Devil in Programming

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(All text © 1996-1997 by Anthony D. Adams)

The Devil is in the Programming

A Short Story Written by: Anthony D. Adams

(The Devil is in the Programming © 1997 by Anthony D. Adams)


I was sitting at my workstation one day trying to correct an infinite loop problem in one of my programs. It seemed that whenever anyone tried to use one specific part of my software it would just sit there in an infinite calculation. This obviously was annoying to the person. I had been studying my program for three days and still could not find the problem. I finally sat back and wished to myself that the problem would just go away. As I sat there, an odd message popped up on my screen. It said ``I can make your wish come true.'' I just assumed someone on the network was playing a joke on me, so I went back to studying my program. A few minutes later, a little picture of a red devil appeared in the corner of the screen and then vanished. A second message appeared on the screen saying, ``If you would like a wish press y for yes''. I thought it was the same joker. So I pressed ”y” to see what would happen. In a few seconds, my entire screen was covered with an image of a devil's face and it started to bulge out. I pushed my chair away from the computer and in a few seconds a fluid red and black form arched it's way out of the screen. The form solidified in front of my desk. It was a man dressed in a perfectly tailored black suit with a red shirt, tie and shoes. His face was also slightly red and he had an evil grin.

``You asked for a wish from the devil.'' The man said.

``No I didn't.''

``Oh yes you did. You see when you typed "y" you accepted my terms for a wish. ''You have no right to come into my office and try to force some deal on me. GO AWAY!''

``I am afraid it is not that easy. The deal is, you get one wish, any wish that is possible to perform. You cannot for instance ask me to calculate pi to the last digit or anything strange like that. I will do your wish and then when you die your soul is mine.''

``I think you better leave, your deal is completely unfair and I was tricked into it.''

``I always get that excuse from you people. Be a man, asked your wish.''

``You must do anything I ask? You can't get out of it?''


``I warn you if you make me do this, you will be sorry.''

``Not likely, ASK!''

``OK, but I did warned you. I wish for you to forever become an angel of the Lord.''

``What! You can't do that. It is impossible. I would never be accepted back into heaven.''

``Hey you wanted me to make a wish and I have.''

Suddenly a small bright light started to glow in the corner of the room. Within seconds, it had grown into a shape of a winged man and solidified. I now had an angel in my office. It was starting to get kind of crowded.

``Hello, Gabriel.'' The devil said.

``Hello, I hear you two have a disagreement.'' The angel said in a rather imperious tone.

I immediately spoke up. ``He said he cannot become an angel again. Is that true?''

``No, he can become an angel but it will take many centuries and it won't be easy.''

``There!'' I said to the devil. ``You can do it.''

The devil started to argue with Gabriel. He said that God had tossed him out forever. Gabriel said he changed his mind. He cannot change his mind the devil retorted. Gabriel came back saying he was God and could do anything he wished. Back and forth they argued until Gabriel finally said,  ``You can't get out of this. You know the rules. You set them up.''

The devil then started to argue again, but Gabriel held out his hand and the devil became quiet. After a pause that seemed to last forever Gabriel said to the devil, ``You have a long effort in front of you and it's time to start.''

Suddenly the devil vanished leaving just the angel and myself.

``You have done us a great service. No one has ever wished the devil into heaven. But there is a small problem.''

``What?'' I said.

``Your soul is now in dispute, and will be until the devil is accepted back into heaven. You see he has the right to your soul, but as an angel he must release you. But he probably won't do that for a long, long time.''

``So how does that affect me?''

``Well, you won't die until he is willing to give up your soul.''

``You mean I will just get older and older until I can't function?''

``Normally, but because of your service to us we are going to give you good health and you will stop aging as of now.''

The angel started to disappear. So I quickly asked, ``What am I suppose to do now. How do I explain that I'm not getting any older and what do I do when I don't die like every one else.''

``Humm, I don't know, nothing like this has ever happened. Let me check and I'll get back to you.'' Gabriel then faded out. After all that, I still did not have my program fixed and I now had forever to work on it. That certainly was a pleasant thought.

"That damned devil and his hellish wish!" I thought to myself.

All text © 1996-1997 by Anthony D. Adams.