It was another glorious day. Heat without humidity. A few fluffy clouds floated in a piercing blue sky. For once, no one was at all upset that the weather men had been so wrong with their forecast. On a narrow patio of a small tastefully decorated café, the Devil sat sipping coffee while toying with a fresh baked croissant. Once again he sat and waited for his guest, the writer, to arrive. And once again, the writer was late. He mused that even after all the waiting, over the vast oceans of time; he could still feel a little excitement over this simple yet crucial step in the plan. The demon did not mind (too much) as he was forced to sit, and drink this excellent coffee while watching the women walk by. How he loved the warm sunny weather and the legs it brought forth.
Ahh but here was his almost repulsive man. Still dressed in rumpled and sadly mismatched fashion the writer failed to look in any direction before crossing the street. He waved to the demon and headed for the front door of the café. The Devil signaled the server, a young man with an east european accent this time and ordered two more croissants and coffees. Panting for breath, the writer plopped into a chair and extracted a fresh cigarette. He released a bluish cloud of smoke and handed his battered laptop to the smiling demon.
“Take a look at what I’ve got and let me know what you think.” Another puff and another stream of smoke issued from the man’s mouth. As the devil read with cup in hand, the server arrived and placed the two orders on the table. The greasy as ever writer took one look, glanced at the demon across from him and promptly ordered 3 eggs sunny side up, sausage, bacon and home fries with a double order of toast.
“Don’t you know that much cholesterol could kill you?” The Devil looked up with the faintest trace of a smile. The story so far was just what the demon wanted and he was quite happy.
“Don’t you mean to say ‘will kill me’?” asked the pale brown eyed writer with a smirk. ”After all, high cholesterol causes all sorts of cardiac problems.”
“This is true.” was the demon’s reply. “Of course one has to survive long enough to be bothered by something as slow and insidious as clogging arteries.”
The writer smiled again. “Yes after all one could be killed in a failed robbery attempt. Then where would the cholesterol be, out of a job like that.”
“I was thinking more of a piano and its remarkable inability to fly.”
“Hmm yes, that would be... crushing.” Only the writer chuckled at his own lame and obvious joke. The Devil ignored it by continuing to read. A plate of eggs and other good but questionable food choices arrived and the writer attacked it with a vengeance. Both cups were refilled with the fine brewed coffee the Devil liked so much. Still the demon ignored all around him while he read the man’s work. Once he was finished, he took a long slow sip of the dark liquid, he eyes resting on a pretty young woman in a leather jacket across the street. The writer had finished by mopping up the last of runny yolk with a slice of toast.
“I like what you got so far.” The Devil leaned forward and offered the man a light for his cigarette. How he loved the smell of burning sulphur. “Mind if I open a new page and put in some notes for some slight changes and more ideas to continue the tale?” Without waiting for a reply he did exactly that. The writer opened his mouth to voice a mild complaint but changed his mind. It’s not like his companion was rewriting the story itself. So he sat and watched the late morning traffic flow by. Cars and bicycles. Roller blades and leather shoes. A sea of humanity flowing like blood in the veins of the small city. He smoked his smoke. Drank his coffee. He watched a young woman in a leather jacket killing time window shopping. All these people, all the stories. Some good, some bad. Other interesting, and yet others would never be read, they were so bland. Thousands upon thousands of tales, many would never be told, or rather, never be heard. At last the demon across the table sighed and closed the laptop. The server was waved to and two coffees to go were ordered and once again in a good mood, the Devil paid the tab.
“So, you’re not worried about cancer or cholesterol or gravity bound pianos.” the devil stated. They were passing through the café headed for the door. The writer smirked and made no reply. The server intercepted them with two cups and a thank you. Out the solid wood doors and they were standing on the corner waiting for the traffic light to change. The Devil looked at the writer and thought it’s time. After all the waiting it’s time.
You also don’t look before you cross the street.”
“I used to be a boy scout, I got a badge in street crossing.” came the sarcastic reply. The devil merely smiled.
“And you don’t believe in the Devil either. Do you beleive n God?” There was something in the way the demon asked made the man look at him. "I like what you have written so far, but now it’s time for a change. Do you know how the story ends?” the writer could not take his eyes off the speaker. Of course he still didn’t know he was a demon.
“I told you Man slowly got replaced by lesser demons. So if Man was replaced, who do you think is walking around everyday? Right now, even as we speak?” The Devil smiled, but it was a smile of venom and evil intentions. The writer, un-nerved looked around. People everywhere walking, waiting, driving, talking. Polluting.
“You don’t believe in the Devil. So you don’t believe the story. But the Devil is real and the story too. Man was replaced. All Men were. Look around, these are not the children of Man, creation of God you see. Oh no, these are the lesser demons. The plan worked to perfection. It worked so good that even they don’t know. Even you didn’t know, till now.”
The writer had gone pale. The greasy food was churning in his stomach and he fought not to heave it all up right there on the street corner. He could not take his eyes off the demon. He didn’t believe, wouldn’t believe. It was too fanciful. Impossible. Replaced by demons! The writer took a step back wracked with shivers as if suddenly cold. There were no Men, everyone was a demon, no! a lesser demon. But he could feel it. And all at once he knew. He knew now that he was not of Man, but was but a lesser demon. He could feel it, knew it and despaired. All his beliefs and unbeliefs All his childhood teachings. All the time spent in learning was ash in his mouth, clogging his throat. He looked at the Devil and the King of all Demons true form was revealed to him. With a paniced shout he flung himself back. Into the path of an oncoming bus and the Devil's writer guest was sent flying, broken and bleeding into the intersection. His cigarette was crushed under a tire and his laptop flew. People quickly gathered aroung the dead writer and paid no heed to a young girl in a leather jacket. She picked up scratched laptop, looked both ways and quickly fled the scene. The Devil smiled to himself.
“And so she starts the next act. A new writer is born and her greatest tale shall be the truth and all shall come to know the truth and gnash their teeth in despair. Beseech Thy God? Hahaa For God and all her Angels have left and your are not her children!"
An ambulance has arrived but it was too late for the writer. The Devil turned away, he knew where the girl would run to.
"And the meek shall inherit the earth! Hahaa oh that's good! The meek already have. They don't know, have forgotten. Made lies to hide the truth from themselves. Why do they fight and kill. Why do they obsess with fire and smoke. Because without even knowing it, they miss home and will make Hell here on Earth."
The demon laughed and the unkowing lesser demons that flowed around him gave him odd looks. He laughed all the more and sipped his fine coffee as he went in search of a certain writer who will shatter the beliefs of men