The Trade


As the doors to his personal elevator silently slid closed behind him, God turned and pushed the one and only call button. It was made of thick brass and deeply embossed, in flaming red font, with the letter ‘H’. The elevator hummed as it began its rapid 20-minute decent to the core of the earth.

The time had come for God’s annual evening in hell with his twin brother, Satan. They had made it a tradition, since the dawn of Mankind, to meet for The Trade whereby God would select one living person who had been tagged for hell to come instead to heaven whenever he or she died. Similarly, Satan would pick a still-living do-gooder to spend all of eternity in hell, rather than heaven, upon death. They would typically haggle over the candidates before spending the night out on the streets of Satan’s sprawling, vice-drenched kingdom. God was, of course, aware that this was all very evil but he allowed himself just this one night a year to indulge in his brother’s wicked ways.

God [sweeping out from the elevator, his long white robes flowing behind him, and into his brother’s opulent, air conditioned den]: Dear God, that infernal elevator is hotter than hell!!!

Satan [laughing heartily and embracing his sweating brother]: Not quite, dear brother! And you shouldn’t take your own name in vain like that! Ha! Ha! Ha! Come sit down and take a load off. Don’t mind the dogs – they’ve been chasing around Vlad Ţepeş all afternoon and are wiped out. Drink?

God [collapsing into a plush black leather arm chair]: Oooooo, 18-year-old Macallan! Yes, please – and make it a double. Not a Goddamn drop of alcohol in that cursed ambrosia I’m suffered to drink all day.

Satan [with a mischievous wink, as he poured the rich amber scotch into an enormous cut-glass tumbler]: I’d be delighted to prepare you a fruit drink, instead, if you’d prefer.

God: Oh, fuck you.

Satan [passing the glass to his brother through slinky long fingers]: That’s the spirit! Cheers! How are you doing up there?

God [clinking tumblers and drinking deeply]: Cheers. Bah – same shit, different day. I swear it’s only a matter of time before I break a harpsichord over someone’s head. It’s incessant, I tell you. That Mozart is especially beginning to get on my nerves.

Satan [dryly]: I think eternal is le mot juste, dear brother. I have to admit, though, gangsta rap and heavy metal music can also fray the nerves after awhile…

God [bitterly]: And do you know just how hard it is to refrain from getting laid? Well no, of course you don’t. For example, my secretary –

Satan [ruefully and plucking at his Anderson & Sheppard suit]: Oh man, she’s hot!

God: Tell me about it! Drop-dead gorgeous! Died a virgin at the age of 18 and offers to blow me virtually every day, bless her! But I can’t because that would be bad. I mean, what’s so bad about a harmless little blowjob?! What jackass wrote the rules on this stuff, I ask you?!

Satan: God only knows…

God: That’s the whole problem. I don’t know! Son-of-a-bitch!

Satan: Speaking of which, how’s Mom anyway?

God: What?

Satan: How’s Mom. You know, our mother?!

God: I… I… thought she was down here with you!

Satan: Dear, God!

God: Yes?

Satan: No, not you! I thought Mom was up there with you?!

God: What?! I haven’t seen her in aeons! Wow, this is quite embarrassing…

Satan: Okay, I guess we better put ‘Find Mom’ at the top of our ‘To do’ lists.

God: Agreed. Anyway, how are you doing? What did you decide to do with bin Laden in the end?

Satan [rubbing his hands together]: Ah-hah! It took me awhile but I decided to manacle him forevermore to Jerry Falwell. It’s a deliciously evil match made in hell!

God [laughing]: That’s so awesome! See, this is why you got the sweet job and I got the shit end of the stick – you are so much more creative than I am.

Satan: Well, this is why we have The Trade – so you can have some half-decent company up there in that God forsaken place. Shall we get that business out of the way now so we can hit the town? I’ve got some incredible skanks lined up for you.

God [in anticipation]: Yes! Let’s do it. Who do you want?

Satan [without hesitation]: Warren Buffet.

God [protesting]: Oh, come on now – he’s such a good man.

Satan: I know, I know – but my finances are a disaster. There are only so many illegal offshore accounts even I can hold, you know. I need him.

God: He won’t agree to helping you with anything illegal – you know that, right?

Satan: Ha! When I tell him how compound interest works in hell, I’ll have him eating out of my hand.

God [reluctantly]: Well, alright then – but only if I get that Programme Assistant who works at the CBD in Montreal.

Satan [protesting]: Oh, come on now – he’s raising all kinds of hell at that place.

God: I know, I know – but I’ve got a throng of interns to deal with and I can’t be bothered.

Satan: He’ll corrupt every last one of them – you know that, right?

God: Ha! When I tell him he can have unlimited beer for eternity, I’ll have him eating out of my hand.

Satan: [reluctantly and shaking God’s hand]: Well, alright then. Deal! Man, that’s got to be a record fast negotiation, my brother. You must be really dying for some night life!

God: Your mention of skanks seduced me, you devil.

Satan [leading God to the door by the arm]: Ha! Ha! Ha! Imagine the things I’m going to do to Sarah Palin when she dies…

God [sighing deeply]: Like I said, you are the creative one, my brother. That’s why you get all the perks…

*

About Requiem for the Damned

Ask the aliens
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