“My side firmly opposes the plan. There has to be some other way.” The well-dressed man said to the scruffy one opposite him at the corner booth at Burger King 2254. His manicured fingers gingerly held a greasy fry, which he used to punctuate his remark. His black pinstripe suit and expensive leather shoes seemed out of place for the fast-food joint, especially at this time of night.
“Sure, sure. But my side is all for it. If you have another option, feel free, but I’m pretty sure we don’t have another viable option,” the scruffy older man replied with a shrug. His long, unkempt hair and greasy beard told of a man used to eating deep-fried bits of this and that. His stained Grateful Dead tee and faded, thinning blue jeans marked him as down-on-his-luck. He shoved the last third of his burger in his mouth, a ravenous beast selfishly gorging on his prey.
The expensively dressed, dark-haired handsome man watched, horrified, before pushing the majority of his meal across. “Here. If you’re so hungry, eat mine. It’s definitely not my first choice for dinner.”
The bearded one eagerly grabbed at the offered food. “We don’t usually get to eat like this. Usually, it’s all healthy and organic. Stuff we grow ourselves. I miss junk food.”
A few minutes passed in silence. The younger man watched with disgust as his dinner companion ate.
He broke the silence once again. “I do hate to ask, but, do you have to meet me in clothes that are falling apart and haven’t been laundered in ages? I know you have better. I mean, it’s you.”
“Hmm? Oh, well, I suppose I could, but what’s the difference?” The older man was genuinely confused as to why his appearance would make any difference to their continued discussion.
“It isn’t like I’m asking for tails and top hat, or a gourmet multi-course meal. Just a little sense of decency.”
A chuckle escaped between bites of cheeseburger. “I’m decent. Enough. Not everyone has even this much, you know.”
“Let’s get back to the real issue, now. The rest of this food can wait.” The vagrant pushed away his remaining bits of dinner and settled back into the seat. “Unless you can bring me a suitable compromise within 72 hours, we’ll have no choice but to begin the release.”
“Three days? That’s all you’re giving me?” The sharply dressed man exclaimed, though he really wasn’t surprised. Three anything was typical for his companion. “You might have given more thought to this matter, yourself, you know.”
The bearded one nodded. “You would say that, son, but you have no idea how long I’ve pondered this. There simply is no other way.”
“Fine. I’ve thought about it. I’ve spoken with others, I’ve explored other options. But I will not release anyone from my side. They’ll just have to bear with the overcrowding until we think of some other way.”
“If that’s how you feel, I can’t change it. But the releases begin from my estate tomorrow, bright and early. We’ll begin with the youngest, releasing in waves. They’re the ones most traumatically taken. I hope the world can stand it…” God trailed off as he stood up.
“Fool,” Lucifer hissed. “Of course, the world can’t stand it. Hell will keep its inhabitants, damn the overcrowding. Management there isn’t lacking. We’ll find a way to ensure the boundaries of each circle.”
The devil stalked away, throwing over his shoulder, “This is no way to win, you know. I’ll make sure to save you a seat, right below my own.”