Back to the Mephisto, Part One
The dam wall groaned like a rug salesman watching his warehouse go up in flames. Carpet burn is no laughing matter and, if this lube levy buckled as it was wanting to do, that sentiment would soon be shared by the well oiled army of blue-collar streetwalkers that plied the nether regions of Hell.
A small man-thing, possibly a goblin and definitely part carrot, stumped along in front of Mephisto with a clipboard and a bad case of mould. Despite being neither creature nor vegetable, one whiff confirmed him over-ripe and had Mephisto maintaining a rude yet prudent distance. The man, being a simple, salt of the hellscape kind of guy, thought it was a bit unprofessional having to shout to hold a conversation, but then again he’d been sent to Hell for befouling his sister’s panty drawer, so who was he to judge?
He blushed orange - whether due to annoyance, the beta-carotene, or the thought of his sister’s lacy thong, even he didn’t know.
“This here,” he squeaked and pointed with a conical finger, “is the main rivet. If it goes, the whole thing goes, down into that magma fissure over yonder.” He tapped at something on his clipboard that, from the opposite end of the scaffold, Mephisto couldn’t quite make out. “And if that happens, well, people will be down to butter and spit before the night is through.” He drew himself up to an impressive three feet and finished gravely, “It will be an un-mi-gi-tated disaster.”
Mephisto caught only half of what was said, on account of the creaking metal beams between him and a lake-full of lubricant. He could fill in the blanks, however, and he already knew what came next.
The little man stewed in his own juices for a long minute, too aware that what he was about to ask would be as difficult as selling a barbeque to an atheist. Or at least to an atheist in Hell, which were the ones he was familiar with. Mephisto made it no easier for him, so eventually he had to bite his vitamin-rich lip and casse-role with it, “I need you to talk to your father. To Satan.”
He needn’t have bothered, because Mephisto had already made up his mind.
“Fine. I’ll talk to him.”