Not Rumi Nuff for You




Pamela sat at her desk wishing it were lunch time. She made a few more phone calls and went to the bathroom where she was quite happy to find herself alone. She took her lipstick out of her purse and began to apply it. All of a sudden she hear a voice.

“Knock, knock,” The voice said.

She looked around and saw no one.

“Knock, knock.”

She looked all around the bathroom, checking for feet underneath the stalls, but there was no one there.

She turned towards the door when suddenly she saw a large, pink florescent door that appeared to be floating. She gasped and walked backward. After a moment the words “Freedom” appeared on the door. Pamela felt as though she were frozen in place.

With this her coworker Isabel came bursting into the bathroom.

“Ahhhh” Pamela screamed.

“What’s going on,” Isabel said trying to process the scene in front of her.

“I was just putting on lipstick and this thing appeared.”

They both silently advanced towards the door and began to examine it closely.

“OMG Pammy, I know what this is!”

“What is it?”

“ It’s that question or riddle or something, I saw it on Oprah….There was this ancient old guy who said that there was a portal that was right in front of us to freedom and that if you went thought the portal you would be free.”

“Free how,” Pamela asked.

“I don’t know like free.”

“Like sexually free; everything is free financially what does that mean,” Pamela insisted.

“It’s gotta be better than telemarketing.” Isabell said.

Pamela attempted to push open the door, but it wouldn’t budge. She attempted to pull it but it appeared to be locked and there was no keyhole.

“Damnit, it’s locked from the inside.”

“Can we jimmie it open,” Isabel asked.

“Did you just say jimmie it; is it 1945? Besides what would we use?”

They both looked around. Pamela searched though the garbage and found a discarded plastic knife. They tried that and it broke instantly. Isabell snuck out to her desk and recovered her credit card. The two girls finally opened the door. They looked though to see a long water slide.

“I’m a scared,” Pamela said.

“I’m going in: Isabel said striping to her underwear and sliding down the slide.

Pamela heard a kerplunk followed by nothing; not even splashing.

She attempted to peak down the slide, but all she saw was splashing water. Suddenly the door flew up in the air and Pamela was knocked to the ground.

“Knock, knock” the door screamed. Knock, knock.” It flew right past Pamela’s head at an astounding rate. She attempted to leap up and grab on to it, built it was too fast for her.

She climbed onto the sink thinking she might jump on it, but she chickened out every time.

After a moment her boss walked in.

“Pamela, what are you doing you’ve been off the phone for 20 minutes?”

“I’m sorry, but I’ve discovered the portal to what may very well be freedom.”

Her boss looked up, saw the door and shock her head dismissively.

“If you’re not back in five minutes I will write you up,” she said exiting the bathroom.

Pamela looked at the door to the truth flying over the stalls, she didn’t really want to get written up, but she couldn’t help but me curious.

The door stopped its mad whirl and landed directly in front of her.

“knock knock” it said.

“Whose there,” she asked?

“Not Rumi,” it said.

“Not Rumi who?”

It opened and she put her legs in and then her torso. She was just about to let go when the rush of water stopped circulating around her and the door got smaller and smaller. Until it disappeared along with her legs and torso.

She sighed and walked on her hands back to her desk. She picked up the phone and began to dial.


The Complaint (part 14)


“So, what’s good on TV tonight?,” she asked.

“I don’t know, love. To be honest I don’t watch it much since I got here, it makes me miss life. There’s a bar in the adjacent building, I was gonna get a beer, do you want to join me?”

“Why not,” she said, wondering what everyone’s reaction would be when they walked into a bar together. She imagined they would think she was paying him.

They walked down a tube that was made entirely of glass like so many structures in Hell. Dollar bills fell from the sky above the tube and blew around and around it in a maddening, hypnotic dance.  Ellen couldn’t help but want to grab them, even though she knew they were worthless there.

“The tubes are a spectacle the first time you see them,” Kyle said breaking her trance.

“There amazing, do they all have singles or are there some with higher denominations?”

He laughed, “They don’t all just have money, some have pornography, some have video games playing all around others have meat or drugs or weapons.  Some days I just go for a long walk through all the tubes, you should try it this weekend.”

“I was going to ask if there were still weekends here.”

“I should warn you they’re only every ten days and there is a mandatory play that you have to watch.”

They arrived at a bar called Arbuckle’s which was an impressive three story establishment with a restaurant on the main floor a dance club in the basement and a small tavern on the third floor. Kyle began to head downstairs.

“I should warn you I’m not a very good dancer,” Ellen said looking for an out.

“Oh, were not the ones that will be doing the dancing.”

“Oh, is it like strippers?”

“Nothing that much fun I’m afraid.”

They entered the basement to find several naked, middle-aged people hopping up and down on hot coals. Some of the patrons lobbed rotten eggs at them.

“Who are they,” she asked.

“Former bureaucrats; they were lazy in life and so they’re never allowed to stop dancing, or trying to.”

 He grabbed several eggs and handed them to Ellen. He grabbed a handful for himself and they began throwing them. At first Ellen found it hard to get angry, she didn’t even know these people. Then she remembered an aggravating financial aid rep she had to deal with at Jr. college and a rude employee at the DMV. She lobbed her eggs a little harder at the thought of them.

She couldn’t help but be a little envious of the punishment planner who thought of this one.

The Complaint (Part 13)


Ellen ran back downstairs and began typing out her punishment. She had decided that Barrett the Bully would have to spend the rest of eternity eating his own vomit. It was metaphorical in that everything he ever said in his life was a rejection of what was inside of him; it was economical in that they wouldn’t have to feed him or hire any torturers and it was environmentally sound in that this new resident would leave absolutely no carbon foot print whatsoever.

She printed it and proudly showed it to Rhonda.

“H’mm,” Rhonda said glancing at it. “Well, I guess it’s not so bad for a first try. We’ll hand it in and see how she flies,” she said in a bit of a condescending tone.

Ellen went back to her desk deflated. She wondered how many chances she got before she got fired. She wondered if she could get fired. She wondered if she got fired would she just be assigned to another job or would she get some sort of eternal punishment? If so, what would her punishment. It occurred to her that they might dislike her punishment so much that they would decide to make it her punishment.

She returned to reading the news website. There was a story about next year’s elections for Satan. No less than seven demons were running for the office and it was a two party system. The Brimstone party was known for adhering to very strict satanic ideals.  From what Ellen could surmise, the Brimstonians believed in evil for evils sake whereas their counterparts the Treacle Party believed that money, being the root of all evil, was what society should be striving for.

There was a fat round demon who had worked on earth as a factory farmer and an oil tank owner. He was running on a platform of environmental destruction. He was a member the Brimstone party. His opponents included a tall, thin pink demon who had been a cult leader, a curvy lady demon who had run a pay to kill hunting farm and a strikingly bright orange demon who had been the host of many swinger’s parties.  All the Brimstonian candidates were ganging up on him as they felt he leaned to close to the treacle party. They said the swinger’s parties just provided a distraction from serious matters rather than being truly evil themselves.

The Treacle had an equally horrifying roster of candidates. The included a two headed red demon who had been a venture capitalist on earth, he was running on a platform of pure greed. There was a long polk-a-dot demon who had been a corporate attorney on earth. He’d gotten hundreds of corporations of the hook for doing horrible things. Still, he was the center of some controversy as there had never been a polk-a-dot Satan. Rounding out the group was the incumbent Satan, a square green creature who had been a Hollywood producer in the world. He had been involved in a scandal earlier that year when it came out that he had raised a good deal of money for starving orphans back in his old filmmaking days. Although he had repeatedly stated that the charities were just a cover and he had stolen most of the money, his approval ratings had dropped considerably.

After reading about them Ellen was very happy that she didn’t have the vote. She didn’t like any of the candidates and although she was apparently evil she didn’t really know that much about how it all worked.

Her stomach was in knots all the way home. She told Virgil about her experience at work and he attempted to comfort her.

“It’s very rare for anyone to get fired from any job, it’s basically government work. They’ll give you lots of tries. Worst case you would get reassigned. The only workers I’ve ever seen get fired are the subversives; people who don’t do as they’re told.”

“I just don’t want to be eating SpaghettiOs and living in the dorms forever.”

“I think you’ll be fine. Hey, Ellen, there’s an orgy on Friday at one of the clubs in the fourth circle, would you like to go with me?”

“Oh,, your sweet, but, I really don’t think I’m ready for that yet,” she said grateful that they had reached the dorms.”

“I understand,” VIrgil said trying not to sound hurt.

Ellen entered the dorms and made a bee line for the bathroom. She tried not to look in the soul mirror as she passed by. She went into the kitchen where she found Kyle enjoying a sandwich. She heated up her much loathed dinner and sat down to join him. She told him everything that happened including the part about Virgil inviting her to the orgy.

“I’ve been to those things they’re really boring”.


“Yeah, they have all these games but it takes forever to get them going. I prefer my experiences to be one on one,” he smiled at her.

“So Where’s Danni,” she asked feeling herself beginning to blush.

“”She moved into an apartment. I’m happy for her. She’s a bloody hard worker.”

“Yes, well that’s good for her than. How did your haunting go last night?

“Pretty well, I’m really close to signing this one girl, I just have to wine her and dine her a bit more. I’ll probably go back tomorrow night and seal the deal.”

It occurred to Ellen that she and Kyle would be the only ones in the dorm that night.


The Complaint (part 7)


“Rhonda, will I get to punish my own killer,” Ellen asked digging in to her meal.

“Probably not. Upper management doesn’t generally like to make things personal. He feels that people don’t create logical punishments when their emotionally involved.”

Several short fat neon creatures with horns and tails sat down at the table next to them they were handed menus.

“Who are those guys,” Ellen asked.

“Those are uncloaked demons. Normally, they take human form and roam the earth recruiting souls.”

“They get menus?”

“Oh, yeah. They’re like celebrities down here.” Rhonda said. “The green one has his own talk show.”

The two women finished their lunches and returned to the office. Rhonda showed Ellen how the various computer programs worked and Ellen had her new employee orientation.

She was given a health care card and shown the gym. She marveled at the raging fire that burnt just outside of the glass walls of the gym.

“Most of us sit all day, so we need a really intense workout”, the trainer explained.

At the end of the day Virgil picked Ellen up in his boat and they drove to the intern dorms. She was shown to a small room with a large bed and told that she would be sleeping there until she had completed her first three punishments.

She went into the kitchen to microwave her dinner SpagehttiO’s . A tall man with dark hair and blue eyes was sitting at the table reading the newspaper and eating.

“Hi,” Ellen said.

“Oh, hi. You must be the new girl, Ellen is it? I’m Kyle, “ the man said in a crisp English accent. Ellen felt a deep tension in her stomach when he took her her hand in his strong grip.

“Yes, it’s nice to meet you.”

“The SpaghettiO’s are in the shelf over there.”

She prepared her meal while he read the paper.

“They have a newspaper down here,” she enquired.

“Yeah, just a weekly, it’s called Hell Week.”

He held up the paper for her to see.

“Oh my God the headline,” she said.

Satan Disappointed in weak death toll at mall shooting”.

“Oh, is that how you died?”

“Yeah,” She said reading over his shoulder, “Ellen Turnblue 24.”

“That’s a nice picture of you.”

“Thanks,” she said drawing away from him a bit.

She sat down and began to eat. It occurred to her that there was no way to look graceful eating Spaghetti’Os. She wondered how she looked, she hadn’t seen a mirror since she’d gotten there. If she looked the same in death as she did in life than he was considerably prettier than her. She wondered if there was a league system in Hell.

The Complaint (part 5)

“OK, Ellen said.
Virgil will take you to your desk
Virgil and Ellen got into Ellen’s private motor boat and traveled a few miles down the river. Ellen marveled at the amazing array of plastic palm trees and mechanical animals that lined the shore. Enormous bags of garbage floated down the river, some people rode on the bags.
“We love plastic around here, makes the earth die faster.”” Virgil said. “Those people you see floating on the bags were coach potatoes. “See that island of trash over there? “That’s all from movie sets; do you like movies?”
“They’re okay, Ellen said sensing that another question was coming and wanting to avoid it.
They docked in front of a building marked operations.
Virgil gave her a brief tour as they walked towards her desk.
“This first section over here is acquisitions. That guy in the grey is Bill is in charge of bribery, the one in blue is Sam he’s in purchasing.”
“That lady he’s with looks just like Sarah Palin. “ Ellen commented.
“That is Sarah Palin A.K.A Mussolini the demon of a thousand faces as we call her; she’s like seven hundred years old “ Virgil said.
“Over here is marketing, they do product placement, spray on tans, if you ever saw Sex and the City that was their special project. They do a lot of blogging these days.
Here’s the kitchen, coffee, vending machine and oh we have a book sharing station.
Ellen was disappointed to see the coffee was Folgers, the only candy in the machine was white chocolate and the only book was Fifty Shades of Grey.
Virgil lead her to the Planning and Danger department and showed her to a small cubicle. She sat down and waited to be told what to do. She was sitting wondering what her funeral was like when a loud voice interrupted her.
“Hey, you must be the new planner, I’m Rhonda!”
Ellen, looked up to see a plump woman of around thirty with enormous hair and bright red lipstick standing over her.
“I’m Ellen”.
“Are you hungry, I was just about to go to lunch?”
The two women took headed upstairs to a restaurant on the roof of the building called the Observatory.”
Ellen was amazed at what she saw when she entered the dining room. The room comprised entirely of glass and every window had a different view of Hell.