I got a job working in Hell.
Lucifer doesn’t speak English, so that’s something.
“He understands a bit, so be careful,” the math teacher tells me. We work at the school for kids of wealthier residents. I teach art. There isn’t a Staples in Hell, but there is a printer.
I hand out the worksheet; a color by numbers. Lucifer’s son sits in the front right corner, as always. He’s a sweet kid. I think the other teachers baby him too much. When I hand him the printout, Santa with Rudolph and a bag of toys, he colors the whole thing purple. I give him a high five. He smiles, his teeth are razor sharp, but white. At the end of my hour, the math teacher comes to collect the kids.
She goes pale. I follow her gaze. The purple Santa looks up at her.
Lucifer’s son looks at his drawing, then up at the math teacher.
“You have to fix this,” she says, in a panic.
I frown. “He’s four,” I remind her.
She shakes her head. “No–no.”
She walks over to the desk and pulls a fresh Santa from my pile.
“Here, you have to fix it.”
Lucifer’s son looks about to cry. I cross my arms.
She turns to Lucifer’s son. She picks up his drawing and crumples it into a ball.
“Again,” she growls at him, in Latin. She turns back to me.
“You help him.”
She walks out before I can protest, taking all of the other students with her. I sigh and sit down.
I pat him on the head, he manages not to cry. Together, we color in Santa. It is pristine, red. I write his name at the top, a little askew to make it look as a child might have done it.
Lucifer’s son looks at his own name, he nods, knowingly.
“Go to math,” I tell him, in Latin.
Before he goes, he hugs me. I can’t help smiling even though his teeth cut my leg a bit.
Once he is gone I flip over his drawing. On the back I start writing: