The 20th year had just begun. Every senior demon knew what this meant: tonight at midnight would be the beginning of the true black mass, the one hosted by Satan himself instead of the ones held by the infamous Satanists that so many of the humans were often so afraid of. It was a required ceremony for every demon to attend in order to keep their so called lives under Satan’s tight role. It was new to none of us. We could all transport to the location without much thought had any of us known it beforehand. Satan often just transported us all there himself; he did it with even less thought than we did and it gave none of us a reason to forget or pretend to forget. The last time he let us do it ourselves 99% of us didn’t even bother show. It isn’t like I would blame any of us, we loved our king like the angels loved God, his speeches were just dry to most.
I glanced at my watch (keeping perfect time with Hell itself, as always) and noticed that midnight was almost here. Being in a public place I stepped into a dark alley so my sudden out of nowhere disappearance wouldn’t be noticed by the spectators. Newer demons (usually a new one came a year, after his speeches) wouldn’t know that they were called like that and would scare the humans when they were physically there and suddenly gone. I’d scared a few of the homeless in my time but they weren’t ones that many believed. In many cases they didn’t believe even themselves since it had often been years since they last had any valid contact with any other humans. I know I wouldn’t believe myself if I didn’t have a drink or two with a demon or two every once in awhile. I far from blinded myself when it came to my disappearances. Being in one place and ending up somewhere else scared me some, too. Sometimes it was necessary to fill my “freak out the religious” quota, not to mention demons were often summoned by various occult followers.
Midnight hit and I appeared in the church for the ceremony. Another fancy Catholic church with very gothic architecture. Judging by a small amount of the granite molding beginning to crumble I would say that it was from the time period, not something build later. The pews still looked well used and there were bibles in them that looked like they appeared to just have been bought. I’m unsure how he had desanctified what appeared to be holy ground to the human eye but he always seemed to be able to do it somehow. I felt bad for any humans who came here to avoid our persecution since we could now step within the church. Many of them relied on places like this to keep themselves safe from us. It would take one of the oldest demons, willing to kill without putting much thought into it, for the priest or monks to realize that they had lost this precious commodity that they promised to offer their followers. The graveyard around back was still sanctified, however. I could still see the glow of light emanating from it. Though it wasn’t as strong as that in a church it would still be too painful for a demon to step onto it. Most people didn’t think of a graveyard as a saving grace, though.
I sat in a pew in the back. I had a book hidden in my jacket that I could read while ignoring his greatness. It was considered rude to ignore him while he was speaking but he just updated us on the past 20 years in Hell, usually it was the usual torture countless believers, new litters of Hell hounds being born, some human Satanists rising to the occasion to train said litters and run their own packs of dogs. Something that many of us were used to hearing. None of it the most interesting thing ever. We heard the obituaries in our thoughts (very rare considering most of us knew that only disobeying Satan’s order for your quota was the only way to die but eternal life wasn’t for all of us) immediately on the demon’s death. Five minutes after all of the current demons seemed to have filed into the church and took seats Satan himself came in.
The first hour was his usual announcements. I read the book I had brought leaving my ears open for the rare question that would pop up. This time there was only one, if Hell had indeed been very prosperous with its soul gathering this year. Seemed like it considering 3,000,000 souls entered hell this year that no god or goddess seemed to want to claim. Usually less than 1,000,000 souls were claimed. Many wanted good followers to continue to be so. A new announcement caught my attention: Satan was dieing, he would be announcing his replacement for almost immediate replacement tonight.
I marked my spot in my book and placed it back in my pocket. This was an announcement I wanted to hear. I had a feeling it would be going to one of the oldest demons but it was always nice to hear the original name of the one taking over. He seemed to hesitate for a moment, as if going through names in is head like he hadn’t already drummed up the perfect person in his head long beforehand. He was a stickler for good planning and his predecessor would likely be the same way. Ammit and myself were the only 2 demons I could think of that bothered plan anything out. Most demons were trigger happy with what they did. When I heard the name Qenna called I started to pull my book back out before realizing it was my own name that had been called. I stood and walked to the podium.
He explained that robes would be fitted for me and it would take a week for my new horns and tail to grow in to the degree that a Satan figure needed. It would also take his death in 2 weeks time for powers to transfer to me. This was only a short period in many of our lives (I personally am already 110,893 years old) and it was an honor to be picked. It might mean a little less traveling depending on the need for me in Hell but it also meant no more quotas and a long term home, saying nothing in the form of a demon disease forms (though they do occasionally happen, this Satan had ruled for 600,000,000 years before contracting one and none are contagious). I was ready to take on the position for as long as I could have it.