1666 c/o Wes Schofield

Newton vs. Satan
The battle for 1666
Newton awoke the first of January, 1666, at an o’clock of the a.m. At precisely the same time but in an alternate dimension, Satan, a.k.a the Lord of all Evil, rose from his slumber with a massive splitting headache. Identical in tone and timbre to the pounding drum housed inside the mind of the as yet to be named Sir Isaac Newton. Headaches, both the result of imbibing too many drinks the night before. Newton finished off an entire case of last year’s vintage with a few friends he was entertaining at the Salon. Satan, meanwhile, had been sipping a heady brew made from the fermented souls of hell’s most tortured victims while watching the ball drop at Times Square on his new plasma TV. The pair of them having personalities prone to self-indulgence, especially when under the influence, each spent the last hour before midnight denouncing their opponents and boasting of the great things they had in store for the New Year. Yet, come the light of day, neither felt up to even the slightest amount of greatness and spent the whole afternoon into the evening deep beneath the covers vowing never to drink again. Only Newton awoke at midnight to discover Calculus.

Down in Hell, come springtime, Satan had yet to come up with anything which might fulfil his promises of the New Year, while Newton had gone on to split light with a prism and prove a rainbow is held within. If Satan wasn’t careful he was going to lose the tenuous grip he held on all the Demons of the underworld. Already he could tell they were beginning to suspect he had nothing to do with the great plague that had ravished England of at least a million citizens in the past year. If he didn’t do something soon to distract them he might have an uprising on his hands.

His chance finally came when, at end of a long hot summer, a fire broke out in London and quickly spread to engulf almost the entire city. Seizing the opportunity to lie his way into the forefront he took all the credit. Even the most murderous of his minions could not fail to be impressed by the complete lack of compassion required to take an already embattled city down to its ashen foundations.

Crossing his fingers, Satan went to visit his nemesis that evening hoping to find the house burned the to ground and Newton’s charred remains. Instead he found him hard at work in his study, seemingly unaware of the chaos spewing forth around him. Satan peered over Newton's left shoulder and saw pages of numbers and symbols all, to him, incomprehensible mathematical scribbling. But at the top of the page was written a word he could actually read, “Gravity”.

Furious, Satan returned to hell and locked himself away in his room. He could not allow Newton to show him up again; perhaps he might be able to discover this Gravity first. Three days he spent watching the Discovery Channel and carrying out crude experiments involving a bowling ball and a feather. By the end all he could come up with was F is equal to M times A. Where “F” is the amount of Fritos consumed, “M” is the number of times he would murder Newton if he had the chance and “A” is absolutely how little he understands what the hell he is talking about.

After the third day, he began to hear the rumbling of growing mob outside his door. He blasted the volume on his surround sound until it pierced his eardrums and he could ignore the screams of hell’s fury no longer.

“What? What do you want?” he asked. “I was about to find out how much feces ends up on the average toothbrush.”

“Fraud,” the crowd chanted at him. It seemed the fires of London were now under control, and through there was a lot of property damage, only six people died. Worse than that, however, the fire had put an end to the plague by cleanly disposing of the corpses and killing all the rats that had been spreading the disease.

Satan could think of only one person to blame: “Newton”.

Satan found him sitting under an apple tree reading a book. Typical. Climbing the tree, Satan hovered over him whispering hushed threats and vulgarities. He wanted to strike him dead with a bolt of lighting but pride stopped him. He had to get one over on this pedantic dork. Looking over he spotted an apple hanging just out of reach. Inspiration struck. The old apple trick, it never fails, no one had yet been able to resist the temptation of all the knowledge in the universe. Satan smiled and leaned over to snatch the fruit. But as his weight shifted the branch he reached towards snapped.

The apple fell.