Just One Night

"Shit, this weather is getting worse, I can barely see in front of me".

As usual, Satan was talking to himself.

He only had a few friends, and of those he did have, none would be stupid enough to accompany him on a late night drive in this weather.

The Dark One was returning from a business trip up north, where he had been closing a deal to acquire more souls. The meeting had gone well. He had purchased a dozen pure souls, and his client had thrown in a few wretched ones to seal the bargain. Yes, all had gone well until he had to make the return journey in this appalling weather.

"Oh do me a favour! What's wrong now?" Satan grimaced as his car spluttered and coughed, before slowly coming to a halt.

"That's all I fucking need. Now where's my bloody breakdown cover?"
Satan reached into his glove compartment and pulled out his crumpled certificate with the emergency number printed in big black type across the top. Flipping open his mobile phone, he gave another curse as he realised he had no signal. Trying anyway and getting the requisite "connection unavailable”, he let out a "Why Me?" at the top of his voice.

Looking through the rain splattered windows he could just make out the illuminated word "HOTEL" in red neon.

Satan pulled his jacket over his head before stepping out of the car into the raging storm. He proceeded to manoeuvre the car as best he could into the kerb until both his energy and interest sapped.

"Fuck it. Who cares?" were his parting words as he strode through the deep puddles on route to the hotel.

Making his way through the double doors into the reception area of the hotel he was a little put out to find that the desk was unmanned. Hitting the bell three times in quick succession he glared about him while waiting for someone to appear.

Minutes passed before he struck the bell again, this time with a ferociousness that would have sent a saint down to hell. The bell merely tinkled a faint and muffled "ding", before collapsing into molten metal.

Satan stared at the fist that had done the smiting and realised it was all aflame. "Oh fuck, this is getting to me; at this rate I will burn the place to ashes before I get a bed for the night".

He placated himself with a "Calm down old fellow, take it easy".

The door behind the desk opened and a grizzled old man appeared. With a smile that would have melted the heart of anyone but the prospective guest, the old man spoke cheerfully, "Good evening sir, what can I do for you on this dreadful night?"

"A room for one, with en-suite if you have it," Satan replied.

"Certainly sir, I have one room vacant on the sixth floor. Number sixty-six, would that suffice?"

Satan reached for the key with the 666 embossed prominently upon it and smiled. "Couldn't be better, home sweet home"

He told the clerk his car had broken down and that he would need it repaired and ready for the morning. He passed on the car keys, the breakdown certificate with the phone number and registration details, and asked the clerk if he could get it all arranged.

Satan added that there would be a decent tip if everything was 'tickety-boo' by the time he had finished breakfast the following day.

The smiling clerk told Satan that all would be ‘tickety-boo’ by morning, and assured him that everything would be taken care of. 

Going up in the elevator to the sixth floor the devil was slowly shaking off his bad mood. Still dripping wet of course, and if he had any spirits, they would also be pretty damp. Nevertheless, what the hell, he’d soon dry off.

Putting the key in the door, turning it, and then stepping into the room, Satan shrugged off his sodden clothes, hung them on the radiator and stepped into a steaming shower. "What the hell?" he repeated to himself. "Life ain't so bad".

Satan returned from the shower wrapped in the fluffy white gown, supplied free of charge by the hotel, and now he felt almost human. At least as human as any self respecting devil could feel.

After making himself a coffee from the facilities unit, he climbed into bed, dimmed the lights, and let himself drift into his favourite tormented sleep. Within moments he was blissfully dreaming of howling souls and burning red coals.

He awoke drowsily and knew at once that a drug had been administered to his normally all-powerful body. Finding his strength diminished and his powers non-existent, he could barely struggle with the bonds now holding him.

Satan quickly realised his arms and legs were stretched out to the four corners of the bed, all tied firmly to the bedposts. Surrounded by chanting figures, all but one masked, he immediately recognised the lone unmasked tormentor as that of the smiling front-desk clerk.

Satan's voice came out mumbled as there was a red kerchief rammed deeply into his mouth; but, even through the restriction, it was clear the words "fuck" and "hell" had been uttered."

As he writhed weakly on the bed pulling at his bonds the voice of the clerk came through the rhythmic chanting of the masked assailants.

"Hark oh Beelzebub, we pray to you Dark Lord; please accept this sacrifice as our pledge of unceasing devotion. Please accept the blood of this lowly human who we sacrifice in thy name and in this room dedicated to you, our eternal lord and master"

With these words the still smiling, the now near hysterical clerk plunged a dagger deep into Satan's black heart.

Roderick Blakeman
United Kingdom

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