the bar with heaven’s glory. A heavy aura of the divine made the other patrons of the bar uncomfortable, perturbed, and annoyed.
A tall, fit man in a white robe and golden locks calmly walked toward Beelzebub.
“Brother,” the archangel spoke with a voice of grace and magnitude. “We need to talk.”
This is from a novella I was working on that I ended up putting aside when I had to work on different projects. I decided to post it on the blog and finish the story up here as well.
I don’t think it’ll end up being a novella as planned and probably will be a longer-short story.
I’ll try to post every Monday.