Julep was into the full skip of her morning hoping time would ease up instead of spilling hours away so irreverently.
Then before afternoon could have a say the Devil appeared about a minute before noon.
Not what she expected in between the washing she’d hung out and the floors she was planning to sweep and mop.
In an awkward instant a micro sun was above her head shining down bringing honey warmth to the caramel flecks in her strawberry blond hair.
Julep gasped collapsing into a purple tasseled bean bag that also appeared from nowhere to catch her fall while her legs remoulded like jelly stuffing.
She didn’t feel particularly normal at this point in time.
There was the Devil sitting in front of her on an outrageous pink sofa edged with blinking fairy lights, on closer examination one would have seen they were really tiny gold serpents wearing flashing tiara’s.
The Devil shrugged his shoulders in a way that suggested he also didn’t know what was happening next.
He didn’t fit any of her ideals of what the Devil should look like.
There was a nerdy kitsch kind of presence about him which was more disconcerting to Julep than if he ‘d appeared in his red skin and pitch fork persona.
Maybe a bland version today she thought and immediately winced… oh he’d smoke her good on a roisterer for that.
Julep waited with the Devil for something to happen.
Ridiculous to wait for more one would think, when you just had Beelzebub the resident hell dude drop in unannounced bringing his own indoor sun to solar accessorize your kitchen and pop sixties seating arrangement.
A book was in his hands with Julep’s face on the front cover which was constantly changing to different expressions each time she dared to glance at it.
Happy, sad, defiant, perplexed, cheeky…..
Julep tried gulping away her fear but failed feeling more and more at the mercy of the unexpected.
You could try gulping down a mega watt fear pickle and you’d be in simpatico with her.
“Julep relax… I’m not going to eat you. Here ..have some lavender icecream, it’s the very best”
The Devil leaned forward with an icecream cone double scooped with light purplish icecream.
Julep accepted his out of character cold offering.
He was right it was sensational, the best her taste buds had ever been pleasured by.
“You really are not the regular kind of willow tree. Are you Julep?
No, yes… you’re the mighty oak. Likely why you’ve danced more to your own tunes and mostly ignored mine. Ahhh Julep the mighty oak…”
“Oh he’s lost his fuckn mind … I’d have to meet Satan when he is in the middle of some kind of psychotic break!” Julep thought not so calmly or quietly.
Julep eyed her mild mannered Clark Hellbent and said " Look just do what you’re here to do. "
She figured she was in boiling trouble and it was without question, a moment of ‘Do not pass go, go straight to jail deal’.
“What do you want?” she asked with a short dash of brave demand.
When you’re a single mum who has raised three kids without much more than token farthings from their father and scraped a loving home together nevertheless …well you just haven’t got time to muck around.
Your patience level is somewhat thinner than most, thicker in direct equations.
If the Devil was having an off day or not, he just needed to get straight to the point.
Julep drove from A to B, none of this C, D or Z deviation.
“Ah, my dear Julep. He was right about you”
“Who was right about me? Do you mean God?”
“Oh no we don’t catch up till the next millennium” the Devil replied in an exasperated tone as if this was common knowledge.
“Who then?” Julep asked, her eyes downward, her mind processing a million thoughts.
“Your lover " came the reply.
“Lionel! " Julep exclaimed.
Julep wanted to run and find Lionel that very minute and get answers to remove the scorch marks of “What’s going on?” in her brain.
She was not an oak to have words carved on about promises and love couplings.
Julep was a vine growing a little further away from the unreal reality she was witnessing.