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For Our Light Affliction

Stephen S. Power's novel, The Dragon Round, will be published by Simon & Schuster in July 2016. His work has recently appeared at AE. He has stories forthcoming in Amazing Stories, Flash Fiction Online and Lightspeed. He tweets at @stephenspower, his site is stephenspower.com, and he lives in Maplewood, NJ .
When Satan comes out of Whole Foods, dressed as an old lady, He finds his car surrounded by other shoppers. Inside His bichon is yapping like mad and pawing the windows.
"You should be ashamed," a woman in yoga pants says, "leaving your dog in there with the windows closed."
"Do you know how hot it must be?" her husband says.
"He likes the heat," Satan says.
"That's horrible," a man with a tire iron says. "I was about to break a window."
"You wouldn't want to do that."
The bichon throws itself against the windshield to emphasize the point.
Tire Iron steps back. "For Christ's sake, give him some air."
"We should have called the police," the woman says. Her husband nods.
Satan considers writing all their sins in the dirt, but stupid asphalt. Instead he says, "I know you're upset, but, bless your hearts, no matter what you say or do, I will never leave my windows cracked."
Satan gets in and pulls out. He looks in the review mirror and laughs. Already they're stewing over their impotence. For a while whenever they park they'll recall it. And they'll infect legions more by tweeting about it, posting about it, and probably telling anyone who'll listen, "Can you believe that woman?"
"And that," He tells the bichon, "is how you possess people nowadays."
The End
This story was first published on Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

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