Melissa Joffe

Period 2

I Love Lucy

"Damn, I wish my life had been more exiting," John Mendeleev spoke as his soul lifted up from his body. John was a stout, balding man in his early thirties. He possessed little charm, wore square, thin-rimmed glasses and his hair line was on the verge of flowing straight into the Pacific Ocean. .

John marveled at the scene around his old body for a moment, watching as his previous boss, a woman who prided herself on her collection of antique gumball machines and most closely resembled a chipmunk, attempted to revive him by blowing air into his lungs. Needless to say, John was already dead and sucking face with a cadaver seemed, to him, no way to boost her reputation at the office. Partly disgusted and progressively uninterested, John walked away from the circle of huddled office workers standing around his old cubicle who were whispering into each others ear, "How do you think it happened?" "I bet it had to do with his gambling problem. You didn't know? He was a shark!"

He wandered around the elevator lobby, realizing that he no longer occupied a physical form only when the paramedics arrived and ran through him, leaving a ghost like dust before his image reappeared. John was anxious to find out about his new life and, for some reason, thought that pacing around the lobby would help him arrive at his "Final Destination", wherever that meant.

"You're gonna burn a hole in the freakin' carpet, slow down," The voice came from a man who was wearing a grey dress suit and carrying a briefcase, he looked like high-paid lawyer, but spoke nothing like one. He had just stepped out of the Elevator.

"Are you talking to me?" John blurted out quickly. He should have taken the man's diction as a clue to where he was going. No angel would talk like that.

"Who else would I be talkin' to? You're John Mendeleev, the freakin' dead guy, right?"

"Yeah," John was confused and had no idea what to make of the situation. He had accepted his death quite readily, though as soon as he met this man, his previous conceptions about the afterlife were shattered.

"Who in God's name are you?" John started his interrogation.

"Oh I'm not here in your so-called god's name."

"Well, then where are you from?"

"Hell. I'm part of the management team; we keep all that goes on in there under control. Satan, himself, doesn't do much." He pushed the elevator button.

"But, I thought-" John started.

"But, you thought wrong. All Satan actually does is the sentencing and there's not really much to that either. Oh, he'll sentence a few people to being his personal slaves, damn them to pooper-scoopering for all eternity, but he doesn't like to get his freakin' hands dirty. All he does is sit on his throne and whine about being a fallen angel. His wife is pretty damn hot, though." Resentment was clearly evident in the man's voice.

"By the way, the name's Frank."

"Does this mean I'm going to Hell?" The elevator door opened.

"Get on the damn elevator!"

"Answer my question!"

"God damn it. Yes, you're going to hell and yes, heaven is outta the question." Frank held the elevator door open.

They stepped into the elevator and the soon the car was free falling. While Frank remained calm and collected, John shrieked like a 5 year-old girl whose baby-doll's plastic head was crushed in a freak accident.

When the elevator stopped, John was crouched down on the floor. Frank hoisted him up and heaved open the doors. Intertwining black steel towered over their heads creating a distorted shadow of itself and their bodies on the ground. John gazed up and down the huge black gate in front of him, on which was inscribed a series of lines.

He read only the last few that warned,

"Before me nothing but eternal things were made,

And I endure eternally.

Abandon every hope, ye who enter here."

"All right, enough with the staring, just get over the eternal suffering bit, you're in hell. Deal with it," Frank pushed open the gate, revealing John's own customized hell, an enormous office filled with cubicles and middle-aged men and women typing on keyboards, looking at sports cars and porn online and fiddling with the office supplies on their desks.

John turned around and yelled, "Frank!"

"Oh, just calm down. Follow me." John

Frank led John into a back room while John contemplated the various possibilities he had for escape. He settled on blackmailing both Satan and his Management Supervisor.

"Here it is. Go on." Frank pounded his fist on the door and then shoved John through the doorway.

The room's interior was fashioned like and office, a light wooden desk in back, file cabinets to the side and an executive leather chair behind the desk that acted as Satan's throne. John sized it up, he played around with the arrangement of Satan's office in hi mind, " Move that chair there, that urn to the corner, toss the filthy coffee table and change the goddamn color scheme, Satan's gotta have taste."

"I want to have a bit of a chat," Satan greeted John with a hearty tone and a laugh that followed John's lack of response.

"So, I hear you've just arrived. I trust that Frank gave you a good welcome."

"Yeah, sure."

"Yeah, sure? What kind of a response is that?"

"Yes Satan, sir.

"You can call me Lucy if that would make you more comfortable with the whole death-hell thing."

"Well, Lucifer there's reason behind my nervousness. I'm looking to make you a deal. I have a piece of information about your wife and I will go public about it if you don't get me out of her and back into heaven or some other damn place where I should be." John's voice was loud and strong.

"May I ask what this information is?" Satan was calm and John started to think that he didn't much care about his wife.

"Your wife is cheating on you. What would people say if they knew the ruler of hell's woman was eating off another guy's plate?"

"I already know that. We've been having affairs for years. Is that all you got?"

"Um." John wondered why Satan never left his office.

"Well then, if we're done, I've got some sentencing to do," and in a loud and steady voice, "I damn you to an eternity of monotony, mediocrity and filing paperwork."

"No!" John's voice trailed off, dripping with agony.

Frank was waiting outside for John. Walking, John constructed another plan in his mind. He thought, "I need to gain control. I need to find a way to rule." John realized that in life, the ultimate consequence had been death. Therefore, in death there are no consequences.

John sat at his desk for days, formulating his plan to overrun Lucifer. He was patient though hell was unbearable. His office functioned just as his old day job had and he feared that he would once again die of actual boredom. John went over the plan in his head endlessly, "His powers lie only in his office. Without his office, Lucifer has no power. He functions only out of his office. Create a diversion by gluing the elevator doors shut. He leaves and you take over."

The plan was flawless and when it came time to execute it, John knew precisely what to do. He took crazy glue from the office supply room, snuck through the black gate and glued the elevator doors shut. No one could come in or go out. Satan was called out to the scene to see what had happened and when everybody had gathered around, wondering what the fuss was about; John Mendeleev usurped the throne to Hell.

Satan was furious when he arrived at his old office to find the door was locked. He pounded his fists on the door until John stepped out of his throne to open it.

"You can't do this. You can't actually do this!" Satan was on his knees, begging John to have mercy and give him back his throne.

"Oh, but you see I have already. I will now treat you with the same kindness that you bestowed upon me upon my arrival."

"What?" Satan mumbled.

"I'll give you my old job. Remember, Filing is an art form that takes eternity to perfect."

In death, John had acquired the power, the control, and the excitement that he wanted.