Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: HUNGRY (01/09/20)
TITLE: Stuck In a Dead End Job
By Art Westefeld
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"You?" he snorted. "You're a peon demon, hardly worth using in Lucifer's cleaning staff, and you are already trying to tempt people above your station. Just stay content, and perhaps, someday, the Boss might give you an island to corrupt.
It wasn't what I wanted to hear. I can make people go astray with the best of them. I'm not, nor should I be, limited to harassing humans with sins like pornography and petty theft. I crave upward mobility, perhaps even to work with Lucifer himself.
I conferred with others of low rank, encouraging mutiny. We wouldn't be going as far as he did. He wanted to overthrow God. We just hungered for power and respect.
We amassed our forces and stormed Lucifer's throne room. He looked down on us with scorn. "What do you want?"
"We want in on the big action."
"You think you can handle the rulership of Gehenna? You little punks couldn't even handle a day doing what we do." He waved an arm to encompass the major demons who were at his feet. "If I let you fools run things, this place would go to heaven quickly."
He paused and gazed at our group thoughtfully. "However, we could use a break. The council will give you each a seat, and we'll see how long you survive before calling us back in to do the job of opposing God. But this arrangement will only last a week."
My evil heart leapt in excitement, as Lucifer chose me to warm his throne. "You started this, so you get to try being the Accuser of mankind."
As I mounted the dais, I felt a Presence summoning me, and instantly I was in a place I hadn't seen since I joined Lucifer in rebelling thousands of years ago. I was standing before God, who said, "Heard you're covering for Lucifer while he's taking a hiatus. In any event I hope you came prepared to face My Son."
I assured Him that I was. Then I heard a still, small voice. "I guess, Little Tempter, you do realize you are going against Me and the Son? Hope you're really ready for it."
The first case was a preacher who overcame a drinking problem when he converted to Christianity. I knew him well. One of my friends regularly complained about the white mark he received on his record after losing that one. No surprise, I lost that case because the Son pulled out His oldest trick against me, salvation through the blood of Jesus. He had an airtight case, and I couldn't fight it. Same thing with the next couple dozen that stood before the Throne. I had to wait for hours before I got one win, a man who didn't accept Jesus as God's Son, and I quickly raced back home to place him in torment.
I swung by the council chamber to see how my confederates were doing. They looked really miserable as they poured over mounds of paperwork and schedules, trying to deal with the humans. Before I could say an encouraging word to them, I was summoned back to Heaven. There had been a small backlog of people awaiting their judgement from God, while I took the unrepentant man below. I asked God, "Is this what Lucifer does all day, losing to the power team over there?"
God responded, Yes, for when people place their hope in My Son for Salvation, then your boss can't take them. Unless we get a glut of unbelievers dying at once, this is a fairly normal day."
I threw my head back and shouted, "This isn't as much fun as I thought, Lucifer. Come back. I can't take it anymore!"
Much to my surprise, Lucifer appeared quickly and sneered at me. "Go home, Little Tempter. I trust your hunger for power has been satisfied. Thanks to your incompetence, I have to cut short my vacation, the first one I've had in thousands of years, because you "can't take it." Good thing I didn't go too far, and could return to take back over."
As I returned to Gehenna, I realized I may be stuck in a dead end job, but at least it's not as frustrating as losing to God constantly like Lucifer does. I no longer have a taste for that much responsibility.
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