The 7th September 1847, a stranger arrived in town. His appearance sort of gave away who he was – it was mostly the horns and the tail -, so most of the citizens moved out of his way. The Lord of Hell was in town, and he advanced with a set objective in mind. The trail of fire left behind him soon attracted several family barbecues that feasted outside in the good weather.
Mary Clark came out of the Caliph’s Palace shouting.
“What the fuck, man!” she had picked on some of the future slang from her time travel to install internet cables in town. “You know how much building the pavement costs? Stop that fire, you asshole!”
Satan looked around and saw the trail he had left behind. “Oh, so sorry, ma’am, it was not my intention to…”
“You deities and supernatural creatures are all the same: “I didn’t want to, I didn’t think of that, I beg your pardon”, that’s what you lot say. But I am the one who has to deal with the destroyed town property!”
Ba’al came out of the Palace. “What’s going on?”
“Some other supernatural creature has come and has set the roads on fire” Mary complained.
“You think we can make him pay for reparations? It worked with the Scandinavian Gods”.
“I don’t know. Does Hell pay in cash?”
Ba’al looked out, and actually saw Satan for the first time. “You” was the only word that came out of his mouth.
“My dear friend” Satan greeted. “I’ve come to take you back home”.
He advanced and went past Mary. When he was in front of Ba’al, he gave him a hug. “I have really missed you”. Then, noticing how it had sounded, he added “No homo, though”.
“Look, I don’t know why you’ve come looking for me, but I’m happy here. We just fell apart a couple of centuries back, and it’s better to live with it” Ba’al said, as he freed himself from the hug.
“But I’ve changed! I will show, it’ a whole new me!”
Mary Clark rolled her eyes. “Men”.
Satan seemed offended. “And what is that supposed to mean?”
“You’re all the same. You promise to have changed, to be different, and you do behave differently for a short period of romance of sorts. But then you get accustomed to the relationship and fall into the same bad habits again”.
“That is a stereotype and I feel very offended by that!” he turned towards Ba’al. “Come on, let’s go”.
He held Ba’al from the shoulder and shrouded them both in a dark cloud, as dark runes appeared in a pentagram in the floor. He snapped his fingers and the portal disappeared. Both Ba’al and Satan were in exactly the same place. Mary Clark looked unimpressed.
“This has never happened before…” Satan explained, nervously.
He repeated the process, with the same result.
“I don’t understand what is going on! It should work”.
Mary laughed. It was a loud, honest laugh.
“What have you done?” Satan screamed. “You little…”
He raised a hand against Mary, but in a split second Ba’al had held his arm in place and Mary had drawn the machete that she always carried in her belt – being a town mayor used to be a dangerous job! – to his neck.
“You are not the first supernatural creature that I deal with. Don’t think that I wouldn’t be able to take on you” Mary warned.
“Ba’al, you too?” Satan asked, looking at the arm holding him in place.
Ba’al sighed. “I’m sorry. You are not the same anymore. I can feel it. That was the reason why I left. Now I have pledged allegiance to this town, with magic and blood. That was the reason why you couldn’t take me with you” he explained, freeing Satan and showing him a mark in his chest.
Satan was not happy. “You win this time. But this is war”.
He left, disappearing in a small burst that blackened the floor. Mary Clark looked worried. Ba’al spoke.
“I’m sorry, now we are going to have to fight a war against Hell… It’s all my fault”.
Mary Clark stayed silent for a while. Ba’al was starting to worry, thinking about his fate. She finally spoke.
“Damn, who is going to pay for all of the reparations now?”