Plumes of red-tinged smoke, and a droll fire display paint the exterior walkway leading up to the front door of Hell’s Premier Restaurant: Crisp. Silence swallows everything else in sight. Not even the wind has a voice. Nothing. The entrance to the restaurant is near invisible, except for the crystal doorknob hugging blank space 36 inches from the ground where the lighted path ends. The knob slowly opens, and a very different world appears.

     The interior of the place is doused in the finest silks, black diamond tables, and ivory-hued busts of the most revered criminals imaginable – mostly American politicians. From floor to ceiling in all corners smoke is being piped in to create an 80s style effect for the patrons. A mixture of red, and white lights illuminates everything from shallow charcoal baseboards to end tables, and creeps into the foyer where you can actually start to see the aerial design the lighting paints onto the floor if you tilt your head just right. Picture a goat weaning from a collection of pitch pooling in a dry ravine while he peers eerily over his shoulder at his new host: earth, which forms the eye-piece of a telescope viewing the entire scene. Walking into the restaurant is like walking into the center of black hole, albeit without the spaghettification of your life, and immortal soul. 

     God enters Crisp with majestic presence, and boldly walks toward the front desk to greet the staff. The host ignores him. He is carelessly looking over some paperwork while tapping his black Cross-pen on the clipboard staring him back in the face. God tactfully coughs, and looks around while confidently smiling into a sea of crimson eyes. The host’s eyes remain down. God leans in closer to the podium to make his presence more obvious, and the numb host finally submits to, and engages his guest without looking up for a single moment.

     “Party for one, sir?” Asked the demon.

     God smugly pulls up his eternal britches, twiddles them back and forth in a ‘matter of fact ‘sort of way, and peers down at the hell spawn with glorious disdain.

     “The name’s God!” Glared the Good Lord indignantly.

     The host quickly realizes who it is, puts his left thumb, and pinky finger on each of his different sawed-off horns in a desperate attempt to focus, and breathes slowly. He puts away his things, and reaches his marred hands into the bottom of the podium. He pulls out an ornately decorated ebony box. The mural on the box displays two trees. One tree is withering away, and the other bustling with life. He pulls a book from the box, and flips through the pages restlessly while peering up at God with one fanatical bulbous eye. He clears his throat, and composes himself. He takes a deep breath, and begins to speak.


     A member of the waitstaff cuts him off – a short, dingy fellow wearing a tuxedo that is on fire. The server is fuming – figuratively, and literally.


     Two swift movements end it all. 

     The host immediately lunges toward the server, and murders him in cold blood. The lungs and throat of the server produce a current of blood inching toward low points in the marble flooring. The contractor must have skirted a few specifications when leveling in that area during construction. God is swaying back-and-forth between calm, cool, and collected, and what would be the frustration of a fat child locked inside an air-tight box that is made to endure staring at endless tables filled with sweets without so much as smelling them. God doesn’t care about the corpse littering the floor. He simply can’t believe he isn’t being seated. He’s pacing around loudly now, and ducking deeper into the restaurant with each orbit he makes around the host stand. This is the third time this week he has been outright ignored when trying to get a table here. He even begins to murmur to himself. Some of the other tables are starting to take notice of his erratic behavior. He notices them in return being omnipresent and all.

     “What are you staring at? Can I get a self-damn table around here, or what?” Screamed the Lord into the faces of the now entirely concerned restaurant.

     God peers around the room daring anyone to say anything back. His eyes are ablaze with fury! From across the room two overly-red horns slowly appear from behind a basket of thistles sitting on the kitchen’s service window. The Devil peaks in God’s direction from inside the kitchen. He’s laughing hysterically to himself. He pulls his cell phone out of his pocket, and makes a call.

     “Is she ready?” Asked the Devil.

     “Listen. I don’t know if this is such a good idea anymore. I mean, when you, me, and Jesus pulled that whole ‘crucifixion’ thing he was not happy. He banished me from all the different realms for a micro-eternity. It seemed like an eternity! And he only grounded Jesus for a week!” Scowled the voice on down the line.

     “Come on Peter! Pull up your shiny big-boy pants, and tell Mary to get her ass out here, and ready to march around that corner dragging a dead fetus behind her by the umbilical cord!” Barked the Devil.

© Christopher Rupley 2016