Song: “We Are” by Ana Johnsson from Spider-Man 2 Soundtrack
(Picture from http://www.flickr.com/photos/pottlukk)
Natalie pushed the front door open with her foot, arms filled with her computer satchel and purse, small cardboard container of orange juice caught tightly between her front teeth. Struggling to keep all the proverbial balls in the air, she hissed out between her pursed lips
and nearly took a tumble down the aging concrete stairwell.
“Whoa, careful there girlie,” a voice emanated from across the road.
Natalie glanced up as she spread her stuff on the sidewalk and began to rearrange things a better more to her liking. She was unsurprised to see Satan sitting on his stoop, laptop open in front of him.
“Morning Satan. What’s going on?” she sighed.
Satan had come to the neighborhood about a month after Natalie and proved to be a bit of disappointment, as incarnations of ultimate evil go. He was friendly, kept up the lot around his building, and threw cookouts every month or so on the roof. They featured all manner of tasty food, even veggie burgers for the vegetarians. He rarely discussed his work and when he did it was always just in passing, like, “I remember the first time I met Stalin. Dreadful fellow…virtually no sense of humor and that mustache was not nearly as impressive as he seemed to think.” All and all, he was actually a pretty decent neighbor.
That said, his invitations to commit various acts of debauchery, cruelty, or horror did get tireseome.
“Eh, not much,” he reported, “Just stealing wi-fi from Mrs. Robbins. To download porn. Wanna watch?”
“No thanks,” Natalie responded, unable to suppress a smirk at his casualness.
“You sure?” Satan followed up, spinning the screen towards her. “Some of it is quite classy.”
A beat passed before he added, “Honestly though, most of it is not. People don’t actually want class in their porn, do they?”
She opened her orange juice and took a long slurp while pondering the question. “I couldn’t say, Saits. I suppose some do…different strokes and all that. Anyway, regardless of what you’ve got there, I’ve got to same no. I don’t think my boyfriend would be such a fan of me watching adult films with the Prince of Lies.”
“Come on now,” he waved off the objection. “Commitment is an out-dated, bourgeois concept, haven’t you heard? Nobody really belongs to anybody anymore. Free your mind Natalie…free your mind.”
“I’m not sure the facts are on your side there, but it doesn’t matter. I’m saying no.”
“Alright, fine. Fine! How about we just go burn down the elementary school on the corner then?”
“What? It’s Saturday. The place is empty. You won’t be responsible for anything. If anything, you’ll be a hero to third graders everywhere. Maybe you’ll get a statue.”
“I’m not burning down a school.”
As he opened his mouth to reply, Natalie hastened to add,
“I’m not burning down anything, ok?” I have to go to yoga and then the library.”
“I can just get you a copy of that term paper if you want. An “A”, different college, not on line, no chance of your professor finding out. So after yoga, we can get right to burning stuff.”
“I’m not going to cheat. And even if I were, I’m still not going to burn stuff.”
Satan shrugged with a slight pout and muttered to himself, “Try to show people a good time…”
Natalie finally got her bags across her shoulders in a way that worked for her and began to walk down the street. After a few steps, she paused and turned back to the devil now diligently returning to his porn.
“You ever going to call Sophie back? She said she had a good time.”
“Nah,” he replied without looking up, “She’s nice but she’s not really my type.”
“Oh? Not pretty enough?”
“Sophie’s plenty pretty. But, you know, big God fan. Which is fine. I’m an adult, I get it. He’s the Almighty and all that. Just, in my experience, big God ladies and I don’t seem to work long term.”
“Ahh. I can see that. Well, sorry. I’ll see if I can find you someone a little less..pious? to set you up with next time.”
“See to it, madam! And soon. Rulers of the Underworld cannot live on centaur porn alone!”
“Mmhmm…wanna check it out?” he asked, grinning broadly.
Natalie paused for a moment, filled with genuine intrigue. She grew up a fantasy nerd so this sort of thing was…
“No. No!” she declared, shaking her head. “Yoga!”
“Damn, thought I had you. Well run off to class. I may disagree with how you spend your Saturdays but I can’t argue with the results. You are looking FIT!”
“Why thank you,” she mock curtsied before spinning around and heading towards the rest of your day.
Satan whistled after here and shouted, “Hate to see you go but love to watch you leave!”
She put an extra wiggle in her step in reply, enjoying the peel of laughter that emanated from Old Scratch as he saw it.
Just another day living across the street from Beezlebub.