It was cold outside and in, so Evil Editor was working furiously. Giving another manuscript a cursory glance, he hurled it towards the flagging fire in the nearby metal trash can. Appearing from nowhere, a foppish looking stranger in an oversized tweed jacket and double-knit pants snatched the papers from mid air.
Evil’s eyes pulsed dangerously. “Who the hell are you?”
The haloed stranger smiled. “I’m Eric the angelic man. I come before you…”
“Hey buddy, get in line. I get first dibs around here.”
Eric frowned in confusion. “Um…”
“Oh, you mean alphabetically then?”
“Our names,” said Evil. “’Eric’ comes before ‘Evil’ alphabetically.”
“Hey, enough with that already. Why are you here, besides stealing my heat?”
Eric drew himself up, trying his best to look virtuous. “I was sent here by the ‘Big Guy’.”
“So, you’re intervening on God’s behalf?”
Eric waved a hand dismissively. “No, no. God’s been slumming for centuries. Satan persuaded me to come by and help you sort manuscripts … something about writer suicides causing an imbalance down there. I was told that in the last month alone, you rejected ten best sellers and three potential Pulitzer prize winners.” Eric the strange angelic man opened his arms wide in a magnanimous gesture. “I’m here to help.”
Evil flashed him a cold, steely grin – a grin forged by reading countless manuscripts filled with poor syntax, inane dialogue, weak plotline, and one-dimensional characters. He nodded to a desk piled dangerously high with a mountain of paper. “Okay tough guy. Suit yourself,”
Two hours later, Evil heard a faint ‘poof’. The desk was still piled high, but Eric was gone. Evil shook his head knowingly. “Panty waists,” he grumbled, tossing another manuscript into the fire.