The air was boiling hot then suddenly freezing cold in the few seconds I closed my eyes.
I found myself sitting in a diner across from the Devils child. A stack of pancakes sat in front of each of us.
“Where are we?” I stared around and noticed the place was silent. So silent. No one dared move. From the other patrons to the server pouring coffee into a overflowing cup.
“I can never have enough syrup on my cakes.” He didn’t look up to even answer.
“Fine. Why are we here? Why am I here!?”
He didn’t cover his mouth as he coughed a patch of blood onto his pancakes. It didn’t stop him cutting up and take a big bite. “To discuss a change in tactics.”
“To what?” I shrugged.
“To your type of people. The Agnostic, Athiest, the undecided voter! You guys have ruined my game by not playing. Heck, even the new Pope made the call that Athiests can get into heaven.”
“I wouldn’t know.”
“So,” he pushed the plate forward having devoured the pancakes. He pointed at my plate with a raised eyebrow. I shook my head and he started working on my plate. “You guys get to win because you have no expectations. I worked really hard on rules that nobody can live up to.”
“You made the rules?”
“I didn’t write them down for you, no. I did set things up for believers to fail. You guys looked at the world you lived in and just… took it!”
“Skeptic thinking is just a way to understand how the universe works. People living by rules of a religion… made no sense to me.”
“And a growing number think so too.”
“So the monopoly of irrational thinking is over. The fact I’m arguing with a hallucination won’t change that.”
“I’m certain I will wake up in a hospital any moment.”
“Or a shallow grave.” he said with a wicked smile.
“So you’re upset that even having pancakes with the devil won’t make me play the game?”
“I can’t really do that with everyone can I. So here’s my plan, I’m quitting.”
“How do you do that? Won’t He get upset you’re not doing your job?”
“Except for a few brimstones he doesn’t get ‘mad’ at anyone. No I have decided that God can have the lot of you.”
“Nah. Imagine if the worst people came to your party? You can’t really have heaven with the suicide bomber who killed you.”
“What does this mean for me. I know I don’t need to care, even if true, until I’m dead or dying.”
“I know, I know. The last thing I’m doing is giving you a job.”
“I don’t want it.” I insisted.
“Hold up. You choose.”
He was clearly waiting to make a dramatic point. I bit. “Choose what?”
“Who gets in.”
I had to sigh at that one. “You get those rejected for paradise. How’s that quitting?”
“They are just gone, not mine. You get what you wanted.”
“I don’t want any of this.”
His laughing became more struggled. A cough of blood landed on my face. I quickly rubbed it off. “Sure it is. You already felt it was logical to just disappear after you die. I’m making you choose to make it happen.”
“God is ok with this?”
“Funny enough ya. Something about logic being the new organized religion. Also it falls into my domain. So since I’ve given my domain to man.” He pointed at me firmly “this man.”
I suddenly felt warm and sweaty. Then I knew “I choose to let you in.”
“Excuse me. He said I was out.”
“He is ok with me choosing. I also choose nobody else can get in.”
“Why? Don’t you want a life after this?” He almost seemed upset by this break in his plan.
“No. I think you guys deserve each other. Besides if I just decide nobody else can get in, us wee humans might try to be truly good and make a difference during the time we have.”
A cough hard enough to rip a hole in his neck halted his response for a moment. His response leaked out the new bleeding gash.
“Deserve each other? I knew I would lose when I rebelled the first time. You humans will fail to do great things.”
“It won’t matter what you think. You’re dying aren’t you?”
“Ya. Only way to have this chat with you and give up my charge. These pancakes were to die for. I gotta say that look forward to humans continuing failure to entertain me from heaven.” He cringed heavily on the word before falling over onto his plate.
The last breath left him and the cafe came to life. The server apologized for the overfilled coffee and other continued their eating not noticing anything weird had happened.
I awoke at home. No sulphur or burning blood in my room. I knew I would wake up and none of that had happened.
Part of me knew that even if it happened that us wee humans might finally reach the age of logic and reason. Our final destination notwithstanding.