Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Half in the Bag
Lord Belphegor, Jasfoup’s immediate supervisor, frowned at the young demon bent on one knee before his bone desk. Since his desk was a little on the large size, he had to raise himself on four of his legs in order to see over the far side.
“How is your special project coming along?” he said.
“Oh, it’s in the bag, sir.” Jasfoup looked up into the two eyestalks that regarded him. “Well, half in the bag. He’s committed enough sins to be burning in the midnight oil for eternity minus one.”
Belphegor grew another hand with which to scratch his chin. “Eternity minus one? I don’t quite follow.”
“It’s charity, sir. Despite Harold’s avarice, gluttony, lust, pride, sloth and envy, he still does nice things for people.”
“I see.” Belphegor sat and left Jasfoup’s line of sight. All the minor demon could hear for several minutes was the scratching of a quill. The writing stopped and he bade Jasfoup rise. “Here is a letter,” he said. “Deliver it to Mr. Screwtape. Let’s see if a series of mean spirited people cause Mr. Waterman to rethink his charitable demeanour.
“Yes sir.” Jasfoup backed out of the cavern, travelling to his small house on the rim of Circle Six with almost indecent haste. A steaming kettle helped him prise the seal from the parchment and he read it quickly, his lips moving as he translated the Tongue of the Abyss into English. Selecting a number three quill and altering his hand to a claw, the better to reproduce Lord Belphegor’s crabby handwriting.
Dear Mr. Screwtape…