229 - Placeholder


 “Your bookmark is upside-down, sir,” you hear a man say.

You are reading a book and, due to the fact that you wield remarkable, other-worldly powers of deduction no mortal should possess, you surmise he is speaking to you. You remove your bookmark – a slip of woven white cloth with an embossed gold cross on one side – from its place in the front cover and slip it in to keep your place. Making no secret of your irritation, you slam the book closed.

You look up to see a balding, bespectacled man of average height and weight, with brown eyes and hair wearing a tucked-in polo shirt and pleated khakis. He breathes in uneven, almost panicked gulps as if he isn’t sure if the air will offend his lungs. If this man was and ice cream, he’d be sugar-free vanilla.

“What?” you ask, raising an eyebrow at him.

“Your bookmark-” he reiterates, “the cross is up-side down”

You don’t have to look at the cross to know he’s right. “So?”

“So that’s sacrilegious.”

You lean in your seat towards Mr. Milquetoast and put on an inquisitive expression. “To whom is it sacrilegious?”

“To Christians, of course,” he replies smugly.

“I thought you might say that, sir, and I’ll have you know that your right-side-up cross is an affront to my lord,” you explain politely.”


“The Dark Lord, I mean. You know, Satan. He sees the upright apparatus of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ the Adversary as a symbol of He Who Damned, the Liar and Betrayer, the pretender who would call himself God, Lord of the Takesies-Backsies.”

Extra Mild Man looks split between crying, running, and smacking you on the mouth. You’d put good money on which of the three he wouldn’t dare do.

“Just kidding man, I found this on the ground. Thought it was a ‘t’.”

The world's number one purchaser of white tube socks breathes a sigh of relief. “Whew, you really had my motor running for a second there.”

“Yeah,” you say. “Haha.”

“Well, have a good day,” he says, and waves a hand as he walks away.

You smile as you watch him make his way down the road. Belial will be pleased at your deception.