Short Story: Hell’s Accountant

I’m in hell. Not some metaphorical place. The actual hell. Fire, brimstone and me. I don’t know why I am here. When I ask Satan, he just says “Oh, there was an error in the figures” and laughs. Yeah, I get the joke, I am an accountant, but I don’t find it too funny.

So I died. Right before tax season too, which worked out well for me. Except for the whole “burning for all eternity” bit. I was hit by a truck on the sidewalk. It was unexpected as trucks are usually on the other side of the street on a Wednesday. Alas, my life flashed before my eyes (SPOILER ALERT: My 21st birthday was the highlight of that retrospective. Sorry Aunt May and our family vacation last year). Instead of a white light, I saw a ring of fire. Seems like I arrived in hell in the middle of a marriage between a demon and a sucubi. After the breaking of the wine glass and hearty Mazel Tov, I was whisked away by some nebbish guys. Soon I was seated in front of The Prince of Darkness himself.

“Sam,” he said, not caring that my name was not Sam, “we’ve got a problem here in hell. Year in, year out, we run a deficit. We are flat broke. This would not normally be a bad thing, but the landlord upstairs, he’s an old fogey and he’s demanding the rent by the end of this eon or he will kick us out. And I do NOT want to go back to my mom and live in New Jersey again. Your arrival here is perfect, you see?”

I did see and I was soon situated into an office, which surprisingly was bigger than the one I had back on earth. The only problem was that my chair was a bit lumpy. And my nice Gucci shoes were reduced to ashes due to the floortiles made of flames. But at least the coffee was always hot, as we would joke around the hell office. Which was also my hell home. That reduced my commute by a considerable amount. Though I was still forced to be stuck in traffic 3 hours a day.

I finally got a look at hell’s budget a few weeks later, after numerous requests. You can’t iamgine the red tape! Even Lucifer just shrugged his shoulders when he put in a request on my behalf. He said that if I thought this was bad, I should have seen the paperwork he filled out when he took over the place. I nodded my head, as I recalled what it took to move into my one and a half room condo on the intercoastal. That place had an obstructed view very similar to the one that I had out my hell office window.

The budget, well, it was severely in the red. High A/C costs in the summer, high heating cots in the winter. Copious amounts of cash meant for production of various reality shows and multiple births meant to make reality starts (whether these births were meant to make stars out of the parents or the children, I was unsure). Of course, some money was simply being burned. Thrown into pits of unending agony and burned. This would not do! Surely there were CDs, IRAs, and bonds (not chains) of some sort in hell? Was his Royal Heinous not saving any money for a rainy day?

He was not. He said he was of the philosophy that one has to spend money to make money. I fixated my sternest gaze upon him and said that philosophy only guaranteed the former and not the latter. He told me to fix it, by whatever means I deem necessary. So I whipped out a red pen (of which there were many in hell) and slashed and burned. Gone was the Department of Fire, which was a redundancy of the Fire Department. I said so long to the Midsummer’s Eve Party. And so it went.

All hell came down upon me after that. Every damned soul, incubus, and pitchfork wielder wanted to know why I cut THEIR budget. I expected this and replied to every inquiry that times were tought and belts of insurmontable pain had to be tightened across the board. A few people grumbled after that, but hey, if they didn’t like it, I directed them further to my boss, Beezelbub.

When he got the budget revision, he just chuckled. It was the most horrible sound ever. Like The Nanny combined with a mudlisde, combined with a frat boy trying to pick up a girl at a bar. With that ringing in my ears, he said, “Doug,” even though that is not my name, “you did good work. I am not going to fire you, despite your unpopularity. In fact, I am going to groom you. I think you have what it takes to be the next Lord of the Underworld.”

So yeah, big office, fast track to upper management. I think I like it here in hell.


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One Response to “Short Story: Hell’s Accountant”

  1. sandy Says:


    Poof. Back to Hell on Earth! It’s 90 something today.

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