Jimmy knew his luck of getting away with being bad was up.
For years his parents tried warning him that bad boys were visited by The Devil and dragged to hell for their cruel and wicked ways. He never believed them and continued to bully the kids weaker than him. There was a satisfaction that ten year old Jimmy couldn’t find that compared to what he felt putting his foot on the head of some nerd and making them eat grass. Jimmy didn’t know if it was the laughter and approval of those around him or the submission of his enemy that made him happy.
He was tucked into bed when he heard the front door slowly creaking open downstairs before colliding with the wall. He was about to fall asleep when he was overwhelmed with a rush of adrenaline as he recalled his parents telling him it would end like this. The Devil was going to arrive when he was most comfortable.
Jimmy wished he had taken them seriously. He assumed they made it all up similar to when they told him about The Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus. He actually believed in The Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus more than he believed The Devil was going to pay him a personal visit. To Jimmy it just sounded too much like a spooky Halloween story or something to scary little kids huddled around a campfire.
As he heard the creature stomping through his living room and towards the staircase, Jimmy now realized it was all true.
He soon heard footsteps making their way up the staircase. Jimmy slowly crawled out of bed and got beneath it, feeling somewhat safer within the seclusion of the darkness.
The footsteps left the staircase and now began to echo down the hallway. Jimmy wished his parents would emerge from their bedroom and make The Devil go away, but he knew it all to be hopeless. He imagined that if they were to attempt to prevent The Devil’s work, they would be roasted alive in front of Jimmy. He’d rather go quietly than watch his parents being roasted, running around his bedroom with the smell of burning hair and cooking flesh filling the room as they slowly became nothing but a skeleton with smoke rising from the bones. Jimmy shook his head with his eyes closed as he pictured their empty sockets with burnt and cooked flesh dangling from it looking right at him.
Jimmy listened as the devil’s footsteps slowly made their way towards his bedroom door, seeming to pace itself and savoring such a moment. Jimmy then began to hear what sounded like an animal aggressively sniffing for a familiar scent. Jimmy wondered if The Devil could smell the fear from him, the small beads of sweat forming on his forehead.
The bedroom door suddenly came off its hinges and Jimmy helplessly watched, shaking as it fell upon his bedroom floor. Jimmy wondered what his parents were doing right now. Probably sitting up in their beds shaking with fear, thankful it wasn’t them or cursing themselves for not raising Jimmy better.
From beneath the bed, Jimmy could see the hooves of The Devil slowly walking around his bedroom looking for him. The color of The Devil wasn’t the shade of red that he imagined. Instead, the color of his flesh was a tone that was blacker than black. In the complete darkness of his bedroom, the devil’s black skin stood out.
The Devil walked around, opening Jimmy’s closet door and sniffing out for his scent. With each step The Devil took, the sound of his hooves making contact with Jimmy’s floor made his heart beat faster. At this point, Jimmy thought it was only a matter of time before The Devil heard his heart beating against his chest.
Jimmy heard The Devil throw open a toy chest and tossing toys around. He then heard a disgusted and confused grunt from The Devil and watched as his hooves slowly began making their way towards the bedroom door. For a moment, Jimmy felt as if he were in the clear. He was thinking about how great it would be to see the sun tomorrow morning when The Devil kicked his bed.
Once the hoof collided with the bed, it went flying through Jimmy’s bedroom window. Jimmy didn’t know what was more shocking, the feeling of going from being secluded in the darkness to now being discovered or the sound of glass shattering and his bed shattering to pieces in the front yard.
The Devil slowly turned around and Jimmy saw The Devil’s perfect white teeth reflecting his shocked and frightened face in every tooth. The last thing Jimmy’s mind processed was the bright red eyes of the devil. He looked into them and could only see the large fires that populated hell, within them the people who roasted eternally in them, never dying and feeling and endless torment and pain.
Jimmy’s parents were very well aware that tonight was the night. Their son had gotten one too many warnings and after his most recent detention, they knew he was a dead man walking.
They were sitting in bed holding their hands, shaking and crying when The Devil kicked their bedroom door open. The first thing they could process was the front door being kicked open and The Devil standing in the doorway. The second thing they were able to process was the fact that The Devil had thrown their son’s decapitated head into their bed. By the light of the moon, they saw his eyes were missing and his mouth was twisted in a cry for help.
As they screamed, The Devil began to laugh.
“Meet me downstairs, it’s time to eat the sins.”
The devil’s voice was deep and had a tone that was similar to the deep emotionless voice they use on crime shows when someone wishes to remain anonymous. As The Devil walked way, they obediently got out of bed and made their way downstairs.
Once they reached the dining room, they saw the fireplace was lit and classical music was playing. The music was unidentifiable but it sounded as if it were being played by a dark and tormented soul.
On each end of the table were places covered in cuts of rare cooked meat. On the middle of the table was a giant platter, stacked with the bones of their son.
Both parents took their seats and slowly began to pick up the cuts of meat, no silverware was offered to them. Holding the cooked flesh made their stomachs churn and tears flowed from their face, dripping on what they had to eat in order to see another morning.
Jimmy’s mother and father held eye contact with one another as they slowly brought the meat up to their mouths, silently guiding each other through the traumatic ritual. As they bit into the meat, they looked away as more tears flowed down their cheeks. They were drowning in embarrassment from the fact their tastebuds loved what they were eating.
It didn’t take long for their plates to be cleaned off and they were left to look at the shame on their faces reflecting back at them. They both looked up and saw within the fireplace an image of their little boy in hell. He was crucified onto an upside down cross in the middle of a large fire.
As the parents watched this helplessly, the heard The Devil laughing with unfiltered joy within the darkness.