Not Till Dawn

He will be speaking all night

Sometimes meetings seem of the devil. Sometimes they are. Enjoy this week’s story!

There was nothing quite like hard molded plastic chairs to make sitting uncomfortable. Especially when the model was designed for pain. Still, Maxim supposed they were better than standing and listening to the droning devil.

Oh, he wasn’t the devil, but he was their devil ranting on about something Maxim couldn’t follow, pacing, and gesticulating obscenely. The high-pitched voice resembled a metal gate screeching in the wind. His head ached already. How much longer?

A scratching started beside Maxim. Glancing, he was entranced by another soul grinding… was that bone into the desktop? One carving fading as the man started another.

The man paused as Maxim waved. His latest project faded uncomplete. Maxim looked pointedly at the desktop. The man shrugged. “Nothing enjoyable lasts here.”

Maxim glanced at the devil, but the torrent of words hadn’t faltered.

“Don’t worry,” the man said. “He won’t mind us until he’s done.”

“When will he be done?” Maxim asked groaning. “What’s he even ranting about?”

“Oh, he’ll be speaking all night.” Picking up the bone he started carving again. “And dessert.”

“Dessert?” Maxim mouth’s watered. There’d been no sign of food.

“His subject. Not that it matters. The devil gets the same dessert every time.”

“Oh,” Maxim slumped further into his chair. The wave of pain traversing his spine was preferable to two realizations. First, the nights lasted almost endlessly here. He’d yet to see a dawn in a hundred years. Maxim sat straight when the second thought struck. What did they normally serve?

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