A Sloth's Existence  //  By: Zipp Dementia

I suppose I should introduce myself. My name is Howard. I’m a Sloth demon. I govern the souls sent to the prisons of Hell, specifically the prison that houses the Jealousy Inspired Murderers. But only on Tuesdays. On the other days I play Parcheesi. And occasionally Risk 2210 Ad. Great game. Oh, except on Saturdays. That’s when I visit my Mom. Mom is always trying to get me a girlfriend, says I need someone to look after me when she’s gone. I tell her we’re demons, you know? We live for a long time. She just gets worried about this kind’ve thing. Ever since Dad was killed by a Demon Slayer she’s been afraid for my safety. But it worked out okay in the end, I mean his life insurance has kept us going since then. Mom doesn’t want for anything.

And I don’t deal with Slayers much anyways. That’s the job for the Lusts, poor bastards. Honestly, those guys have no idea what they’re getting into when they chose Lust as their Sin. Every lesser demon has to choose a Sin when they get to the employment office. Lust does seem enticing. I mean, there’s some prestige that goes with that Sin. And it probably means you’re not a virgin, which is always a good thing in Hell. Plus you get to wear red which is really helpful for us demons because it hides stains well.

But thank Mundus I had a cousin who was a Lust. He told me how it goes down. You see, it’s all cushy internships at first, but whenever there’s something to be done in the Upper World, you’re the first to go. Do you know how many Lusts get sent out of Hell each week because some demon lord wanted to eat a virgin? Now you might think that we demons like to go into the upper world, but that’s a common misconception created by the Catholics.

Hell is nice. Good weather, beautiful landscapes, and you can get anything you want for a good price. In Hell, they still respect the barter system, and we all know what a great system that is. Honestly, what do you living people have that we don’t? Hair loss? Weight problems? A nine to five job at ShopCo? I mean, the Upper World is no picnic, let me tell you. Why do you think so many people slit their wrists every day? The reason they make Hell look so bad is because if they didn’t, everyone would be engaging in mass suicide to get in here. Not that we’d let you. There’s a big waiting list to get into Hell these days. It used to be that spilling milk or cursing in church would get you in, but these days you got to work harder for it. So you ran over some puppy on the highway. Big deal, happens all the time. That puppy you ran over has a better chance of getting in here than you do.

Fortunately, my family is one of the ancients, so I was born into Graceland. But I pity the poor suckers who think that just by smoking a doobie or killing a police officer they’re allowed into Hell. We’re a hot club down here, and its members only. We don’t take the small fry. You want small fry, go talk to God. He’s begging people to come to heaven. Yeah, you guys go hang up in Heaven, I hear they have a jukebox up there now. Whereas down here? We got all night Succubus strip clubs. Which reminds me, I’ve got to get to the Lucky Lady tonight, Nevan is performing.

Anyways... where was I? Oh yeah, the Lusts. Yeah, I’m not sure when the Lusts got chosen for the grunt work, but man do they have it hard. My Mom says if you let a Lust sit around for too many years they get a huge ego, start talking of taking over the Demon World. So maybe that’s why. I have to admit, I have a Lust friend named Michael who is getting up there in age and he’s quite the bastard. Only talks about himself and won’t let you get a word in about anything else. Thinks he’s gonna oust Mundus some day. But he does have that Lust charm.

Anyways, Lusts are better than the Wraths. Carrying around a ball filled with your own festering hatred is just not... sanitary. And it gets you locked out of a lot of the top dives in town. And it’s hell to stand next to them on public transportation. The last time I stood next to a Wrath, I was just waiting for that thing to explode. You hear about that all the time, bus crashing because a Wrath exploded in the front row. I have to admit, it is a pretty good trick at parties. And the kids love the exploding routine. Most Wraths get jobs at daycares, or they work as clowns. You know, birthday parties and that sort of thing. Oh man, you’ve never seen anything funnier than a room full of exploding Wraths. It may be a short lived Sin, but you go out with a bang.

Me, I’m a Sloth. It’s not a bad Sin. Not as flashy as some of the others. But the pay is good. There’s always guard duty to be attended to in Hell, so I’m never out of work. And I get benefits. Being able to transform into sand also has its perks. Like if you see someone you don’t want to talk to, POOF!, turn into sand and the problem is solved. Of course, if they catch you it’s a little awkward. And it can be a problem if you don’t learn how to control it.

First time I was with a girl (you know, WITH a girl), I lost it right at the climax. Turned to sand right on her. Completely blew the mood. Very embarrassing. And she was cleaning me out of her privates for days. Anyways, my unlife has been going well, all things considered. Sure, my Mom keeps pressing me to get a girlfriend, and I owe some money to Beowulf, but all in all, I’ve done good for myself. But today, man, when I heard the news, I felt like it was all a waste.

So I’m watching the telly, right? And then Mundus comes on with this International Emergency thing. And what do you know? Another guy wants to connect the Demon World to the Upper World. Some guy named Virgo or Vernon, or something. What is the deal with these humans? I mean, sure, Mundus and the older demons are always talking about the good old days when the Upper World was open to us, and we ruled all, but they don’t really have the support of the lower or middle class.

No one really wants the Upper World to be reconnected. It’s hard enough to manage life in one world, let alone trying to take care of it in two. And can you imagine the unsavories that would get into Hell then? I mean, the gates would be open for any schmuck to just walk through. The higher demons say it would be good for the economy and the job market.

Oh sure, they’d have to set guards at the gates and a few demons would get jobs, but in the long run only the big boys would benefit. Us little guys, we’d be sent out to do the fighting. Besides, war always bring those damn demon hunting types, and do you know what a pain in the ass those guys can be?

Honestly, you’re sitting at home one evening, minding your own business, chugging back some booze, and then some fucker in a trench coat bursts into your living room, screams IT’S PARTY TIME!, blows away your wife, chops your kid’s head off, sticks a fist through your chest, and then proceeds to smash your furniture for your red orbs. Who do the hell do you think pays for the medical bill on that kind’ve thing? Do you know how expensive Demon Hunter insurance is? But you gotta have it when there’s a war on with the human world.

And then to fight the hunters they start waking up the nasty stuff. All the creeps start crawling out of the woodwork and, let me tell you, those guys are not fun to be around. I remember the last war when these two guys came into the restaurant I was at with one of my girlfriends. You could not hold a conversation over those asshole’s incessant chatter. They kept all the waiters held up, too. I think they were brothers, Agni and something or other. Anyways, when they left the restaurant, they decided to do summon a tornado to take them downtown. Blew my girlfriend away. Never saw her again. Who knows where she landed? Worst dinner of my life.

All I’m trying to say is, I think we’re far better off as we are now. We don’t need anything from the Upper World, and I really wish these outsiders would stop trying to open it. They always get the older demons excited and then they start their propaganda campaigns, and before you know it, everyone wants to go to war. Me, I just want to live a simple life. Play my Risk and my Parcheesi, occasionally take a girl out, and watch over my Mom. I don’t care about the humans. I mean, they got their world, we got ours. I don’t see what the big problem is.


—The End—

© 2006 Zipp Dementia