A Reporter Gets an Interview Unlike Any He's Ever Known...
"Is it true ", said the reporter as he walked behind his host trying not to step on his flowing black robe,"That you are thousands of years old?"
"That's correct…" came the hollow answer.
"Is it also true that you've known many of the worlds great leaders?" said the reporter trying to keep up with his hosts’ increasingly rapid gate.
"That's correct." Again, the hollow reply.
"Could you name some of them please?" said the reporter stumbling over a rock and almost dropping his pad and pencil.
"Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, Adolf Hitler, Rudolf Hess," he intoned as he walked. "Caesar, all of the Caesars'," he said wistfully, "I especially liked Caligula and ofcourse, Nero..." he said with a fond smile.
They rounded a corner and went down a crumbling flight of stone stairs. The light was dim at the bottom but once there, off in the distance, the reporter could see a set of gates.
"Nero, wasn't he responsible for some of the persecution against the early Christians by ordering the burning of Rome, and then blaming it on the Christians"?
"Exactly..." came the reply, with more than just a hint of satisfaction.
"Well, I asked you for a list of some of the 'great' men of history that you've known, but, all you've given me are some the world's worst killers and mass murderers."
"Yes…" he said emphatically.
They were nearly at the gates now that hung askew on their hinges. If one could say, they hung on anything. For to the reporter, it looked from where he stood, as if there had been a massive explosion and the gates were ‘fused’ in their respective positions, bent outwards almost double as if they had been closed when blown open--from the inside. Two hulking creatures stood back inside the gates concealed by shadow, only the glowing embers of their eyes could be seen.
"…Because to me," continued his host, "These are great men..."
Looking at the gate, the nervous but courageous young reporter felt now was the time to breach another touchy subject. "What about Jesus Christ? Where does He fit in—“
There was an immediate reaction to that Name. There was an awful wail from inside the gates, like thousands of nails raking across slate followed by a prolonged and painful screech. The two hulking creatures, in obvious fear, tried to close the gates, but fused as they were, the gates wouldn't budge. His host immediately froze in mid step. Visibly shaken, he placed a hand on the wall to steady himself. He covered his ears with both hands to try to drown out the sound of that Name as the very walls seem to take it up and echo it back to him, tauntingly. He turned abruptly to face the reporter and said,
"Please, do not ever use that Name in here again. We are liable to have unpredictable consequences down here when you use that Name..."
"Really?" The reporter wrote feverishly."So, what did you think of Him?" He continued.
"What do I think of Him? Look around you! It was He who did all of this," he said with a sweep of his hand encompassing all the debris strewn everywhere.
The reporter said, "Can't you repair all of this?"
"It's beyond repair! We're finished. Doomed! We just hope no one knows it yet. Though there is a group that does," he said under his breath, "Those cursed 'Bible-Believing' Christians…"
"So, where's all this 'great power' you have that we see displayed in the movies?"
"Just where you saw it," Satan said somewhat dejectedly, "In the movies…What I have works only when people operate in fear, or sin, lust, envy, hate, etc.. That's where in my power lay. I held the earth in bondage subject to the fear of death and it was wonderful! They would do anything I wanted.. But then, He came. And in three years time, He destroyed what it had taken me thousands of years to build! So we . . . we thought, surely if, if we killed Him that would be the end of it. But no! That was the worst of it. For, because we had killed the Son of God, the Lamb of God, through the agency of the 'High Priesthood', it constituted a 'legal sacrifice' that God accepted as payment for the sins of the whole world! Then He arose, came through here, and did this! If I had known, I would never have had Him crucified..."
"I notice you're wearing an empty key chain with no keys on it. Why is that?"
Satan's eyes narrowed on his guest. "I'm beginning to see why no one likes reporters . . ." he said slowly. "Is that your idea of being funny? I grant you an interview unlike any before time and you insult me!"
It was obvious that some thing about the empty key ring pained him because absentmindedly while walking or talking he would frequently rub the key ring longingly.
“Uh, no, Your Evilship, I never intended—“
"Here at one time I held the Keys of Death, Hell and The Grave, but no more!"
"Why not?" asked the curious reporter.
"Don't you ever read your Bible!" the evil one said tersely, seizing the young reporter with his eyes, "Because He took them!" he shouted angrily.
"Oh . . . Well," the reporter said putting away his pad and pencil, "I don't want to over stay my welcome so, I guess I'll be going," he said sheepishly. It was getting just a mite too warm in here for him now. "Thanks for the interview..."
"Must you be leaving so soon? I wanted to show you inside the gates. You mustn't run off just yet. Come inside, please, I insist!" His smoother than oil smile barely hid his malevolent intentions. He motioned to the two beings inside the gate as he grabbed the reporter by the arm.
"Quickly! Help me get him inside the gate! Quickly!!"
The two huge man-beasts came loping rapidly on all fours in his direction. Satan's grip was a steel clamp on his arm. Terror seized him and he struggled desperately.
"No!" the frightened reporter shouted as they dragged him toward the dark and yawning gate…
"Yes, you will come with me and I will give you an interview you will never forget--for all eternity!" The Master of Evil said laughing, and his fetid breath was a choking vapor that sucked oxygen from the air and threatened to render the young man unconscious.
He wished he'd gone to church more like his mother use to frequently ask. Then, an idea!
"JESUS!" the young man shouted and Satan screamed.
"JESUS!" He shouted again, and the earth began to move and all Hell shook in fear.
"JESUS!" he shouted and Satan joined his two hulking minions in a terror filled retreat through the warped gates of Hell . . .
Ed Martel awoke with a start, sweating profusely. He quickly turned on the light. The clock glowed 2:15 a.m. He thought for a moment, then grabbed the phone and punched in a number. At the other end, he heard an extremely sleepy but familiar voice answer the phone.
"Hello, Mom? It’s me, Ed. No, yeah, everything's fine. Sorry it's so late. But I, I just wanted to call and tell you that I'm going to be going to church with you Sunday . . . Yeah. Huh? Oh, no reason . . ."