The Imps and Beelzebub at a Ministers’ Conference – Short Story

The three little imps dozed off and snored recklessly as the last plenary of the Ministers’ Conference dragged on. Beelzebub, flying through the mid-air, saw this and shot a fiery dart that ended with a burst of sparks over their heads. They woke up with a start.

“It’s the Prince!” Snob cried.

“Yes, it is!” Vague confirmed.

“He looks fiendishly soured!” Crafty rejoined.

“Is it time to sleep and dream recklessly while time steals away our only opportunity?” Beelzebub demanded.

“We’re sorry, Master” Crafty replied, “But, it’s difficult to keep eyes opened when these ministers and theologians open their mouth!”

“Nevertheless, you’re required to keep them open!”

“We’ve wound up the clock, master.” Snob argued, “All their actions are timed and preset. A quick flight over their heads would instantly give evidence of our superior accomplishment.”

“I’ll see,” replied Beelzebub and flew away.

The very next instant he came back with eyes wide open. “What is that guy talking about?”

“About some outdated, irrelevant topic; he is the last of the speakers, and he thinks he is the Capstone.” Snob chuckled.

“He also thinks that he can change the world by what he says here.” Vague laughed out loud.

“We pursued all of them to keep thinking, keep praising, keep criticizing, and keep believing that they’re the best of the bunch,” Snob explained.

“He has stopped. They all applaud. Why?” Beelzebub scratched his horns. “Another man is peaking [speaking] something; it seems he wishes to show how great he is for being such a “distinct” moderator. That is “good”! They are dismantling and meeting each other now. Let’s move closer!”

Beelzebub and the imps drew closer.

They first, invisible as they were, huddled around two men who were speaking volubly to each other; and thereby attracting several swift gazes.

“Your lecture was fabulous, Reverend Sudoor!” the man dressed in white was flattening [flattering], obviously.

“Thank you, Reverend Priseid!” Rev. Sudoor replied.

“Reverend!!!” Beelzebub burst into uncontrollable laughter. “I am so afraid and filled with awe!” He teasingly remarked and laughed out loud again.

“It’s easier to crush both of them into a pulp right now!” Vague averred.

“See, Rev. Priseid, there are over a hundred churches in my city; but, none of them are really doing what really needs to be done. We’re the only ones who are doing the work.” Sudoor was saying.

“So, he thinks,” Crafty commented.

“So, he keeps away from all of them,” Snob added.

“So, he keeps away from even trying to know them,” Vague pinned it down.

“Excellent!” Beelzebub looked happy. The imps felt satisfied.

“If you can’t keep your head above the other heads, chop those other heads off,” mused Snob.

“Let’s move to others!” Beelzebub ordered. They quickly moved to a lady with her husband talking with a man wearing a tall hat–the Bishop. The lady had overdone her cosmetic adornment.

“When she looked in the mirror this morning, we made sure she felt there was something missing,” Vague chattered.

“Ok!” Beelzebub retorted indifferently and perked his ears to listen to the conversation. The imps also joined.

“I’ll go straight from here to the airport and fly to Mumbai for a very important meeting; from there, I’ll fly to Kuala Lumpur where we have a three day Summit; then, from there I go to London, and to Madrid; then, to Tel Aviv; then…”

“You really have a very hectic schedule, Bishop! I wonder how you can keep up with it!” The lady smiled modestly, looking quite impressed.

“The smile is plastic, not unmindful of the cosmetic.” Vague commented.

“This guy travels a lot and sounds very busy in the Enemy’s work; it doesn’t look like a good sign!” Beelzebub showed concern.

“He just sounds busy. It’s because of a special Fear Virus that we injected,” replied Vague. “It causes people to always pretend to look everlastingly busy and absolutely have no time.”

“But, he is as ignorable as an ignoramus,” Snob assured. “Those with half of their life spent in mid-air are less dangerous than those biped trotters whose feet are always on the ground.”

“By the way, last night, I got a biped trotter to somehow manage a flight-travel. The very first thing he did was to yank out his camera phone and capture those first precious moments with it. I had already injected into his brain earlier that those pictures should go on Facebook,” Vague gossiped.

The others chuckled.

“And, I was there to make sure that he made the post convey to gullible eyes (as he thought the world was) that he was often in mid-air; as if real high-level ministry to the Arch Enemy had somehow to do with airplane seats,” Crafty assured.

“Interesting!” Beelzebub noted. “Commendable!” Beelzebub explained. The imps felt relieved.

“My book is now used as a text-book in the Seminaries,” a voice behind them announced, and they all turned towards it.

“Oh really! That’s great!” the other man replied.

“They both feel it is a great achievement!” Snob chuckled.

“He believes that he is one of the foremost thinkers in the nation,” Vague explained. “He tries to avoid quoting living authors.”


“He himself once observed that seminaries are cemeteries. Now, he celebrates his book becoming cemeterized.” Crafty mocked.

But, Beelzebub didn’t look impressed. “Whatever they call them, the seminaries aren’t healthy places; they are where the enemy soldiers are trained.” he warned.

“We remembered your instructions, Master, to introduce dissatisfaction among the professors,” Crafty assured.

“There were two chief dissatisfaction weapons we used,” he continued to explain, “Recognition and Remuneration. No matter what, they continue to seek more recognition in the world; and no matter what, they continue to seek more remuneration for their work. Only in some cases, some don’t mind the remuneration very much if they get the false recognition they sought; also, some others don’t mind about recognition anymore when they get the remuneration they desired.”

“But, you must be careful of those who seek neither, of the ones who roam in the wilderness, are clothed with camel’s hair, wear a leather belt, and eat locusts and wild honey,” Beelzebub warned.

“Aren’t such ones quickly beheaded?” the three imps observed.

“Yes, often; but not before enough damage has already been done!” Beelzebub replied. Then, he flapped his wings and took off.

The three imps became very silent.

Then suddenly, “To Herodias, Herod, and Salome at once!” they cried and flew away.

The curtain fell.

© Domenic Marbaniang, 2014


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