It was a lazy afternoon in the Heavens. God was sipping his tea in the garden. The Devil was napping in his hammock at a distance, his rhythmic snore matching the droning bees. All was well there.
A shrivelled fellow sneaked besides the hammock and shook the Devil gently.
‘Yes, Hatred, What’s your whine, now? , the disinterested Devil asked without removing his straw hat that covered his face.
Hatred hissed into his boss’ ears. ‘My lord, We don’t belong here. We are ridiculed and insulted and are merely used as props to God’s ego. We have to get out of here. Take us to Hades, My master. That’s our fiefdom.’
‘As I have told many times before, Hatred, we will wait until the time is ripe.’, the Devil answered curtly and rolled over, leaving Hatred to stare at his back. Hatred persevered, ‘But, My Sire..’.
He was interrupted by peals of laughter from the cherubic Hope, God’s favourite child. Devil winced in irritation and squinted to look at God who was throwing the kid high up in the air. The child was squealing when Love rushed towards God in excitement.
‘Father, you will be mighty pleased with what I did. Hatred and Jealousy tried to cleave a rift between two brothers. I swooped in and let sense prevail upon them’, she gushed to her Papa. She earned a pat from her proud Papa.
The Devil, who learned about Hatred’s attempts, sneered at him, adding ‘Pray, how am I to run a kingdom without a worthy Prime Minister?’
As they were talking, they saw a lanky man with a sharp pointy nose and restless eyes reluctantly approach God.
‘My Lord, Can I sell my wares on Earth with your permission?’, he asked God with saccharine humility.
‘What do you sell?’ God asked.
‘I sell You, Sir. I market using various names’.
God was very skeptical but Love seemed to be thrilled.
‘Papa, Won’t that be dandy? He will ease my burden manifold.’ She exclaimed, the innocent one.
God had to agree. He knew his daughter was worn out doing her job.
God looked at the man with shifty eyes and said ‘Yes, you may.’
The man bowed elaborately and turned to leave when God asked, ‘And what’s your name, Gentleman?’.
‘Religion, Sir. That’s my name.’ He replied.
The Devil’s mouth curved into a sinister smile. He looked at Hatred, who by now was joined by his cohorts Intolerance, Rumour, and such kinds.
He proclaimed, ‘The time has finally arrived, Gentlemen. I found my man’
The ever-doubtful Mistrust said, ‘But he sells Him, the God’.
‘And there lies the rub.’, the Devil laughed, his echo shattering the quiet slumber of Peace.
In a matter of a few centuries, The Devil and his band of merry men found a thriving kingdom in Hades. Before they left Heaven, they maimed God’s favourite child, Hope, the cherubic one, as a sign of what was yet to come.