The Greatest Trick The Devil Ever Pulled 2

by The Writer

No More Mr. Nice Guy?

The gates of hell don’t open until 9:30, but ‘being in service’, I’m obligated to be there early to ensure maximum productivity. Ironically it was exceedingly hot on this particular day because the temperature control device had malfunctioned, making inside hotter than outside. Water and sugary treats were served to keep up the waning level of employee morale.  Preparing for the onslaught of visitors that were on their way, I was trapped in my own depressing haze. While using the restroom, I caught my gloomy façade in the mirror. Forcing the corners of my mouth into a rehearsed smile, I took notice of the faded sparkle in my eyes. And it was at that moment, when I was at my weakest, The Devil arrived.

The Devil: Doesn’t it seem wrong when a day is considered ‘good’ when you’ve masked your pain behind a smile to engage others, even if you don’t feel like it?

Me: Yeah… I suppose.

The Devil: I know you’ve compromised yourself to be here, and I can see how hard you’ve toiled without reprieve. You’ve made a lot of sacrifices, but still haven’t got what you desired most.

I should’ve known better to allow him to continue, but admittedly it was nice to have someone to talk to before all hell broke loose.

The Devil: You’ve tried everything you could think of to achieve a successful writing career and I can see the fatigue in your eyes, and the tiredness in your stance. You need help. It pains me to see you suffer without help for so long.

I’m ashamed to admit I felt understood. When I prayed to God, The Devil was listening too, and it was then I remembered that The Devil only tempts you with things you are passionate about.

The Devil: With my help you will achieve everything you’ve ever desired and more. And you will achieve it sooner than later. Give me your grief, impatience and frustrations and I will turn them into joys beyond your imagination.

Me: In exchange for my soul, right?

With a grin, The Devil shook his head, no.

The Devil: You don’t understand the soul, and yet you are convinced that is what I want?

He was right.  I didn’t understand the workings of my own soul, but somehow I got the idea that was what the Devil was after.  At this point I figured it was pretty worthless anyway.  But I had forgotten that The Devil and God have always wanted the same thing (my happiness), but they just have different ways of getting it.

Me: What do you want in exchange?

The Devil: Nothing.

Being at my weakest, I believed I had nothing to lose, and only the world to gain, but the deal sounded too good to be true.  And it wasn’t until I realized how he was going to get me the things I most desired, did I politely decline.  The Devil would have repeatedly used every sin in the book to get me what I wanted, and I knew if that is the type of energy used, in time it would only manifest into something bigger and much worse.

Angry with my decision, The Devil lingered about to make sure the rest of the day challenged the virtues I had chosen to abide by, hoping I would break and beg for his favour.  Trying to ignore him failed, so I flashed my rehearsed smile and pressed on until he got the hint and left.  But the last thing he said to me was…

The Devil: I hope you enjoy the journey, and you don’t cry when you finish last.

I know he’s already planning his return…