Bob is dragged away for an enforced rest - for Distorted Minds Contest
Bob felt all cozy and warm in his new padded straitjacket. How kind of Pleasantville Sanitorium to provide such comfortable clothing for their cherished guests. If he could only figure out to scratch his itchy back, everything would be perfect. He strolled over to the single window of his ten-foot-square padded cell. A "time out cell", the nurse called it, but it quacked like a duck to him. Sadly, the base of the window was above his head, so he couldn’t see out. He wished it were open. A breeze would be nice to help take away that godawful disinfectant stench.
Inside, the only furnishing was a recess set into the wall that doubled as a chair in the day and a bed at night. No sheets. What they thought he could do with bedsheets while wearing a straitjacket, he didn’t know. The four white walls of his universe provided little stimulation. He supposed that was kinda the point.
He shrugged his shoulders in an attempt to create some friction. The persistent itch between his shoulder-blades infuriated him. “Hey, someone help me out!” he shouted. Nobody answered. They never did. They only entered when he was quiet and laying down. Anyone would think he was dangerous or something. He sighed and perched on his chair-cum-bed. A TV or even a book or magazine would be nice.
The door lock clicked, and he glanced over. Two large goons in white uniforms entered followed immediately by a petite woman with a pleasing face wearing a white lab coat. She smiled in a cold, professional manner. “Mr. Baker, isn’t it? You have an interesting file.”
He snorted and glanced at her nametag. “I’m a fry cook, Doctor Moor. What’s interesting about that?”
“Call me Olive, please.”
“Sure, Doc. But only if you call me Bob.”
“Very well, Bob.” She produced a pencil and notebook. “Can we talk about Satan?”
“You know…Lucifer, the Devil. You and he are quite close, I understand.”
“Oh, that Satan. Sure. What do you want to know?”
“Do you mind if I sit?”
He raised an eyebrow and glanced around the empty room.
She nodded to someone out of sight behind the door, and a uniformed minion with arms like the Rock’s entered with a chair. He placed the chair in the center of the cell and left, but the other two goons remained. As she proceeded to sit, a pleasant flowery aroma filled the air between them. She crossed her stocking-clad legs and rested her notebook atop her raised knee. “So, I understand you believe you are possessed by Lucifer…?”
He tore his gaze away from her shapely legs long enough to answer, “You were misinformed.”
She provocatively bit the pencil stub, making him swell below. “Would you care to…elaborate, Bob?”
He cleared his throat. “I am not possessed by the devil. I simply am a devil. A demon from the lower depths of Hell.”
Doctor Moor eagerly scribbled his words onto her pad. “You believe you’re an actual demon.”
Goon Number One, the bald, ugly one, shook his head behind her back. Bob swallowed his irritation. “Know rather than believe, Olive.”
“I’m pleased you find me so.”
“And what made you first suspect you were a demon?”
“Hmm…” He cast his mind back. “It was around six thousand years ago. God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and suddenly I was born into the shadows along with all my kindred souls.”
She scratched the pencil across her pad, biting her lips in concentration. Bob rolled his shoulders, that itch even distracting him from the ample bulge of Doctor Moor’s breasts against her tight lab coat.
“You’ve created an elaborate back story for yourself,” she continued. “You claim to have discovered tangible evidence of your true nature.”
He pushed his shoulders as far forward as he could while constrained by the straitjacket, but it only exacerbated the itch. He sighed. “Sulfurous stench in the bathroom, a demonic face in the mirror every morning when I brush my fangs, and supernatural strength…that’s not counting the wings that appear when I need them.”
Goon Number Two smirked, his wiry whiskers reminding Bob of a walrus. Bob frowned. He didn't think he'd said anything amusing.
Doctor Moor glanced at her notes. “Ah, yes. Wings. Just out of curiosity, how do you rationalize the fact you haven't actually got wings…or fangs, for that matter.”
“They're all retractable, like my horns. When I don't need 'em, they pull back into my body and become undetectable by medical science.”
Bob wrinkled his nose. “Bah. Not really. The fangs aren't as sharp as I'd like them to be, and the wings are too flimsy for complex aerodynamic maneuvers in flight. Bad design. I blame the Manufacturer.”
Doctor Moor pointed her dented pencil stub at him. “That would be God?”
“Well, duh. He created everything, whether it’s bad or good. Though, and I admit to bias here, I do think He did a much better job when creating the bad.” He cocked his head in a self-assured manner and winked.
The corners of her lips curled. “It seems you subscribe to the Judeo-Christian canon.”
He frowned. “Not really. You know most of that began as an oral history, right? Eye-witness accounts passed from one generation to the next in spoken stories, subtly altered in each generation like Chinese whispers. Once they got around to writing the stories down, they left out an unbelievable number of things, such as all that stuff that happened with Lilith in the beginning. Not to mention Adam’s third and fourth wives. It was a worse whitewash than the George Floyd affair.”
“Adam’s fourth wife…?” She gestured with her pencil. “No, let’s not go down that road. I need to talk to you about reality.”
He tried rubbing his back against the corner of his recess, but the padding prevented effective scratching. “Reality is subjective. Hey, would you mind scratching my back? I've got an itch between my shoulder-blades, and it’s really irritating.”
“Sorry.” She gave an apologetic shrug. “Physical contact with patients is not permitted.”
Bob sighed. “It’s okay. I understand.”
Doctor Moor flipped through her notebook. “You already stated that you are a fry cook, yet you also claim to be a demon. How do you reconcile those two facts in your mind?”
“Sorry, Olive. You see, after years spent torturing sinners on the burning pyres of Hell, overcooking burgers comes naturally. So, when my bestie Screwtape—”
“Screwtape?” She referred to her pad. “He’s some kind of senior demon, right?”
“Yeah, ‘s right. Anyway, Screwtape came up to me one day while I was playing a game of flay poker in a dingy dive on the Thirteenth Level—”
“Sorry, flay poker?”
“Like strip poker, but we strip away skin rather than clothes.”
“Oh. Sorry I asked. Please, do continue.”
“Right. Well, as I was saying, I was just about to lay down a Royal Flush—”
“Seriously, a Royal Flush?”
Goon Number One yawned, covering his mouth, but Bob could see he was mouthing “bullshit”.
Bob glared at the goon, but he just grinned back, so Bob ignored him and gave his full attention to the delectable Doctor Moor. “The Devil’s own luck, as they say. Anyway, Screwtape materialized beside me and informed me there was an opportunity for an enterprising demon to scout ahead on Earth.”
“Why would he need you to scout?”
“Preparing for the coming apocalypse. You must have seen the signs? They were well advertised in Revelations.”
“Ah, yes. I see.” She glared at Goon Number Two, who was snickering in an unprofessional manner, then offered Bob a sympathetic smile. “I’m sorry, but you need to understand this is all in your head. There's no such thing as a demon, and you are a perfectly ordinary human being.”
Bob finally lost patience with his itchy back. He unfurled his bat-like wings. The tattered fragments of his straitjacket slipped soundlessly to the floor. He flapped his feathers once, twice. Ah, that was a relief.
Goon Number One reacted first. His eyes widened. He took one step backward. Bob nonchalantly lifted one finger. A spark of fire erupted from his fingertip and hit One between the eyes. He dropped. A stench like rotting eggs lingered in the air. Goon Number Two stared silently at One for a whole second. A dark patch appeared on his uniform pants. He spun toward the door. Bob made a twisting motion with his left hand. Two’s neck snapped, and he collapsed in the doorway.
Olive’s eyes widened. She straightened her legs and licked her lips. “I-it’s true. Y-you’re…”
“A fry cook, yes. Underwhelming, I know.” He groaned in pleasure as he freely stretched his wings and then rubbed them together to ease his itchy back. “Ah, that’s so much better.” He examined Doctor Moor from breast to toe then grinned, exposing his fangs. “Tell me, Olive. What’s your ethical position on interspecies relationships?”
Word Count: 1500
Prompt #3 - the video below