Screwtape The Third: Death Gets Even

“An [ahem] interesting tidbit from the news media topside, Wormsap.”

“Yes, Master Screwtape? How interesting?”

“Enough so that I wish to understand the principle of the thing.”

“This is your principal concern, then?”

“For the moment …”

“Perhaps you will tell me what the news is about?

“I should make you tell me what it’s about!”

“I urge caution, Master. That’s one of the [ptui!] Adversary’s tricks.”

“Oh very well. It’s a press release that got picked up today, from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.”

“They’re still operational?!? I thought we …”

“Stop interrupting. And you should be more careful about how, and to whom, you admit your failures. Just saying. [Ahem] The article’s from the CDC, as I said, and its news is that people are, all of a sudden, dying very strange deaths.”

“Maybe they shouldn’t have been living lives of estrangement?

I thought that’s what you were selling topside!!


“Hrumph. Apparently, it says here, the usual top causes of death have all ceased to account for the mortality of large segments of the human population. Especially those segments that pledge allegiance to [ptui!] the Adversary and this Jesus creation of his. And no one knows why. Cancer? Stroke? Heart disease? All vanished from the actuary tables. Instead, customers are getting infections no one has heard of. They fall into holes and disappear. Kamikaze skydiving is suddenly a thing. And some of them are just dying for no reason whatsoever. The girl’s talking with you normally and then stops in mid-sentence and falls over. And it’s not just the how of death, it’s the when. Seems like on one day, everybody’s as healthy as a stone horse, then, on the next, 9-1-1 goes nuts!

“On the odd-numbered days of the month?”

“As a matter of fact … so this is your work?”

Yours, sir. Of course.”

“I’ve reminded you before that modesty is a virtue, Wormsap.”

“And I’ve reminded you, Master Screwtape, that brown-nosing is not!

“Flattery will get you …”

“Flatware, Master?”

“[…] It’s going to be one of those eons, is it, demon? Need I remind you that I have the power to see you wearing that ware, permanently affixed to someplace unbearably pleasurable?


“So what’s the deal? I didn’t know we had a new recruitment campaign going on. Contracts have been coming in so fast and furious since last November, I don’t know where we are going to put them all. And that was before finding out that we’re playing games with the customer death rate.”

“Look on the dark side, sir. With all our space in use, there will be none left for Printphubar over in the East Asia subregion, may his name be cursed for ever, to covet, now will there?”

“My dark side is telling me you didn’t answer the question.”

“Um, uh … it was a temptation, Master Screwtape.”

“Which you acted upon in accordance with section 2-H-vii of our Standard Operating Procedure governing Temptations, document HELLSOP17488207bis v.2878.86. Or else. And?”

“Y-y-you do know that the topsiders, especially the so-called Christian topsiders, have been celebrating the Easter holiday?”

“Yes …?”

“And how that holiday celebrates their alleged victory, through the sacrifice and claimed resurrection of this [ptui!] Adversary’s puppet Jesus, over sin and pain?”

“So they can do it all again?”

“And, over even death?”

“Yes …?”

“Well, sir, let us grant them this, that even death is overcome. That still leaves the gates wide open for odd death, does it not?”


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One Response to Screwtape The Third: Death Gets Even

  1. Quilly says:

    Me being me, I have always felt reasonably certain that my death would be odd.

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