The smell of sulfur permeated the stone auditorium. Fire and lava danced around the air as if being pulled along by invisible strings. Eight hundred demons filled the hidden lair. Ghastly shaped marble chairs, which even demons from hell found a bit uncomfortable, provided an elevated view for the few who came late. The sounds, smells, and aura of evil were actually overshadowed each time a new category for tonight’s award banquet was announced. Even a low-level Lucifer lackey dreams of receiving public recognition for his work. The host of the awards was an intimidating figure, standing nearly nine feet tall and thrashing a tail twice that length. His voice roared like a freight train, and his teeth glowed green with an eerie gel that constantly dripped, making it sound like he was yelling through a waterfall.
“Tonight’sssss BRIDGE award will go to one of these hardworking and dedicated purveyorsssss of mayhem and death among the humans. But before I announce the names of the top three vote gettersssss, I want to remind our audience exactly what the BRIDGE award is all about.
“The BRIDGE award is given to the demon who has best transferred the goalsssss of our world to the heartsssss and mindssssss of the disgusting humans that our tormentor finds so worthy. The demon who builds the most successful BRIDGE from our world of deceit to the waiting shore of an individual or a group has done so much to set back the work of the one who despisessssss us, a special award had to be created.”
The auditorium erupted in applause and evil roars. One could cut the anxiety with a pitch fork.
“Kayhemwrell, the one in charge of promoting robbery among the humansssss, has done well to transfer our longing for the throne of the one who cast us out of heaven to the heartssss and mindssss of humanssss who themselvesssss want more than what they have.”
The crowd screeched with delight. They liked Kayhemwrell. They liked him a lot.
“Drastingnotch, you have been a relentlesssss advocate of witchcraft among the haplesssss humanssss, making a BRIDGE of power that startssss here and endssss at death’ssss doorstep!”
The demons lashed out with admiration. Screams of WITCHCRAFT! WITCHCRAFT! WITCHCRAFT! bounced around the spacious arena, and Tarot cards were tossed into the air. Drastingnotch bowed to his fellow comrades, honored by his nomination.
“But tonight’ssss BRIDGE award goes to the demon who has created the most useful tool to stop humansssss from reporting bad behavior, despising bad behavior, or acting against bad behavior. Truthbender, you have built a BRIDGE capable of surviving any earthquake. Your work has left the humanssss defenseless in so many areasssss. Tonight, we celebrate your work, your life, and your leadership! Please come up to the podium and accept your award!”
As the award winner made his way to the stage, 800 Lucifer-wannabes whooped and hollered the phrases Truthbender had worked to develop:
“Snitches get stitches! Death to narks! Beat the little tattle-tales! Rats must die!”
The flighty flames grew stronger, the sulfur more evident, and the hatred more pronounced. And at the exact instance Truthbender raised the BRIDGE award for all of his brothers to see, a thirteen-year-old girl from the Bronx died in a drive-by shooting. The girl’s older brother knew the bullet would be coming, but he never dreamed his code of silence would cost the life of his mother’s pride and joy. He would never tell his mother that he knew what was coming; he figured she wouldn’t understand the way things were on the street – “snitches get stitches!”
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