Two men sat in front of each other, separated only by a coffee table in an old-fashioned living room. Gerald, an old frail guy, wore a double-breasted suit and a flat cap, sat on an old rocking chair, smoking his pipe.
Lou, the young, hearty man dressed in a black suit, grey vest, and red blood tie, was sitting on a brown leather sofa, fidgeting his fingers. On the table was a little wooden box with purple light seeping out.
So, what’s the procedure? Gerald lit up his pipe and grinned.
What Procedure? Lou tilted his head, his fidgeting stopped.
Don’t play with me… Prince of the damned, master of the pit, Lou! I know who you are… And I assume you’re coming for my soul.
Lou smiled, his teeth were showing. I am sorry to disappoint you, Colonel Gerald, I am not here for your soul. That would be Grim’s Job. You know, the reaper?
Gerald lost his smile and sighed. So I still have to wait… He smoked his pipe.
Well… Most people would be excited to know that they are not going to die.
I’m 97, skipper… what’s more to live? So why are you here then… Lou?
Lou pointed to the box. That… Is my business
The box? why?
It is called Plouton. It’s the source of all fire in Inferno. It’s quite a vital gem because you see… hell needs fire. So I need in back.
That would be a negative.
Sir, you have been holding it for four months. There is no fire in hell for four months. I feel like I’m… running a waterpark without water, an oil rig without oil, forest fire without… forest, doomsday without the doomed… You get what I mean!
That is your problem, skipper. Not mine. Still can’t give it to you.
Lou growled, his fangs were showing. How ‘bout I can purchase it then… Hmm? Name your price.
It’s not for sale.
Who am I kidding… you don’t have to name a price, of course, I can give all the riches in the world, you’ll never have to work again! You, your children, grandchildren, and 4 generations after… How’s that sound… It’s a steal deal!
It’s not. for. sale.
Oh, come on. Why not?
It’s important for me.
More important than your strength? How about I give it back to you? All of it even more! Like when you were in charge, Colonel! As a bonus, I’ll give you any girl that you like! That blonde pop star? Or that redhead from the movie “na.. na… world”?
Well… How about my wife… I’d like another night with her.
Aah! Why didn’t you start with that! Okay… let me… Wait… Holy lord…
Lou raised his brow, gave him a flat face. Your wife is not on earth anymore. He then pulled a piece of scroll out of thin air and skimmed through. And she is… wow… perfect… she’s way up on the top floor of paradise I can only see her toes.
She’s in heaven? Thank god! Then take me to her! You can have this if you want.
Like I said… I cannot take anyone's soul. Grim is going destroy half of my kingdom if I do that again. Besides, after your death, you are going to spend quite some time with me before you can even smell paradise. Lou pulled another scroll and read through it. For a man like you get a woman like her… that’s a mystery even to me.
She’s awesome, isn’t she? Gerald’s smile back. She liked to fix broken things, that’s why she’s with me.
After hours of negotiation, hundreds of offers, and hundreds of rejections. Lou is slowly losing his temper. He ran out of things to offer. He ran out of things to say. He grew silent, and Gerald is still unmoved.
It's ironic, isn’t it? Gerald made his final tease. He knows these final words will push the devil off the edge. You are naturally designed to persuade my kind to do evil things. Now I am being evil by not giving this back to you. You’re just battling yourself, pretty boy.
YOU. YOU! I know your game. I know your game from the start but I won’t give it to you. Lou grabbed the sofa trying to contain his anger. His claws were showing.
You won’t kill me. Gerald smiled.
I CAN.NOT. KILL YOU!!! Lou growled and hissed, his voice was barely clear. If I could I would.
I’m curious… Why didn’t you just take it? You’re practically a god.
That box was given to you as a gift. Taking and giving are heaven’s work. I don’t do heaven’s work. I am a fucking prince of fire.
I guess you just have to wait until I die…
Lou screamed and jumped at the old man. But he refrained from giving him even a scratch. Such a hard-headed old fart!!! He sighed and paused. But you are right. I will be waiting for you in hell… You will deliver my Plouton, personally.
Lou left the room. He burst into flame and burnt part of the sofar.
Gerald took the box, put it in his palm as he was saying to himself. There’s no way I’m letting you go, dear…
He opened the box. On top of the glowing stone, a little note said “Happy 97th Birthday my dear husband”.