What if there was a Devil? Like, in real life? He could be the reason for the misery, the evils, for everything bad! Of course, he’d had to be in disguise……I’m already in trouble today for searching for him in school. But I’m gonna keep searching for him, and I will find him. Well, I’ll see tomorrow. -Maya
Maya was preparing for bed when she saw a small, broad, red, gnome-like imp sneaking into her room.
She could just stare.
The imp spotted her, too, then squinted at her, and then, quite astonishingly, sat down and began weeping. After he was done, he stood back up and started grumbling.
“Pesky human child…should be off to sleep by now! Now I have to finish a favor for you, too… now, what do you want? Remember, favors only related to the Devil.”
Either this was a dream, she thought, or…or…this couldn’t be real, could it?
“Are you real?” Was all she could manage.
“Stupid pesky human child…of course I’m real! How could I NOT? Ignorant minds these days, very stupid too….is that all you wanted? Is that it? Finito? Can I go home?”
“What? No! I just thought you weren’t real! That’s not what I want!” Shrieked Maya, who was starting to believe this imp.
“Very stupid pesky human child…fine, let’s get this over with. Just say what you want. Quick, quick, quick, you don’t how embarrassing this is for me……”
Maya couldn’t believe anything. What did she want? All she could think of was…
“Where is the Devil hiding? I…I assume you know him?”
The imp suddenly sat down and started weeping again. “Fine, fine, fine! He hides behind the cover you humans made.”
Maya thought about that for a while. Then she quickly scrambled to the bookcase and got out a vibrant book named ‘The Devil: For Kids’. “Behind this?”
The imp sighed, and asked, “Ready?”. Maya wasn’t really sure. She knew enough to know that this wasn’t a dream, but then, what was this? The imp got impatient and decided not to wait for her answer. He put his hand on the book and boom! Suddenly, everything dissolved.
Maya had expected a black Fortress of Doom, with fire and flame. She had expected a menacing horned evil seated on a throne of red and black.
She had not expected this.
They were standing in a medium-sized room, with stacks of paper, lying around. In the middle, stood a big table with a few table-cacti, more piles of paper, and a gigantic computer. The walls were decorated with de-motivational posters and pictures of cats stuck in trees (as opposed to motivational posters and pictures of cute cats). That was the only menacing thing in the room, otherwise it was massively unimpressive. Maya hoped this was just the reception, and the real Devil was lounging in his hopefully more impressive Fortress of Doom.
“Very busy, very busy, internet trolling to do, have to make some people bankrupt, diseases to inflict, homework to give out and much more Devilling to do!” Ranted a long-nosed clerk without glancing from the computer. “What do you want? Quick, quick, as I told you, I’m very busy, very busy!” Before Maya could respond, he spotted her. “Ah, I see, Perkins, you have messed up again? Absolutely no skills in stealth, you clumsy oaf, this can cost you a job.” Then, shifting his gaze towards Maya, “So, what does the lucky one want?”
“See, I simply wanted to know-” She paused, not knowing what to say next. She hadn’t exactly planned what to do after meeting the Devil. “I-um…I-I wanted to know……why are you inflicting misery on us? Why are you so evil? Don’t you have a better job? You see, you can help people, it is just so much better and so much nicer than being the Evil in the world!”
The Clerk-Devil sighed, removed his glasses, and stared longingly at his table-cactus. “Ah, but you see, it isn’t my fault. You humans are very weird, very weird. You imagined me like this, expected me like this, believed me to be like this. In all your minds you yourself had programmed: Devil=The Great Evil. So, your beliefs formed me.” He paused, then continued, still staring, “And so, you see, it is in fact your fault I was made evil. And then, you proceeded to only focus on the evils I do, the misery I create, instead of seeing all the wonderful things you have. I never understood you humans; why make evil at all, when you don’t want it?”
“I know why. It’s because we needed a reason to explain all evil and misery in the world.” Said Maya dejectedly.
A moment of silence.
“I can help you,” said the Clerk-Devil. Maya brightened up a little bit. “You just need to look around, be thankful for all those good things in your life, and believe. Believe that all misery can and is going away.” Maya listened intently. She’d never thought about that. She had always looked at the bad things in her life, all the things she didn’t want. Now, that she thought about it, she had so many things to be thankful for-that new Lego set she got, the school competition prizes she was going to get next week. And so many general things to be thankful for, too-family, friends, food, water. So many people didn’t get the privileges she got. But now, she was wiser. She was going to work towards a better way of thinking for a better, brighter, life.
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