Batty And The Devil
It was a middle-of-the-night session with a trusty laptop. Perhaps it was nerves, or too much coffee, but the Professor couldn't sleep that night. In his pine-paneled garret, the unreliable narrator worked on yet another installment in that ongoing forum known as Flippism Is The Key. The night was warm, and while a rumble of thunder in the distance augured a storm, at that moment the air was still, with ominous, almost putrescent odors of mown grass, cloying flowers, and humus permeating the neighborhood. While glancing at the clock - 2:30 - a shadow crossed Batty's line of sight, going from the open window to the darkest corner of the little room. "Drat! A bat is that! Scat!", muttered the Suessian Professor. He picked up a throw from the couch to gently capture that 'child of the night' before it could hurt itself or arouse the rest of the household.
He arose, turned toward the corner and then stopped. Instead of a winged mammal, he saw before him, wearing an elaborate Victorian outfit (complete with a red-lined black satin cape), was what appeared to be a man.
"Allow me to introduce myself," the apparition purred, "and please forgive my brash intrusion. I am Beelzebub, the Prince of Darkness, Satan, or he who some may call the Devil, and I am here to make you an offer that I think you will embrace willingly, once you comprehend it in its entirety."
The dubious professor thought: I simply must get that screen replaced...then spoke: "What do you want with me?"
"I notice that you're blogging, having a tough time of it tonight, aren't you? A little short on inspiration tonight?" -the hint of a sneer curled the nocturnal visitor's lip as he continued; "You realize, of course, that I could help you make your blog an overnight sensation, MILLIONS of hits, book offers, screenplays, groupies, even your face on the cover of Wired magazine!"
The professor seemed tempted for a moment, but then slowly crossed his arms over his chest and shook his head; "No, no thank you. I'll pass on that."
"My dear man, don't you realize that I can bestow to you all these things and much more? You don't grasp the breadth of my power, do you? It wasn't Al Gore that invented the Internet, Bub, and may I add, 'you ain't seen nothin' yet!'"
"Thank you, no, I'll stick with what I've got. It isn't much, but what goes in this blog is as true as we can make it, no matter how silly or oblique it may appear." The professor was a little irritated by Satan's boasting. "You may be the Devil," he continued, "or you may be the Lord, but this place exists for its own purposes, and is not in service to God, the Devil or Mammon."
"Truth!" snorted the Devil; "And can you be so sure of the others who appear here? What darkness lies within their nature?"
"They are who they are. They write what they see fit, and I have neither feeling nor reason to doubt their integrity." The Professor was truly angered now, "They have their own demons to deal with, and need no help or hindrance from the likes of you!"
The true nature of the interloper now became manifest, as his fine clothes turned into reptilian scales, and his unctuous voice now turned into a sulfurous hiss- "Wait and see, my ersatz professor, wait and see- you'll be on my side yet- or as I have often been quoted: 'If you aren't with me, you are against me!"
With that the otherwise timid blogger flew into a rage, throwing his copy of HTML for Dummies at the hideous creature. This caused the transformation of the stranger back into his winged form, which then flew through the window leaving Batty alone with his musings once again.