One Thong Left on the Beach
By Scott Hudson
Greg wasn’t happy with his assignment. When he’d arrived in hell, it had been going for far too long and all the good jobs had been snatched up. By the time he’d become a Demon, it’d been longer still. The lesser of the lesser demons were given busy work: prepare a soul for collection, light torture, maybe the odd pet possession—they were borderline poltergeists.
Greg thought to complain or ask for something else but Lucifer didn’t make time for creatures in their first century, and dealing with middle management was, well… Hell.
He waited to be summoned, sitting in his cell, hands on his very normal legs. He still looked like the marketing executive he had been during his time on earth. He wished for more though. Why couldn’t he have a pair of horns or scales? He thought to ask the higher demons but they’d take one look at his soft skin and glasses and laugh.
When the call came, Greg stood up with a half-smile. If he could do this job well, do it in a way it’s never done before, maybe that was the key to his ascension. He wasn’t permitted violence, or much else for the matter. He simply needed to ruin Tim’s day.
The portal opened into Tim’s room. It was a mess of whisky bottles, black t-shirts and instruments that were caked in dust. Greg read Tim’s file. Tim was twenty-five, single and barely employed as a bartender. Every night he would slip into thongs and shorts and walk across the beach. He lived in a flat above a bar off St Kilda Road. He’d made a deal to get an apartment ‘by the beach.’ Greg took notes, looking for ways to make Tim miserable. Hell liked to send up a lesser demon to their clients every now and then. Just a reminder of what’s waiting for them.
In the morning Greg played with Tim’s wifi modem. Making sure the signal stayed where Tim was not. Tim moaned aloud for a few seconds before simply changing to data—so Greg began playing with that too. He turned off Tim’s hot water. Not immediately, only once Tim was settled in steamed bliss. Tim fiddled with the knob for a moment, before turning it off and stepping free of the shower. Greg kept Tim’s phone uncharged. He let a stray fly wander the apartment. Once Tim started work, Greg shattered glasses, hid bottles. When Tim cut limes, Greg made sure the juice found every cut. Tim adapted and moved on.
The shift ended and Tim left exhausted. Greg’s assignment was coming to an end. He panicked, unsure of what else he could do. Tim walked up to his apartment, grabbed his thongs and made his way to the beach. The idea formed in Greg’s mind and a smile carved across his face.
It was an old favourite. Tim took off his thongs, his shirt and walked to the sea. Whilst Tim’s feet soaked in the water, Greg grabbed the rubber thongs in his hands and floated away. He’d never liked sand whilst he was alive. The crumbled rocks used to find new ways to annoy him. In his pants. In his shoes. After Greg found himself a good five hundred metres away, he placed a solitary thong on the beach and then he returned to Hell.
About the Author:
Scott Hudson is a Naarm writer and musician, studying creative writing at
Scott spends his time writing about music in Beat
magazine whilst dreaming that this will be the year he reads more books than
he buys. He is currently writing a contemporary young adult novel and writes
speculative fiction short stories in his spare time.
You can keep up with him on Twitter @jstscotthings