The following work of fiction is an epistolary, a story told entirely through letters. The Patron Chronicles were inspired by C.S. Lewis’s ‘The Screwtape Letters’ and documents the age-old conflict between good and evil. This is an ongoing series.
The Universal Compliance and Violations Department
Dear Mr. Hazelsplat;
It has come to the attention of The Universal Compliance and Violations Department that you are in grave violation of section 6, paragraph 6.6 of the Eternal Humanities Pact, which states:
No entity from the upper or lower realms shall interfere in the natural progression of life in humans under the age of eighteen.
From our records, you’ve racked up numerous transgressions concerning a human named Edgar Pinyon. At age fifteen, Mr. Pinyon falls well within the
Minor’s Act and is therefore protected from all outside interference.
This means you!
Please cease and desist!
Had you been unknown to me, and had this been your first pact breach, I would end the reprimand here. But this is not the case, as we both know. You are a consummate liar and a conniver. If you think to subtly convince young Pinyon to embrace the dark ways by virtues of drugs, sex, and rock n’ roll, you’re in for a rude awakening.
I’m keeping my eye on you and will not give you a moment’s peace until I am certain the young man is free from your toxic influence.
And please do not try to use the excuse, The Devil made me do it. As he well knows, tampering with the underage has been illegal for eons. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.
Please refrain from further manipulation or The Universal Violations and Compliance Department will be forced to take action. Consider this your formal warning.
If you wish to contest the allegations, please submit your statement to me within the next seven days.
Violations and Compliance Specialist
You can’t imagine my surprise upon receiving your letter. It did my heart good to know that you haven’t changed a smidge over the past three centuries and are still wound as tightly as the day we met.
I noticed you’re now a level seven pencil pusher. Congratulations. Either you have diligently climbed the heavenly bureaucratic ladder or puckered up and kissed some serious ethereal ass. No matter, you were always far more ambitious than me.
That brings me to the reason for this letter. Reassurance. I assure you, my dear Esseus, I have neither purposely nor did accidently partake in the corruption of one Edgar Pinyon.
There was no need to. That freewill your boss insists on has produced more desired effects and has served me better than any of my attempts at meddling ever could have. Even you can’t be so dense as to not realize the freewill of a teenager nearly rivals that of God himself.
Arrogant and all encompassing, teenagers act and believe they are the center of the Universe. If the sun rises, it’s for their benefit. If somebody falls ill and disrupts their plans, it’s a personal attack. Always the victim, they believe that surely no other human in history has endured such heavy burdens or suffered such grievous affronts.
When they love or hate, it’s with such single-minded focus that not even my skilled influence could sway them from their course. Though a huge blow to my ego, I must admit, I’ve yet to figure out the illogical and erratic thought patterns of the pubescent humans. They are as confounding to me as your do-gooder ways.
I will admit to being entertained by Edgar Pinyon, but merely as an observer, not a participant. If I had been involved in his affairs, I wouldn’t have found satisfaction with his mere transgression of cheating on his biology test.
No, I would have urged him to steal the test and make copies. My insidious suggestions would have urged him to sell the test to other students for a tidy profit. You would have recognized my delicate touch in the way Pinyon went beyond simply passing the test to actually profiting from his deception.
I would have whispered that there was no need to provide the answers when he had the test. As you and I both know, teenagers will spend ten times the effort trying not to do something they’re supposed to. A fortunate flaw in their character, and one I begin exploiting at the stroke of midnight on their eighteenth birthday.
With my influence, Edgar would have reaped more benefits with the least amount of effort. The situation would have been flawless, a refined ballet of deception and manipulation. Not some foot-pounding line dance performed by a group of unwashed, uncoordinated, beer drinking lumberjacks.
That’s, my dear Esseus, is how I would have controlled the situation.
And since you brought it up, let me take a sentence or two to boast about my position in Hell. The Devil rarely tells me what to do anymore. I have proven my effectiveness and he trusts my judgment in such matters. Perhaps one day you will enjoy the same freedom from your boss.
So, as you can see, Apollomae, your accusations and fears are unfounded. Relax in the knowledge that your rules and regulations are effectively keeping the young population safe from my nefarious hands.
Consider this my official reply to your allegations. I hope we can do this again real soon. Don’t be a stranger.
Demon Extraordinaire and all around great guy
5th Circleof Hell
Please return August 11, 2011 for the next installment of The Patron Chronicles.
Paranormal Fantasy Author
If you missed this month’s issues, The Digital Digest Volume I is available through Amazon.
Copyright © 2011 Boone Brux
All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, locations, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or have been used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual person’s living or dead, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. No portion of this work may be transmitted or reproduced in any form, or by any means, without permission in writing from the author.