GG woke with a start, and her first sensation was heat. Intense, broiling heat. Panic flared as she struggled for breath, afraid to open her eyes.
“Sshhh, just relax.” The voice was soothing, pleasant. “Take your time, there’s no rush. We have an eternity.”
GG fought to control her breathing as she slowly opened her eyes. Standing before her was a demon; an actual demon with horns, red skin, and yellow eyes. She gasped, then swallowed back her hysteria.
“That’s better,” the demon said. “My name is Davrett. We’re going to play a game.”
“Where am I?” GG demanded as she took in her surroundings. Flames, barely controlled, licked the walls and ceiling of the cell in which she was restrained. She pulled at her wrist restraints, almost choking on her neck restraint.
“You’re dead,” Davrett answered.
“What?!” GG’s eyes bulged, almost falling from her stretched, botoxed face. “How?”
“Your faux leather pants finally cut off your circulation. You died from gangrene.”
“No,” GG wailed and flailed. “Nooo. They were real leather! They should have breathed!”
“See for yourself,” the yellow-eyed demon persisted. “You’re stilling wearing the pants.”
GG looked down at her legs and recoiled in horror. Her beautiful pants were ruined! Ragged rips in the material exposed her cellulite. Tears formed in her eyes, which instantly evaporated in the overwhelming heat. GG’s pants were literally on fire, plastic melting into the varicose veins of her weathered legs like a Ken doll on a BBQ.
“Real leather wouldn’t burn like that,” Davrett observed.
“Tell me,” she implored Davrett, looking it directly in the eye, “is my makeup ok?”
Davrett chuckled. “Let’s begin. That collar you’re wearing is a shock collar. I’m going to ask you questions and if you don’t answer honestly, you will be shocked. Do you understand?”
GG looked blankly at the demon.
“Do you understand, GG?” the horny demon asked once more.
“I don’t understand the word ‘honestly’,” GG looked mystified. “Is it even English?”
“It means you need to tell the truth. The actual truth, not your perverted version of the truth. If you don’t, you will suffer immeasurable pain. Clear?”
“But my version of the truth IS the truth.” GG blinked rapidly in confusion.
“Enough. Let’s begin.” Davrett pulled a long list of questions from a skin flap under one of its eight nipples, then started reading. “How old were you when you died?”
“59,” GG responded.
ZZTTT! The neck collar activated and GG screamed.
“Try again,” Davrett said, unmoved by her pain.
“How about I give you a hint?” Davrett paused as GG sweated and breathed through the pain. “It’s triple figures.”
GG shook her head, refusing to answer.
“Moving on,” Davrett said. “Were you an office manager in life?”
“Did you practise real estate without a valid real estate licence?”
“No,” GG replied.
“Are you, or have you ever been, a horse?”
“Nay.” ZZTTT! “I really must put my hoof down,” GG continued “err, I mean foot. These questions are…”
“Have you ever had liposuction?” Davrett interrupted GG’s stream of lies.
“Do you have anything against little people?”
“What?! Midgets? No.”
“Does your mere presence in an area lower property values?” Davrett asked.
“Of course not!”
“Are you a bogan?”
“Nah. ‘Cors not.”
“Have you ever perjured yourself under oath?” Davrett spoke louder over GG’s screams.
“Absolutely not,” GG hissed through the pain.
“Did a house fall on your sister?”
“Did you ever stalk disabled tenants to intimidate them, jiggling your keys like some deranged sexual swinger after a series of polite rejections?”
“That’s ridiculous. They stalked me as I chased them down the street.”
ZZTTT! ZZTTT! ZZTTT!
“Oh my, that was a big lie.” Davrett clicked its forked tongue in disapproval. “Don’t let these questions get under your leathery, thin skin, GG. It’s just you and me here, and all I want is the truth. Now, were your pants real leather?”
“Yes!” GG cried in outrage. ZZTTT! “I’m a good person!” ZZTTT! “Why did I end up in Hell?”
“Oh, Honey, this isn’t Hell. This is purgatory,” Davrett said tenderly. “All you have to do is tell one truth, just one, and you can move on to eternal bliss in Heaven, with a never-ending supply of tenants to bully, real leather pants, dodgy business structures, and cosmetic surgeons. Now, how old were you when you died?”