It’s all greed, really. People want what they don’t have, what they think they can’t have, what other people have told them they can’t have, because they themselves think they can’t have it, and so on. Do you follow? Do you get it? No you don’t. If you got it I could have stayed in Paradise instead of spending all of this wasted time on Earth.
You people can never be happy with what you’ve got. You want more and more and more, it never ends.
You hear about this guy in Phoenix? Wins the lottery, thirty-one million bucks. He gets on TV and starts thanking the Lord. Trust me. God does not give a shit about that. He doesn’t even know it happened. Then the guy starts building a twenty-five room mansion, or some shit, gets art he never even knew about before he had all that jack. Before you know it, he’s taking out lines of credit to pay for everything. This little ant wins more money than most people will ever even see in their quick lives and he pisses it all away in a year and a half. He goes and loses the house, everything. People liked him for a little while since he was rich, now he’s just back to being nothing, basically.
He wins enough money to set himself and his offspring’s offspring up for generations and it’s not enough for him. He wants more. Got to have more. I told him to stop. He was up in one of the Vegas suites on The Strip after he had just lost thirty grand at the craps table and snorted some overpriced low quality drugs.
I came to his door with the tray of food he ordered and sat it on the table near the kitchenette. He’s fishing for cash out of the slacks he has draped over a chair. I told him, “Don’t sweat it. I don’t need a tip.”
He pulls out a wadded twenty and puts it in my palm with his trembling hand. Guy really needed a drink. I don’t like him touching me since I know he was just pulling on himself while he thumbed through the hooker catalog someone handed him out on the street. He’s wearing a wife beater tank-top that is faded yellow, and he is sweating like he just got out of the steam room. This guy looks like he’s a couple of jumping jacks away from a heart attack.
Myocardial infarctions are a relatively new thing, by the way. That used to never happen.
Anyway, I told him right there. I said, “Look, you’ve had your fun. I know you got a couple of hookers coming up, but you can’t afford it. You’re headed toward bankruptcy and I’m afraid that’s going to make you desperate and dangerous.”
He reaches down and pulls on himself again through the outside of his purple gym shorts, like I’m not standing there. I mean, I know he’s coked-up, but he can pay attention for two minutes.
I snapped my fingers in his face and said, “Listen.” I called him by his name, but I already forgot it. I said, “Honestly, what are the odds you will even be able to get off with these hookers? And you’re looking at another five, ten thousand by the time they get through with you. You can’t afford it, and you don’t need it. You have everything you need, and then some.”
He told me to fuck off.
I gave him his twenty back and excused myself.
Seven months later, after he was back to being nothing, you’ll never guess. The guy wins the lottery again. Seriously, you can’t make that shit up. Seventy million this time.
That narrowing left anterior descending artery eventually got him before he could run through the second stack of cash. Now he’s in Hell. I assume anyway. I stay out of that place.
I guess you are wondering why the Devil would be trying to talk Johnny Fuckup out of wanting things he can’t have. Because wanting what you can’t have, coveting as they used to say, is the true root of all evil.
Oh, you thought I was on Team Evil. Of course you did. You’ve been lied to your whole life. There is no Team Evil. We’re all in this together, kumbaya and all that jazz.
Let me put it in a way you can understand by comparing it to this brand-new U.S. Government you love so much. God is the President. Except he was not elected, doesn’t have term limits, and there are no checks and balances of power. So basically, not like your government at all, now that I think about it. But he is the head of everything, rules with an iron fist, and enjoys his celebrity. But even he doesn’t tweet crazy shit, like that guy you got in the White House. What an Ass Clown that guy is.
Jesus is kind of like the First Lady, in the way he has his own side projects going all the time in Heaven. People love that guy. Nearly all of the people in Heaven think they are there because of him, but that’s because no one ever actually listened to a word he said when he was on Earth. Like most First Ladies, Jesus is really running the show. When Jesus wants something to happen he bends his father’s ear a bit and just like that God has a new amazing plan. I mean, Jesus and I go way back. He’s a good guy. A bit too over dramatic, but he’s solid.
It’s like that time on the mountain that you think you know about, but you don’t actually know anything about. I wasn’t tempting him. What do I have to tempt him with? We all have our place in the administration, and believe me, I know my role. All I was saying to him was, “You don’t have to die. You don’t have to be this dramatic to make your point.”
I said, “You can jump off this mountain right now and you won’t die. You can’t die. So how much of a sacrifice is your planned sacrifice if they can’t actually kill you? What are you going to do, go hide in a tomb for three days and pretend you’re dead?” I mean, it all worked out, I guess.
My position in the administration is like the Attorney General. My job is to enforce all of God’s laws and hold people accountable for their actions. I’m damn good at it, too. I used to be able to do this job in my palace where I was very comfortable, but once you guys climbed out of trees and started screwing anything that could stand upright, God was like, “Lucifer, I need my best guy to go down there and save these people from themselves.” So I came. Not that I had a choice. I brought my demon agents with me, about a hundred thousand of us in all. At first it seemed like overkill because there were about four agents for every human. Now each agent has seventy-four thousand clients. All because one baby is not enough, you have to have four or five. Nothing is ever enough. Greed.
There was this guy in Africa a couple hundred years ago. He had three hundred and fifty-two children with countless women, some of whom were even his daughters. This guy was messed up. All he wanted to do was eat, sleep, and make babies. He’s one of a dozen or so people I really wanted to just die right then and move on to Hell. I stalked him to a cave one night while he was traveling. He had six women with him. Two were his wives and the others were held captive. There were also little children, babies, and a snorting hog which was wallowing in his own shit.
I watched him from the shadows of the cave while he hunched over one of the chained girls, laughing and imitating the hog’s snorts while he violated her. It was beyond vile. My plan was to wait until he went to sleep and then cut his serpent looking penis off and feed it to the hog. I could feel God’s presence pulling from me, even as I contemplated such a forbidden intervention. Standing outside of God’s presence is an awful place, and I have only done it a few desperate times. I’m allowed to council and even manipulate humans, but never give or take from them.
When the time was right, I found the old man’s blade and crawled on my belly along the cave floor to his smelly pallet. Then I grabbed his leathery dangling penis with my thumb and forefinger and pulled its great length from his body, ready to rid this world of even more dirty seed. Just then, I felt a rock up against the back of my head as his two wives jumped on me and began to beat me to an inch of my own eternal life. Wasn’t the first time. Humans are vicious.
You ever been to Salem, Massachusetts? Don’t go. It’s a scary place. Back in the day, they were doing horrible things to teenage girls. So I waited until a large gaggle of them was swimming one afternoon and gathered them around to share all the knowledge I’m giving you. I really wanted to empower them to stand up for each other, stop taking shit from those religious hypocrites that were doing whatever they wanted to them in the name of God. Evil people. God would never want those girls to endure such horrors. Jesus said suffer the little children, am I right?
Turned out, I was wrong. I can admit it. I ended up making it way worse for them. Most of the girls found their death swinging from a large tree up on the hill as an example of what happens when you disrespect religious leaders. My bad. Although, I am proud to report, nearly all of those girls went to Heaven. So, good on me for that one.
You know what those puritans did to me when they found out where the girls got the audacity to stand up to them? Peine forte et dure. Don’t look it up, it’s disgusting. Basically, they piled more and more heavy rocks on me for days, demanding that I admit I was a witch. I’m not a fucking witch. No way, I’m saying that. I eventually got out of it, but damn that was painful. Still makes me shiver today, just thinking about it. I’m telling you, people suck.
I don’t get too involved these days. Mostly I just manage the agents. But I do, from time to time, move around the Earth and try to guide the sheep wherever it’s appropriate. You really don’t want to go to Hell. It’s nothing like you think. In fact, it’s nothing. You know when the medical assistant finally gets your height, weight, and vitals and then they put you in that room and you wait for the doctor. It’s like that, except you don’t have a cellphone or magazines to look at. There are no weird posters of kids with pustules all over their faces. No growth charts, or those plastic boxes where they put the old needles. None of that shit. There are no walls, no light. There’s no you. There’s nothing. But you’re still waiting, forever and ever amen. That’s what it’s like when you are outside the presence of God.
Like I said, I’ve felt it a couple of times, but only for a few minutes. Fuck that shit.
Me and the demons, we’re all down here just trying to get anyone, anyone at all, to figure out that they have exactly what they need and coveting is for losers. Hardly anyone listens.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re all, “That sounds like an angel to me. Are demons angels?”
Hell no. Angels don’t care if you go to Heaven or Hell. They’re just trying to make sure you don’t hurt yourself or other people with your dumbass decisions. Blow some air in your ear while you’re drifting into the other lane to make sure you don’t slam into that family of four coming in the other direction. Make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck so you don’t walk down that dark alley at two in the morning. Put that crying ass baby next to you on your dinner date, so that you remember to stop and buy condoms on the way back to Swipe Right’s house, since he has a bloodborne pathogen you don’t know about.
And god are they fucking cocky. Get two angels together and they’re going on and on about how many lives they saved that week. I’m like, “So what, they’re all going to Hell anyway, unless my guys can convince them to stop coveting everyone else’s shit.” Murder, rape, theft. It’s all just wanting what the other person has and then deciding to take it at all cost.
So, it all comes down to this, Devon.
You are on the twentieth floor of this building, and if you jump off that ledge you will hit the sidewalk down there. And trust me, you are not Jesus. You will die.
I usually don’t tell people everything I just told you, because believe me, the truth in this case, does not set you free. When I do decide to open up, most people tell me to beat it before I ever even get this far. So, since you have been listening to me this whole time, you must at least be having second thoughts and considering climbing back into that window and living.
You see, if you die, you will most certainly go to Hell because you will be taking something that isn’t yours to take. Even though it’s your life, it’s not yours. Hashtag, it’s complicated.
And I don’t see any angels around here, ready to push you back into that window with a gust of wind. So it’s all on you my friend. It’s do or die time, as they say.
Yeah, I know you’re thinking you would love to sit inside that dark doctor’s exam room and not have to face your troubles, not worry about paying the mortgage or your kid hating you once he finds out you left him and his mom because you wanted more time to play your video game.
Video games are also a very new invention. Impressive.
You think you want that dark empty space to be left alone, away from all of your worries and troubles, but you really don’t. I know it sounds very comfortable, but it’s not what you think. This little light of mine, God won’t let it shine. Know what I mean?
Devon, I implore you not to jump.
And, there he goes.
Like a thief in the night.
Dum, dum, dum… another one bites the dust. And another one gone, and another one gone. Another one bites the dust.
I love that damn song.
Image: Author’s own.
10 thoughts on “Satan’s Monologue by Jeff Barker”
Nice story, but his constant talking made me want to jump.
That may have been the point, or was it? The truth is, I’m not sure if Satan was telling the truth. I’ve heard he is not very trustworthy.
Jeff–this is a great story–I love lines like “I don’t need the tip,” and “I know he’s coked up but he can pay attention for two minutes” and the scenarios (like the wives cracking him with the rocks)–it’s witty and different!
Just a suggestion: the scenarios and the Devil’s own musings during them are so powerful, I think you don’t need the part between “kumbaya and all that jazz” and “There was this guy in Africa…”–it’s just that that bit gets too expositional and takes you out of the action moments of the Devil dealing with humans through time–and the story does a great job making clear what the Devil’s role is already.
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Thanks for reading. The Devil is quite a talker. You’re right.
Thank you for reading. I hope my short fiction was both humorous and thought challenging. I’m not sure how everything works, but I am very sure we humans don’t have it all figured out.
– Jeff Barker
Thank you for reading. I hope you found my story both humorous and thought challenging. I don’t know how all of that “stuff” works, but I’m quite sure we humans don’t have it all figured out.
It’s only fitting that the horns should give us a few laffs on Giving Tuesday. Back to the sulphur pits tommorow.
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The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh, or something like that.
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The thoughts of the Devil doing good is a beautiful contradiction that makes you think on bluffing and double bluffing. If he does good, is that then evil but why is it not if he does evil, then that is good?
This all contributes to a very clever and enjoyable story.
The humour is dark but the observations are very real. And there is an underlying message throughout regarding religious hypocrisy.
All the very best my friend.
What the Devil says makes a lot of sense, but even I don’t trust him. Thank you for reading and your comments.