Work Ethic by Jennifer Walker

“Don’t exaggerate,” her mother snapped when Sarah phoned about her new boss at the Bureau of Land Management. “I’m sure he’s only a demon from the horde. The Apocalypse’s been hard on everyone. Just be glad you have job security.”

Sarah wasn’t surprised. Even with the world in flames her mother had to focus on her career. Still, she tried to protest her boss was, undeniably, the Beast of Revelation, but she was interrupted by a horrifying scream from somewhere very close to her mother before the line went dead. A minute later her mother texted: dead rising at B’Nai Abraham, grandma not looking too good, call you back.

The work day dragged on under the new management. They had to reorganize each department and Sarah now found herself head of All Consuming Conflagration. She never thought she’d use her Masters in Forestry to set fires more devastating than anything burning from climate change, but then her mother was right. The Apocalypse hadn’t made the job market any easier. Just after lunch she was summoned to the Beast’s office.

Right away she knew something was wrong. The Beast slouched against the edge of his desk, his leopard legs splayed, the ten horns on his seven heads lolling licentiously.

“Now Sarah.” The words slipped sibilantly from his mouth. “You didn’t think it was just God who had a thing for Jewish girls, did you? It’s time we got to know each other a little better. Especially if you’re interested in advancing your prospects with the Bureau.”

Briefly Sarah thought about what her mother would say. Then she took a pen off his desk anyway and jabbed it through his nearest eye.

Jennifer Walker writes short stories, many of them strange. They can be read in recent or forthcoming issues of Bewildering Stories, Fleas on the Dog, and Hags on Fire. She lives in the Virgin Islands with her girlfriend and two exquisitely beautiful and understandably narcissistic dogs.