You don’t have to be religious to know that the devil exists, for I have met him. He’s not a serpent, nor does he take it’s form but be warned: once he manifests within the confines of your mind, his twisted procedure to beleaguer your heart starts.
When I sat with the devil at the roundtable, I asked him flatly: ‘Aren’t you able to get what you desire via hellfire and brimstone?’ He laughed, replying: ‘You shouldn’t believe everything within that tome you own.’
At that moment, a fear I’ve never known infected my very soul. Not a searing heat, but an almighty cold spread over me. A wry smile appeared on the devils rubicund visage: ‘Envisage, if you will, a life comprised of eternal suffering beyond the descriptions of the pathetic literature you’ve been given. That is what I intend to usher in and there isn’t a mortal being that can outmuscle me.’
My laugh caught him by surprise: ‘That, sir, does not scare me.’ Silent rage billowing behind my adversary’s eyes, he countered: ‘You dare to offend me?’ ‘I dare to defy you, yes; my guess is that challenging you is akin to offensive nature.’
‘I dare to challenge your self-imposed authority because honestly, your appetite for destruction is just like everyone else; that alone is monotonous, predictable, and cumbersome. Go ahead and take offense but I reserve the right to remain unimpressed.’
Still, I sit across from the devil, watching him brood; his face a mural of the frustration wreaking havoc inside. Gazing into the abyss of his dilated corneas, the quiet war between us came to an abrupt end. ‘Your petulance will be your downfall,’ the devil exclaimed with unbridled malice.
Free from panic, I responded: ‘There is no pain, no suffering, no misery you can institute that would dilute my optimism. If that’s all you have to sell, then you should step inside my own private Hell. The suffering I’ve been through already felt like an eternity, so the one you’re on about is merely pittance.’
‘Because the devil within my private Hell would annihilate you from existence.’
…and at that precise moment, not even Harry Houdini himself could vanish from plain sight faster than he; even the devil secretly knows that the hell I’ve been liberated from is everything his aspires to be.
(picture by Elton Fernandes)