by Bob'n Around
All you need is a helping hand.
| (Screams win, Twisted Tales 2nd place) Horror/Scary Newsletter editor's pick Jan 10th
I stopped at the edge of reality. This was the last refuge of life. The storm broke around me in a flash of fire. Rain dripped from a revealed torn canvas tarp. Under it sat the girl. She rocked back and forth crooning to herself. “You have to believe.”
“You’ve been called,” was my reply. The homeless ones lay scattered along the river like broken toys. The shelters were too much a magnet for drug dealers and dope heads for any sane loser to risk staying there. All gave me distance, not so much because of who I was, but because of the hellhounds at my side.
“Are you the one?” She stood, not more than a little over five feet at best, a pixie with her ribs poking out like she was a living skeleton. Sometimes this job was distasteful. I didn’t mind being on the devil’s errand when a body deserved what they got. The lost ones still bothered me.
For once the hellhounds gave way as she approached. They shivered, dull eyes glowing avidly now, sniffing her legs. The growls deep in their throats told of past deeds and undoing. “I’ll leave my body back there.” She said. “I’m ready.”
A single glance reassured me she was the soul I’d come to claim. She had the devil’s mark on her wrist. One of the hellhounds whined and rose to lick it.
“How did you end up here? What did you sell your soul for?” These were questions to idle the way back with.
Our walk along the river Styx lay before us. Bored, I slowed our pace to her small, steady march.
Tiny hands clutched the hellhounds fur, weaving restlessly in and out. She stared into the waves mirroring the shore. “I was a true believer. I became a missionary in the dark continent. My faith conquered the fear of many who gave up their false devils.”
It made me chuckle but I did so beneath my breath. A jerk from the hellhounds reminded me why I was here. We continued on. “And…?” I prompted.
“I became too successful. Your master, the real devil began toying with my dreams. I fought off pride, desire, greed, all the seven deadly sins with ease.”
The whirlpool that would take us down to Hades neared with a roar. We’d long since left the other homeless behind our twisted way. “When we met, you said we must believe. The magic arts lie asleep in most. What happened?” I tried hurrying her up.
“My deal with the devil was to save any lost soul I wanted in the name of the Father. Forever. Even unto and after my death.”
She patted the hellhounds at her side. “Be free Andy Silver. Be Heaven bound. All is forgiven.”
In a blaze of glory, I rose skyward twisting into a soaring comet. I no longer was the devil's own. A worse agony awaited. I gazed upon the righteous in horror. I believed, conscience stripped bare. I stood naked in self-imposed guilt, evil immortal memories open wounds.
Below, she walked the hellhounds sniffing out her next guest.
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