The Devil’s Elevator

Matthew Donnellon

Photo by andrew welch on Unsplash

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The rickety elevator squeaked and moaned to a stop. The doors opened to a dimly lit alley that between two buildings filled with characters you wouldn’t want to run into on a dark night. Or any time of the day really. It was a place best walked by in a hurried manner and then avoided on the way back.

The elevator operator checked his watch. His boss would be here any minute. He always tried to arrive early. His boss was a punctual man, and the operator knew the punishment for tardiness tended to be extreme. He thought of checking his phone, but his boss hated seeing his employees on them, and he did not wish to incur his wrath. He'd lucked into one of the better jobs and did not wish to rock the boat,

The elevator operator was checking his watch when a man with close cropped dark hair walked up humming “Sympathy For The Devil.” He walked and typed on his smart phone, entering the elevator wordlessly.

“Going down?” the operator asked. He gulped wondering what kind of ride this would be. Most of the time his boss wasn't in a good mood after going topside as it usually having to deal with his rather complicated family drama,

“Look, I’ve had a long day. Make that joke again and you’ll spend an eternity reading Youtube comments.”

They rode silently for a few minutes.

“Sooooo, long day?” he tried again.

The devil glowered at him, but removed his glasses and rubbed the bridge of his nose, “Yes.”

“How come?”

“I just came from a meeting with my dad.”

“Ohhhhh.”

“Yeah.”

“Been there.”

“You led a rebellion against your father and threatened to end all creation too?”

“No, uhhhh, I just meant like we didn’t get along.”

“Oh.”

“Can I ask a question?”

“You just did but whatever let’s hear it,” the Devil said.

“Why do you have an elevator?”

“You’re not the smartest little cretin are you? It’s to get to the Underworld. My father put it there. It’s the only way I can go topside.”

“You can’t just fly up here? You have wings don’t you?”

“I’ve never tried,” the Devil, “I never really thought about it. I just assumed that this was the only passage, besides well you know the one Death takes. And I suppose it keeps peasants like you busy.”

“Do you think it’s a manifestation of your guilt. Like each time you step in you can contemplate that you’re being sentenced to the Underworld all over again?”

“That’s a little heavy handed don’t you think?”

“Your father’s not exactly subtle.”

“Well, I can’t argue there.”

“I’m just surprised you never tried.”

“And why is that?”

“Well, it’s just not very on brand for you.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“I was at your Dedtalk at HellCon last year. Do you remember what you told us, when you were pumping the demons up who were about to set out to Earth for the first time”

“I didn’t get to Hell by following the rules,” the Devil said.

“Right.”

The Devil thought silently a moment.

“Maybe it’s time they remember who I am. I think it’s time Lucifer walked the Earth more often. I’ve got to give Michael something to do anyway. Otherwise he’ll just spend all day on his throne being pompous. Thank you Kevin. You’ve reminded me of what I’m meant to do.”

“It’s Kyle," the operator said sheepishly.

“Whatever. Speed this up. I’ve got an army to raise.”

“Does this mean I’m getting a promotion?”

“No. Now stop talking.”

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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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