SAN FRANCISCO, CA - The arrival of Satan at my door this afternoon heralded the first of many souls to be claimed over the next few days.
The abruptness of the five rapid knocks startled me enough to make me jump; I was not expecting company. I hastily finished the sentence I was typing as my mystery guest knocked again, more insistently this time. "Okay, okay! Keep your pants on!" I hollered in the general direction of the door, more than a bit annoyed.
The doorknob was hot to the touch when I opened it.
"Come with me," said Satan. He looked like Calibos from Clash of the Titans. His voice was not as deep as I would have expected from someone that large, but it sounded like it could get a whole lot louder if he wanted it to. Scary dude, very Satan-like, but still... That couldn't be right, could it? I wasn't sure. I mean, could it really...? But, why would he be here?
"What..." I started.
"You know those pieces you wrote about Jade Goody?" he cut me off, his words so sharp I winced. I felt my stomach drop. My face warmed as recollection took hold. I knew I shouldn't have, but I did. Everyone else was. The warmth spread to my ears, then to my whole head. Then it began to tingle.
"But I only did it to get some views!" I pleaded in genuine horror. "I was just riding the trend! What else was I supposed to do? I was only getting like a hundred lousy views a day!" His eyes felt like they were burning holes in me (they were - I checked later).
"And it wasn't even that bad!" I continued, feeling desperate, adrenaline beginning to course through me. "The title insinuated something dirty, but that's not even what the story was about! You know that, right? It was a joke! And I only did one!"
"Actually, there was also that stupid rebuttal, the tourist story, and three snippets. But who's counting? Oh, yeah, that's right. I AM!" he bellowed as my mind feverishly, pointlessly searched for an escape plan. "Now, come with me, Mr. 'Benefits-from the-misfortune-of-others.' Wh..."
He cut short as I bolted toward the door. I had already known it was a lost cause.
I can't say that he lunged for me, because that wouldn't be right. It was more like, all of a sudden, he was just there in front of me, grabbing my arm. He had me in an instant. "Why did he even knock on the door?" flashed across my mind crazily as if from somewhere else, somewhere very far away. I felt my senses starting to become dull, mercifully deadening me to... God only knows what unimaginable horrors.
"On second thought," he continued, almost as if uninterrupted, "maybe I'll add a little, shall we say, suspense to the last days of the remaining heathen spoof writers. Yes, you're going to write one more story before we...
GOTCHA!! It was only a spoof!