A one-act play I wrote in 1995, combining Hell and a 50's television show.

Place: Hell.

Setting: A room in hell. The background could consist of cardboard flames and perhaps sacrificed animals in piles. The stage has a couple of chairs scattered about, and a middle-aged woman (Satan’s wife) is sitting at a table sewing and humming. She could also wear pearls, or something else in order to convey an odd congruence of hell and Donna Reed images. A young teenage boy walks into the room, and he has small horns on his head.

SON: Mom?

MOM: Yes, dear?

SON: I have to ask you a question about God.

MOM: (gets big eyes and voice becomes a whisper) Hush, son! You know how your dad feels about that name being mentioned in this house!

SON: Aw jeepers Mom, what’s the big deal? Dad’s not around. I’m just curious about something. I mean, I respect Dad and all, but I just wondered if... I just wanted to know if... well I just get so dang sick of it down here sometimes, and it seems to me that if God were able to--

MOM: Son! Please! He could walk in here right now in a rage of fire. And I hate it when he does that-- you should know not to talk about such things by now.

SON: (annoyed) No, I shouldn’t. I’m fifteen and I think I’m entitled to ask a few questions. I’m just sick of all this fire and brimstone. Every day it’s “direct the slaves here and direct the slaves there, put the sacrificed rams in this pile and the goats into that pile...” I just don’t get it! This is all I’m around and I want to see what life on earth is like. Dad has never let me up there--

MOM: Well, I think he has good reason for that, son.

SON: Oh really? Well I’d like to know.

MOM: Honey! You’re the son of Satan! You should be proud of your father and everything you have. He goes up onto the earth because it’s his job-- and one day you will be able to as well. But now isn’t the time. You’re needed to help down here.

SON: Well, Mother, I really just don’t find anything we do very productive.

MOM: Great. Our son the philosopher. Teens are such a pain.

SON: Thanks a lot, Mom. I was hoping you’d be on my side about this. After all, Dad doesn’t let you up there, either. You just sit down here directing the slaves, kindling the fires...

MOM: It’s all a part of the job in Hell, son.

SON: Cooking the goats and the rams...

MOM: I cook very well, thank you. I’ve never heard any complaints out of you from the dinner table.

SON: Well, these are my complaints now. And I think we’re on the unlucky side of all this. After all, I know God gets more sacrificed animals than we do--

MOM: Stop mentioning him!

SON: And that’s something else! Why does Dad have his panties in a wad about God?

SATAN: (from offstage) Honey! Honey where are you?

MOM: I’m in here, dear! (to son) Now hush with all this God business.

SATAN: (walks in wearing a red outfit with large horns on his head) Ah, there you are. Where’s my super flame thrower? Faust is acting up again in the line and my pyrokenetic powers are weak today.

MOM: It’s in the pantry. Why are your powers weak today, honey?

SATAN: Oh, God’s all mad because I took a load of souls today. He thinks he’s so cute because he’s omnipotent and has soooo much more power. And now he’s messing with my fire. Can I help it if people want to sell their souls to me? Can I help it that I’m just oh-so-irresistible?

MOM: Of course not, dear.

SATAN: Of course not. After all, I am Lucifer, King of the Underworld!

MOM: Yes you are.

SATAN: It’s his fault for kicking me out of his blasted Heaven. Umph. Him and all his angels. I bet one of them angels can’t burn an entire town to smithereens like I can!

SON: Dad, I need to talk to you about something.

SATAN: Sure, what is it son?

MOM: I think I’m going to step out of the room and let you two talk, demon to demon. I’ll go find your flame-thrower, honey.

SATAN: What’s the problem, son? Are you feeling bored today? Want to help me out and go scare the newcomers up at the front gate? That’s always lots of fun.

SON: No, Dad. I just wanted to ask you about something.

SATAN: Well spit it out, my boy. I don’t have a whole lot of time. My breaks coming up and I don’t want to miss my soaps.

SON: Well, I was just wondering if... maybe I could visit earth sometime.

SATAN: Sure— but not right now. I need your help here. When you’ve grown up some and learned all you need to learn, then I’ll let you go.

SON: But I don’t understand! Why would it be such a bad thing for me to visit the earth?

SATAN: (big sigh) Look, son. There’s a lot up there that I just don’t think you’re prepared for. It’s very different from down here-- there’s actually (he cringes some as he speaks) good people up there. They have hearts and all that nonsense. Son, it’s a real battle up there, and to be honest— well, you’re the devil’s spawn. I’m afraid they’re just not going to be too kind to you.

SON: But I want to see what that is like! I want to experience that! I’m sick of it down here.

SATAN: Son, you can’t be serious.

SON: I am! I’m bored to death with burning souls.

SATAN: (frustrated) Oh nooo... Don’t say this. You can’t be bored with it. That’s what we do! And I’m expecting you to take over the business one day.

SON: (annoyed, and rolls his eyes) Oh, and when will that happen? When you die? You’re already dead!

SATAN: But you’ll still have a part in the job—I’ll need your help one day. But if your going to get all whiny about annihilating souls, then I’ve got a wimp for a son.

SON: I’m not a wimp. I just want to see what life is like.

SATAN: Life isn’t good enough for you down here? We’ve got fire as far as the eye can see, we’ve got slaves to work for us and people are sacrificing food for us left and right. I’m telling you right now, you’re never going to get as good as you’ve got down here.

SON: But that’s just it. How do I know that for sure? Maybe I want something different. Maybe I don’t find all of this particularly interesting to me.

SATAN: Oh, that’s just great. And what is it that interests you?

SON: Football! Baseball! Hockey! Angelina Jolie!

SATAN: You can get that all on television. We've got plenty of those down here.

SON: No. I want to experience it all for myself. Everyone else gets to, why can’t I?

SATAN: Because you’re not everyone else! You’re Satan’s son! Get it through that rebellious teenage head of yours!

GOD: ( a deep, booming voice from backstage and not seen.)Satan!!

SATAN: (extremely agitated) Awww, what now!?

GOD: If your son wants to get out of Hell, I think you should let him.

SATAN: Well, you’re not his father, are you Mr. Know It All? I have a right to raise him how I like!

GOD: Well I’m God, and I can pulverize you into oblivion, you idiot!

SATAN: (Throwing a tantrum, he jumps around whining)You won’t get rid of me! You can’t!

GOD: I certainly could! Do you want your flame throwing powers back, or not?

SATAN: Pleeeeese.

GOD: Well, let your son visit earth, then. He has a right to be good, just as everyone has a right to be bad. (mumbles next line) You freakin’ pyromaniac.

SATAN: What did you call me?

GOD: I said, you freakin’ pyromaniac!

SATAN: (loud and child-like) I know you are but what am I?

GOD: Are we gonna get into this again? Fine then, your momma is so fat

SATAN: All right all right! Don’t talk about my momma. The point is, he’s my son. And to me, bad is good.

GOD: Shut it, Satan! I’m God and what I say goes.

SATAN: Fine! (muttering) Stupid know-it-all...

GOD: What was that?

SATAN: Nothing.

GOD: Hah! I know what you said. I’m God, after all! Now shut up and do what I say, or I’m taking your happy little Hell away, and all those souls can just sit around in Purgatory for all I care.

SATAN: Fine. (Grumbling) Son, you can go up to earth.

SON: Yeah!

SATAN: But only after we eat dinner. And you have to eat all of your ram tonight!

SON: I will! (the son runs off )

SATAN: (shaking his head) Honey?!

WIFE: (comes in)Yes, dear? I’m still looking for your flame-thrower.

SATAN: We’ve got a goody-goody for a son.

WIFE: Well, you know how it goes. Teens are so rebellious. Just let him go on his way and eventually he’ll learn.

SATAN: Blah. That boy’s got a scull as thick as rock.

WIFE: (laughing, shaking her head) Just like his father.

SATAN: You know, everything has just gone wrong since Dante published that blasted Inferno book. Making us look soooo bad and scary. Now more people want to be good. It makes me ill. I have to work twice as hard these days to get a few souls down here. Pretty soon, I’ll have to create brochures trying to make this place look like fun.

WIFE: That’ll be hard to do, dear.

SATAN: Now our son wants out of Hell. Ummph.

WIFE: Don’t worry about it. Why don’t you come into the kitchen and have a piece of cake.

SATAN: You made cake? What kind?

WIFE: (smiles) Devil’s Food.

SATAN: My favorite! (husband and wife walk off together)

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