I’m in one of those road-side diners you find in dust-bowl shit-holes like Arizona, which is where I assume I am. I’m sat on a high stool at the counter drinking coffee, which I never do, and smoking a Chesterfield, which I never smoke.
I glance at the man who has just spoken. He’s catching the eye of the check-shirted woman behind the counter as he sits in the stool next to me.
Me: Yes. You’re the actor John Glover. You played the devil in that awful series ‘Brimstone’ they used to show late night on Channel 4.
The Devil: [very casually, given the gravity of the whole thing] No, I am the Devil. You just see me like this [gestures at himself] because this is how you imagine I’d look, you being an obtuse fucker who used to watch too much late-night television. No cloven-hooves or pitch-forks for you, you awkward twat.
Me: It wasn’t actually that bad a show, just seemed to lose its way. If you wanted ‘bad’ you should have checked the king of late-night bad drama series ‘Highlander’. They put that on at about three o’clock. Adrian Paul – fuck – he made you look good.
TD: Yeah, it wasn’t me, it was the actor John Glover. I’m the Devil.
Me: Alright. Touchy.
TD: I have a deal for you.
Me: Thought you might.
TD: It’s – [to the waitress] – could I get a black coffee? It’s simple. Two million pounds. In return for one memory.
Me: Which one?
TD: Well – [to the waitress] – thanks. A few months ago, your six-year old son and eight-year old daughter are staying with you for a few days. One afternoon, daughter goes to visit one of her old friends and your son and you spend time alone for only the second occasion in your lives. He chose to do so - knocking-about in the park, having your first falling-out, making-up, braying the hell out of each other in the soft-play centre, indoor-rock climbing and him generally thinking everything was awesome.
Me: Yeah, I remember.
TD: Thoroughly sickening so far. So. Five in the morning, he has a bad dream, and clambers into the camp-bed you are sleeping in. That you have set-up in the spare room that is meant to be their room but you’re too much of a fuck-up to buy bunk-beds so they sleep in the double-bed in your room –
Me: HEY. They’re not cheap, bunk-beds. There’s a recession on. I’m not earning ..
TD: Whatever. I can fix all that for you. So there’s no room at all in this camp-bed, and he lies flat-out on top of you and he’s not a little boy anymore but he knows just being close to you will make the bad dream go away and you spend the night with your arms wrapped around him smelling his hair in your face and just as you’re about to sleep at six in the morning his sister wakes and climbs in as well and the camp-bed creaks and you think it’ll break and you can’t remember the last time you were so tired and so happy?
TD: Two million pounds. Buy a house. And some decent beds. And a little flat near where they live so they don’t always have to travel hundreds of miles just to spend a couple of nights with you. Just that one memory.
Me: I’m quite fond of that one, as it happens. And we're talking about two million IMAGINARY POUNDS - this ISN'T EVEN HAPPENING.
TD: You’re a prick, do you know that?
Me: You're not the first to have mentioned it.
TD: Fucking time-waster. Cock. See you around.
Me: You were great in ‘Heroes’…
TD: That wasn’t me, that was the actor John Gl….oh fuck off.