“Hey,” Chuck said, trying to bend his tongue backwards into his throat. A piece of hot dog was lodged just beyond his reach. He stared at the vaguely-human creature ahead of him, its back turned away as it fidgeted with some sort of molten rock. It was tall, its skin a deep burgundy color ending in two pointed horns atop a bald head. A thin, snake-like tail waved slowly from side-to-side, the tip of it not unlike an arrow. Chuck assumed it was a male—considering it fit the “devil cliché” in every other sense—but didn’t want to offend it by asking.
“Oh, hey,” said the creature, turning toward Chuck. Its voice was high-pitched and feminine, yet sounded vaguely like a sped-up version of Patrick Stewart’s. A thick, black beard covered its chin, pointed yellow teeth making a brief appearance as it spoke. Massive, clearly fake breasts sat fully exposed on its chest.
“Hi,” Chuck said. He flicked his tongue back as far into his throat as he could, the tightness the hot dog caused getting increasingly annoying. Chuck eyed the creature, trying to avoid staring at its contradictory and jarringly large penis, which seemed to pendulate back and forth like a grandfather clock. He was glad he had opted against asking its gender, as he had a feeling the answer would lead him down a path of controversy he simply cared not to hear.
“Hi,” the red creature repeated, its bushy, black eyebrow furrowing as if confused. “Can I help you?”
“Yeah,” Chuck said. He glanced down at his watch, the hands unmoving. He’d just gotten new batteries in the stupid thing not even a week ago. What a pile of shit. He stared back up at the creature, its arms now crossed just beneath its artificially round breasts. Chuck resumed thrusting his tongue back down his own throat.
“Well?” it said, foot tapping impatiently.
“Oh, sorry. I have something caught in my throat, it’s pretty annoying. Where am I?”
“Hell,” said the creature, rolling its eyes.
“Oh, okay. That must be why my watch stopped. So I’m dead?”
“No, you’re just hanging out in Hell while being super alive.” The creature re-crossed its arms. “Yes, you’re dead, you retard.”
“Shit. I should’ve listened to Chad.”
“You shoved six hot dogs down your throat at once to impress a girl. The fuck did you think would happen?”
“I don’t know, I thought I’d be able to do it. Carly seemed like the type of girl who was impressed by feats of impossible strength.”
“Shoving hot dogs down your throat is not a feat of strength. It is a feat of stupidity. You’re stupid. That’s why you’re in Hell.”
“Hey,” Chuck said, glancing momentarily at the creature’s undulating penis, “that’s a pretty mean thing to say.”
“Get used to it.” A disembodied scream echoed from far away.
“So, I’m stuck here for eternity then?” Chuck glanced around the area. It was a pretty bland place: the sky dark and empty, the ground made entirely of auburn volcanic rock. There seemed to be nothing else.
“Yes. Well, no. See, you’re stupid. Like really stupid. Normally we just damn you, begin some tortures for eternity, and call it a day. But, to be perfectly honest, Hell has gotten pretty boring for me lately. You know: wake up, rape Hitler, decapitate Jeffrey Dahmer, rape Hitler again, slowly disembowel Saddam, etc. I spoke to the big guy and we decided to try something new.”
“Oh,” Chuck said, twisting his tongue and shoving it into his throat. The damn hot dog seemed to sink lower, but only low enough to remain annoying yet entirely out of reach.
“I am going to allow you to ask one question, and only one question. If it happens to be something I’ve not yet heard before, I will allow you to return to life and continue living—until you inevitably do something retarded and die again. But if you fail, you will take Hitler’s 3:00pm raping for the rest of eternity.”
Chuck crossed his arms and shifted his weight onto his heels. He wasn’t really a big fan of raping—to be honest, though, he’d never been raped. He wasn’t entirely sure how unpleasant it would be.
“This raping,” Chuck asked, “is it perhaps by anyone attractive?”
“Define attractive,” the devil said.
“That girl I died trying to impress was pretty hot.”
“In that case, kind of.” The creature lifted its hands to its mouth and blew into them, a loud whistle echoing through the barren, molten Hellscape. The ground under Chuck began to shake, a large crack forming just a few feet behind him. A giant, red-hot hand reached up out of the hole, followed by another, then three more. Chuck took a step back as a massive creature slowly pulled itself up from the crevice, steam rising off its flesh.
“This is Steve,” the devil said, nodding toward the beast. It was easily over thirty feet tall, its arms and legs thick and muscular like the trunks of redwoods on steroids. It was entirely naked, save for a black fedora on its head. A massive, disturbingly thick penis extended from its pelvis, past its knees, onto the ground, and down into the crevice beneath it, the tip nowhere to be found. Chuck crossed his legs in shame.
“Hi,” the massive beast said in a deep, human voice not unlike that of Dennis Haysbert, the Allstate Guy. “I do the raping around here.” Steve tipped his fedora.
“Hi,” Chuck said. He turned toward the devil. “I honestly don’t see the resemblance to Carly.”
“To each their own,” the devil said. It nodded toward Steve, who tipped his fedora again before climbing back down into to the crevice, the ground closing up behind him. “So do you want to do this?”
Chuck crossed his arms. He didn’t really want to be raped by Steve, but he also really wanted to see if Carly was impressed by his hot dog trick. Plus, if he got to return to the living, he could have sex with Carly instead of Steve—and it would be consensual. As far as he could tell, there was one negative and two positives. It was pretty clear.
“Sure,” Chuck said.
“Great!” the devil said, a smile spreading across its face. “You have one question that you can ask, one question I’ve never before head. If you can do that, you win.”
Chuck brought his hand to his chin and softly stroked his bead as he thought. There’d always been one question, one query that had kept him awake at night. He’d spent countless evenings rolling over in bed, struggling to come to a conclusion that never manifested himself. He’d searched it dozens of times on Google, even going so far as to try to Ask Jeeves. Unfortunately, it seemed Jeeves had long since been retired and thus provided no help toward finding a solution. Even if the devil had heard the question already, perhaps he’d finally get the answer he’d long sought.
“Okay,” Chuck cleared his throat as if preparing to read publicly from a book of poetry or give a eulogy at a funeral. The hot dog shifted slightly as he did so. “If I shit into a cup and feed it to someone who has never before eaten or drank anything—maybe like a baby or a really poor person—and then they shit, did they shit my shit or is that shit their shit?”
The devil stared at Chuck, its eyebrows raised and body motionless. Slowly, it lowered its shoulders before sighing heavily. It opened its mouth, then closed it, then opened it again before closing it. It continued to stare at Chuck, head shaking slowly from side to side.
“Just get out,” the devil said, snapping its fingers.
A flash of white replaced the dark, barren Hellscape, followed by the arrival of the familiar blue sky and the feeling of grass against his back. Chuck coughed, the hot dog finally dislodging and sliding down his throat. Carly stood over him, her hand raised to her mouth, eyes wide in disbelief.
“I can’t believe you just ate six hot dogs at once,” she said. “That is so damn hot.”
Chuck sat up, his eyes slowly adjusting to the light of the living. “Hell yeah it was.”
Writing Prompt: You win a bet with the Devil by asking him a question that no one has ever thought of before.
This is so funny! I’m under a lot of pressure right now and facing inevitable doom, but this reaaaaaaally brightened my night up. Thank you so much, I’m actually going to print this out and add it to my collection of favorite short stories. It’s so wonderful!
Glad it brightened your night! That’s all I really want to do with these stories, in the end. Thanks for commenting!
That was amazing – very well done. Thank you. I would buy a book of “Chuck stories” if you wrote one.
Thanks for the comment! I hopefully will someday. Maybe.
Chuck never fails to put a smile on my face.