“I can’t believe he really did that. Seriously, what was he thinking? How could he…” I paused mid-sentence, because I just realized that I had been talking out loud, in the middle of a street, with people gawking at me as though I’m crazy.
Before you too come to the same conclusion, let me assure you that I’m, in fact, NOT crazy and I have valid reasons for my above mentioned behavior.
First, let me introduce myself. I’m *insert drum-roll here* Lucifer Morningstar, Prince of Darkness, Son of Satan, The Devil himself! I can still go on and on about all my other titles, but I think you get my point.
My father, Satan, sent me to Earth for twenty-four hours as my punishment, because I messed up a bit while performing my hellish duties (no pun intended).
I was too lazy to monitor and allocate the chores for all those who entered the Gates of Hell, so I kind of, accidentally, sent them to Heaven, where they won’t be my headache anymore. I mean, is it really that big of an offense? My old man is getting too cranky nowadays. *sigh*
The punishment does not end there. I was assigned to *shudder visibly* keep a KID happy during those 24 hours! My dad knows that I’m a pedophobe! Aargh, Satan really is the evilest creature!
So, that’s the reason I was mumbling and cursing my father, while I was on my way to the Larsons’ home, who had been glamoured to think that I’m their child’s nanny for the weekend, while they would be away on a trip.
Hold on…If a male nanny is called “manny”, then is a devil nanny called “danny”? I think I rather be called danny, instead of nanny.
I couldn’t help but notice that they had a very majestic house. A beautiful white fountain adorned their front yard, and a few maple trees grew on either side of their house. My hands itched to paint the fountain a dirty brown and replace the fresh water with swamp water, but alas, my powers were shackled the moment I touched Earth’s surface.
I rang their doorbell and waited. Mr. and Mrs. Larson, both of whom were fully dressed up for their trip, opened the door and greeted me inside. After exchanging pleasantries with them, the dreaded moment arrived.
“Kathy, come here and meet Lucifer” Mrs. Larson called out.
A tiny, five-year-old girl, with an innocent face and angelic smile came running down the stairs towards us. It took all my effort to not scrunch my face and move backwards when that…that cherubic force came near me.
I put on a polite smile and maintained that smile until her parents left. I heaved a huge sigh of relief once they left.
“Listen kid, you can do anything that you want. I’ll be in the living room watching some shows on the television. DO NOT disturb me and DO NOT come near me. Am I clear?” I said to her in my most menacing voice. Is this what it means to overcome your fear? Wow, I guess I can add a new title to my name- Lucifer, the Conqueror of Fears and the Terrorizer of Kids!
Immediately, that kid’s face transformed. Her lips wobbled, her eyes filled up with tears, her nose and cheeks became pink and then, she let out a loud wail. Oh my, that noise! Even the banshees from the fiery pits of hell do not make such a terrible sound, in my opinion.
I knew I had to make that, I mean, her stop making that awful noise, but I do not know how to! It’s times like these I wish I had my powers. At least then, I could have zapped her mouth shut and then watched the show. They were telecasting “The Originals” and I love that show! All those murders and betrayals…mmm, the best kind of series!
“Alright, alright, stop crying. I was just playing with you. Come now, would you like to go and get some ice-cream? We needn’t tell Mommy.” By that time, I almost started blabbering. I was ready to bribe her with anything. After all, I can’t go back home if I don’t keep this kid happy for 24 hours.
“Ice-cream? Can I have a strawberry flavored one?”
“Yes, you can.”
“With cherries on top?”
“Good gracious! You can have any and all the toppings you want. Grab your coat and let’s be on our way.”
With a huge smile, she put on her coat and then, she did something which I totally didn’t expect…She put her hand in mine and clasped it. I stood shell-chocked while she pulled me towards the door.
Once I got over that strange moment, we went to the nearest ice-cream vendor and bought our ice-creams, when she suddenly asked, “Can we buy one for Kiki too, Lucifer?”
“Who is Kiki? There is another tiny thing like you at home?” I asked, horrified. I couldn’t begin to fathom the amount of dread I felt when I heard that one sentence.
“Kiki is my pet parrot. Gran-mama came to visit yesterday and she got me a pet parrot as my Christmas gift” she explained with enthusiasm.
“You want to feed your parrot an ice-cream?” I asked incredulously.
“Mama said I should take care of it and feed it until she comes back home, but she didn’t tell me how” she replied in a small voice.
Great. I wasn’t just sent to play the role of a child-nanny, but also a bird-nanny apparently. *huff* I definitely should charge more from the Larsons once they return.
We had finished our ice-creams and returned back to her home, when I heard a squawking sound. Following that sound, I noticed a large, golden cage at the corner of the living room. Inside it, an African grey parrot sat on the small swing and was squawking loudly.
“Did you feed it since yesterday?”
“Um, no. I tried to give my bar of chocolate but it wouldn’t eat. What shall I do now?” she asked softly. I huffed in exasperation.
Hey, I may be the Devil, but I never had a pet bird, nor do I know to take care of one. Once, when I was young, my father bought me three hellhounds to keep as pets. But let me tell you, they considered me to be their pet and tortured me. They blew fire on my hair and singed it; “nipped at me lovingly” every now and then (just because I don’t scar doesn’t mean I don’t hurt!) and played with me (when I said played with me, I didn’t mean played alongside me. I meant played with me like I was their ball to play with). Only after I gained proper control of powers did I learn to put them in their place. Now, they are the guardians of my palace in Hell and obey all my commands.
Anyways, back to the question at hand. I did not know what to feed the bird, but I did know not to feed it chocolate.
I didn’t have to worry much, all thanks to one of the best mortal inventions, “Google”. I checked out a few sites and saw that people are supposed to feed their birds a nutritious diet, which included fruits and vegetables. Also, seeds and nuts are fed to them.
“Hey kid, do you have any fruits at your home?”
“Yes, Lucifer. I’ll get the grapes from the fruits basket.”
“Bring a water container for the parrot too. You need to give it both food and water.”
After helping her search for a water container and brimming it with water, we set about to feed the bird.
“Hey, hey, don’t try to feed it from your hand initially. It might peck you. Allow the bird to get used to you for a few days. After it gets comfortable around you and realizes that you are not a threat, then pet it and do all the affectionate shi-, I mean, stuff you people do to your pets.”
No! No, no. I do not care for the child nor would I mind if the bird pecks her. I just don’t want her to start crying again. I mean, my punishment is to keep the kid happy for 24 hours, and I don’t want my father to extend the duration because I made her cry frequently. That’s all. No other reason. Really!
“Feed the bird at least once a day and always make sure to check the water level in its container too. Oh, and don’t forget to clean its cage regularly. Okay?”
“Okaaaayyy. Thank you for helping me take care of Kiki, Lucy” she said with a sweet smile. Wait, what? Did she just call me “Lucy”?
“Listen kid, my name is Lucifer! NOT Lucy!”
“But my friend Clara said that friends give nicknames to each other, and you are my friend, aren’t you, Lucy? You can call me Kathy.”
“Hell no! We are not friends…Oh no no no, don’t give me those eyes. Fine, okay, we are friends. Happy now?” Seriously, how do kids manage to brim their eyes with tears one instant, and then magically make them vanish the very next instant? What black magic is this?
“Lucy, I think Kiki is bored. Can we go and buy some toys for him?”
“I don’t think the bird would die of boredom in two days. Go shopping with your parents once they return.”
“Please, Lucy, pleaseeeeee. I know a pet shop nearby. Uncle Max once bought so, so many toys for his dog from there. Also, we could look at all the cute dogs and cats in that store.”
“Or, we could sit here and watch TV” I said hopefully.
Twenty minutes later, I was back to cursing my father, while waiting for the kid to finish petting literally all the dogs at the store.
“Look, Lucy, this little puppy just licked my hand! She is so cute! Can we buy her too?”
“Didn’t we come here to pick some toys for your bird?” I asked exasperatedly. The shop owner just laughed after hearing our conversation. You don’t think she laughed because the kid called me “Lucy”, right? Naah, can’t be.
Look at me! Me, the one who is called The Prince of Darkness, Son of Satan, The Devil, has finally been reduced to such a low level that now I’m being called with a human’s name, and that too a feminine one!
I still think that father had been too harsh on me. After all, even though I made a small mistake, I had done many great things this year too. The year 2020 has been one of my greatest achievements. Do I even need to list out all that I had done? Well, let me anyways: The COVID pandemic, several severe cyclones and hurricanes, forest fires, and what-nots. I even planned to give a good finale by making a few volcanoes erupt in some parts of the world.
But now, here I am, stuck on Earth, without my powers, baby-sitting a five-year-old kid, who is hell bent on frustrating me every second.
“Kid, have you finally chosen the toys you require?”
“Um, I like all of them. Can we buy all of them?”
“If your parents had given me their credit card, I would have gladly bought the entire store and burdened them with all these animals, but unfortunately, I was given only a small amount, so, no, we can’t buy all of them.”
“Will you help me choose, please?”
Heaving a huge sigh, I replied, “Fine. The sooner you choose, the faster we could leave.” Also, I didn’t like the way those cats kept looking at me.
With the shopkeeper’s assistance, we picked out some toys and returned to her home.
After fussing over the bird some more, the kid suddenly said that she was hungry. Not only do I not know what to feed the birds, I don’t know what to feed little kids either.
Thankfully, her mom had cooked and left the food in the refrigerator, so I heated it a bit and we had our early dinner.
After dinner, I made her re-fill the bird’s water vessel and then she brain-washed me into playing tea party with her dolls. I wonder if I could take this kid back with me to Hell, and check if she could make Satan bend to her will too.
Finally, the peaceful moment arrived. It was her bed-time! Yay! Finally, I get to watch TV.
Trust her to make that too a torturous and embarrassing moment.
“Lucy, can you please read me a story?”
“Why can’t you just go to sleep, kid?”
“But mama and papa always read me al least one story before I go to sleep.”
“I’ve never read stories to anyone, nor has anyone read them to me. So, just be a good little girl, and go to sleep now.”
“No one has read to you? That’s sad, Lucy. Maybe I could read to you from my book tonight. Mama said that I can read well for my age.”
I was momentarily dumbfounded. I did not know how to react to such a simple, yet sweet question, as no one had cared enough about me to ask something like this.
I swallowed, and replied roughly, “It’s alright. Which story do you want me to read to you?”
I read her the story of Rapunzel and slowly she fell asleep. I was about to walk away from her room, when I got a strange urge to tuck the blankets comfortably around her. Without questioning myself why I got that thought, I just did it and went to sit in the living room.
I had a few hours to myself until she woke up. The Larsons had Amazon Prime subscription, so I binge-watched a few episodes of The Originals. One of the perks of being immortal is that I don’t have to sleep. Sometimes, I may close my eyes and pretend to be asleep just to avoid making small talk with others.
When I finished season three, I realized that it was morning already. I checked the clock and it read 8 am. Mr. and Mrs. Larsons said that they would be back in the morning, so I just had to sustain here for 2-3 hours maximum.
I had made some scrambled eggs and was wondering when to rouse the kid from her sleep, when she came running down the stairs. Ha! Speak of the
“Good morning, Lucy.”
“Morning, kid. Want some eggs for breakfast?”
“Sure” Thank Satan, kids do eat eggs!
We ate, and then I put on some Youtube videos which showed how to give a bath to birds, when we heard the doorbell.
Jumping with joy, she ran towards the door screaming “Mama! Papa!”.
It was, indeed, her parents. The kid gushed to her parents about how much fun she had at the pet store and then proceeded to tell them all about the previous day.
Finally, it was time for me to leave. My 24 hours on Earth was up. The Larsons thanked me for taking care of their kid, while she stood beside them with a sad expression on her face.
“Are you leaving now, Lucy? Won’t you stay for another day?”
Something pulled at my heart when I heard those words.
“Yeah, I’m sorry but I have to go to work today. It was nice meeting you” I said with a genuine smile.
“Oh, alright then. Good bye, Lucy. Will you come and play with me another day?”
“Goodbye…Kathy. Maybe one day” I said with a small wave and left.
Back in Hell:
“So, Son…Hope you learnt your lesson. How was your time on Earth?” father asked me with a smirk.
“I had a great time, actually. Thanks for the punishment, Father” I replied with a wink, and went to plot other ways to cause mayhem and havoc.