A devil, Merchari, is walking around Manhattan looking for some sinners to tempt to fulfil his monthly quota. He tries his luck with a couple, but the man is a Catholic and a few words of the Pater Noster are enough to make Merchari recoil. The woman, though, is an atheist and would surely have no holy words to use against him. What the devil doesn’t realize is that the woman has things she believes in very strongly: the laws of physics…

Funny and just the right length. It reminds me a bit of the film ‘Flight of Dragons,’ where the hero defeats a dragon  by quoting science at it, but this story takes a slightly more elaborate and more satisfying course of action.

MetaPhysics by Elizabeth M. Glover

Availability: Print only

Word count: 2,100

First published: Realms of Fantasy Aug 2007

Where to find it: Sympathy for the Devil, edited by Tim Pratt, 2010, Night Shade Books

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