Gullible Devil

Monday, 01 November 2010 21:02 Written by  Priya A. Shah

“Air conditioning for everyone!” the Devil said as he drank a glass of lemonade. It was time to party. It was time to go wild because Debra, his wife, was on vacation.

 The pool was hooked up and all the souls in hell were having the time of their lives. The souls had water gun fights, threw water balloons around, and sucked on popsicles. They played volleyball and had sex (believe it or not, the dead get freaky too).

All the souls danced and did the electric slide. The Devil was the best dancer out of all of them, “Go Devil! Go Devil! It’s your birthday!” The souls chanted. “No Debra! “No Debra!” They all formed in a circle and waved their arms in the air.

Now, many people have never heard of Debra because she doesn’t appear in the bible. Hell was originally Debra’s idea. She started a small business with her husband. Debra scrubbed the earth to find lost souls (the bitter souls that could not get into heaven), and trapped them in hell.

The creation of hell seemed like a good idea to God because it was a prison for the redundant souls. But then, in the greed to make her business bigger, Debra even broke into heaven to steal more souls. That is what started the war with God.

But hell is a lot of work and of course Debra needed a break. So she went on a vacation for a few days. She trusted her husband to run hell on his own. Despite the horror stories you may hear about the Devil, he is a pretty good guy. However, the Devil not the wisest guy in town. But the Devil needed a break too—a break from Debra that is.

So as the party in hell continued, the hell’s messenger, Theodore, walked in with a large package in his hands. He had wrinkled skin, looked sinister and had lines of frozen blood on the right side of his face. Theodore tried to break out of hell one day, and Debra warned him by letting him be a messenger.

“For me?” The Devil said as Theodore handed him the package. The Devil was surprised because it was rare for him to receive mail. The mysterious package was from Gabriel, the angel of death, but the Devil didn’t know that because there wasn’t a note attached to the card. It was all one of God’s plans.

The Devil opened the package and in the middle of all the foam, there was one pouch of Capri Sun.

“Hmm…Strawberry Kiwi,” the Devil detached the plastic straw that was glued to the pouch and removed the plastic wrapper. “Is this from the earthly realm?” The Devil poked the straw through the driven hole and sucked the refreshing beverage into his mouth. After the first sip, the Devil felt different. The drink made him feel drunk, not in an I-drank-too-much-wine way, but in an I-want-to have-some-extra-fun way. He licked the straw and sucked the drink to its very last drop.

“They sell the Capri Sun in the earthly realm. There are other flavors to choose from,” Theodore said.

“The earthly realm huh? Hmm… you know Debra never lets me go there for fun, I’m always destroying something or killing someone, or capturing an escaped soul and bringing it back to hell… you know? I’m always working. Theodore, I’m going to earth.”

The Devil went into a private room (which he and Debra shared) to find a suitcase. He began to throw clothing in it. He packed toothpaste, deodorant, underwear, and hair gel. Theodore followed him.

“Your…your wife will be back in a few days sire.”

“Theodore…” the Devil said. “Book me a hotel room will you?”

“But Sire, how long will you be gone?” Theodore hovered over the Devil.

“Just do what I say Theodore!” The Devil yelled. And Theodore went off to his assignment.

Theodore booked the hotel in the city of Chicago. It was one of Theodore’s many fine talents as a messenger. The Devil walked into a five-star hotel with sunglasses on his head and a suitcase at hand. It was a luxury hotel with an indoor swimming pool, an all you can eat buffet down the hall from the café in the lobby. He walked up to the desk clerk.

“Name,” said the desk clerk.


The desk clerk took off her glasses to look at the man standing before her. The Devil usually didn’t look like the ideal image of the Devil. He was six feet tall with smooth skin and dark brown wavy hair. You couldn’t tell the difference between a regular human being and the Devil.

The women checked her computer screen and looked under the D section and sure enough there was his name, but no last name.

“So you don’t have a last name huh?” The desk clerk said as she handed him a hotel room key.

“No,” the Devil smiled. “I only go by the Devil.” He walked past the lobby to the elevators and went up to his room. As soon as he was inside he shouted “I’m free,” and put his thumbs in his armpits and danced around like a chicken, kicking his legs in the air. It was his first day on earth without the expectation of doing work for his wife. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do first. As he bounced up and down on the waterbed, he said “I’ll think I’ll go for a walk. The weather is quite sunny.” But on his walk, he got lost.

The next thing he knew he was in the middle of nowhere. The streets were clean. The trees were fresh. An image of a figure seemed to linger near a church. As the Devil walked near the church, he noticed it was Theodore. The image soon disappeared and the Devil grew suspicious. He walked into the church looking for Theodore but instead he found something better—a whole box of Capri Sun sitting in front of the church’s aisle. The Devil picked up the box and opened it. There was Strawberry Kiwi, Fruit Punch, Pacific Cooler and Wild Cherry. But the Devil took the one that was most familiar to him: Strawberry Kiwi.

As he drank it, he noticed a middle-aged man with pale skin standing in front of him. He should have been someone the Devil recognized but didn’t because of his disguise. The pale man had a long white robe on and a silver cross around his neck and held a bible in his hands.

“You like that, huh?” the pale man spoke in a soft voice.

“It’s mine,” said the Devil.

“Pardon me?” ask the man.

“The Capri Sun, it’s all mine! You can’t have any,” the Devil hugged his pouch of Strawberry Kiwi Capri Sun, but the liquid came up the straw and shot into his right eye.

“Devil, I know who you are. And I put that box there for you.” The man came a bit closer to the Devil’s face. “And I can get more for you. But there’s something you have to do in return.”

“Hello,” Debra’s voice echoed as she walked into hell with a relaxed looking face. She was back from her vacation, and walked around hell with her luggage in her hand. Her heels clicked at every step she took. The scent of burnt popcorn lingered in the air. There were soda cans scattered all over the place, and embers of fire on the ground.

“Is anyone here?” This was strange, considering that on a normal day in hell souls were spotted everywhere. Then Debra heard a familiar tune; it was someone humming a song. She followed the tune, and it led her to an empty room where she found Theodore sitting in a chair and eating a banana. Theodore continued to hum the song, but stopped at the sight of Debra. He jumped up from his seat.

“Debra,” Theodore said in a shaky voice. “Hi, you’re back. How was your vacation? You look great.”

Debra dropped the luggage from her hand to the ground and it made a loud noise, almost as if a bomb just exploded. Hell was quiet without any souls and when hell was quiet, everything was extra loud. She folded her arms below her chest and stood about five feet away from Theodore.

“What’s going on?” Debra asked.

“The Devil went to earth after he got a package from Gabriel…oops I mean an anonymous package...” Theodore said.

“Gabriel!” Debra’s eye turned red, little numbs of horns popped out from her forehead and her skin turned a nasty shade of yellow. “Theodore, when I left, all my souls were here in my hell, and my husband—you know the Devil—was suppose to be in control of them,” Debra said. “Now, why don’t you be a good demon Theodore, and tell me everything that happened. And if you don’t, we can create our own little hell here, just the two of us.”

“Gabriel made a deal with me,” Theodore confessed. “If I could get the Devil to leave hell unattended, then the souls could slip out, and God could get his souls back. And God knew that you would clean the earth for the souls again that belonged in hell. If I did this then Gabriel would give me a free get-out-of-hell-card, as long I remained good for the rest of eternity. So I made sure the Devil received Gabriel’s package. Inside the package was a pouch of Capri Sun, which was holy water. And I’m just hanging out here until the process is finished. He’s in a church right now, in Chicago. I’m sorry Debra; I just wanted to be free from hell.”

“I can’t believe God is winning,” Debra scorned. “I have to find the Devil.” Debra began to walk away but remembered that Theodore was still there and turned back. “How dare you go behind my back and let this happen!” Debra took out a mini pitchfork and gashed him until his soul demolished into the hard rocky walls of hell.

It was hours before people would be arriving at the church. The Devil was out of Capri Sun and needed more. He was hooked and didn’t feel energized without it; it was like his fuel. “Where is he?” the Devil paced up and down the street in front of the church. The pale man was nowhere in sight. “Excuse me?” The Devil called out to the pastor of the church who was walking by. “Do you know where the pale man is?”

“No, not at the moment,” the pastor said.

“I need some Capri Sun man.” The Devil grabbed him by his shoulders.” I need it!”

“Well…there’s a grocery store right down the block,” the pastor said.

“They sell it at a grocery store?” The Devil took his hands off the pastor.



“But I have no money.”

“Here,” The pastor said and handed the Devil a five-dollar bill.

“Thanks, I owe you one!” The Devil ran down the block and into the grocery store. “Capri Sun! Capri Sun!” The Devil yelled and everyone looked at him as if he were a lunatic. “Where is the Capri Sun?” The Devil asked a worker.

“Aisle five…” the worker said. The Devil ran to aisle five and grabbed a box of Capri Sun and paid the cashier. Then he went back to the church. As soon as he got inside the church, he sat on the stage and ripped open a pouch of Capri Sun, not even bothering to use the straw, and swallowed the drink.

“Gross!” The Devil said and stuck his tongue out. “This doesn’t taste right.”

“Here, try mine…” the pale man stood behind the Devil with a pouch of Capri Sun in his hand.

“It only taste different because I have a secret ingredient in mine. I make it myself. Go on, try it.”

The Devil drank the Carpi Sun that the pale man gave him.

“Now, this is what I’m talking about!” The Devil smiled.

By mid-afternoon about two hundred people had crowded into the plaster wall church. The ceiling was high with yellow stained glass windows. Among the many wooden pews, enormous statues of angels were placed on each side of the aisles, and in the front of the altar too. The people, who could not get a seat, stood in the aisles by the walls. The pale man stood at the altar and waited for everyone to settle in.

Good afternoon,” the pale man spoke into a microphone. “You all may know me as the religious pale man who always hangs around this church, and although that might be true, I am something more. I am God’s main angel, Gabriel.” The audience laughed, thinking that this was some sort of a reenactment from the bible. The pale man continued to speak. “Our guest speaker has been blamed for everything bad in this world. You may know him as a ghost or a bogeyman. The Bible calls him the god of this world and I’m sure you’ve heard of him. He is the Devil.” The crowd laughed even harder. “We are all familiar with his work—killing humans and tormenting souls. But I really think that he has changed his path on life. Please join me in welcoming the Devil!”

Everyone applauded as he Devil dressed in a business-like suit came up to the podium from the back entrance.

“Come on, where are the red tights and the long tail,” a chubby man shouted. “You should’ve put on a costume!”

“Yeah, and where is the large pitchfork?” a tall women in high heels said as she leaned against the walls. The people in the crowd hushed when the Devil began to speak.

“Hello everyone,” the Devil began. “I know I don’t look like the Devil, but I am. I have a very simple message I want to get across today to you, I don’t want to be known as the bad guy anymore. So I’m quitting my job as the Devil. I know you all hate me, but you should hate my wife, Debra. She’s the evil demon. She’s the one who has kidnapped several souls from heaven and brought them to hell. So when you think your sweet grandmother is in heaven, think again, because she might be in hell.”

“What is he talking about?” a woman whispered.

“I am the DEVIL…” he said. “And I can prove it.” The Devil’s appearance changed. His face turned red, eyes green, sharp white horns popped out his forehead. The Devil stuck his tongue out like a snake, and hissed at the crowd. Their jaws dropped, eyebrows raised and eyes widened.

“Is this some sick joke?” a man yelled. And the crowd of people turned their heads to each other.

Then, all of a sudden the lights flickered on and off; the sound of thunder started. The church shook as if it was an earthquake and the roof of the church tore off. Out of nowhere, in the middle of the aisle, appeared Debra. People screamed at the sight of her. Her horns were still sticking out her head, her eyes were bloody red and her yellow skin had the most sickening wrinkles. She walked to the podium and with every step she took, a sweat bead fell off someone’s head, a beat skipped in someone’s heart, a hand shook, a knee trembled and all was silence. Debra’s horns grew an inch bigger and the crowd gasped.

“Dear,” the Devil said. “You should try this Capri Sun…it’s very delicious.”

“Do you know what that is?” Debra shouted and snatched the Carpi Sun from the Devil. “This is holy water, you pathetic excuse for a demon!”

“Oh, so that’s the secret ingredient,” the Devil said. “It’s delicious.”

“You’re such a dumbass! Holy water messes with our soul,” Debra said. “Do you ever think? You know I’m at war with God, and you know that he’ll take any opportunity he can get to destroy our hell! I leave you in charge for a few days and you ruin everything!” Debra roared with all her might. “And that pale man is Gabriel!”

“I know, dear. He told me,” the Devil said. “But the name sounds familiar. I think I heard it somewhere before.”

Debra raised her eyebrows and looked at her husband, wondering why she ever married him. “Oh, he’s that Gabriel!” The Devil shouted as he realized who the pale man was. “You fooled me!” The Devil said the pale man. “Sorry dear,” the Devil said to his wife. “I should have known better, but the drink was so tasty.”

“Are you happy now that all the souls from hell are lost on this earth, killing innocent people. They’re bitter souls and they will stay bitter for the rest of eternity!” Debra walked so close to the Devil that they were now face to face. “Do you know why we have a hell? To punish those who have sinned.”

 “Actually, that isn’t all correct Debra,” the pale man said. “You did steal a portion of God’s souls, and those souls don’t deserve to be in hell. But since the Devil wasn’t guarding hell, those souls had a chance to return to heaven.”

In rage, Debra pulled out a mystifying orange toilet plunger from the thin air. The crowd grew even more intense when the plunger made a loud roar like a blending machine. The front mouth of the plunger had sharp claw teeth. She placed the plunger on the Devil’s face and it sucked every inch of his skin like a vacuum cleaner. The holy water begun draining from his soul and it began to flood the church. A high wind circled the roofless church and pushed the holy water through the aisles. It was like reliving the Red Sea Miracle, something that happened about 3,500 years ago when God pushed apart the sea so the people of Israel could cross it, and the army of Pharaoh died as the Red Sea closed.

All the humans ran out the door, screaming and shouting. And soon enough, the Devil was drained from top to bottom. The church was filled with at least three feet of holy water.

“This isn’t over,” Debra said as the pale man vanished. Only Debra and the Devil were left in the church.

“You disobeyed me. I’m never leaving you alone again. You’re useless, absolutely useless,” Debra scolded the Devil. “Come on, we have to go find our souls, idiot.”

It took Debra and the Devil a long time to rebuild their hell and to put most of the souls back in their place. Debra hired guards to help her watch the souls, but still, no one could be trusted. The Devil sat in an office and did computer work and filing; he was not to interact with the souls. Debra swore to never go on a vacation again. Hell was at last getting back to normal.

Priya A. Shah

Priya A. Shah

Priya A. Shah lives in Chicago. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2010, where she studied magazine journalism and fiction writing. She has been a staff writer for GMO since 2007. She’s written and interned for various media outlets such as India Tribune, Today's Chicago Woman, Tribune Media Services, GlossMagazineOnline and Echo (the student produced magazine for Columbia College Chicago). She’s contributed to A Fresh Squeeze (, an online publication for green living in Chicago, and her school newspaper, The Columbia Chronicle.

Priya can be reached at or