A long time ago, I officially turned into a teenager. Along with it, all the trappings of teen-hood, like confusion, low self esteem and a school full of angry inbreds with pointed faces and gold jewellery from Argos stapled all over their ears and hands. When someone really annoyed me, or threatened me with a rounders bat, whatever, my response was to go home feeling worthless, then imagine this deeply imaginative scene:
The Devil has risen. God fought the good fight and lost. Now Beelzebub is in control. His first mammoth task is to create a world full of fire and brimstone, because that’s what everyone’s expecting and, contrary to popular belief, he doesn’t like to disappoint.
So, here we all are standing around – the world has gone to shit, but at least it’s warmer. But for no reason at all except for the fact that this is my imagination and I can do whatever the hell I want, me and the Devil are friends. He’s taken me under his wing and as it turns out, isn’t such a bad guy after all.
He says he’s got a job for me, if I’d like to do it (optional, you see? Is your boss in the office that relaxed?) – He shows me this huge long line of people dangling by their wrists from the ceiling and I notice that it’s everyone who’s ever pissed me off in one way or another. They’re all lined up, conveyor belt style, over a miniature volcano that’s appeared underneath them.
‘Choose who goes in,’ he says nonchalantly. ‘I need to free up some space and power the solarium in the guest house.’ (because most of the power now does come from the people, just not in the way they thought…)
Someone (a serving demon?) hands me a nice tall glass of lemonade on account of the heat, which is really nice. Then suddenly, a really comfortable looking beanbag appears behind me, which is great because they’re the comfiest of the lounging chairs. I settle in and start to deliberate.