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The Southern Branch Created by Aaron Morse & Paul Galicki

aniel Solomon—a malcontent young blogger and disgruntled low-level telemarketing employee at Dee, Kelley & Talbot, one of the most prestigious unbeknownst to the masses has ties to the supernatural universe and God himself )— begins having overwhelming feelings that he was meant for greater things.

the presence of an entity known to the world as “The Devil,” a zealous and charismatic eccentric with a dry wit, an English accent, and a passion PlayStation 2). The Devil promises to reveal all the truth behind what could be the greatest conspiracy ever created. In return, Daniel must use his position within Dee, Kelley & Talbot to investigate God and his minions and utilize his almost supernatural ability slanderous PR tactics God has been using against him for thousands of years—all while trying to uncover the true corporate intentions behind the world’s religions and discover the reason humans

Daniel will have to wrestle with his numerous daunting and morally questionable new tasks while attempting to maintain his sanity and his

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EDITOR IN CHIEF Herman Thank you, dear reader, for your attention. Because you are in possession of this, my handy-dandy multiphase plan for universal understanding and freedom, you must have been bestowed a very high stature in life. A document of this importance isn’t available to just any mortal. You see, I aspire to blow the proverbial lid off thousands of years of lies and deception and in so doing, grant your species its well-deserved freedom. For the sake of full disclosure, I admit that I too will this plan: I will repair my unfairly tarnished reputation. Unfortunately, I possess the method to achieve these goals but not the means. In other words, dear reader, endeavor this massive completely on my own is impossible. I humbly request that you it will be worth your while. And if ever you are in doubt about your decision, remind yourself this: You did it for your species...and the lucrative merchandising.

Aaron Morse 171 O’Grady St. Apt 23 Fall River, MA 02720 P: 774.222.0729 E: Braintreestudios@gmail.com 1


DEE, KEllEy & TalbOT Dee, Kelley & Talbot is one of the world’s most prestigious PR/advertising firms and covertly handles all of God’s PR and advertising campaigns. The firm’s origins are somewhat of a mystery, but it is very likely much older than most people realize. The firm occupies a massive building in the heart of downtown Eskaton Hills. The most powerful executives work on the top floors, and low-level employees like Daniel work on the bottom floors. Only a select few of the firm’s executives know that they’re working directly for God. The rest of the firm’s employees work on regular advertising campaigns and have no idea the company has ties to the supernatural.

NOTE: The company’s name comes from two famous English occultists of the 1500s—John Dee and Edward Kelley, a.k.a. Edward Talbot—who claimed they were able to transcribe the Angelic Language (or Enochian Language) after communicating with angels through scrying. Eskaton comes from the Greek word eschaton, which means “end of the world, end of time, climax of history.”

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DaNIEl sOlOmON In his mid-20s, Daniel is a lackadaisical low-level telemarketing employee at the prestigious PR/advertising firm Dee, Kelley & Talbot. He possesses the creative abilities and mental capacity necessary to become a high -level creative professional, but his lack of ambition has prevented him from advancing his career. Although his career is at a self-imposed standstill, Daniel writes a popular humor blog and has a large following online—further proof that he could be successful if only he would apply himself. Daniel’s blog is what catches The Devil’s attention, leading to their initial meeting. Daniel is occasionally inspired to excel by Simone Weber, his good friend and love interest, and believes he can win her heart if he becomes successful. Daniel also derives temporary motivation to make something of himself from his hatred for Uri Johnstone, his rival since college and Dee, Kelley & Talbot’s rising young star. Daniel never remains motivated for very long, and he quickly gives up on his plans for achieving success.

NOTE: The name Daniel comes from the biblical Daniel who interpreted dreams for kings and eventually had visions of the apocalypse. Solomon is a reference to the biblical King Solomon, a king who was known for his wisdom yet eventually worshipped false gods.

Daniel generally acts in his own self-interest. His lack of motivation leads him to take the path of least resistance whenever possible, and he tries not to take anything too seriously. He is clever, quick-witted, and prone to expressing his thoughts freely (oftentimes utilizing his unique imagination and extensive lexicon of vulgarities)—especially when angered.

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THE DEvIl The Devil speaks with an English accent and has a dry wit (which he thinks is brilliant). He is very intelligent and mostly calm but is frequently given to long, violent rants (particularly about how cruel and unjust God is). He appreciates what he calls “the little pleasures in life,” including silk clothing, video games, and activities that could be considered vices, sins, or immoral behaviors. Because The Devil can’t visit the human world himself, he always summons Daniel to his office (“hell”) for their meetings and utilizes other human agents (Emma Biffant, for example) to carry out his plans on Earth. He is genuinely interested in and amused by human nature and often indicates that he has influenced human development throughout history. The Devil recognized Daniel’s almost supernatural ability to influence people after following his popular humor blog. Determined to utilize Daniel’s unique talent to advance his goals, The Devil convinces Daniel to work for him. The Devil promises to reveal the secrets of the universe to Daniel—and improve his life substantially—in exchange for his help countering thousands of years of negative PR campaigns carried out by God and his employees. Although he keeps large portions of his past, his motivations, and his goals secret from Daniel, The Devil makes it clear that God is not the benevolent deity he wants people to believe he is. Additionally, The Devil assures Daniel that his plans to “defeat” God will benefit all of humanity.

NOTE: The Devil asks Daniel to call him “Herman.” This is a reference to Herman the Recluse, a thirteenth-century monk who supposedly broke his vows and, to avoid being put to death, promised to create a book containing all the world’s knowledge in a single night. To complete the impossible task, Herman sold his soul to the devil, who then created the book (the Codex Gigas, or Devil’s Bible) overnight.

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sImONE wEbER Simone Weber is Daniel’s good friend and love interest. Simone is in her mid-20s and works in the HR department of a large corporation based in downtown Eskaton Hills. The building Simone works in is next to the Dee, Kelley & Talbot building, so she and Daniel frequently have lunch together. She is witty, sarcastic, smart, rational, perceptive, and a bit cynical. Although she is fiercely independent and considers herself a feminist, Simone has a very soft, caring side that she tries to keep hidden. She also uses her outward confidence and strong personality to hide her self-consciousness and vulnerability. Simone often tries to motivate Daniel to live up to his potential, giving him practical advice about life and professional advice based on her experience as an HR professional. Simone says she doesn’t have romantic feelings for Daniel, but she does care for him—at least as a friend—otherwise she wouldn’t spend so much time with him.

French existentialist philosopher, writer, feminist, and longtime companion to Jean-Paul Sartre. Her last name comes from Max Weber, one of the three major architects of sociology.

DEaTH An unaffected and morose entity, Death collects the souls of the recently deceased and escorts them to their final destination. Death has been doing the same job for thousands of years and is therefore visibly bored by his work and uninterested in anything the dead have to say. His cold, robotic demeanor is of little comfort to the dead, and he makes no effort to answer their questions or ease their fear and confusion. Daniel annoys Death with his loud ranting and inappropriate questions whenever Death escorts him to meet with The Devil.

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Emma bIFFaNT a.K.a. lIlly-CHaN

Emma Biffant is Daniel’s other love/lust interest. In her early 20s, Emma is (unknowingly) a human operative or “employee” of The Devil. Emma was unwittingly possessed by a demon so The Devil would have a direct way to affect the human world and Daniel in particular. When the demon is in control, Emma completes various tasks for The Devil. When the demon completes her tasks and Emma regains her senses, she has no memory of what she did while the demon was in control. Emma is very bubbly, perky, ditzy, and somewhat naïve. She is obsessed with anime and often uses Japanese phrases and gestures commonly used by otaku. Although her name is Emma, she prefers the name Lilly-chan because it’s “cuter!” She can be super hyper, clumsy, and a bit annoying, but Daniel likes her because she’s attractive and a lot more affectionate and easy to impress than Simone Weber is.

THE suCCubus Emma is possessed by an unnamed demon who often assumes control of her body. The demon seems to be a succubus and uses Emma’s body to get her way—sometimes by using her sexuality and sometimes by using physical force. When the demon is in control, the cat ears Emma wears become horns and her demeanor changes. She goes from being innocent and bubbly to being harsh or overly seductive. She manifests superhuman strength and other abilities associated with demonic possession. The demon assumes control of Emma to complete various jobs for The Devil— for example, checking in on Daniel, convincing him to do certain things, and sending him to meetings with The Devil.

NOTE: The name Emma Biffant comes from Emma-o, the Japanese Buddhist god of the underworld, and Biffant, a little-known demon who supposedly possessed Denise de la Caille in the 1600s. Lilly-chan, which she prefers to be called, comes from Lilith, the archetypical female demon/succubus from Hebrew, Mesopotamian, and Greek mythology/folklore.

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uRIaH (uRI) jOHNsTONE In his mid-20s, Uri is driven, successful, and climbing the corporate ladder at Dee, Kelley & Talbot—he is everything Daniel Solomon is not. He and Daniel have been rivals since college, though Daniel may be the only one aware of the rivalry. Although Daniel dislikes Uri with a passion, Uri is too preoccupied with his own career to consider Daniel a threat (or notice Daniel’s hatred for him) and only interacts with him when they happen to meet in the Dee, Kelley & Talbot building. Despite Daniel’s seeing him as condescending, Uri is generally good-natured and friendly. He is a polite and moral person—the type Daniel might refer to as “a goody-goody” or “squeaky clean.” Even though he is goal oriented, he is not malicious and tries to do the right thing. Although Daniel thinks Uri is a talentless hack, Uri’s continuing success as a creative professional at Dee, Kelley & Talbot is a testament to his skills. The higher-ups at the firm recently promoted Uri to head a high-level, top-secret project and are grooming him for an important role within the firm.

NOTE: Uriah comes from the name Uriel, an archangel who communicated with John Dee and Edward Kelley during an early scrying session and told them how to conduct future séances. The name Uriel can mean “light of God” or “God is my light.” In some ancient writings, Uriel is involved heavily with the end of the world. The last name Johnstone comes from St. John, or John of Patmos, who wrote the Book of Revelation.

FINNEGaN maCHumPHREy Finnegan is the gruff, blunt, and worldly wise personal assistant to The Devil. Finnegan took a liking to Daniel after first meeting him in The Devil’s office and frequently gives Daniel no-nonsense advice about how to deal with The Devil, people, women, and life in general. Although Finnegan means well, he rarely considers human emotions when doling out advice. This purely logic-based approach to problem solving can occasionally make life more difficult for Daniel—particularly when Finnegan’s advice to Daniel is about dealing with Simone and matters of the heart.

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GEORGE DasH A veteran bus driver, George was behind the wheel when Daniel fell in front of the bus that sent him to meet The Devil for the first time. George is excitable, a bit paranoid, and very superstitious. After hitting Daniel with his bus and witnessing him get up and walk away seemingly unharmed, George—a longtime conspiracy-theory buff—became convinced that something paranormal is going on in Eskaton Hills. George is keeping an eye out for more supernatural events on his bus route and putting together an explanation for the strange occurrences. George suspects aliens and a government cover-up.

vINNIE THE lyING RaPIsT Vinnie the Lying Rapist is the head of The Devil’s legal department and the first entity Daniel encounters during his initial trip to The Devil’s office. As his name suggests, Vinnie the Lying Rapist is a sneaky deviant with a passion for tricking people into sex against their better judgment. Vinnie the Lying Rapist uses dishonesty and an array of legal tactics and technicalities to confuse and beguile his victims. He is a cunning and perverse sexual predator—the perfect lawyer.

NOTE: Vinnie uses different types of trickery on Daniel every time he visits The Devil, attempting to manipulate him into a sexual encounter. This requires Daniel to stay on his guard.

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DavID PaulsON David Paulson is the chief creative officer at Dee, Kelley & Talbot. As one of the three heads of the firm, David oversees all of the company’s advertising and public-relations projects. David is creative and eccentric, and he lives for coming up with new and unique advertising campaigns and effective PR strategies. Unlike the other two heads of Dee, Kelley & Talbot, David is laid back and fairly involved with lower-level employees at the company. He dresses casually and often acts goofy while creating the firm’s award-winning work: David frequently stops whatever he’s doing to jot down ideas before he forgets them, plays with toys and video games to be inspired, drinks alcohol on the job, and hosts wild brainstorming sessions with the firm’s creative staff. David discovered Uri and is personally mentoring him to play an important role within the company.

NOTE: The name David comes from David Ogilvy, one of the most famous ad men of all time. Paulson comes from the biblical Paul, who is credited with introducing speaking in tongues through baptism in the Holy Spirit. The three heads of Dee, Kelley & Talbot form a sort of human version of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost), and David Paulson is the human equivalent of the Holy Ghost.

CHRIsTOPHER NavIEl jR. Christopher Naviel Jr. is the chief operating officer of Dee, Kelley & Talbot. Christopher oversees the firm’s operations and answers directly to Christopher Naviel Sr., the CEO of Dee, Kelley & Talbot. Quiet and calculating, Christopher is focused almost entirely on his work. Although he is very young (in his mid-20s), Christopher is a highly skilled business strategist. Christopher doesn’t talk very much, and he writes everything down in a red leather ledger that he carries at all times.

NOTE: The name Christopher is a reference to Christ. Naviel comes from navi, the Hebrew word for “spokesperson” or “prophet,” and El, the Semitic word for “deity.” The three heads of Dee, Kelley & Talbot form a sort of human version of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost), and Christopher Naviel Jr. is the human equivalent of the Son.

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CHRIsTOPHER NavIEl sR. Christopher Naviel Sr. is the chief executive officer of Dee, Kelley & Talbot. As the highest-ranking executive at the firm, Christopher deals with God in person and leads the company according to God’s direction. Christopher is a serious and intimidating man who realizes his importance and will do whatever is necessary to follow God’s orders. He does not tolerate insubordination or failure from his employees.

NOTE: The name Christopher is a reference to Christ. Naviel comes from navi, the Hebrew word for “spokesperson” or “prophet,” and El, the Semitic word for “deity.” The three heads of Dee, Kelley & Talbot form a sort of human version of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost), and Christopher Naviel Sr. is the human equivalent of the Father.

GOD

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P U R E LY

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Episode Guide THE DEvIl aND DaNIEl sOlOmON After spending the night evaluating his life and weighing his options, Dan decides to work for The Devil. Dan is scheduled to meet with The Devil in the evening to give him an answer, something that completely occupies his thoughts during the workday. While trying to go about business as usual, Dan catches glimpses of supernatural stenographers that resemble cherub angels who write down everything that people do and say. Dan also notices other strange things occurring all around him and strange entities walking the halls in the Dee, Kelley & Talbot building. Although he tries to remain calm, Dan becomes terribly paranoid and attracts the attention of his coworkers and friends. After making it through the day, barely avoiding a complete nervous breakdown, Dan gets back to his apartment and awaits his meeting with The Devil. As the appointed time arrives, Dan hears a knock at his door and cautiously opens it to see Emma Biffant—the cute, bubbly, and busty animeloving girl who pushed him into traffic before. Emma immediately clubs Dan over the head with a Domo-Kun backpack full of rocks, sending him back to “hell” for his meeting with The Devil. The Devil explains why Dan is seeing the strange things he’s seeing and how they affect Dan in his new position. The Devil also prepares Dan for his first major assignment.

GORIlla maRKETING wITH a HINT OF ClaNDEsTINE CaPuCHIN After Dan officially accepts The Devil’s offer, The Devil gives him his first real assignment. For millennia, God, his minions, and his agents on Earth have created and implemented smear campaigns against The Devil. Despite his best efforts, The Devil has been unable to combat those attacks effectively. The Devil believes that Dan—because of his innate understanding of human nature and his inherent ability to influence others—is uniquely qualified to find novel ways to counter God’s PR work and, more important, alter people’s behavior in a very specific way. Because Dan can’t simply create an ad campaign encouraging people to give The Devil a chance, he must employ gorilla-marketing techniques to achieve the appropriate results. After The Devil explains his expectations to Dan, he suggests doing some small-scale tests so they can measure the results before deploying the campaigns on a larger scale. Still a bit confused about his whole situation yet afraid of angering The Devil, Dan formulates a few strategies and nervously begins testing them at work and through his popular blog. The results of his test campaigns are evident, but Dan is afraid they may not be what The Devil had in mind. Additionally, Dan is concerned that The Devil’s plans for humanity are secretly malevolent.

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ONly THE ONI As Dan continues working on PR strategies for The Devil, Simone, his good friend and love interest, begins to feel neglected. Simone is angry that Dan keeps blowing her off and finally brings it up in conversation over lunch. Dan apologizes profusely but can’t tell her why he’s been unavailable—even if The Devil hadn’t made it quite clear that Dan must keep his work secret, Simone would never believe the truth. With Simone yelling at him, Dan hastily makes up a ridiculous excuse, further infuriating Simone. Dan tries his best to calm her down, but she leaves in a huff, refusing to speak to him again until he explains himself honestly. Dan is crushed and goes back to his apartment. Intoxicated and emotional, Dan begins ranting and demanding a meeting with The Devil. Shortly thereafter, Emma Biffant, the ditzy and beautiful anime fan who sends Dan to his meetings with The Devil, arrives. Although she’s a ditz, Emma realizes that Dan is in emotional pain and offers him a shoulder to cry on (before sending him to The Devil). Because he is drunk and emotionally vulnerable, Dan attempts to kiss Emma and learns that she is actually possessed by a succubus/ oni-like demon. Speaking to the demon, Dan learns how it came to inhabit Emma and the purpose of the possession.

sTumblING DOwN mEmORy laNE The Devil asks Dan to temporarily shift his efforts from PR development to information gathering. The Devil asks Dan to gather some information about Dee, Kelley & Talbot’s upcoming PR work for God. Dan explains that he is a low-level employee and has no way to get pertinent information about God’s PR campaigns because he is not allowed on the upper floors of the firm’s building where all of that work is carried out. The Devil reminds Dan that Uri Johnstone, Dan’s longtime rival, has access to a few of the upper floors and, in fact, may be involved with some of God’s PR work. Although Dan is loath to be nice to Uri and spend time with him to collect information, The Devil gives him no other option. Dan convinces Uri to spend a “guys’ night out” with him to catch up and have a few drinks. Uri is a lightweight and doesn’t like to drink, but Dan gets him drunk with a variety of sweet, “girly” beverages. After Uri and Dan are heavily intoxicated, they reminisce about the good old days and have humorous conversations about women, hobbies, and life in general. Dan actually begins enjoying himself and completely forgets about his mission until Uri begins talking about work, accidentally revealing some information that The Devil will be very glad to hear.

suCCEss aND THE GuIlT THaT FOllOws The Devil is very happy with Dan’s work and especially pleased with the information he was able to gather from Uri during their drunken night out. Despite Dan’s rivalry with Uri and general hatred of him, Dan feels guilty for tricking Uri into giving away top-secret information about Dee, Kelley & Talbot’s PR work for God, so The Devil has to give another speech to convince him that he did nothing wrong. Dan is also still very upset that his work for The Devil has essentially ruined his relationship with Simone and expresses a desire to end their agreement. Angry yet desperate to keep Dan as an employee, The Devil reveals some of the secrets of the universe as he promised he would. Dan is shocked by the information about God, heaven, and the creation of humans, and he must pull himself together and decide what to do next.

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Aaron Morse 171 O’Grady St. Apt 23 Fall River, MA 02720 P: 774.222.0729 E: Braintreestudios@gmail.com 20


FADE IN: EXT. DESOLATE DESERT LANDSCAPE -- DAY A fierce wind blows across the barren, rocky landscape as the camera pans to a massive and muscular man dressed in glistening, ornate Roman armor. His face is hidden by a Spartan helmet, and he is brandishing a large sword in one hand and a massive shield in the other. There is an ominous glow pulsing from the back-right of the soldier. GOD (O.S.) Here stands my chosen warrior, a soldier whose destiny was determined and foretold generations before his birth. Who will face him in battle on these sun-scorched sands of Har Megiddo? The camera focuses on the intensely squinted eyes of THE DEVIL, who appears as the more traditional-looking Devil instead of the character design in use later in the cartoon. The camera zooms out as The Devil raises his hand, holding a red and white Pokémon Ball with black flames on it. THE DEVIL My soldier has been decided! The Devil throws the Pokémon Ball toward the Roman soldier. THE DEVIL (CONT'D) Danosaur, I choose you! The Pokémon Ball flies through the air amid anime speed lines. It comes to an abrupt stop, hitting DANIEL SOLOMON in the head and plinking off harmlessly. DANIEL SOLOMON What the shit, dude? Daniel squints and rubs his head and looks at The Devil. DANIEL SOLOMON (CONT'D) Seriously! That hurt. You're making me look like some kind of asshole.

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Camera pans back to the pulsing glow and Roman soldier as the glow gets brighter. So be it!

GOD (O.S.)

The pulsing glow gets brighter until the entire screen fades to white. CUT TO: INT. DANIEL SOLOMON'S APARTMENT -- DAY Daniel sits up in his bed, startled and gasping. He looks around the messy room, slowly realizing he has just woken from a dream. He sighs deeply. DANIEL SOLOMON I gotta lay off the binge drinking during Ani-Mondays. It's like mainlining pure nerd into my subconscious. Daniel gets out of bed wearing nothing but Spider-Man boxer shorts and groggily stumbles out of the room. CUT TO: INT. RESTAURANT -- DAY Daniel and SIMONE WEBER sit and talk while eating lunch. DANIEL SOLOMON Well, that's it. That's the dream. What do you think it means? SIMONE WEBER You dreamed you were some kind of chosen one: Obviously you have delusions of grandeur. DANIEL SOLOMON I think I was Satan’s chosen one, though.

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SIMONE WEBER Then you have delusions of evil grandeur. Not to mention all the narcissistic rage. DANIEL SOLOMON Why don't you ever take me seriously? SIMONE WEBER (surprised) Daniel, it was just a dream. Why are you making such a big deal out of it? Daniel mindlessly pokes at his food while Simone eats contentedly. DANIEL SOLOMON I don't know. It's just ... do you ever get the feeling there should be more to life than there is? SIMONE WEBER Life in general or your life specifically? DANIEL SOLOMON At the risk of your pointing out how self-absorbed I am, let's just use my life as an example of the concept I'm trying to illustrate. Yesterday, I went to work and sat through eight hours of bullshit just so I could go home, eat junk food, and drink enough cheap booze to give myself type two diabetes-SIMONE WEBER (interrupting) --I'm sure you also worked toward beating the world record for self-induced orgasms in a single day. DANIEL SOLOMON (matter-of-factly) I'm fairly pleased with my progress so far, but I can't even imagine (more)

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DANIEL SOLOMON (CONT’D) thirty-six times in one day. The chafing situation is nightmarish, and my right arm is getting irresponsibly strong. I'm afraid I'll eventually pull my own crank off. Simone shudders and stops eating. DANIEL SOLOMON (CONT'D) Even if I do manage to beat the record, so what? It doesn't make any difference. SIMONE WEBER I think your desire to break that record is just misplaced ambition. DANIEL SOLOMON You know I don't have any ambition. SIMONE WEBER What about taking your career a step forward? You have the talent to work in the creative department at Dee, Kelley & Talbot. Just update your portfolio and you could be out of the telemarketing department in no time. DANIEL SOLOMON Uuugh. That's too much work, and I hate advertising--it's soulless and evil. SIMONE WEBER Come on! Why don't you just ask your friend at the company to help you get an interview? Isn't he important enough there to pull some strings? DANIEL SOLOMON Uri Johnstone isn't my friend. I just happened to go to the same college as that stuck-up goody-goody asshole, and now we just happen to work at the same company.

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SIMONE WEBER What about your blog? For some reason, tons of people read your mean-spirited rants. Maybe you can get stupid Internet famous or something, use the blog to make some money or get a better job. DANIEL SOLOMON I'm no sellout. SIMONE WEBER (sighs) Look, Daniel, I'm sorry you're down in the dumps right now, but if you want things to get better, you're going to have to do something. DANIEL SOLOMON Nothing's ever going to get better. I just feel like I'm living in my own personal hell. SIMONE WEBER It sounds more like limbo to me. Simone gathers her things and gets up to leave. DANIEL SOLOMON Leaving already? SIMONE WEBER Yeah, I have a meeting in twenty minutes. DANIEL SOLOMON Who are you firing today? Simone frowns as she stands up. SIMONE WEBER You know, there's more to working in an HR department than firing people. Daniel looks at Simone with a knowing suspicion--a raised eyebrow.

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SIMONE WEBER (CONT'D) I have to fire that weird Brazilian guy from the front desk. It turns out all those complaints we've gotten about him beating off in the bathroom were legit. DANIEL SOLOMON That son of a bitch! SIMONE WEBER I know. It's disgusting, isn't it? DANIEL SOLOMON He's trying to break the record before I do! You know, I never thought to pursue the record during business hours. SIMONE WEBER Please don't cast aside common decency for the sake of some perverse record. DANIEL SOLOMON We athletes must sometimes make sacrifices, Simone, it can't be helped. SIMONE WEBER I'll see you later, Daniel. Simone walks away. DANIEL SOLOMON (yelling to Simone) I'm just going to finish carbo-loading for my next big marathon, if ya know what I mean. CUT TO: INT. DANIEL SOLOMON'S CUBICLE AT DEE, KELLEY & TALBOT -- DAY Daniel sits in his cube with his headset on, making telemarketing calls as he does every day, illustrated by a montage of several phone calls.

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DANIEL SOLOMON Hello, sir. I'm calling to ask you a very important question. In this troubled economy, does it literally hurt to pay so much for-CALLER ONE (O.S.) (interrupting) --I’ll tell ya what will literally hurt to pay for: the surgical removal of my foot from your fecal tubes! Caller One hangs up abruptly. DANIEL SOLOMON Hello, ma'am. I'm calling to-CALLER TWO (O.S.) (interrupting) --How is it that you awful people always call me when I'm sitting down to a meal? DANIEL SOLOMON (sarcastically) We do it on purpose. We know when you're eating, and we know what you're eating. In fact, we know what you're doing every second of every day. I'll let you get back to your pot roast now, but please keep in mind that we're watching you CALLER TWO (O.S.) Oh my god! How did you know I made pot roast? Daniel hangs up the phone, chuckling to himself. DANIEL SOLOMON Hello, sir. I'm calling to ask you a very important question. CALLER THREE (O.S.) I have a question for you: How's it feel to be a dildo, dildo?

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Caller Three hangs up abruptly. DANIEL SOLOMON Hello, sir. I'm calling to ask you a very important question. Do you have a moment? CALLER FOUR (O.S.) Que? No habla Inglés, culo blanco. DANIEL SOLOMON Yeah, yeah. God forbid you learn enough of the language to answer the phone. Just do me a favor: When you're toiling in the fields, try not to shit in the spinach you're picking. Some of us are trying to eat healthy, which is bad enough, but now we gotta worry about you guys shitting all over the leafy greens and giving us Ebola. And do you know how much organic spinach costs? I'm not paying those prices for shit spinach. CALLER FOUR (O.S.) I wanna speak to your manager now, you racist. DANIEL SOLOMON Mierda! No habla Inglés. Buenos dias. Daniel hangs up quickly and sighs deeply--end montage. Daniel takes off his headset, turns off his computer, gathers his things, and leaves the cubicle. CUT TO: INT. LOBBY OF DEE, KELLEY & TALBOT -- DAY Daniel walks through the large lobby, visibly tired and annoyed after another frustrating day. Daniel sees URI JOHNSTONE near the lobby entrance talking on his cell phone and winces at the thought of having to interact with him.

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DANIEL SOLOMON (V.O.) I'm seriously going to lose my shit if I have to deal with Uri's jackassery today. Uri finishes his call as Daniel walks toward the exit. Uri hangs up his phone, sees Daniel, waves, and walks over to him with a cordial grin. URI JOHNSTONE Hey there, Danny boy. Heading home already? DANIEL SOLOMON It's quitting time, Uri. I did my eight hours, so they unshackled me. It's time for me to go home and wallow. And don't call me Danny boy. Uri looks at his watch. URI JOHNSTONE Holy cow! I completely lost track of the time. Time flies when you're having fun, you know. DANIEL SOLOMON Going to work is your idea of fun? I hope the tickets to your next party aren't sold out already. You're the kind of guy who'd bring Scrabble to an orgy, aren't you? URI JOHNSTONE What can I say, Danny boy? I absolutely love my job. Did you hear that I just got another promotion? DANIEL SOLOMON (sarcastically) Of course. I had, like, thirty drinks in your honor last night. URI JOHNSTONE I'm now in charge of one of the firm's major accounts. I can't say anything (more)

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URI JOHNSTONE (CONT’D) else, though--it's top-secret stuff. You still working in the mail room, Danny boy? DANIEL SOLOMON No, dude, I work in telemarketing. I never worked in the mail room. And, seriously, don't call me Danny boy. URI JOHNSTONE Oh. Hey, that's great. You know, Danny boy, talking to you like this reminds me of college. Why don't you send your portfolio up to my assistant? There may be some openings in the creative department if you're interested. Who knows? Maybe you'll end up working for me. DANIEL SOLOMON Yeah, I'll be sure to do that if my self-loathing progresses to the point where cutting doesn't do the trick anymore. Thanks. URI JOHNSTONE You're hilarious! Well, I better be on my way. I've got a meeting upstairs in a few minutes. Uri turns and walks away. URI JOHNSTONE (CONT'D) See you around, Danny boy. DANIEL SOLOMON (muttering to himself) Try not to fondle any more execs on your way to the meeting, or you might get promoted again. Daniel walks out of the lobby with his head down. He looks angry and a little depressed.

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CUT TO: EXT. CITY STREET -- DAY Daniel walks down the street. He is deep in thought, not paying attention to his surroundings. Suddenly, someone taps Daniel on the shoulder. He turns around suddenly to see EMMA BIFFANT. EMMA BIFFANT (speaking quickly) Mister! Please help me! All I want to do is get in a cab, but no cabs will stop for me--for cute little me! And I have to get home, I just have to! My little kitty, Shoyu, needs her din-din! Daniel stares at Emma in disbelief but immediately notices how hot she is--Daniel very obviously looks her up and down--and gets a sort of mildly perverse grin on his face. DANIEL SOLOMON (V.O.) This bitch thinks she's an anime character. She's probably nuttier than a trail-mix factory. Nice rack, though. Shit, is she still talking? Nod and look sympathetic, dude--listening is the ultimate panty dropper. Goddamn, that's a nice rack. DANIEL SOLOMON (CONT’D) (to Emma) Not a problem. I can get you a cab. EMMA BIFFANT Oh, you can? Arigato! Arigato goziamasu! I was beginning to think I'd never ever get home! DANIEL SOLOMON (heroic tone) Of course. Just leave it to me, miss. In an overly heroic pose, Daniel leans out to flag down a cab. As Daniel leans over, concentrating on signaling a cab, Emma gives him a cute but forceful nudge with her butt. Daniel loses

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his balance and falls into traffic just in time to get hit by a bus. CUT TO: INT. DARK HALLWAY -- DAY Daniel slowly wakes up in a daze after getting hit by the bus. He is being dragged down a pitch-black hallway by DEATH. Daniel is sitting down, and Death is dragging Daniel by his shirt. DANIEL SOLOMON Wha ... what happened? Am I dead? DEATH Please just remain calm. DANIEL SOLOMON This is terrible. I can't be dead yet! What have I done with my life? Nothing, that's what! DEATH Now that you're conscious, perhaps you wouldn't mind walking? Daniel ignores Death and continues his ranting and lamenting while Death drags him down the hallway. DANIEL SOLOMON I haven't gotten laid in months--hell, probably longer than that! The closest I get to a hot woman in ages, and she knocks me in front of a goddamn bus! I was killed by a ditzy broad wearing cat ears! This is a travesty. Worse still, I spent my last day alive at work, getting bitched at over the phone by a bunch of mouth-breathing idiots in drool bibs! I bet they're all still alive--alive and having sex more frequently than me, too! All I ever wanted was to nail two hot lesbians on the deck of an aircraft carrier, and now that will never happen! I (more)

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DANIEL SOLOMON (CONT’D) never even told Simone how I felt about her, either. Sure, I half-jokingly tried to get her to have sex with me hundreds of times, but I never told her how much I cared about her. I never got to tell her I was making progress breaking the jerk-off record thanks to that Chun-Li costume she wore last Halloween. If I had told her, she probably would have feigned disgust, but I know she would have been flattered. I mean, if you were a lady, wouldn't you feel special knowing that the mere memory of you was better masturbatory material than all the filth the Internet has to offer? And worst of all, I'll never get to watch Perfect Strangers! I've been waiting for it to finish downloading for weeks! It was ninety-three percent done, for shit's sake! Someone was finally seeding! I had plans this weekend! DEATH You know, ranting will do you much less good than will actually getting up and walking so I don't have to keep dragging you. DANIEL SOLOMON Nothin' doing, pal. I was just killed by a bus. I think the least I deserve is a lift to heaven. I don't want Saint Peter to think I'm some kind of pud, walking through the Pearly Gates like a commoner. Heaven?

DEATH

DANIEL SOLOMON Yeah, heaven. My eternal reward and all that.

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DEATH I apologize. That is not on the agenda. DANIEL SOLOMON Hell? You're taking me to hell? This can't be happening! DEATH And yet here we are, sir. DANIEL SOLOMON Is it because of all the porn and beating off? Is it because I stole a bunch of music and movies online? Technically, I was sharing, not stealing. Even more technically, it wasn't me personally. My computer was doing all the infringement. It's because I didn't go to church and shit, isn't it? Well, I wasn't an atheist--I was agnostic. There's a huge difference there. And, look, now that I know heaven and hell exist, I'm not agnostic anymore. I believe! Oh, sweet, merciful Jesus, I believe! Daniel starts exaggeratedly clapping and waving his hands like he's singing in a Southern church. DANIEL SOLOMON (CONT'D) When I die, hallelujah by and by, I'll fly away! Oh, glory! I'll fly away! Praise Jesus! Beam me up, lordy! DEATH I don't have any say in these matters. I'm just your escort. Daniel stops singing and carrying on immediately and gets a contemplative look on his face, bringing his hand up to his chin like he's deep in thought. DANIEL SOLOMON Hmmm. Actually, I meant to ask you who you are.

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DEATH I'm Death, sir. DANIEL SOLOMON No hood, no sickle--you're not even a skeleton. I can't help but feel a little ripped off. Although, I suppose you do look a little bit like an undertaker, which is kind of cool. Or maybe you just have that whole creepy-uncle thing going on. I can't really tell. It's dark in here. DEATH I really do wish you'd just stop talking. DANIEL SOLOMON Here's something I've been wondering: When someone dies, do you actually do the killing? Like, if you hadn't been there when the bus hit me, would I have survived? DEATH This isn't the Twilight Zone, sir. People die without my help. I just escort their spirits from one place to another. DANIEL SOLOMON So you're basically a glorified soul mule, huh? That's why you don't need the sickle and all that. Death and Daniel come to a single door at the end of the hallway. Death stops dragging Daniel by his shirt, and Daniel stands up next to Death. DEATH Thankfully, this is where we part ways. Just go through that door, and someone else will be along to take care of you.

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DANIEL SOLOMON But ... but I don't wanna! I don't know anyone in there. DEATH I find that very hard to believe. As Death finishes speaking, he disappears into the blackness of the hallway and is gone. DANIEL SOLOMON Dude, wait a minute! I'm not ready for hell yet! Should I knock on the door or just walk right in? Come back! Daniel starts to run back the way he came with Death, but after a few steps discovers that the hallway is no longer there. His only option is to go through the door. Daniel stares at the door and hesitates for a second before grabbing the doorknob. DANIEL SOLOMON (CONT'D) Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap. Daniel opens the door and walks through. CUT TO: INT. OFFICE WAITING ROOM -- DAY Daniel walks through the door into a small office waiting room. There are a few chairs and a small table with some magazines on it. There is a small TV on the wall playing Rachael Ray's daytime talk show. At the other end of the room is a single closed door. Daniel closes the door behind him and it disappears. DANIEL SOLOMON Shit. No exit. Daniel walks over to the TV on the wall, staring up at it.

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TV (Rachael Ray talking) Today on the Rachael Ray Show, we're going to show you how to make yummy low-cal lettuce wraps to keep those tummies trim for bathing-suit season. We'll also have nonthreatening black entertainer Nick Cannon on set, and I'll prattle on and on about my super-cool husband. He's in a band! DANIEL SOLOMON Oh hell no! Daniel reaches up to change the channel, but every channel is playing the same episode of the Rachael Ray Show. DANIEL SOLOMON (CONT'D) That chipper, three-carton-a-day voice is going to drive me crazy. I can already feel it boring into the base of my skull. Daniel sits down at the chair closest to the table with the magazines on it. He looks through them to find they're all Rachael Ray magazines. Daniel sighs, picks up one of the magazines, and starts reading. The camera zooms in to Daniel's face and his right eye twitches. The screen goes black, and text that says "Five minutes later" appears. The screen then goes back to the office waiting room. Daniel is curled up on the floor, wearing one of the Rachael Ray magazines as a hat. He is watching the TV, wide-eyed, crying, and laughing hysterically. TV (Rachael Ray talking) Here's another picture of me and my husband, John, on vacation. We're sipping wine in Napa Valley, and he's wearing another kitschy hat and smirking. Isn't he cute? The door at the other side of the room opens a crack, and VINNIE sticks his head through.

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VINNIE Psssst! Hey! Daniel looks over in Vinnie's direction and stops laughing. VINNIE (CONT'D) Jeez, pal, you're not holding up too well, are you? Daniel looks pitiful and shakes his head as tears continue rolling down his face. Vinnie opens the door and walks into the room, closing the door behind him. VINNIE (CONT'D) Well, you're in luck. I know how to get you out of here. Daniel stands up immediately, throwing the magazine hat on the floor. DANIEL SOLOMON Really? VINNIE Yeah. But there's only one way. DANIEL SOLOMON What is it? VINNIE I have to rape you. DANIEL SOLOMON You're shitting me. VINNIE Sorry, no. If you want to get out of here, you're going to have to get raped. Standard procedure. I'm a total expert, though, I assure you. DANIEL SOLOMON That doesn't make me feel any better, you know.

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FINNEGAN MACHUMPHREY (O.S.) Goddamnit, Vinnie! Knock off all that rape shit. VINNIE Aw, c'mon, Mac! You know I'm just trying to do my job. FINNEGAN MACHUMPHREY walks toward Vinnie and Daniel from the open door. FINNEGAN MACHUMPHREY I s'pose I can't disagree completely. But ya better leave this one alone: The boss brought 'im here. If you try to turn him into a pincushion, I’ll stomp your ass myself. VINNIE Fine, fine. I'm going back to my office now. No need to bite my head off. And by "head," I mean the head I bone with--my penis. Don't bite my penis off, Mac, you son of a bitch. Vinnie turns around and leaves the room. DANIEL SOLOMON What was that about? Was he one of hell's torturers or something? FINNEGAN MACHUMPHREY (chuckling) Yeah, something like that. That was Vinnie the Lying Rapist. He's the head of our legal department. DANIEL SOLOMON That makes perfect sense. FINNEGAN MACHUMPHREY He was tryin' ta get you on a technicality. If you had let him rape you, it wouldn't really have been rape, see? He loves that joke. The lawfulness of anal sex aside, it's (more)

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FINNEGAN MACHUMPHREY (CONT’D) not like getting plugged would have been your ticket out of here anyway. Lawyers, huh? As above, so below. Know what I'm sayin'? DANIEL SOLOMON No, not at all. Quite frankly, I'm a bit overwhelmed by this entire day. FINNEGAN MACHUMPHREY You poor dear. Try ta hold it together a bit longer, princess. I'm taking ya to meet the boss. DANIEL SOLOMON (sighs) I suppose I couldn't come to hell without meeting the devil. Daniel and Finnegan walk through the door and exit the waiting room. CUT TO: INT. LONG HALLWAY IN HELL -- DAY Finnegan walks Daniel down a long office hallway, occasionally passing closed doors. DANIEL SOLOMON Before I follow you into the depths of hell to meet Satan himself, would you mind telling me your name? FINNEGAN MACHUMPHREY (chuckles) You're so dramatic, kid. A simple, "Hey, my name's Dan. What's yours?" woulda been just fine. Anyway, my name's Finnegan MacHumphrey, but everyone just calls me Mac. DANIEL SOLOMON Why Mac? That nickname is pretty played out. Why not Fin or, even (more)

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DANIEL SOLOMON (CONT’D) better, Hump? Dude, I'm going to call you Hump! FINNEGAN MACHUMPHREY Whatever tickles your meatpickle, kid. There is a momentary silence as Daniel and Finnegan continue walking. DANIEL SOLOMON So is this really hell? FINNEGAN MACHUMPHREY That's what the boss likes ta call it, so, yeah, this is hell. DANIEL SOLOMON It looks like an office where incompetent middle management goes to die. FINNEGAN MACHUMPHREY I take it you were expecting a lava pit or something? DANIEL SOLOMON Kind of, I guess. I mean, where are the jagged metal catheters, broken glass enemas, boner-demon rape squads, gut-ripping hellfire ogres, and shit like that? FINNEGAN MACHUMPHREY Boner-demon rape squads? Jeez. You're a sick bastard, kid. Just be glad there's no giant spiders. For some reason, lotsa people ask if we have giant spiders. DANIEL SOLOMON Like giant fire spiders with cocks for legs who stomp around, cornholing the legions of the damned as they lie facedown in their own entrails?

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FINNEGAN MACHUMPHREY Cheese and crackers, kid! What's wrong with you? No, not cock spiders--just regular spiders, but, ya know, huge. DANIEL SOLOMON Oh. Some people have such irrational fears. FINNEGAN MACHUMPHREY Maybe they just lack your sickballs imagination. DANIEL SOLOMON All I'm sayin' is this place doesn't live up to all those crazy Catholic paintings they made me look at in school. FINNEGAN MACHUMPHREY Well, if ya wanna file a complaint, I'll let ya take it up with the boss. DANIEL SOLOMON You make it sound like this is some kind of business or something. Daniel and Finnegan stop in front of a door at the end of the hallway. FINNEGAN MACHUMPHREY Go on in. He's expecting you. DANIEL SOLOMON I don't think I want to get on Beelzebub’s bad side. Any tips for talking to him? FINNEGAN MACHUMPHREY Sure thing. For starters, don't quote any Milton to him thinking you're being clever. He hates that shit. DANIEL SOLOMON No worries there. I never read Pilgrim's Progress.

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FINNEGAN MACHUMPHREY (sighs) Wow. Not big into classic lit, are ya? I guess I don't hafta tell ya to lay off the Dante references, too, then. Other than that, just watch your ass. Remember who you're talking to before ya say something too stupid. And pay attention to what he has to say. He may love hearing himself talk, but he hates repeating himself. DANIEL SOLOMON Okay. Thanks. FINNEGAN MACHUMPHREY Well? Quit screwin' around. Get on in there or I'll shove your pansy ass through the goddamn keyhole! DANIEL SOLOMON Okay! Okay! I'm off like the English dubs on a hentai movie. Daniel waves, turns around, opens the door, and goes through. CUT TO: INT. THE DEVIL'S OFFICE -- DAY Daniel walks into The Devil's office with some hesitation and looks around. Daniel notices The Devil's office is much nicer than the rest of hell. There is art on the wall and nice carpet on the floor. The room has soft light (unlike the crappy halogen lighting elsewhere in hell). The Devil has nice furniture, including a large desk and a classy-looking chair with an oversized back--almost like a throne. The room is spacious and looks like an executive's office--not too lavish but classy. As Daniel looks around the room, he sees a TV on the wall. Grand Theft Auto III is playing on the TV. The Devil's chair is facing the TV, so Daniel only sees the back of the chair, not The Devil. DANIEL SOLOMON (sheepishly) Hello?

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THE DEVIL (O.S.) Good. You're here. Just give me one moment, please--I have to find a good place to pause. I've got three stars right now, you know. Just have a seat, and I'll be right with you. Daniel sits down in a chair in front of The Devil's desk and nervously watches the game playing on the TV. THE DEVIL (O.S.) (CONT'D) My but these police are persistent. Oh look: They even have helicopters! I'm beginning to think I won't be able to get away this time! DANIEL SOLOMON (excitedly) Quick, dude, pull into that body shop! No, go back! Flip a bitch, man, and haul ass into that garage! The Devil's car pulls into the body shop, the stars go away, and he saves. The Devil turns his chair around to face Daniel. THE DEVIL Thank you for the help back there, Daniel. You're probably wondering why I'm playing such an outdated game. DANIEL SOLOMON Among other things, but, sure, let's start with the PS-Two. THE DEVIL You see, it's incredibly difficult to get next-gen systems here. In fact, we just got these PS-Twos the other day. And none too soon, let me tell you. My original PlayStation just gave out, and if I'm not able to play Castlevania: Symphony of the Night during lunch, I'm just no good the rest of the day. I'm having some (more)

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THE DEVIL (CONT’D) difficulty adjusting to the controls in some of these new games, though. They're a bit wonky--perhaps even a bit kludgy. Honestly, I think Nintendo is a bit more my pace. My soul for a GameCube! I've read good things about Animal Crossing. DANIEL SOLOMON You haven't lived until you finish paying Tom Nook for your first house. That remains my proudest moment. THE DEVIL Please, excuse my manners. I've been a dreadful host. May I offer you something? Some psychotropic drugs and a young, voluptuous girl the ethnicity of your choosing? DANIEL SOLOMON Tempting, but I think I'll pass this time. THE DEVIL Hmmm. How about a few raunchy porno magazines and a Fleshlight then? DANIEL SOLOMON No, really, I'm fine. THE DEVIL Daniel, please, there's no need to feign sexual repression for me. Look, I'm wearing a silk shirt. There's nothing quite like the feel of silk on bare skin. When I move, even slightly, it feels like I'm slithering through a Jacuzzi full of recently worn panties on a wind-kissed Miami beach. The Devil moves his upper body slightly.

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THE DEVIL (CONT'D) Mmmmm, yes. It's Spring Break, Daniel--a particularly raucous one, too. Girls Gone Wild is filming. Can you hear the sounds of alcohol-induced vomiting and fornicating occurring simultaneously? Silk is absolutely glorious. DANIEL SOLOMON (surprised) You're British? THE DEVIL No, I'm not. DANIEL SOLOMON But you have a British accent. THE DEVIL Actually, it's an English accent. But they got it from me, not the other way around. That's not of any importance right now, however. May I at least offer you a beverage? We haven't got brand-name soda here, but, I assure you, Dr. Thunder is every bit as thirst-quenching as Dr. Pepper. Daniel looks confused. THE DEVIL (CONT'D) Very well. On to business. DANIEL SOLOMON Listen, The Devil, uh, Mister Devil, Satan-THE DEVIL (interrupting) --Please, just call me Herman. DANIEL SOLOMON (surprised) Herman? Really?

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Please.

THE DEVIL

DANIEL SOLOMON Listen, Herman, I don't know what I did to end up in hell, but I can't spend eternity here. Can't I just say I've learned my lesson and get another shot at life or go to heaven on some kind of work-release program or something? The Devil laughs for a moment. THE DEVIL Daniel, don't worry. You're not here for eternity. I simply wanted to meet with you. Once we've had our meeting, you'll be able to return to your life. Daniel's face lights up. DANIEL SOLOMON Really? I'm not dead forever and damned for eternity. Thank god! Daniel pauses awkwardly for a second. DANIEL SOLOMON (CONT'D) Oops. Sorry about that. THE DEVIL It's fine. Daniel, do you consider yourself a bad person? Daniel thinks for a moment. DANIEL SOLOMON I wouldn't say I'm bad. But I'm probably not that good, either. It's like, I'm not evil or anything, but I'm an acquired taste--like Limburger cheese that hits on your sister and borrows things with no intention of returning them.

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THE DEVIL I didn't ask what people thought of you. I asked if you consider yourself a bad person. Daniel thinks again for a moment. DANIEL SOLOMON No. I've never done anything really bad like killing someone or writing season four of Heroes. I mean, I have my faults like everyone else: I'm lazy and unmotivated, I sometimes enjoy morally questionable pornography, and I generally do whatever I feel like doing without considering how it affects other people. I don't think any of that makes me bad. THE DEVIL You're right, Daniel. It simply makes you human. There can't be anything wrong with that, now can there? DANIEL SOLOMON I hope not. Then again, I am in hell right now. THE DEVIL You see, humans are a unique and incredibly interesting species. And, unlike God, I've spent a great deal of time trying to understand humans instead of trying to manipulate them into something they're not. The Devil holds up a pencil that was sitting on his desk. THE DEVIL (CONT’D) You see this pencil, Daniel? It was created to function as a writing implement. I use it to write because that's what it's for, and that's what it does best. If I need to group several pieces of paper together, I (more)

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THE DEVIL (CONT’D) don't try to make my pencil do the job--I use a paperclip. DANIEL SOLOMON You could also use a stapler. Or even some tape if you're in a pinch. THE DEVIL God, on the other hand, has been trying to use a pencil as a paperclip ever since humans were created. By instituting all sorts of ridiculous rules and laws to control people, he's been seriously misusing a perfectly functional device. Unfortunately, anyone who tries to tell God otherwise is dealt with rather harshly. And I speak from experience. It's really no way to do things. DANIEL SOLOMON What does this have to do with me? THE DEVIL Your humanness, Daniel: You revel in it. You’re not ashamed of it. You're no paperclip. I'd like more people to live as you do. DANIEL SOLOMON I'm not sure how I should feel about The Devil approving of my lifestyle. THE DEVIL I've been following your blog as well. I'm interested in your ability to influence other people. DANIEL SOLOMON You mean like that time I got all my readers to sign a petition to make it a felony to do Austin Powers impressions in public.

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THE DEVIL Yes, and thank you for that. I also have some concerns about the company that employs you, though I can't really give you any more information about that now. I could really use a man on the inside. DANIEL SOLOMON That's what she said! THE DEVIL I'll admit to walking right into that one, but please try to focus for a moment. I'd like you to work for me, Daniel. DANIEL SOLOMON If I've learned one thing today, it's that I don't want to go to hell when I die for real. I'm pretty sure siding with you would get me in trouble with God. THE DEVIL Oh, please. It's not as if I'm asking you to worship me. I'd like to hire you on as a consultant. That's hardly a sin--it's just a job. DANIEL SOLOMON What would I have to do? THE DEVIL Not very much, really. You’d meet with me occasionally to relay information you've collected and offer your take on various strategies I'm working on--things of that nature. Other than that, you just have to keep being you. Perhaps even more so. DANIEL SOLOMON What's in it for me?

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THE DEVIL Any number of things. Lately, you've been pondering the meaning of existence and all that, and I have pertinent information you'll not get anywhere else. I'm also notorious for giving people what they want in life. I can give you things that you'd never be able to earn yourself. DANIEL SOLOMON Like what? Because I'm way ahead of you in the video-game department. Back in my apartment, I've got a PS-Three, Xbox Three-Sixty, and a Nintendo Wii: I wipe my ass with PS-Twos. THE DEVIL How would you like to sleep on a bed of tits? Daniel's eyes widen. DANIEL SOLOMON Well, I do love tits. THE DEVIL Indeed you do. And, I promise you, Serta's memory foam has absolutely nothing on tit bed. Throughout history, fortunes were accumulated and squandered and empires were built and destroyed in the pursuit of tit bed. Helen of Troy had a face that launched a thousand ships. Nonsense! That was all tit bed. DANIEL SOLOMON I have never wanted to sleep on anything so badly in all of my life, but I'm not totally sold yet. I'm still deathly afraid that I'll be damned for all of eternity if I help you. The Devil sighs.

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THE DEVIL Let me explain something to you, Daniel. Everything you've ever been told about God and heaven and hell and the Devil and morality and sin is completely wrong--a fabrication created by someone determined to make poor paperclips out of perfectly good pencils. For thousands of years, people have been duped into going against the very nature they were created with simply because God refuses to be wrong. You and every other human who ever existed have been deceived, and I have been maligned, demoted, and slandered just to maintain God's high opinion of himself. There is no paradise, Daniel, nor is there eternal damnation. The only thing you should fear is living someone else's lie without ever knowing the truth. DANIEL SOLOMON Then ... what is the truth? THE DEVIL All in good time, Daniel. I'm not a Bond villain: I can't just tell you everything because you asked. Just understand that I went to great lengths to bring you here because I see your potential and what you have to offer the world--unlike God, who doesn't even know you exist. DANIEL SOLOMON But if there's no hell, where am I now? THE DEVIL You're in my office, the sorry excuse for a workplace I was transferred to for daring to disagree with God. You are here because I brought you here, (more)

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THE DEVIL (CONT’D) not because this is where you will end up when you die. A shocked and confused look sweeps over Daniel's face. DANIEL SOLOMON I have so many questions now. THE DEVIL If you agree to work with me, in time I will answer as many as I'm able. For now, though, I think you should return to your life and think things over. Go home and spend some time on your new bed--it will be in your apartment when you arrive. We will meet again tomorrow, at which time you will give me your answer. DANIEL SOLOMON How will I get back here? THE DEVIL I'll see to that. DANIEL SOLOMON Okay, but no more bus accidents. THE DEVIL Fine. I'll send an escort for you tomorrow at six p.m. DANIEL SOLOMON I get it: Six p.m. because you're the devil--six-six-six, mark of the beast, and all that. THE DEVIL No. Six p.m. because you work until five p.m. That will give you enough time to get home without rushing and eat a sensible yet easy-to-prepare dinner before our meeting. DANIEL SOLOMON That's awfully considerate of you.

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THE DEVIL I'm not a monster, Daniel. I don't even consider myself a bad guy. As I said, everything you've been told about me is completely untrue. They say there's no such thing as bad publicity, but I'm living proof that there really is. DANIEL SOLOMON I'm sure I'll hear more about that later. THE DEVIL Of course, I have to ask you not to tell anyone about our meeting. Consider this a covert operation of sorts. At any rate, I'll see you tomorrow evening, Daniel. DANIEL SOLOMON Wait! Before I go, let me ask you something. If knowing is half the battle, what's the other half? The Devil grins. THE DEVIL That's an easy one: spell check. The Devil pushes a button on his desk, and the screen goes white. CUT TO: EXT. CITY STREET -- DAY The camera starts with a close-up of Daniel's closed eye. Daniel's eye opens suddenly and the camera pans out to reveal he is lying on the ground in front of the bus that hit him. In a panic, the BUS DRIVER runs up to where Daniel is lying. BUS DRIVER Holy shit, boy! Are you okay? I was slowing down for the stop up here, and all of a sudden you just fell right in front of my bus. Everyone, you saw (more)

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BUS DRIVER (CONT’D) it! He jumped right in front of me, right? Where my witnesses at? DANIEL SOLOMON Am I alive? BUS DRIVER Yeah, boy, you are. But you gotta be all sorts of messed up after that. Lordy, I hope your skull is as thick as it looks! DANIEL SOLOMON I'm not in The Devil's office anymore? No one's trying to rape me? PlayStation Three exists here? BUS DRIVER Goddamn, He's got a concussion or something! Someone call an ambulance! He's gone and scrambled his brains on the front of my bus! Don't go all Forrest Gump on me, boy! I can't go back to prison--I'm a tired old man! Daniel stands up, not paying any attention to the commotion. BUS DRIVER (CONT'D) He jumped in front of me. I swear I couldn't stop in time. He's probably on the drugs--that crazy salvia all the kids are smoking 'cause it ain't a felony. Or maybe he got laid off and was trying to kill himself! Why couldn't you jump off a building, boy? Why? DANIEL SOLOMON Shut the hell up! Goddamn! You're like a character from a sketch during the last ten minutes of Saturday Night Live. I'm fine. Just tell me how long I've been on the ground.

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BUS DRIVER You only been down there for a few seconds. You ran into the front of my bus less than a minute ago. DANIEL SOLOMON Did you happen to see a slutty-looking girl with cat ears? The Bus Driver looks at the sky and shakes his fists in the air. BUS DRIVER Oh, god! His brains is mush. I'm sorry, President Obama, here's another retard you have to find the funding for somehow! If we already had your universal health care, he wouldn't have to worry about being a burden on nobody! His poor mama's gunna have to work three jobs to keep her little vegetable plugged in! DANIEL SOLOMON Goddamnit, asshole! Shut up! I'm fine. You don't even have to tell the cops about this shit. Just forget it happened and get the hell out of here! Daniel runs away to escape the commotion. CUT TO: INT. DANIEL'S APARTMENT BUILDING -- DAY Daniel gets into the elevator, breathing heavily from running home after getting hit by the bus. DANIEL SOLOMON (V.O.) Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit! What's happening to me? Did I really go to hell, or was it just a messed-up dream? How did I survive getting hit by a bus with no injuries? Oh my god! What if I have brain damage? What if I'm retarded now, and I just don't realize it? I'm not drooling. (more)

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DANIEL SOLOMON (V.O.) (CONT’D) McDonald's commercials still annoy me. I don't feel like watching Twilight. I must be fine. The elevator doors open, Daniel steps out, and he walks down the hallway to his room. DANIEL SOLOMON (V.O.) (CONT'D) Maybe I should call a priest or something--change my awful habits and live a better life. No! Of course not. That whole mess was just the result of too much stress and asking too many deep questions I have no business thinking about. Who cares why we exist? Not me! I just need to get back to my room, drink a metric shit ton of cheap booze, and forget about the whole thing. Daniel gets to his door, room 203, and begins unlocking it. DANIEL SOLOMON (V.O.) (CONT'D) Nothing to worry about. Everything's perfectly normal. Tomorrow will be another boring, pointless day at work. No, screw that. I'm calling in sick and drinking so much I won't be able to remember my childhood, let alone this screwed-up day. Daniel opens his door and immediately sees tit bed sitting across the room. Daniel's eyes open wide. A single tear rolls down Daniel's face Oh dear.

DANIEL SOLOMON (CONT’D) FADE OUT.

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The Southern Branch  

A Project 3 years in the making. An animated series pitch for a cartoon called "the Southern Branch". This book contains all the necessary i...

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