As I walk up the sulfur path to the towering building in front of me, I feel a huge welling up of excitement. This is, probably, the biggest interview ever made for the Daily Morality, and it certainly is at the most breath-taking location.
A few months ago, I asked my editor whether we should skip some of the assumptions and ask the man himself. He thought I was mad, but then I received a letter from a mysterious unknown telling me that I had been invited specifically for the interview to Sir Lucifer's home itself.
So here I am, standing in front of the negative-two hundredth century castle, with the fiery red flags and tumbling ruins. It is, as expected, quite astonishing. What's more astonishing, though, is the figure who soon runs out of the house to greet me. The small man hurries out of the front door and shakes my hand enthousiastically.
"Welcome to my home, sir. I hope you'll be made very welcome."
I am shocked. Of all the things I expected, Lucifer being a nice person wasn't one of them.
"Sir, I don't mean to sound impolite, but you seem to be a very kindly character! Is there something that the world has completely misunderstood about you?"
Lucifer smiles. "No, sir, it's just that it's not that often you get a chance to tell your own side of the story, is it?"
Ah. Now I understand. "So," I continue, lowering myself into a soft couch opposite the Devil himself. "What is there to tell about the mystical Satan?"
He smiles coyly. "Well, there is much I could tell, I suppose. I could dish the dirt on God if I wanted to, but I'm not sure that's really right, do you?"
I'm unsure what to say, so he carries on. "I don't want to talk about God here today. I want to talk about our role in the human's lives, and how it really should be."
"Great." I say. I've recovered enough now to speak. "So, what do you think your role on earth should be? Evil spirit? Misunderstood do-gooder?"
Laughing, he answers. "No, of course not! I'm not a do-gooder, but I'm not an evil spirit either. I don't go around trying to make people do wrong."
"So what do you do?" I'm puzzled.
"Think of it as good cop, bad cop. If someone does wrong of their own free will, we try to make them see what they've done wrong."
"So is that where heaven and hell come in, then?"
"Yes. It just depends on which method works better with you. Whether you would repent better under pressure or support. It is totally coincidental that the baddest nuts tend to need pressure to realise their faults."
I nod, and then realise something else I need to ask. "If you two sort out those who have done bad things, what happens to those that haven't?"
Lucifer suddenly pales, and his ruddy complexion fades to a salmon pink. "They simply move on."
"But where?" I feel as if I'm really getting to the heart of life's real questions.
His answer is so quiet I can't even hear it. When he repeats it again, he is still mumbling. On a third attempt, I understand. "I don't really know."
"What do you mean? You're the Devil, you must know!"
He shakes his head sadly. "That gets left to the Boss himself. He knows what happens to the good people, and only him."
And just when we were getting to such a tantalising subject, I realise my time is up. The giant clock in the entrance hall gongs, and Lucifer ushers me out of the house to the company car, where he stands by the door waving sheepishly as he recedes into the distance.