A cold day in Hell

He awoke with a tiny gasp. It was dawn, but barely, earlier than he typically rose. Though still groggy from sleep, he had a deep sense of unease. Something simply was not right, but what? Lying in bed, red satin sheets tucked under his bearded chin, he peeled open his eyes and allowed them to focus softly on the ceiling. For several minutes he held this position, trying in vain to pinpoint what had awoken him.

Eventually he rose, threw on a black silk robe and began going about his day. He closed the heavy doors of the chifforobe, walked past the mahogany four-post, and through the pocket doors to the kitchen. His first priority was coffee, and once it began to brew, he stepped into the sitting room of his penthouse and drew open the blinds. It was then that The Devil discovered the source of his unease.

The rooftops were silver and the barren earth before him sparkled like diamonds. A lone trail of tire tracks could be seen in the alley below, and the windshields of the Tempos, Aztecs and Yugos lining the streets of Hell were sugary and opaque.


Though hardly common, cold days in Hell did occur from time to time. When Hannibal defeated the Romans at Cannae, it snowed for days. And when a black man took residence in the White House, even the fiery depths got a dusting. The devil had lived through all of this, and though surprised by the cold snap, he did not panic. Instead, he settled into the oxblood Chesterfield, kicked up his hooves and got to work.

A light frost like this was surely not the result of a world-altering event, but it could, The Devil thought, be a sign of a debt being owed him. If that was the case, he would of course be obliged to collect. It was imperative that he uncover its cause. Though he invented social media, internet speeds in Hell -- even for the devil himself -- were not such that checking Twitter was a realistic option. Instead, he relied on his lengthy list of contacts on Earth for this sort of intel.

So this was how he spent the morning, flipping through his black book and dialing trusty cohorts on the landline. Tom Brady was stumped. The Kardashians hadn’t a clue. Curt Schilling suspected immigrants. After a couple hours of nothing but dead ends, The Devil began to become concerned. As much as he enjoyed catching up with old friends, he needed to get to the bottom of this. Something had caused the frost. Cold days in Hell didn’t happen without reason.

In the end, the answer came from an unlikely source. He had taken a break to poach an egg and toast some rye, when the phone rang. It was Rob Manfred, who upon learning that The Devil was calling around, felt certain he knew the source of the frost. Once the matter was confirmed, they chatted for a few minutes, reminiscing about the lockout and marveling at how Steinbrenner is still at it down in the fifth circle. Before hanging up, they promised not to go so long between calls, and it seemed like they really meant it. These were good friends.

With the mystery solved, The Devil was free to enjoy the morning; there would be no debt to collect. Feeling content for the first time all day, he sat at the table and finished his breakfast. As he sopped up the last bit of yolk with his toast, he gazed out the window and took a moment to appreciate the beauty of his frosty empire. A smile crept across his face as he considered the unlikelihood of the morning’s events. Finished with his meal, he placed his fork and napkin on his plate, took a final sip of coffee and shook his head in amazement.

"I’ll be damned. They fired Dayton."

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