Go to Hell, go straight to Hell, do not pass Go, do
not collect £200
Do I need a public service announcement on this one? Ahem: it’s not
entirely serious. Also, it’s Wrong.
Crowley found Aziraphale in a small town in Pennsylvania. He was sitting in a horse-drawn buggy, peering round him absently and humming a cheery hymn. He also appeared to be about seventeen years old and annoyingly fresh-faced. Crowley stood there, gazing at him in irritation for several minutes before he went up.
“What are you supposed to be?” he asked.
“Crowley! How lovely to see you! I decided to take your advice.”
“My . . . advice? I’m sure I never suggested sitting around behind a dangerous animal got up like a a kid.”
“Yes you did, you said I should get in touch with the youth of today so I didn’t get all out-dated and irrelevant. And this is quite the most placid horse I’ve ever seen. Dangerous animal indeed, poor old thing.”
Crowley gave him a sharp look, but Aziraphale’s sympathy seemed to be directed at the horse.
“This is an Amish town, Aziraphale,” he said. “These are not the youth of today. They don’t even have buttons, for crying out loud, let alone MTV and designer drugs.”
Aziraphale sighed in contentment.
“Yes. Aren’t they nice? It’s very restful, Crowley, you should give it a try.”
Crowley grimaced, but made a little gesture. Another Amish teenager was suddenly standing by the buggy. One wearing designer sunglasses. Aziraphale indicated he should take them off.
“This is boring. And old-fashioned, and we should go,” Crowley said. “I don’t know what you see in this culture, I really don’t.”
“Well, they’re decent, hardworking, God-fearing people. I suppose you wouldn’t understand at that. But they’re a good example to those blue-jean-wearing, rock-and-roll obsessed thugs you insist on telling me about.”
Crowley sighed and patted the horse. It gave him an evil glare and showed him its teeth. He took his hand away cautiously and shrank back.
“This horse is dangerous. It has designs on my person.”
“Silly thing. You’re not as irresistible as you think.”
Aziraphale turned his attention to a girl tourist who’d come up on the other side of the buggy and started chatting about the need to say your prayers every day. Crowley gave him a hard, flat glare and climbed into the buggy. The girl was staring into the angel’s face, entranced. Crowley had to admit that once Aziraphale got going he could be quite convincing. The kid would probably run home and start reading her Bible. Crowley put a hand on Aziraphale’s shoulder and leaned past him, beaming cheerfully.
“Hello, Miss,” he said. “Aziraphale here’s right, you know. You should say your prayers. And you should tell your friends to as well. It’s important to set a good example in this wicked world.”
Aziraphale turned to him with an incredulous and awfully pleased smile. Crowley grinned widely, calculated all possible escape routes to block, and wrestled him back against the seat. The angel was so stunned that Crowley got in a few free seconds of kissing before he started fighting back. The buggy was rocking alarmingly and the girl had practically climbed in to get a better view by the time Crowley felt he’d better show a little pity. Aziraphale covered his scarlet face with his hands and did his best to sink through the seat. Crowley smiled brilliantly for the girl’s photo.
“Always set a good example, Miss,” he said breathlessly.