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Lawyers in Hell snippet, May 20 2011

May 21, 2011

Satan was fuming, literally, when I was escorted into his office on the top floor of New Hell’s Hall of Injustice by Marilyn Monroe in a tight red knit dress.  Aside from the devil and his desk, the huge place was empty from corbeled, cobwebby rafters to filthy marble floor.  The whole office reeked of smoke.  Wisps of gray smoke curled upward from his big black leathery wings, his wide maw, and leaked between his glittering fangs.  His yellow eyes burned into whatever soul I have left, and hurt.

“Sire, this is William Safire, from the New Hell Times Sinday Magazine,” Marilyn breathed throatily.  “For your interview.”  She teetered on red patent leather heels with six-inch spikes toward the son of the morning.  “Here is the list of pre-approved questions, YSM.”

“That will be all, Marilyn,” said Satan in a cultured voice, taking the list between his diamond claws.  The list ignited as he held it, curling to char in his hand.

Marilyn brushed past me and swished her way out of the office as if I didn’t exist.  There was no chair for me.  I had to stand.  On my belt was my mini audio/video recorder; I tapped it.  Now we were recording video, against all the rules.  How few among the damned souls sent to hell had ever seen the notorious devil, up close and personal?  What I did, I did as a public service.

Mephistopheles sat on his desk, not behind it – looking at my crotch, it seemed.  His tail lashed.  He crossed powerful arms and said, “Safire.  I do like the name.  Just who were you, again?  Before you came here to my domain?”

“I was Richard Nixon’s speechwriter.  He was an American president, you might recall.  ‘Nattering nabobs of negativism’:  that was my work.  I wrote that line, sir – for Nixon’s vice president.  Later, of course, I was a columnist for the New York Times.  And now, for the New Hell Times….”

“‘Sire’, not ‘sir,’” said the devil.

“What does YSM stand for … Sire?”  It was difficult to call anyone ‘sire,’ but I have interviewed my share of kings and queens and self-styled tyrants.  And now, the most dastardly overlord of them all.

“‘Your Satanic Majesty.’  Can we get to your questions?  We have windows to replace in here today.”

HSM was using either the editorial ‘we,’ or the royal ‘we,’ I didn’t quite dare ask which one:  I might be the most famous etymologist of the twentieth century, but my interlocutor is the devil (from the Middle English devel, from Old English dēofol, an early Germanic borrowing from the Latin diabolus, in turn borrowed from Ancient Greek diábolos).  “Sire, I’ve heard those windows always need replacing….  Howard Hughes built this building from Frank Lloyd Wright’s design, correct?  My readers want to know details like that:  what your … life … is like.”

“Immaterial.  No unapproved questions.  Get on with it, Safire, or I’ll call in some demons to string you from my flagpole and eat your liver for a few hundred years.”

From ‘Interview with the Devil’ by Chris and Janet Morris, in Lawyers in Hell ((c) Janet Morris 2011, all rights reserved.)

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. janet morris permalink
    May 21, 2011 4:25 am

    It’s good to see Michael, Satan’s hellcat, is up to his old tricks in Lawyers in Hell…..BBBrrrrooww!

  2. May 21, 2011 1:23 pm

    Infernally priceless! HSM is my all time favorite character from the series.

  3. janet morris permalink
    May 27, 2011 7:17 pm

    Now you know I like this one: Marilyn, Satan, Michael…welcome back to hell. This time, they give a reporter his due….

  4. George Corcoran permalink
    May 28, 2011 12:41 pm

    Always thought Nixon’s press people had an in with HSM……and now we have proof 🙂

    Oh I can NOT wait to get more !

    As a SFF newsgroup member for quite a while, and a “snippett hound of long standing…….I’d give this an “AAAAAArrrrrrrrrrOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” and a half, if not more !

  5. janet morris permalink
    May 30, 2011 12:43 am

    George,
    What cockles we have left, you have warmed. I’d like to quote you when you said: “AAAAAArrrrrrrrrrOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” and a half, if not more !” Great cover copy! Thank you, Stepson. I think we must make you a Hellion, after this, as well…. So, what happens when one is dual-hatted to the underworld and to the most sacred of all bands of warfighters?

    • George Corcoran permalink
      May 30, 2011 2:52 am

      Feel free to quote me 🙂 I don’t charge much at all….just the occasional snippett snack or three !

      As to becoming a Hellion, as well as a Sacred Bander ????? Hmmmm I’d say by the time the rest of the band comes to the rescue, YSM will gladly let any and all SB’s go lol!

      He may be YSM, and “Lord” of Hell……but there are powers even he would not want to take on.

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