“I can’t believe you just did that!”
“What I did! What about what you did!”
“What? I did nothing!”
“I didn’t kill him! That’s totally on you, buddy!”
It’s not often that co-workers are responsible for the ‘accidental’ death of their boss. But unfortunately for Tom and Barbara, an undeniable dead body is hard to ignore.
“I didn’t know he was allergic to lima beans! It’s not like you go up to your boss and say, ‘Hey, Satan, could you give me a list of all the foods you might be deathly allergic to?’ Now is it!”
Wide-eyed, Tom quickly threaded his long red tail between his black-taloned shaking claws as he nervously mumbled, “I mean, how would that look! He might have thought I was planning to top him!”
“Tom.” Barbara rubbed her tired face. “You force-fed him lima beans and he choked on one of them; he didn’t have an allergic reaction.”
Gobsmacked, Tom bellowed, “I did NOT force feed him. I presented him with a lima bean salad on couscous!”
Barbara sneered straight into her co-worker’s honest face as he pointed to the meal’s remains scattered over the floor.
“He took a sip of water, another mouthful of my salad and then he… just died!”
“Tom, Tom, Tom. You killed Satan. You’re going straight to heaven, and you know it!” Barbara smiled broadly, her long fangs shining in the light of Hell's fires.
“I bet you’d like everyone to believe your… your, ” Tom’s mind scrambled for a worthy insult as he scanned the smeared couscous. “Your smearing lies, wouldn’t you, Barbara? You DO GOODER! You GOOD SAMARITAN!” Under the trying circumstances, this was the best he could do.
Laughing, Barbara walked past the poor panting Tom and flicked his head. "Dirty words just excite me, Tommy!"
The heat wasn’t helping Tom’s frayed nerves; he already felt fiery from searing fear, but the fires had, obviously, just been stoked with a batch of new souls and now the whole domain was sweltering.
Barbara wiped some sweat from her horns with the detached hand of some poor damned individual who no longer used it. “You know Tom,” she sighed pretentiously, “they’re going to notice that there’s something off." She flippantly threw the hand onto a pile of bones in the office corner whilst caressing her overlarge horns with a clean paw. “They’re probably going to realise the Boss isn’t himself sooner rather than later.”
“You think Barbara! Do you really think they might not notice his slumped and bloated body lying back in his chair with his little hoofies pointing straight up to the sky? You don’t think they might just miss that?”
Tom’s tail was now swinging from side to side, always a great indicator that he was at his wit’s end.
“Look, Tom. This isn’t my problem; I’m just trying to be supportive here. Just because I was promoted, and you weren’t, doesn’t give you the right to throw an absolute fit and try to take us both down… or up as the case may be.” Barbara started collecting the lead crystal glasses, placing them ever so carefully back into the brown delivery box which contained the unopened bottles of water she’d brought ‘The Boss’ as a present.
“What the heavens do you think you’re blessed well doing?” Tom slid over to Barbara's side as she tried to avoid eye contact.
“Nothing!” A bright red and muscular back turned on Tom blocking his view.
Suspicion grew in the space between them as the gears of Tom’s mind finally clicked together. “Let me look at that water.”
The opened bottle on the table was quickly snatched out of his reach, “No, it’s just water Tom, just very expensive bottled water from France. It’s nothing.” Barbara then fervently shoved it back into the carry box. “I’m just going to return the bottles to the shop. Can’t stand the pretentious crap myself! Gotta look after the environment and all that… crap.”
Unfortunately for Barbara, she was not quick enough to stop Tom’s slithering clawed hand from reaching into her carton and pulling out an unopened bottle. As he read the label, his eyes widened, matching his leering grin. “Oh, you naughty, naughty she-demon. You did a bad, bad thing!”
An angry face with a mouth full of daggered teeth turned to Tom as Barbara tried to grab the bottle back. “Shut your dumb face, Tom! I need the bottles to be clean, so I can return them and get my money back!”
“Oh, what a crock of,” Tom sneered, making his long fangs protrude over his bottom lip, “butterfly poop, Barbara. You should have read the label first before you brought your fancy schmancy French spring water to the boss.” Tom leaned in closer to his colleague, his sulphurous breath tracing her elongated ear lobe, exposing his neck to her maw. “It wasn’t the lima beans, was it Barb? It was the water!”
“Shut your dirty potty mouth.” Barbara’s sharp barbs grew pointed and hard along her spine.
“Your fancy schmancy French spring water,” Tom quickly put his half glasses on the end of his long snout “, bottled by the Monks of Deepwater.”
“Don’t you go there, Tom, don’t you dare. You’ve always been jealous of me. Always undermining me. Stealing my project ideas.” Barbara’s back now rustled and clacked as a multitude of defensive spikes rubbed together.
So Tom wouldn’t see it, a bottle of water was carefully taken from the box and unscrewed quietly behind her back.
“Oh, Barb, you big fat spikey liar. You steel everyone else’s ideas and dress them up as your own. Everyone down in accounting says you’re so busy licking the hoofs of Satan that your tongue matches his office carpet.” Tom laughed and held the bottled water up high. “But you’ve really messed up this time, Barb.”
He bent over and slapped his knee with his free hand, trying to catch his breath as tears rolled down his cheeks in mirth, “You gave Satan Fancy Schmancy French spring water bottled by Monks who bless every batch.” His maw opened wide enough to encompass his fist, which he bit down on, trying not to lose control over his bladder as he gave in and whimpered in glee, “You gave Satan. The Prince of Darkness. Holy Water as a present!”
It was too much for Barbara. The bottle’s cap was slowly unwound. “So, you think it’s funny, do you? You couldn’t get out of accounting because you were too handsy with everyone. No one likes you, Tom. Everybody says so. But I’d like you,” the bottle’s contents were sprayed over Tom’s laughing face, “to have some water and do us all a favour. DIE!”
Barbara’s plan would have worked if she’d just been a little quicker. If she’d watched Tom’s hands which were just that little bit faster than her own.
“Ahhhhh, it burns. It’s so cold, it burns!” Barbara slumped down to the floor, smoke billowing around her charring form.
Tom clawed at the scalding water as it cleansed his soul. “Barbara, you idiot, what have you done?
“That’s so funny!”
“Yeah, I know. But it’s also true!”
“No, it can’t be. Which demon would be stupid enough to feed Satan Holy Water?”
“Well… lucky for this little devil Barbara and Tom were. Would you like to come and have a look at my new office? I’ve just been promoted into dead devil’s shoes!”