prompt: list, title: emeru's revenge in misc. flash fiction

  • July 12, 2023, 10:32 p.m.
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  • Public

She was on her supervisor’s bad side and she knew it. The exact cause at that particular time was a mystery but, when you’re spending a literal eternity in Hell, there’s a long list of things it could be. Maybe she wasn’t corrupting enough mortals with that assignment inserting backwards lyrics into heavy-metal albums. Maybe she wasn’t hitting quotas for Jesus-shaped snacky-chips slipped into Doritos bags to confuse the faithful. Maybe it was that quickie she had with her supervisor’s wife out behind the Pit of Endless Scalding. Who could ever know?

It had to be something, though, as she found herself demoted to the worst position in all of Hell’s call centers, call centers in general already punishment for only the vilest of sinners. She’d been in training class with Hitler and Imelda Marcos, after all. But only those lowest of lows got stuck with the deepest humiliation in all damnation: Ouija Duty. Vast torrents of giggling teens asking the spirits if Brad Thickjaw from the football squad wanted to grab at the socks stuffed into their training bras. Being garroted with piano-wire soaked in toilet water certainly hurt like, well, Hell but at least it wasn’t boring. Jaywalkers had it easy. Tedium is leagues worse than simple agony, when stretched out over eons. No punishment in any realm is worse than having to humour the predictability of the average human dullard.

Why did she have to seduce Jenny Thorngnash like that? Stupid. She knew her wife was Thorig Thorngnash’s biggest bitch-trigger of all, Jenny being the only thing worth anything to her in the whole literally godforsaken mess. Was that why she pounced at Jenny? At the time, messing with Thorig seemed like the most delicious fruit left in all eternity’s monotony. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Move the planchette to “hello”. Claim a clichéd demonic name like “Emeru” or “Mackle-More”. Spell out whatever they’ll want to hear, pushing back on that one science nerd in the gaggle who moves it herself because she doesn’t believe any of it. Persuade them to sell their souls or at least read some Crowley. After a half-an-hour of trying, eighty-seven percent of them run off to smoke their first reefer cigarettes, anyway, and it’s all for naught. Not even one solitary chalk-mark for a soul taken. Move that planchette to “good-bye” then onto the next one, over and again. Hell isn’t other people, after all. Hell is customer service.

Still, every once in a while a glimmer of joy even in agonizing depths. It isn’t always teenaged girls. It’s occasionally their mothers, getting together to reclaim youthful memories by playing spirit board themselves. When they don’t get what they want, Brad’s dad probably, wine moms tend to escalate. They use their Ouijas to demand to speak to the manager, ending up with some stultifying summoning above her paygrade. “Those bints won’t accept that Tad Thickjaw’s gay,” she thought with as much a smile as Hell could allow, “Doritos knows, Thorig, you deserve it.”

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