Soul’d Out – by Phil Johnson – www.RoadsideAttraction.com
I was sitting having coffee with the Devil the other day. It was coffee because he doesn’t drink anymore. Or smoke. He’s trying to lose a few pounds around his middle. And he’s been known to show up at the spinning classes at Hell’s Gym. But he doesn’t really like it because it’s just such a meat market.
So anyway, we’re sitting and talking about my career over lattés. I’m explaining to him that I’m working hard, but fame has eluded me. I’d decided I’m ready to engage his services. I’d seen his work with others and figured he’s the man for the job. To make me famous.
He set his coffee down, but not before snaking a bit of foam off the rim with his forked tongue. They he says “Ok, if you want to do this we’ll have to do a contract. I’ve been screwed too many times to work on handshake deals anymore. It’s a boilerplate thing, nothing complicated.”
It was another routine call for Steve. Just another clogged drain. The disposal had stopped working. He was the man for the job of course. Best plumber in the area. He’d even won awards from the local press in those “Best of Springville” things.
Of course, nobody knew the real purpose of his job. And they never would. The government makes sure of that. But that doesn’t change his drive to do his job well. One doesn’t often think about a plumber enforcing a vendetta with his job, but it’s more common than you might think. Terrorized and deceased family members have driven more than one young man into service for vengeance and a goal to keep the rest of the world safe.
Sometimes I feel just like a gerbil, running around and around on his wheel. It just never stops, does it? here I am sitting down to have a steamy bowl of jambalaya and the damn phone rings again. "Hello?" I say. "Alright yeah, I'll be there in 15 minutes. No, she's been possessed this long. 15 more minutes won't change anything. Just keep her from jamming a crucifix in any orifices. She can do permanent damage that way."