Written by Ellie James

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Dawn was breaking in Hell. Well, if there was a sun that shone there, it would be breaking. At any rate, it was dawn in the Northern Hemisphere on Earth. Satan was getting out of bed. It had been nice and comfy in his lair. He had recently bought new linens. They were Ivory, which coordinated well with the souls glowing on the shelves above his dresser. He had decided that he had worked hard at being the Prince of Darkness and finally deserved to buy the finest linens known to all creation. They arrived from the on line store last week.

He originally decided to get bamboo sheets because he thought he was playing a small part in the destruction of one of God's most delicate of creatures. Bamboo is the only thing pandas eat and it gave him great pleasure knowing he was destroying their habitat. He learned, however, that bamboo is a fast growing grass and is considered an eco-friendly material. He learned this from Discovery channel after the linens had been shipped. They were damn comfortable though despite their eco-friendliness, and he decided to keep them for all eternity. Or, until he just needed new sheets.

He changed from his bedclothes and went to see what Omias was cooking for breakfast. Omias might be a lower demon that, at times, was very annoying, however Satan had to admit that no other demon could cook like him. Satan knew, even when Gordon Ramsey made his permanent residence in the real Hell's Kitchen, Omias could beat him hands down.

Arriving in the kitchen, Satan found no one there. There were no pots or pans on the stovetop. Nothing was sautéing. Nothing was being freshly squeezed. He felt slighted. Omias knew that, in order for all to be grand in Hell, Satan had to have a solid breakfast.

"Where the hell is everyone?" Satan said to no one in particular since no one was anywhere around. He felt even worse knowing the "What in the hell" joke was wasted since no one heard it. Looking around, he saw a hand written note taped on the counter. It read:

Shit, bro! Didn't want to wake you, but shit! The hounds of Hell got loose yo. I's gonna go fix that damn gate fucka.

Anger rose from deep inside. Those fucking Hounds of Hell!!! Beasts were such a burden, he thought. He thought briefly of getting in the car and driving away never to return. He didn't really know what pissed him off more, the fact Omias wrote him a note in ghetto speak, or the Hounds of Hell were loose again.

He had wanted to have a relatively peaceful day in Hell. Perhaps check out the new reality television series about pawnshops and see if he could find his Golden Fiddle just by watching TV. Maybe he'd get in some exercise and keep his human form raw and buff. Today was not the day though. Today he was going to be rid of the problems of having Hell Beasts roaming the grounds. He grabbed a cereal bar to appease his hunger and fixed a coffee to go. Not any of that latte shit, but real coffee. Black. Acidic. Delicious.

He arrived at the South gate to find several of lower demons with welding tools fixing the gate. Sentry demons had been sent to track the beasts. Satan took a deep breath and thought again of the things he loved, for that was the only way he could control his anger. He thought of the souls, the millions of souls in his home and breathed deeply. Each of those conquests had been so fulfilling. He stepped over some welding rods that were thrown on the ground as well as a hacksaw. Satan shook his head. He hated how lower minions tended to be messy. Who keeps a hacksaw on the ground to be stepped on? He thought to himself looking at the scene with disgust.

"Omias," he said calmly, "Go get into your human form. Meet me at the Mini Cooper; we're going up top. I want to get a puppy."

The demons around him stopped what they were doing and looked at him with puzzled expressions.

Omias looked at him with an almost look of pity and shame. "Shit yo! Whatcha want a puppy for bro? A puppy is a lot of work yo. Potty training alone is a mothafucken bitch yo!"

Satan glared at Omias. He wouldn't let a minion lessen his resolve.

"I've made my decision, Omias. It's best if you'd go prepare the Mini Cooper," Satan told Omias as he turned towards his lair to prepare for the trip. He paused for a moment and ordered that spikes be placed on top of the gates.

"Aesthetically pleasing," Satan said with a shrug.

"Woa bro whatcha tryin to do yo? Spikes would kill the Hounds! Shit, yo!" Omais said in disbelief.

"Yes, well. Pity," Satan said as he walked back towards his quarters.

Satan went back to his lair and gathered his research. He had pages of documents printed out from his various Internet searches. He had been going back and forth between a Yorkshire Terrier/Pit Bull mix and a St. Bernard.

He found Omias in the topside garage leaning against the Land Rover. "What are you doing?" he asked to his minion. "I said the Mini Cooper."

"Shit! We cain't be gettin no puppy in a Mini Cooper yo! Wouldn't be right, yo! Think of the puppy!"

"It's a puppy. Puppies care little about what vehicle you're driving. There's nothing wrong with the Mini Cooper. Get in and drive!" Satan told Omais as he yanked open the door.

Omias reluctantly opened the door and plugged in the GPS. Satan typed in the address of the shelter in Austin, Texas. Austin had a lot of fine qualities, Satan thought. A few of his souls have come from Austin, and he knew that there were a lot of animal shelters and dog rescue groups in Austin. It would be a long drive, but he'd somehow survive Omias and the annoying ghetto speak, Menudo music from the stereo, and the traffic they were sure to encounter along the way.

to be continued...

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