As soon as the greasy haired man closed the menu, the server was at the table ready to take their order. When the Devil was not talking to the girl, he noticed that his guest never stopped staring at her.
"The veal special for me and another coffee refill please. My guest will be having chicken bow tie pasta and what ever red beer you have on tap. Oh and a book of matches too please." The Devil wondered if she stood beside him because he was the Devil or because she was subconsciously aware of the other's barely hidden leering. Sometimes people were so easy to read, and at others you could never tell.
"Very good sir, I will be back with your matches in a minute." The Canadian accented girl collected the menu and with a quick smile to him only, was off to place the order.
"She doesn't approve of my selection." The demon turned back to tell his guest.
"You think so?" the pale man reached for his cigarette and flicked the ash off. The Devil watched as it blew out of the ashtray. With slight smirk and another subtle flick of a finger, the ash blew to the next table where it landed in a woman’s drink. She would not even notice.
"Oh yes, but she is too polite and professional to ever voice her opinion while working." The Devil sat with his head slightly cocked as if listening to something only he could hear. "Oh yes, far too polite."
From the other side of the table he received an odd look. The man continued to look at the demon across from him as he opened the laptop then started a simple text program. "So you called me...?" He inquired, deliberately open ended.
"Quite right." the Devil replied. "I have a tale for you. I will give the details and some background if you need it. I would like you to write it up in that modern style you have that I like so much. When you finish, I would like to read it for approval. Once I am happy, it will be submitted... in your name of course, to an editor who works for me. He will naturally contact you for re-writes and contract talks once he reads it."
"Just like that. I give you the story and your editor will get it published? No questions asked?" The sarcasm was thick.
"Yes." the Devil paused as his coffee and a pint of draught for his guest arrived. Once again, the Devil could not help but notice, the girl served from his side of the table and stayed as far away from the greasy man as she professionally could. Once she had moved on, he continued. "As I said, he is my editor and when I tell him he will publish something, it gets published."
The writer across the table looked as if he was going to say something. With a shake of his head, then a sip of draught, he pulled the laptop forward. “So. What is the name of your tale?”
“Well I don’t know. I had a few thoughts, but hey, that’s what I hired you for. You’re the writer; you will come up with something.” The Devil replied. He leaned back in his chair and looked at the repellent man. “The opening scene will be the pit of Hell. You know, fire, brimstone wailing of the damned. That kind of stuff The Devil is sitting talking to one of his chief minions. They are plotting how they can claim the earth as their own. I’ll leave the details and dialogue up to you, just make sure it’s snappy.”
“I’ve written before.” the man interrupted.
The Devil sat and looked at writer for a second. He already knew exactly how this man would die, so took no offence at the man’s sarcasm or tendency for interruption. Something demons are not especially known for. He took another sip of his coffee and continued. “Earth is a paradise, but rather boring. God did her thing then moved on. As a side note, she hasn’t been back since. This is where the Devil truly comes in.” The demon paused for another sip of coffee and let the man type. When the writer looked up, he continued. “The Devil then comes up with a plan. He will teach Man 3 things. Fire, Reason and Mathematics. Now Man is naturally curious and quite smart. The biggest problem for the Devil will be Man’s Wisdom which had been imparted from God herself. Knowledge without Wisdom can lead to all sorts of bad things which is a crucial point to the plan. So while Man had learned the 3 lessons and started to experiment, the lesser demons from the blackest, bottom most pit of Hell, were slowly taking his place. And Man never even noticed. Nor did the Angels. At first.”
“Oh this is good; I think I can see where you’re going with this.” The writer said, still typing. The server arrived with their meal and once again she served from the Devils side of the table. After an offer to refresh their drinks, she moved on to another table where other guests were making ready to leave. The brown eyes in the wide face never stopped following her until the Devil started talking again. He basically outlined where he wanted the story to go, leaving most of the details to his guest. So they sat and talked about the story, the writer asking questions and the Devil explaining things or making points he wanted included into the story. Plans were made to meet again at this very coffee shop in a week. And in another unusual move, the Devil even offered to pay the bill.
“Charity begins at home.” and the Devil’s booming laugh could be heard down the street. The writer smiled and chuckled, but didn’t get the humor.