Cryptic Fiction

Welcome to Cryptic Fiction, a place where the unexpected becomes the expected. Here you will discover the limits of the imagination, with a dash of darkness to spice things up. Break boundaries, explore the extreme, and journey to the other side. Here you will find angels, demons, monsters, and paradoxes in time that will challenge your senses. Walk through the gates of the unknown. Step out of the day and smile at the night. Don't worry, the night will smile back. It's been waiting for you your entire life...​​
And God Called - Volume 3
The world felt surreal. I was in a dream, or a sick twisted nightmare. Standing at my door was a little girl who appeared to be no more than a teenager and according to God, she was the Devil. I could hear the organ music on the merry-go-round that I was riding in my head. Only instead of horses and swans and beautifully contoured boats, I was sitting in a moldy coffin, and I felt like an insane corpse. And there, off to the side cackling at me was the ringmaster complete with top hat and tails, the bearded lady, and the aforementioned creepy, clap-infested clown.

“Well,” said the little girl. “Are you going to let me in, or are you going to stand there with your pecker in your hand? If you hadn’t noticed I’m freezing my ass off out here!”

I shook my head in an attempt to reestablish my connection to reality, even though that alone was a highly dubious prospect. It was early winter, with a thin layer of frost that covered my little patch of grass at the front of my condominium. I’d been born in the city, and that way of life appealed to me. Plus I just hated to do yard work. I don’t know what it is because I know I’m not lazy. I think it has more to do with the thought of being outside in the summer. You know, when it’s hot enough to fry frigging flapjacks with a side of hash on the hood of your car.

“Please,” I said, extending the hand not encumbered by my phone.

The little girl shot me a look of horrid distaste, the silver buckles on her leather combat boots clinking faintly as she stepped over the threshold. “Don’t touch me you shit-squeezing sperm-fountain!”

I froze, remembering God’s warning about her and I had to agree that she was something of a bitch.

“Give me that,” she continued in an angry growl. And then in a movement that was so fast my eyes nearly missed it, she reached up and snatched the receiver out of my hand. “Now go get me some coffee. Getting up this early really puts a twist in my panties.”

I was too stunned to do anything at first, until she waved her free hand at me and said. “Move it, Neanderthal!”

“Oh, um…” I stammered like an idiot. “How do you take it?”

“No cream and ten tablespoons of sugar,” she replied.

“Is that, healthy?”

She had already started to speak to God, who was talking through the receiver from who knows where when she turned to me and shouted. “I’m immortal, ass-clown! What, you think I’m gonna become a diabetic or something? Come down with it, like you catch a cold? You need to use that can of spam between your ears for more than just walking and breathing.”

She obviously was in a bad mood. So I ignored her and went to my kitchen to get her, and myself, some coffee. After a few moments she came into the room, and her mood didn’t appear to be improving. It was one of those moments where you know you shouldn’t listen in on a nearby conversation but you just can’t help yourself.

“I can’t believe that you actually chose him. Are you sure about this?”

And the merry-go-round keeps on turning…

“Yes I know that you don’t make mistakes, but he’s not even worthy to wipe my ass!”

And the merry-go-round keeps on turning…

“I know that I’m out after today. But after all we’ve been through I’d hate to see all of our hard work go to shit because you decided to put it in the hands of captain shit-for-brains over there!”

And the merry-go-round keeps on turning…

“Fuck, I don’t know! I told you who I thought would be a good candidate, but since when do you ever listen to me? I’m just the one who’s been in the trenches for centuries, taking it up the ass like an Eskimo hooker in a room full of horned-up polar bears!”

And the ringmaster keeps on cackling…

“What’s wrong with Katie Holmes, I like her! And it’d show that fucking Tom Cruise a thing or two about the nature of the universe, Scientology my ass!”

And the bearded lady keeps on cackling…

“Yes I know it’s your choice, but I’d take anyone else. Hell I’d even take Dick Cheney! Or how about Chris Angel, people already think they both made deals with me? It’d serve em’ right and they’d fit right in!”

And the clown coughs, as his yellowed teeth fix me with a sick grin…

She sighed deeply and then said. “No…alright…shit.” She threw down the phone. The movement was exaggerated like a hard slap. And when the receiver struck my table it wasn’t my phone anymore, but one of those large three-legged gray speakerphone's.

“Joshua,” said God, “can you hear me?”

“I can hear you,” I replied, never removing my attention from the girl. She frowned at me and then took another sip of coffee. Her green eyes looked like they were on fire, a neon glare that would have killed me on the spot if it weren’t for the fact that God wanted me to be the new Devil.

“That’s excellent,” continued God. “Now Ab…”

“No!” shouted the girl. “He doesn’t deserve the honor of knowing my true name! On that much I have the authority to insist.”


“So what do I call you?” I asked.

“D,” she replied. “And not D as in Devil, but D as in D-e-e; you got that, or are you feeling the sudden overwhelming urge to go strangle the flesh-gopher.”

“I’m sorry Dee, but I don’t get any of this.”

“Oh hell,” replied Dee. Picking a spot at the far end of the table she pulled out a chair and sat down. One leg crossed the other as the multitude of buckles jingled like heavy wind-chimes. “Back in the 1960’s people took hits of acid to make the world look all fucked up; now the world is fucked up and people take Prozac to make it normal again. The whole thing’s going to hell I tell ya!”

Honestly I’d had enough of the insults, and something angry sparked within me. Suddenly it didn’t matter if I were covered with scorpions, or had my head stapled on the wrong way, or even if Dee transported me back to the dark ages to draw and quarter me. In a nutshell, I just didn’t give a damn. It was Saturday morning and I was still in my pajamas and this was my house!

“I’m sorry,” I said to Dee. “Is that an accent, or is your mouth just full of shit?

“How dare you!” Dee fumed. “I'll smack you so hard you’ll have to take off your shoes to shit!

“Oh really,” I retorted. “Are those your tits, or did Laurel and Hardy leave you their heads?

“You arrogant little mackerel slapper, if I had change for a buck forty years ago I could have been your dad!”

“Oh,” I quipped, “mother jokes huh? Well how about this one, your mother is so old she owes Jesus Christ a quarter!”

“Really, well your mother's so ugly she gets three hundred and sixty-four extra days to dress up for Halloween.”

“Well your mother is so old I told her to start acting her age and the bitch died!”

Dee got an evil glint in her eyes, and I detected a hint of a smile as she said. “Well your mother is so ugly that when she sits in the sand on the beach, cats try to bury her!”

“Well your mother is so old that she has an autographed edition of the Bible!”

“Well your dick is so small that every time you take a piss you have to dry your balls off!”

“Are you kidding? My dick is so big I could wear it as a necktie if I wasn't so afraid of getting a hard-on and killing myself!”

“Dream on numb-nuts,” replied Dee. “Your junk is so small that even Stephen Hawking can’t find a theory to explain it!”

I was just about to hit Dee with another verbal volley when God stepped in over the speakerphone. “Now children…both of you stop it, right now.”

A tense moment of silence ensued, with Dee glaring at me as a sly smile crept over her pale face. With her added black eyeliner and lipstick she looked like a wraith. A demon child who just got done partying at a rave and was too hopped up on ecstasy to realize that she was still holding the bloody knife. Her teeth were immaculate, the very personification of a toothpaste commercial.

“You have no idea what I can do to you fuck-boy.” She said as a clear trail of spittle oozed from the corner of her mouth. It hit the linoleum floor of my kitchen and began to sizzle like acid, reminding me that this child in front of me was anything but. I still didn’t care.

“Bring it bitch!” I replied. “Bring your shit, and put some stank on it!”

“All right!” shouted God. “Now I know that neither of you want me to come over there in person!”

Another tense moment passed. I could tell that Dee was weighing her options. Calculating the degree of punishment she would endure from God if she simply ignored the warning and gutted me like a Japanese sushi chef.

“Well, do you?” God shouted.

“No, I suppose not.” Dee said with a sigh.

I was both thankful and a little fumed that she hadn’t done it to just put me out of my misery. You might be asking yourself why, but think about it. Here I was, confronted with the two most diametrically opposed beings in the universe. And I was little more than a pivot-man in a cosmic game of hide-the-salami. So ask yourself, what would you do?

“Good,” continued God. “Now Joshua, I want you to listen to me very carefully because I’m not going to repeat myself. Is that understood?”

“Yes,” I replied.

“Now I know this will be hard for you to understand,but Hell is not what you think it is. There’s no fire and brimstone, and no eternal torture in the scalding fires of perdition. Dee is my child. In fact she is one of the first of my children. You see, the universe is pretty close to what you envisioned.”

“And what would that be?”

“Yes yes, I was getting to that Joshua,” replied God. “Please don’t interrupt me again.”

“I’m sorry.”

“A laboratory,” said God. “Everything you know, everything your scientists understand about the universe and everything in it, is all an experiment. Although I’ll tell you that your analogy is an oversimplification, because the universe is more like an assembly line.

“You see, Joshua, in the beginning there was only me. And even though I don’t need anything, or want anything, I came to feel that it would be nice to have some company. And I thought that it would really be a kick if I could raise something from nothing that could be groomed to become just like me. And that’s where humans come in. You see when humans die you are—shall we say—deficient. But you glean knowledge during your lifetime, at least some of you, and that subconscious knowledge goes with you. Yet more to the point, each time a human dies they get to do it over again until they reach a level whereby they earn the right to be a spirit permanently.

“From that point on there is another whole world where spirits are recycled in the same manner. The eventual goal is that a class of beings will emerge that will be able to keep me company.”

It was my turn to frown. “You mean that the meaning of life is to provide you with a playmate?”

“Companions,” replied God, “but I’m glad you grasp the basic concept.” “So what is Dee’s job in all of this?” I asked.

“It’s my job to see that souls find their way to the next stage of the experiment,” replied Dee. “Some get to move up, and some stay where they are. While others revert to even lower forms of life if they’re truly screwed up. Like you for instance, needle-dicked taffy-puller.”

“Hey, Morticia Addams, you kiss your mother with that mouth?” I replied. “Bite me!”

“That can be arranged. Only I’m positive that you wouldn’t enjoy it,” Dee replied with a gruesome sneer that sent shivers down my back.

“So why do you want out?” I said despite my fear. I was in this now for better or worse, with no clear way through.

“Because I’m tired,” said Dee. “I don’t want to be outside the system watching over it anymore. I want my shot too, I want to be able to move up or move out.”

“Move out?”

“Certainly,” said God. “There are those souls that we just can’t work with and show no developmental skills whatsoever. When that happens those souls must be terminated.”

“Terminated, what do you mean, like—destroyed?”

“With prejudice,” smiled Dee.

“There’s no pain involved, and the spirits don’t even know what’s happening to them. They just cease to exist,” said God.

Needless to say this was all a bit more than I could take. To dream that you’re a cosmic experiment is one thing, but to know it—well that’s something else entirely. It took me a few moments as my brain chewed on all of the facts, like Groucho Marx on his trademark cigar. And then it struck me like a two-by-four right across my forehead, and I knew what my decision would be.


“No,” I said. “I’m sorry God, but I don’t want to be the new Devil.”

“You know,” replied God, “there are certain consequences to that decision.”

“If Dee is any indication of what I’ll become than I’d rather take my chances and stay in the game if you don’t mind. Besides, nobody likes a line-cutter. And that’s what I’d be if I said yes.”

“Well, I hate to sound like a game show host, but is that your final answer?” God asked. “Yes it is,” I said. And then to Dee, “Sorry Dee, you’ll have to continue to be a bitch somewhere else.”

Dee’s anger exploded as she shouted. “You need to wake the fuck up asshole!”

Instantly she was upon me. And with unimaginable strength she lifted me off the floor and pinned me to the wall. Her eyes had changed from neon green to blood red, her teeth a set of fangs that stretched back over an elongated jaw.

I choked and gasped as my feet dangled beneath me, desperate for purchase as I felt my vision begin to wane. “Why?” I shouted.

“Wake up!” Dee growled. It was the sound of reverberating base from the most powerful speakers you could imagine. And then mercifully I lost consciousness.



I woke up screaming, with the alarm clock ringing on my bedside table. The blue sticks of digital light told me that it was six twenty-two in the morning, and for a moment I remembered the dream that I’d had. It was all there, as fresh as a white sheet of paper with clear typeface. And then just as quickly someone poured a cup of coffee over the page, and my memory became a stained blur until at last I couldn’t remember what I’d been dreaming about.

“Shit,” I cursed as I realized that it was Saturday,and I’d forgotten to turn off my alarm the night before. Scratching my scalp I licked my lips, noting that my mouth was unusually dry.

“Well, I’m up,” I said to no one in particular. “Might as well get up and take a leak.”

After finishing my business and brushing my teeth, I decided to go downstairs. I was never any good in the morning until I had my coffee, and the thought of a hot steaming cup of Joe made my mouth water with anticipation. I entered the kitchen and walked around my table when suddenly I stubbed my toe on a hole in the floor.

“What the hell is this?” I said, kneeling down for a closer look. It was a circular depression about six inches in diameter, and at least half that deep into the concrete of my foundation.

“I could have sworn that was smaller yesterday?”

I had no clue where that thought originated, nor could I understand the meaning behind it. All I could say was that I felt something familiar, something that told me that the hole had been much smaller at some point in the past. The thought of which was even more confusing, because it meant that I recognized the problem earlier and didn’t do a damn thing about it.

“Oh well,” I grumbled. “I probably have termites. I’ll have to get it looked at.”

I scratched my nuts, letting the old wrinkled fellow’s breath a little as I tried to wake up. I went to my counter and with a few moves that were entirely on autopilot, my coffee began brewing. After that I got two pieces of toast and a bowl of shredded wheat and sat down at my kitchen table as I waited for my coffee to percolate.

So there I was, sitting at the kitchen table one bright Saturday morning when the thought occurred to me. It was a vicious thought, fired through the murky synapses of my caffeine deprived brain at the speed of a lumbering street sweeper. And it took me so completely by surprise that for just a moment I froze; sitting there like a derelict hostage in some third-rate b-movie as I stared blankly at the dark stained oak table in front of me.

What’s it all for?
.

..

...

And the merry-go-round keeps on turning…

And the merry-go-round keeps on turning…

And the merry-go-round keeps on turning…

And the ringmaster keeps on cackling…

And the bearded lady keeps on cackling…

And the clown coughs, as his yellowed teeth fix me with a sick grin, forever…