4. Upper Management
Ignatius frowned. Sighed. Pushed 1/8 of an ounce of something silver into the middle of the table.
The Devil tossed in something similar, crusted black. “So. What are we to make of our young Death?”
“Eh? Boy’s all right.”
The Devil took a sip of the house whiskey. “He’s behind on quota.”
Sebastian shrugged. “They always get behind.” He set down his cards. “I fold.”
“Second Death never was. Or am I thinking of Four?” Death watched Ignatius carefully set in another eighth. He put in two. “Anyway. Methinks the boy needs a fire lit under him.”
“And you’re just the one to do it, old man?” said Gabriel, one golden eyebrow raised.
“Perhaps I am.”
“No,” said a quiet voice from the battered green chair by the fire, glass of whiskey balanced on his fingertips. “Let Moira sort him out.”
There was a pause, in which agreement was silently tendered. And then the Devil laid down his cards.
“Read them and weep. Oh, that’s right. Angels and saints. You do that anyway.” He leaned across the table and swept in all the pieces, now like mirror shards in his grasp.
Thank you for reading. The installments are short by design. If I could cut more, I would. Now, as I've written considerably more and it's nearly finished, I can say that this story gets a bit darker. Also, Death (and Moira) are back in the next installment: Parts 5 & 6 here.
The Devil's Hopyard is a state park in Connecticut, about twenty minutes from where I grew up. It's not actually scary, and I have no idea why it's named that. It's a very beautiful park, though, with fishing and picnicking. Anyway. I was looking for art about the Devil and found this. Doesn't go with the story but I like it. :-)