Author: Jon Alan Carroll

Jon Alan Carroll lives in San Francisco. He is a fiction and humor writer.

It’s Sad When a Dream Dies

It was a hacky-sack drum circle of vegans, Burners, neo-hippies, vegetarians, old New Agers, geezer hippies, all smoking Chesterfields and eating giant plates of ribs.

“Eat, wretched dogs,” Qhzo said. “Faster, syphilitic filth.”

Fiend Qhzo, trim, goateed, energetic, was one of Malcoda’s best students at demon school. A true professional, glowing performance reviews. Qhzo was only 8-foot-5, but his shortness never bothered him.

Even when his work wasn’t very important, Qhzo took great pride in it. A minor Fiend is still a Fiend, he often said.

Qhzo was a visionary, idealist, his only joy serving his Dark Lord, so getting laid off after 184,000 centuries was not the best way for his story to end.

A mid-echelon Demon, Malcoda did not find it sad to watch a dream die, because he’d never known sadness or dreams.

Qhzo pointed at a vegan named Ta’maari and ordered her to smoke faster. Ta’maari was a clear-eyed organic Earth-mother, dressed in the traditional colorful native garb of the bisexual vegetarian communist.

Ta’maari, known troublemaker, non-leader leader of the United Vegan Assembly, founder of the Maoist Taoist faction, Ta’maari, forever reaching for her yoga mat whenever she heard the word “burger.”

Qhzo threw another carton of Chesterfields at her and again ordered her to smoke faster.

One of Ta’maari’s ponytailed followers stood up and said, “Yeah, well, man, that’s just your opinion, man.”

Malcoda noted that, even in eternal damnation, the humans still clung to the movie quotes that gave them meaning in life.

Qhzo grabbed the ponytailed insolent and impaled him on the Giant Slow Rotisserie, where Ponytail roasted for a thousand years, because Life Is For Learning.

Ta’maari was the Mandela of the Vegans, still too powerful to take on directly, but Qhzo could torture her followers whenever he damn well pleased.

Finishing a huge pile of ribs, another Burner neo-hippie said, “Hey, these baby-backs ain’t so bad, really.”

“Those aren’t baby-back ribs,” Qhzo said. “They’re CAT RIBS.”

The neo-hippie gasped and choked.

“Abandon Hope,” Qhzo said, “you New Age nitwits said, Leap and the Net Will Appear—so where’s your fucking net now, shit-brain?”

“You still think the Universe is bountiful, that everything turns out as it’s meant to be?” Qhzo said. “Smoke faster, vegan douchebags, eat more ribs!”

Third Down & Eternity

Szhxo was tough and intense, an inspiration to all the little Fiends. A strong Tormentor, thick, muscular, crew-cut, maybe a little slack administratively.

Fiend Szhxo stood in front of 3,000 American football fans, all wearing NFL jerseys, hats, gear. There’s no BBQ or sausages or potato chips, only giant bowls of salad.

The NFL fans stared at a soccer game between two minor teams from some itty-bitty country on some namby-pamby continent.

On a grainy jumbotron, the players ran up the pitch, then down the pitch, then back up the pitch.

“Back and forth, back and forth, FUN, huh sports fans,” Szhxo said. “Nobody’s scored in this game since the Renaissance.”

“Cheer LOUDER,” he barked. Szhxo grabbed 3 losers he found insufficiently enthusiastic and tossed them 20 blocks into the Enormous Sinkhole Filled With Shit.

Everybody cheered, loudly. One guy held up the D-fence.

Szhxo kicked one loser out of his chair, stuck his trident in the loser’s skull, started screaming.

“You forced yourself on that waitress, worthless asshole, you said in 500 years nobody will care, hahah, wrong again, shit-face pus-sucking chomo half-wit!

“I CARE, cocksuckers, so you’ll watch SOCCER and drink WARM BEER and LIKE IT! Next, 10,000 years of CRICKET and sipping TEA and DRIVING ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD! HAHAHA!!”

The NFL fans shuddered.

“You’re in HELL, motherfuckers! This isn’t SPRING BREAK!! There’s no SUGGESTION BOX!! You can’t even kill yourself, BECAUSE YOU’RE ALREADY IN FUCKING HELL, HaHAHAHA!!”

A horrified groan rose up from the football fans.

Szhxo soaked in the crying and wailing and gnashing of teeth, then stuck the knife in.

“Tonight’s menu: LENTILS!

The football fans broke down completely, begging and bawling. The room filled with anguished sobs of So cruel, Not Lentils.