As I spread out my towel, I thought “conditions are perfect.” The sky was cloudless, the temperature in the low 80s, the water calm. And there were no crowds.
Which was strange.
For as far as the eye could see, there was nobody except some skinny guy wearing a tan hat and Speedos, sunning himself. Seems like he’d been doing it for a long time. His whole body was frighteningly red.
I settled down, turned on my transistor radio (I’m probably the only guy who still has one!), and stared and the gentle surf. This was paradise.
I realized I had dozed off but woke up and sensed a presence. The red man was standing over me.
“Sir, would you mind turning that down? It’s disturbing people.”
I lowered the volume. “You mean it’s disturbing you,” I smirked. “Other than us, there’s not a soul around.”
He laughed. “What do you know about souls?”
Before I could answer, he strolled back to his towel.
I walked past him and waded into the water. It was warm and delightful. I swam out a distance. Time lost all meaning and later I returned to the shore happily exhausted.
The red man met me on the wet sand.
“You really should consider sunblock,” I suggested helpfully.
The red man smirked, hands on hips, and stood in place.
“Well, you’re done,” he said.
“Yes. I’m getting my towel and going home,” I said
“Oh, no you’re not. You’re done. You are going back into the ocean.”
He blocked my path.
“I’m tired. I can’t go back in. I’d drown.”
“That’s the idea,” said the red man. “I’m collecting souls and yours is the last one on the beach.”
He removed his tan sun hat revealing horns. A barbed tail escaped from his Speedos. I realized I was in trouble.
He walked toward me and I backed up into the water. I was trapped between the devil and the deep blue sea. I couldn’t go back into deep water so I lunged at him. I was tired but I hoped I could overpower him with adrenaline.
The devil was thin but strong. He threw me down and kicked me. He lifted me over his head with surprising ease and began carrying me out to sea.
“Wait!” I cried. “Stop! Spare me and I’ll make it worth your while.”
And that’s how I got here. I founded this mega church and I speak in the name of Jesus but I’m really serving the red man. He needs souls. A deal is a deal.