When you look at me what do you first think? Be honest. If you’ve been alive on the Earth long enough you’d seen many depictions of creatures like myself: dark hair, crimson skin, two small-yet-significant protruding horns poking through our hairline. I’m a demon, have always been, and will always be from the moment the Holy Man upstairs molded man from dirt and women from bone, or something like that, I was born. And I’ll be here until the final human takes their last breath.
You might look at me and think to yourself “Wow, it must be a pretty sweet gig to be all immortal and torcher billions of humans for all of eternity. Talk about a dream job.” And yeah, sure it was pretty cool for like the first five thousand years or so. Back in those days I’d go to work with a smile on my face and a trident in the other, ready to jam the sharp prongs of the blades straight into the flesh of whatever sinner I’d been assigned that century. A honest day’s work lead to a sense of fulfillment and a honest paycheck. But by the end of those first eight millennia I found myself growing bored and tired of it all. One can only make a human’s soul suffer for so much before all the pleasure is sucked away leaving you with nothing but a soulless task list of various methods of punishment with all of the fun, and more importantly, pride, taken out. Every century I’d arrive at work I’d dread coming into the firing pits and just want to go home and sleep. Perhaps work on a craft or two. I’ve always wanted to take up knitting.
When He sent his only son I, unlike many of my peers who seemed to have not grown disinterested in their work, was so hyped to see what he said. When the son died on the cross and begged Him for forgiveness for all mankind my fellow coworkers groaned in despair. If the big guy upstairs was going to forgive all mankind then we’d be left with nothing but old souls that had been tortured to death and back again, many times. Fresh souls were what we demons truly aspired to. But I, I secretly was cheering on the inside. Finally I our work would slow down and I could finally retire. But you know that never happened.
No, in fact things go worse. Some of the worst wars happened after the son died, filling the depths of our chambers with the newly deceased. The hateful misguided, heretics, and con-artists used the son’s name in vain to push their unholy ideals and causes among the masses. It was a freaking hay-millennia for us demons as more souls than ever before. My colleagues were ecstatic, and I wanted it to end. So I concocted a plan. I created my own department with the soul purpose of shutting down this whole operation.
I proposed the idea to the fallen angel himself. After a few short decades of deliberation he agreed that it would be a fantastic idea to increase human suffering. And I couldn’t have been more excited. The Department of Unholy Deals came into being 1057 years after the son’s death and we’ve been operating at quite the capacity. Whenever a human wanted something do desperately that they’d do anything for it I’d send in my agents. Some appeared in human flesh as businessmen and merchants donning whatever attire that fit the era and culture. Others came in dreams as half-remembered faces. And some took the form of ethereal spirits during seances and unholy rituals. No matter what form they took they always made a deal. “Your first born son for your ultimate desire.” They’d say. Not every human took the offer, but most did. Human’s have always been that way.
Despite my initial intentions it began to bewilder me that despite the uneven deal of dreams for unborn sons, people were still having sons. A lot of them. Soon our department became an overburdened daycare of the dammed. Even the bringer of light himself couldn’t get himself to bring a child’s soul to suffer. So we became their spiritual parents. Raising these poor souls into upstanding adoptive demons who understood the human mind better than we could ever. And with that came exponential success. But my plan still wasn’t working. Not until the early 20th century when contraception came about, and my plan had been proven to be just ahead of its time.
It turns out that people were having kids because that’s just what people did. Despite my old age, I still never understood how humans did it, or why. When people had the choice to decide things my plan was finally put into motion. With an army of eager demons and human souls we took the Earth and began cutting deals left and right. Some humans who struck deals with us decided to keep procreating, but most found ways out. Despite the initial population boom of the post-industrial revolution age (which I will admit, would have given me a heart attack if I had a heart), we continued out steady work. And as we adopted more and more human souls into the ranks things got easier and easier to do. By the end of the 22th century we have almost all of humankind within our contracts. Many of which continue to talk of wanting to have children in public to save face, but in secret have made means of making sure to never have a spawn of their own. Eighty percent of humanity locked within a contract with our department, my actuaries presume that within just another few centuries that number will reach one hundred and then, finally then, I can hang up my metaphorical hat and turn off the lights for good in my department. Sure, I’ll miss my fellow coworkers here and I take pride in the many quasi-demons we have raised, but only then, when the last human dies all alone upon a faded Earth, can I finally go home and learn how to knit. Just a few more centuries.