Infernal Debt

Father Ellos jumped back after sliding open the confessional partition. The priest did not expect to see a red-skinned demon with three horns growing out of his head on the other side. The demon looked through the screened partition and grinned.

“Dad! I got big news!” The priest recovered his composure quickly and sighed.

“It couldn’t wait until I got home?” He cast a judgemental glance at the demon. “I’ve asked you not to come in here looking like that.” The demon looked down at himself as if realizing his appearance for the first time.

“Oh sorry! I was too excited.”  His bright red skin flaked off his body as if he were shedding a layer of sand. After a moment a red-haired, lanky, teenage boy sat in the demon’s place. “It can’t wait because I won’t be home when you get home. I won’t be there.”

“You won’t be home?” Father Ellos allowed himself a moment of hope. His thin lips almost curled its corners into a smile. “Really? Does that mean…?” He’d hoped for this day from the moment his son became a demon.

“Do you stand a chance?” the priest asked. The boy shook his head.

“To early to say, but I think so.” The priest nodded.

“Then go with God, my son. I’ll pray for your victory,” Father Ellos said with a warm smile.

“Uhm, speaking of going with God. Can you cover the ride?” The kid asked sheepishly. The Father burst into laughter.

“Of course, my son. Though you’re leaving as a man,” the older man touched the screen partition. “I expect full repayment from your winnings.” Tiny golden particles gathered on the boy’s side of the screen where the priest made contact. The boy held his hand under the coalescing glow until a small golden cube dropped in his hand.

“Thanks, dad, I love you.”

“I love you too. God speed, keep in touch.” The priest said as the boy exited the confessional. Father Ellos was about to step out when someone took the boy’s place. Through the partition, the priest saw a purple-skinned demon with two horns enter the compartment.

“Please log out of the AlterNet before confession, my child.”

“Sorry, Father,” the demon replied. Its purple skin fell away.