On The Importance of Proof Reading

On the night of the incident, Carl had been a devil worshiper for 47 days, 3 hours, and 24 minutes. Of the many transgressions against God and nature Carl had been guilty of during this time, possessing a criminally superior intellect couldn't have been counted among the list. Impatient, coarse, and quick to anger, Carl often rushed head long into folly without second thought, leaving a path of destruction and misery in his wake.

Perhaps we should note, for the sake of clarity, that Carl had made the same mistake many do when they decide to stray from the path of the righteous. There is an often misunderstood difference between satanists and devil worshipers. A satanist believes in no god other than themselves. To them, the idea of adhering to the time worn fables of the endless struggle between heaven and hell is laughable. They believe that they can harness the power of their instinct and will to bend the world to their desires. Devil worshipers, on the other hand, make blood scarifies to their dark lord in the hope of being granted special powers and privilege. Carl, in his haste to gain some control over his spiraling fortunes, had failed to recognize these key distinctions. As a result he had emptied the shelves of three separate pet shops, carting off dozens of Siberian dwarf hamsters, seven gerbils, and one obese chinchilla to an unnecessarily violent and fruitless death.

On the evening in question, Carl sat at his desk angrily mashing the fingers of his left hand down on the keyboard of his laptop. As he searched message boards in hopes of finding answers to why his rites and incantations continued to fail in bringing him the dominance over his fellow man he so desired, he sucked on the wound on his right thumb that he'd received from the small, yet defiant jaws of his latest victim.

After hours of mashing, pounding, and printing, Carl believed he had discovered the breakthrough he'd been looking for. He rushed to the kitchen and flung open cabinet after cabinet, tossing aside boxes of pasta and cans of beans until his found an open bag of oatmeal raisin cookies that had been left by his ex who, to the best of Carl's knowledge, was still off "finding" herself in a vegan commune somewhere outside Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Breathlessly Carl sprinted back to the make-shift alter he'd cobbled together from scarps of Ikea furniture and an Oakland Raiders commemorative plastic plate. Brushing aside a cold, fuzzy corpse, he carefully placed a single cookie on the plate and grabbed several sheets of paper from his printer.

It should go without saying that Carl could not read Latin. It should be equally obvious that Carl in no way thought of this as a significant hurdle to his endeavors. His clumsy pronunciations of the ancient language poured out of his mouth with unyielding bravado, filling the cramped studio apartment with the sour odor of desperation and unbrushed teeth.

When he had reached the end of the last paragraph he stood in silent anticipation. He stared intently at the shriveled raisins that poked though the surface of the cookie, studying them like an archeologist peering into the depths of a freshly opened tomb. After a seeming eternity (approximately one and one half minutes), Carl's hands began to shake uncontrollably. He crumpled the printouts into a ball and tossed them out the open window, cursing and stomping his feet. He tore off the black cape that had been tied around his neck and kicked at it, tangling the thin, costume fabric around his feet causing him to lose his balance and tumble to the floor. Writhing, fruitlessly trying to free himself from the snarl of cape bits, he stood then tripped, crashing into the alter, which in turn crashed onto his head, knocking him unconscious.

Carl awoke to a throbbing pain in his temple. As he opened his eyes, his blurry vision first focused on the face of Sebastian Janikowski staring back at him in frozen concentration. Carl reached up slowly and turned the plate face down to save himself the embarrassment of having his hero see him in such a pitiful state.

Beyond the ruined alter, Carl became aware of a pair of feet in the red satin slippers dangling from the side of his bed. Slowly Carl raised his eye and saw two legs encased in flowing red silk pajamas and a robust torso similarly covered in shimmering ruby cloth. Carl gasped and tried to gather what sense he had as he struggled to his knees and prostrated himself in front of the figure before of him.

"Oh, Lord of lords! Darkest one. Tormentor of souls, I have waited so long for this moment." Carl pressed his face as deeply into the matted beige carpet as the thick pile would allow, completely ignoring the sting of the stale Cheeto digging into his forehead. "Thank you for answering my humble prayers."

Eyes closed tightly, Carl could hear the swish of the slippers gently stepping towards him. He began to shiver with excitement making tiny whimpering sounds like a puppy waiting for his master to throw a stick.

"Please, my dear boy, stand up." The voice above him was gentle and sweet. It reminded Carl of his grandfather, or maybe a grandfather he'd seen on TV, and suddenly he felt an unexpected and confusing mixture of joy and guilt. He rose slowly keeping his eyes tightly shut.

Still afraid to look directly upon the mighty Evil One, Carl got to his feet unsure of what to say or do with his hands. Summoning every ounce of courage he could muster, Carl cracked one eye open and peeked out to an empty bedroom.

"Ehem," the sweet voice seemed to echo out from Carl's chest.

Startled, Carl took a quick step back and looked down to see a man, no taller than his belly button, with a long, flowing white beard, staring back at him. In the dim light of the apartment, his plump cheeks seemed almost to glow with a soothing red hue like the embers of a dwindling fire.

"Oh, your lordship," Carl stuttered trying to mask his bewilderment at the diminutive stature of the universe's most powerful deity, "Iā€“I thought you'd..."

"Be taller?" The man chuckled causing his belly to jiggle, not unlike a jelly filled bowl.

"Well, no I, I mean..."

"Common misconception, my dear child. No need to feel embarrassed. I say, if anyone should feel a bit sheepish right now, it's me," the man smiled as he motioned to his clothing, "It appears I've been summoned forth wearing nothing but my summer jammies."


"I shouldn't use it as an excuse, but it is the off-season after all."

"My lord, please..."

"Lord? Ho, ho! No one calls me that, child. Where are we, anyway?" The man wiggled his nose and a bright twinkle flashed in his eyes as he peeked out the window. "Denver! Lovely! You may call me Chris."