Like I said, I knew that this was a dream. And as I looked around, even if I hadn’t thought so before, it was now abundantly obvious.
I appeared to be standing in a diner, looking like it was straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. That is, except for the cherubs. And the devil. And as the waitress sauntered over to me, I noticed that she was dressed in ripped tights, a strapped-up leather bustier that looked to be covered in nasty symbols, and sprouting a pair of batlike wings hanging off of her back. As my eyes fell on her, she licked her lips at me with a curiously long tongue, in a manner that can’t possibly be considered anywhere below PG-13…
Quickly, I kept my eyes scrolling onward. There was a cook behind the counter of the diner, his eyes cast down as he industriously mopped at the counter with a rag. He seemed normal enough – until I squinted my eyes at him. I could just make out the ever so faint aura of a glowing halo bobbing above his head.
What a strange dream.
In front of me, Lucifer made a grunt of triumph, and reluctantly wrenched his hand up. “Aha!” he cheered as he held up the newest fruit. “Now that’s what I’m looking for!”
And he lowered his hand down to hold out an apple to me.
A part of my mind was telling me to politely decline, to say no thank you and walk away. But there was something captivating about that apple. It seemed brighter, more colorful… somehow just more *real* than the rest of the room – or the entire dream.
I stretched out my hand and picked up the apple from his palm, feeling the weight.
As soon as the apple was out of his hand, Lucifer leapt up smartly to his feet, clapping his hands together. “Well, great!” he said, reaching into one pocket. “That’s all taken care of, then!”
From his pocket, the devil pulled out what looked like a very full billfold, and peeled off a couple of bills. He dropped them down on the table, gave me a very obvious wink, and then spun around, snapping both of his figures.
Halfway through the spin, he vanished.
Just like any devilish waitress, the succubus was nowhere in sight. Instead, as I sat there and gazed at the apple, I saw that the cook had come out from behind the counter and was sidling over to me. His eyes were darting between me and the apple in my hand. “You’re not going to eat that, are you?” he asked in an undertone.
I shrugged. I honestly hadn’t thought that far ahead. “Er, I dunno,” I replied. “Does it matter? This is just a dream, right?”
The angel (and despite the dirty cook’s jacket and the white paper hat, I was pretty sure it was an angel) winced. “Dreams can have effects that resonate far beyond them,” he said with ominous portent. The effect was spoiled a minute later, however, as he darted forward and grabbed for the fruit.
I yanked it back, out of his reach. “Hey! What do you think you’re doing!”
“Give it to me!” the angel grunted, trying to crawl over the table to grab it from me. I couldn’t help but think that, for a Heavenly being, he wasn’t super adept in a physical sense. “It’s evil! I need to save you from it!”
“How do you know it’s evil!?”
“Because it came from the Devil! Now fork it over!”
Finally, with one desperate grab, the angel managed to knock the fruit from my hands, and we both watched as it went tumbling down, off the table and down onto the floor. With wide eyes, we watched as it rolled, rolled…
To be concluded!