Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: ENTERTAIN (04/27/17)
- TITLE: Why the Demon Was So Amused
By Art Westefeld
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Some demons, those with a wicked sense of humor, entertained themselves by taunting lost souls with Bible quotes as they were processed in to damnation. One such demon, Nagirte, happened to 'welcome' three tattered Muslim men smelling of sulfur and brimstone. Amused at the irony, Nagirte chuckled. This made his scorched scaled face uglier than it was when he was scowling, his normal way of dealing with his world.
His face stretched in a shark-toothed smile, which showed a mouthful of sharp uneven fangs, he greeted the men staggering towards him. "Step right up, boys! Let me see... yes, you want the seventy-two virgins package, right?" At this point he laughed even louder, adding even more smoke to the air than what wafted from the souls in front of him.
The tallest one's eyes darted around. "This does not look like Paradise."
"No kidding, genius!" Nagirte scoffed. "So, suicide bombers. Odd, we usually get you guys one at a time. No matter.
"So, what's your name, and how did you end up missing out on 'Salvation'?"
"I am Mohammed, and all real Muslims know that since the Qu'ran came after the Bible, the Qu'ran is the better, more recent truth from Allah."
Nagirte rolled his fiery eyes. "Do you realize just how many times I hear that from your types? Father Below, whatever makes you think the Enemy Above would change His mind? Paul told everybody the truth." In a sing-song voice he continued, "'Even if an angel of the LORD were to preach another Gospel, let him be accursed'. Paul was such a tattletale."
Claws pulled Mohammed past Nagirte, down to Gehenna.
The next one tried to look fearlessly at Nagirte, but Nagirte could see the fear in his eyes. In a bored tone he said, "Name and excuse."
The man looked at the demon and responded, "My name is Hussein. And what do you mean 'excuse?' Are there not many paths to Allah? I know that the Jews and Christians..."
"Silence!" Nagirte roared. "I hear that a thousand times a day, easy." His scaly arms and wings flared out in a mockery of a fire and brimstone preacher as he intoned, "'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by Me'. Foolish mortal."
As he reached for a goblet of sulfurous lava to cleanse the taste from his mouth after quoting Christ, another set of talons dragged Hussein beyond him. Hussein's screams were sweet music to Nagirte, and he wasn't worried that he'd have a hard time getting that song out of his mind any time soon.
The last of the trio shuffled to Nagirte, and the demon noticed something about him that he was shocked he'd missed on the last two. This wretch had evidence of a bomb blast on him, whereas the other two only had wounds from being near the blast. A deviation in procedure wouldn't hurt, Nagirte decided.
"So, What's-your-name, you blew yourself up. Why did your friends stand so close?"
"My name is Rashid, and I was planning to ensure my place in Paradise..."
"Yeah, I got that part. Get to the good stuff!"
"Well, they drove me to the infidel church, and I thought I set the timer for three minutes, but it went off in three seconds."
Nagirte howled with laughter, smoke bellowing from his mouth and nose. "Premature detonation. Got it." And he laughed some more.
Finally getting himself under control, the demon wheezed, "Usually I tell people how they missed out on Salvation, like reminding them of John 3:16." Nagirte paused while he coughed and drank again.
"In your case, Rashid, you get one from Proverbs as a bonus." Drawing himself to his full height, Nagirte shouted, "'I also will laugh at your trouble...'."
As the claws pulled the skeletal idiot past his station, Nagirte paused for a moment before resuming his work. He may have eternal punishment as his final reward, but at least the wait wasn't exactly boring as long as people ignored the Enemy Above.
Glaring at the queue he barked, "Next!"
Scripture references are from Galatians 1:8, John 14:6, and Prov. 1:26.
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