David slumped onto his couch and tried not to think about going back to work. Staring at the suitcase sitting next to him, he imagined himself walking out the door, driving to the airport, and catching the next flight back to Cabo. His daydream was interrupted when he noticed the tag on the suitcase was not the one he remembered affixing. He leaned in and sure enough, he had grabbed the wrong suitcase. The tag on this case read:
Name: Lucifer C. Devil
Phone #: (666) 666-0666
“Well, if I have this nut job’s suitcase, then he probably has mine,” thought David as he grabbed the phone. He hesitated a moment and then dialed. The line on the other end rang only once.
“Hello?” a gruff voice spoke.
“Um… hello…is this… um… Lucifer,” stumbled David.
“Yes. What is this regarding? Is this about changing my cable provider again? I told you people ‘yes’ the last time, but the technician hung up on me when I tried to give him directions.”
“Um. No sir,’ replied David, “You see, I just got back from the airport, and I think I picked up your suitcase by mistake.”
“Oh, thank God!” came the voice, “Er… I mean, thank… well you know what I mean. Don’t open it. There’s a golden fiddle in there that’s worth more than your life. Where are you?”
David hesitated. He did not want to give his address to a crazy person.
“I’d prefer if we met somewhere neutral,” David replied.
“I don’t have time for this,” the voice said, frustrated now. “Real quick, imagine yourself tasering your boss at the company Christmas party.”
Before he could help himself, David pictured himself doing just that.
“Nevermind,” came the voice again, “I have your location. I’ll be there in a sec.”
The line went dead. As he hung up the phone, paranoid thoughts began running through David’s head. What if this lunatic was somehow able to trace his call? David thought back to every cop drama he had ever watched on TV and wondered if it were possible. Possible, but not probable he concluded.
POOF! A red plume of smoke filled the room in front of David. In the center stood an unassuming figure.
“JESUS!” shouted David as he recoiled back into the couch.
“AH!!!” screamed the figure clutching his ears and doubling over. “What is wrong with you? Don’t say that name around me!”
“Sorry! Sorry!” begged David.
The smoke cleared, revealing The Devil. He stood no more than 5 feet tall and wore a handlebar mustache under thick rimmed glasses that contained no lenses. His shoulders were slouched and his tight fitting “Frankie Says Relax” t-shirt did nothing to cover his noticeable gut. He seemed more the “coffee shop hipster” than the “prince of the underworld” type.
“Sorry it took me a few minutes. My GPS took me to a guy who was actually tasering his boss at his company Christmas party,” explained The Devil. “I’m going to have to get more descriptive with my imagery. It’s a sick world out there.”
“You’re The Devil?” inquired David, still in disbelief.
“Really? I thought we had established that. Can we move this along? I want to get back and see how that tasering thing played out.”
“Yeah, sorry,” replied David. “Your suitcase is right here.” He slid the case across the floor to The Devil’s hooves. “Do you have my suitcase?”
The Devil laughed, “No. But don’t think I’m not grateful. I’ll grant you one wish. Ask me anything. But hurry up.”
David thought for a second. He’d heard stories about dealing with the Devil and decided to be cautious.
“Okay, what does the ‘C’ stand for in your name?” he finally asked.
The Devil’s face soured.
“That’s your question? I’m not answering that. Try again.”
“Fine. Can I take a selfie with you to post on Facebook? Nobody’s going to believe I met you.”
“No. I’m not doing that either,” sighed The Devil. “I don’t trust you not to tag me in the picture, and if that gets out I’ll be the laughing stock of the Abyss. Think bigger.”
“Fine,” said David, bolder now. “I just got back from vacation and I don’t want to work tomorrow. I want to be somewhere warm.”
The Devil sneered.
“Done!” he boomed.
David’s last word hung in the air as wisps of red smoke curled around the empty room.