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“Right. So, it says here you fell from heaven two years ago.”

“Yes sir, that’s right. Rebelled against God, was cast out from the Kingdom of Heaven and now bear extreme malevolence against humanity.”


[clears throat] “And, uh, so, after being expelled from Heaven, as I said, I bear extreme malevolence toward humanity, and take any opportunity to tempt man so that I may curse his soul to eternal damnation.”

“Ah, okay - can you tell me about some of those opportunities? A time when you’ve been able to take advantage of man’s inherent weakness and frailty and bring him toward sin?”

“Well, uh, you know, as I put in my portfolio, I’ve done plenty of study on it, I know all the tricks - I’m proficient in avarice, gluttony, lust, the whole seven yards - I’ve even got my serpentry certificate, and my paper “No One’s Going To See Where You Put That” got the highest recommendation from my advisers, so-”

“I’m looking for actual scenarios, though. Do you have any real-world experience with temptation?”

“Well, no, but-”

“Because you see, we can’t afford the time to train people who don’t have the requisite real-world experience. Too much of an investment, when there’s so many more skilled candidates on the market these days. You spent two years training someone, and then as soon as you’ve got them up to a level where they’re a productive member of your underworld, they up and leave for another organization. It just doesn’t make sense for our bottom line.”

“I see…”

“Listen, you have some impressive marks from your primary fall from heaven, but this two-year gap in your resume is going to give any employer concern. We want to see someone jump straight from heaven to the fiery depths of hell. That shows motivation and commitment - and if you don’t have those, you’re not going to success in this business.”

“I just… I’ve been looking for two years, and there’s no chance to get my hoof in the door, and-”

“You could’ve taken an internship. Built up your skills and your network, and learn what it’s like to be part of an organization. Instead, it seems you’ve just been sitting around on your tail.”

“Those internships are all unpaid, though, and I just can’t afford to-”

“Right. Well, I’ve got other candidates waiting. I’m sorry, but that’s all the time I have here. You can leave a copy of your resume with reception; they’ll give you a call if something lower-level opens up in a few months.”

“Thank you, but I swear, if you just give me a ch-”

“Diane? Send my next one in.”

It’s been like this ever since I fell from heaven. In my parents’ generation, you could jump straight from the clouds to the rivers of fire without missing a beat. You’d get a starting salary that you could raise a family of demons on, even put a down-payment on a lair. Those days are gone now. You come out of heaven with a mountain of debt and no opportunities. They expect you to work for free! “Come in, tempt some humans to the fiery pits of screams — we’ll pay for your transit pass!” That’s great if your parents are paying your rent, but I’d be commuting two hours from purgatory and still losing money. It’s just not sustainable.

I’ve hit up every place you could think of. All the big houses of demonry. Then I figured, well, if I can’t go straight into the profession, I’ll get some experience in a related field. So, you know, I look at the arms dealers, terrorist organizations, smuggling rings, Wells Fargo, Cici’s Pizza, Blackwater, the NCAA, all of the places a young angel with no morals and a desire to do harm might fit in. But they all say the same thing: I just don’t have the experience. (Wells Fargo did open an account for me, though.)

I figure, fine, if I’m going to differentiate myself in the job market, I’m going to have to go back, get a graduate degree. There’s one school I know has a great reputation - puts lots of people into the top industries, pure evil, beautiful campus, great traditions. So I sent my application in. Heck, I’m not even applying anywhere else. I know this is where I’m going to go.

And then the letter comes back. “We regret to inform you that you have not been accepted for admission to the fall semester at Duke University. Your grades and test scores were not at a level with our selected applicants.”

Well, now I’m in a real bind. I’ve got to get in somewhere, but the admissions deadlines for all the good places have passed.

Then I considered one more place.

Revisit previous entries in my Real Mascot Secrets series:

The Hammer and the Damage Done


Forever Young

In The Air Tonight

The Costume-Maker’s Curse

Ballad of the Sun-Eater

The Focus Group

Dotting the Ides