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Mr Forbes 4. The Offer

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium
The fourth and final short story in this Mr Grimonomous Forbes series.

Thanks to Booksie's Markie Bee for the cover. https://www.booksie.com/users/markie-bee-223538

Submitted: October 10, 2018

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Submitted: October 10, 2018

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Mr Forbes 4. The Offer.

The Devil had been delighted by Mr Forbes and his quick-thinking solution to the environmental crisis that had been facing Hell. The temperature once more was soaring, higher than it had been for a very long time.

The Devil was not the only one that appreciated Grimonomous’ ability to problem-solve. No, word had spread fast and he was about to become head-hunted from the other side. He worked so well for Hell, why not for Heaven itself!

Who was going to put the proposition to him, though? It was going to take a very brave and powerful angel indeed to even meet with Mr Forbes, let alone to communicate with him. They would need an asbestos suit for a start, and the hazards of those were only too well known. There was no getting around it though; without that protection they would be reduced to ashes before even setting eyes on the dapper Mr Forbes, at least from a rear-facing view.

Candice finally stepped forward. She was no wilting violet, but an angel confident in her own wings. She’d fly down there, carrying the suit, and only step in to it once her feet were on solid ground. She would face Grimonomous Forbes in the bone and would put forward God’s proposition. He was bound to say yes, for who would not want to be second-in-command of Heaven.

Meanwhile, Mr Forbes himself was quite happy to be back where he belonged, binding those souls and making that voyage. In fact, with the over-crowding situation now under control, some days he even worked double shifts, just for the Hell of it. He had no idea that he had caught the interest of someone else. At least, that was, until this vision of beauty appeared before him. Not only was she approaching him, but she could see him too. Her fashion sense was a bit questionable, but he could make allowances for that. Even stranger was that she did not appear in the least repulsed or scared. She could only be from one place and what in all of Hell itself did she want with him?

Candice came to a stop about ten feet in front of him. She looked down towards the ground, and Mr Forbes found himself looking down too. He was no longer standing, but seated, looking down in to what appeared to be a sheet of ice, or glass. His reflection stared back at him; but it wasn’t his reflection, was it. This one had a face, a proper face, a real face. Skin, a nose, ears and eyes. And it was not just his face. His clothes were full of a fleshed out body, instead of bones.

Dapper, indeed! Grimonomous had never realized quite how handsome he would really be; if he was skin with the bone. That was what was on offer then, and he had to admit that he was a bit tempted.

Too soon, Candice relaxed, eased her grip on that asbestos suit. She had sensed that he had liked what he’d seen and had thought prematurely that the offer was taken, that Mr Forbes was about to step across to the other side and fly up instead of down.

There was a frown now on the man’s face, his hands scratched at his skin. It itched, and that was something his bones never ever did. He was comfortable in his skeleton, he belonged in Hell, was made for binding and transporting those oh so evil souls.

Grimonomous looked Candice squarely in the eye as he felt the skin melting from his face, giving him back his true form. The reflective surface crinkled, shrivelled, taking it’s false picture with it.

She looked down, the angel, defeated. She could not fly until she was released, as her wings were inside the suit. She could not step from the suit in his presence of she would instantly turn to ash. Already she bore the mark of failure, with several feathers already singed from too close a proximity to his heat.

Mr Forbes lifted his skeletal hand in a wave of farewell, and turned away from Candice, much reducing her torment. She watched as the figure slowly walked away from her in his smart suit, top hat on his head, on his way home to Hell.


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