The Devil’s Barista

Matthew Donnellon

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

*A work of Fiction

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I was setting up for work, pulling on a hooded sweatshirt. You’d think it would be hotter down here, but no, his majesty likes it cold.

I still can’t believe we have to go to work here. I figured that after death, no matter if you went up or down, you’d at least not have to pull a 9 to 5 anymore. Though I guess this is supposed to be torture

I was putting out our custom cups. My boss thinks it’s hilarious to have a mock Starbucks down here. Instead of the mermaid, there’s a small devil caricature. It caused my boss no small mount of amusement. He claimed he was worried about copyright infringement.

I was pouring his morning coffee, when he walked up.

“Good morning,” he said. As he always did, he pulled one of the high top chairs over to the counter. He casually looked over the schedule for the day. For an all powerful being, he seemed to avoid technology. He preferred paper to computers.

He chuckled to himself, “I’m in the hipster room today.”

“The hipster room?” I asked.

Lucifer looked up from his paper. He didn’t look at all like what I thought. I was expecting horns and hooves, but his business casual dress and close cropped hair made him look like a Silicone Valley executive.

“Yes, the hipster room. It’s where we keep the hipsters. We make them wear non horn rimmed glasses and listen to Taylor Swift. It’s really great. Do you want to watch?”

“All the hipsters are down here?”

“Have you met one? Yes.”

I was wiping the counters watching Lucifer sip his coffee when a man was carried past us, screaming.

“What’s his deal?”

“Oh that’s a good one. I put him in one of the scenario rooms. Then I gave him super powers. But every time he tries to save someone he loves he comes up short. Every single time. Eventually it drives him mad. Then we put him in a different scenario. Works great. I like to tailor it specifically to the person. You know, give it a personal touch.”

“So is that why I’m a barista?”

For a moment, the devil looked hurt.

“Do you think this is torture?”

“I mean it’s not great. I figured that’s why you brought me down here. To make me spend an eternity doing the thing I hated.”

He laughed, “I think it’s funny you think I decide who comes down here.”

“You don’t?”

“No. You do. I just get to do what I want with them. So I get to play with the really bad ones.”

“So I wasn’t one of the bad ones?”

“Oh you were awful. I mean you didn’t kill anyone but you weren’t a saint. Not that they were always boy scouts. You kinda sucked. But I saw you managed a Starbucks. I thought it would be cool to have my own barista.”

“I see.”

For a moment, the nice guy facade fell. He looked stern, and his eyes glowed just so. “But make no mistake. I could drop in a pit for a thousand years or throw you in the lake of fire. That’s not a metaphor. There’s a real lake of fire. Am I understood?”

“Yes sir,” I gulped.

He finished his coffee, “You’re lucky you make such good coffee or I’d toss you in the Nickelback room until your brain melts.” He continued “But, I don’t want this to ruin our relationship.”

“Okay.”

“I want my employees to be happy. Well, happy…ish. So if there is something I could do, just ask. Remember, God may not be listening but the Devil may care.”

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Matthew Donnellon is a writer, artist, and sit down comedian. He is the author of The Curious Case of Emma Lee and Other Stories

Detroit, MI
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