A Slice of Life

Prompt Day #181: Dramatize a meeting at the Demon Deli.


Employee Meeting at “The Slice of Life” Demon Deli

In Attendance: Beelzebub (owner), Azreal (Butcher and head chef), Kunda (Barista), Loogaroo (purchaser, business manager), several lower demons (produce suppliers)


The quarterly meeting for the Demon Deli, A Slice of Life was called to order by owner and proprietor, Beelzebub.

“First of all, I would like to congratulate you all on such a successful and abundant quarter. In fact some of our dishes have become so popular, we are frequently out. For this reason, the Babies’ Back Ribs will be removed from the daily menu and be made a special. Loogaroo has done some research and found that Tuesdays are the most common day of the week for births, therefore we will run the special on Thursdays. This gives us enough time to collect the newborns, smoke them and slow roast. Are there any questions? This means many of you will need to work overtime.”

Azreal raised the question of getting an assistant chef to help prepare the ribs. “This will likely result in a lot of work on Wednesday for me and if you expect me to keep up, I’m going to need some help.”

“I’m sorry, what part of this is Hell do you not understand? You will prepare the infants, you will manage all other orders or perhaps you would like to try to work with one less hand or a fork in your eye?” Beelzebub responded.

“No. Not again. That was a terrible century for me. Forgive me, my dark Lord.” Azreal responded.

“Thank you. You may now give a report on the state of our whole bodies in the cooler and I have received your request to add additional menu items. I shall hear them now.”

Azreal, butcher and head chef arose to speak. His black wing feathers ruffling with anxiety.

“Currently we have seven bodies on the hooks in the back, all but one are still conscious and properly responding to the removal of their meat and organs. The seventh was sacrificed this morning to make more head cheese. It will please you my Lord to know that I used a small toy hacksaw to do it, so he suffered greatly.” Beelzebub nodded approval and addressed the lower demons not worthy to be named.

“You are expected to have another body on the meat hook before sun rise and another seven in the cooler. I do not want to hear that we have no back-ups going into our holiday season. You know mortals are weak when it comes to suffering, they can die at will, force their hearts to stop just to irk us and make our lives difficult. Vermin. Get me more.” Turning again to address Azreal, he rolled his hand in a ‘get on with it’ gesture.

“Uh, yes, the response of the remaining mortals to watching me prepare the headcheese inspired a new deli sandwich that I think will be well received by our clientele. I call it a BST. It stands for Blood, Sweat and Tears. When heated to a boil in vivo, I have found that they obtain a lovely pudding-like consistency that can then be spread on toast points or ear cartilage.”

“Have you brought any for me to sample?” Beelzebub asked, half interested.

Azreal bowed and presented a tray to his Lord. The tarnished silver, charred by years of flames, offset the bright white of the baby skull bowl holding a spread the color and consistency of fresh cemetery soil. Beelzebub ran his pinky finger through it, scooping a glob onto his blood-caked fingernail. Sucking and licking it off in a slow, deliberate manner, he closed his eyes, opened his mouth slightly and inhaled.

“Hmm. It has a good mouth feel. Not too smooth. I can taste the fear, the adrenaline, and oh, this is very nice, there is an abundance of white blood cells too. It does indeed make a nice spread. Just remember that not all of your donors will be septic. They won’t all have the essence of abscess in their serum. You’ll have to adjust your seasonings. But yes, for now, you may add it to the menu.”

“Thank you my lord. I will of course require help increasing the mental anguish in order to obtain the best flavor.” Azreal flinched, awaiting the refusal coupled with a physical punishment for even asking.

“Perhaps you can accompany Loogaroo and her hoard when they take the infants from their mothers. Mothers’ tears will add a whole new level of anguish to the flavor of your BSTs.” Azreal was already nodding in agreement. Yes, anything to avoid another amputation or utensil in the eye. He remembered the terrible headaches he would get from trying to move his eye around all day with the heavy fork in it.

“My Lord.” Kunda spoke up. “I have developed a use for those tears and whatever eyeballs I would be permitted to harvest.” She held a finger up just a moment longer than would be expected. Her blood red eyes gave away the fact that she was drunk. She was always drunk and if Kunda had her way, no customer would leave the shop sober. But since the customers were the tormented souls relegated to Hell for eternity, allowing them any form of “escape” was strictly prohibited.

“For what? You make drinks; that is your only job here. What do you need eyeballs for?” Beelzebub asked

“Well, I’ll tell ya, Beelz. I have this big ol’ jar and I want to fill it with eyeballs and marinade them in their own tears. Then, I’ll make a Mantini with the bile of an alcoholic.” She smiled proudly.

“And the eyeballs?” her boss prompted

“Oh! Yes, those. I’m gonna stick ‘em on a toothpick and put ‘em in the drink.” She held her glass up for emphasis.

“Let me see,” Beelzebub said reaching across the table with lightening reflexes, he plucked her own eyes out by impaling them on his claw-like nails. She screamed, covering her empty sockets with her shaky hands. Blood spilled between the fingers and Beelzebub held his glass up to catch it. He stirred the bloody cocktail with the globed nail and slid each off with his teeth. He smiled broadly as he chomped them, their vitreous jelly oozing out the side of his mouth. “No. I think you can stick to what’s familiar for now at least until you get the hang of working the bar blindly.” He got up and leaned on his hands, outstretched and planted on the round table in front of him. He looked each of his employees in the eye (except of course Kunda) daring them to say anything else. Each shrank from his glare.

“I think this meeting is adjourned…unless anyone would dare to speak further?” The room was silent. He waited one moment further before heading to the door. Hand on the knob, he stopped, turned back to his employees, all of which including Kunda were sitting stone still.

“One more thing. If I ever hear the name Beelz again, I will hang each and every one of you from the hooks in the cooler and run a Demon Deli meat special until there is nothing left.”