Number Eight

Number Eight

People have heard for years that the devil has seven sons.  Well, I’m actually number eight. I've kind of lived in the background by being the youngest.  You know,  the last to get the platter at dinner, (although human flesh is not my preference), the last to be remembered when the grownups are yelling at all the kids and running down the list of names until they get to the guilty party (the one perk to being so far down the line, I get to come up with a bang-up excuse once I’m caught), the last to have the parents remind you to put on your shoes because we’re all going on a family outing (I’ve been left  ‘home alone’ quite a few times because no one bothered about me.)  Okay, you get the picture, I don't want to be a whiner. It just gives my brothers more ammunition. If you have any brothers, you know what I mean.

By the way, I’m દુષ્ટ.  As you can tell from my name, the folks couldn't even be bothered to give me a proper name with real letters. Just a sigil. Oh well, my brothers only call me “Hey, Shrimp " or "Yo, Toothpick. “Such fine beings (sigh).

But back to my point, I am the son of ONE of the rulers of the underground.  You’ve heard all the names; Satan, Memnoch, Lucifer, etc.  So, what I'm really saying is there's more than one “Devil. “They each have their own area and they each have their own particular way of running the “establishment.”  Dante screwed up.  There are actually 10 circles of hell.  My dad rules that tenth one.  There's lots of room in each one of the areas.  When they talk among themselves, they say it’s because, for whatever reason, Love trumps Hate and Hope will always trump Despair.

 At the moment, I'm up above supposedly doing things on my father's behalf.  You know, whispering in people’s ears that they should be doing evil things and not helping others, or encouraging them to be breaking all those Commandments they’re so bent on trying to salvage.  I suppose there's a certain charm to being a do-gooder.  Warm and fuzzy and all that, but personally I just don't get it.  Anyway, my old man thinks I'm doing his bidding, but I'm really just partying and having a good time.  I couldn’t care less what others are doing or thinking unless it involves fun.  I just want to be me.  I think I got that line from one of those “songs" I heard.  You know what I mean.  Humans have something called music which I really dig.  I'm actually enjoying just hanging out with these mortals.  Most of them seem to know how to have a good time.  I fit in pretty well.  I don't look anything like that crazy cat loving Hellboy.  Speaking of Hell—-What kind of name is that for a place.?  It doesn't sound exotic at all, now something like Tahiti or Oahu evokes exotic sensations, agreed?  Someday I’m going to party there! 

Lucifer and the others get a bad rap, but my dad is one mean SOM, (son of a mongoose in underworld vernacular.)  A most unpleasant sort who likes to have this own way and rules our household with an iron fist. Everybody else in the vicinity hates him. They’ve made sure you don’t know of him because he's so annoying. The best way to get under his skin is to undermine his revenue (souls) and they are so slick about getting it done, he’s yet to catch on. If he ever does, I’m going to be as far away from there as possible when the lightbulb comes on.  He’s not stupid, he just believes everyone fears him too much to cross him, ego, ego, ego.

Finvec is his name, that doesn't sound too scary, but you don't ever want to meet the guy.  In his own mind, he believes that he is the best Father of Lies.

And speaking of such, guess who you've been listening to (wide grin.)  All that about layers of this and ranks of that. Hogwash.  Make no mistake. My name is Lucifer, Satan, whatever else those who fear me may wish to call me.  I don’t care.  As you now know, I am the TRUE Father of Lies and I am the one and ONLY ruler of the underworld.  All souls who come there are mine.  Really? Hope trumps despair??  Ha, Ha, Ha……. Sucker!

Linda Imbler


Linda Imbler is the author of the published poetry collection “Big Questions, Little Sleep.”  She has also been published by,,,, Fine Flu Journal, Bunbury Magazine, Blognostics, Nailpolish Stories, Broad River Review Literary Magazine, Mad Swirl,

Ascent Aspirations: Friday’s Poems, Unbroken Journal, The Voices Project, and GloMag. Linda has poems forthcoming in Leaves of Ink, Halcyon Days, Zingara,

The Beautiful Space and Bindweed.  Her short fiction has been published in Fear of Monkeys, Danse Macabre, and Mad Swirl. Online, she can be found at

This writer, yoga practitioner, and classical guitar player resides in Wichita, Kansas.


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