A story I'm pantsing.
|The room was porcelain white and glaring. His ears rung, for some reason. He drew in a deep breath, as the chair clung tightly, and slid about while he moved carelessly.
His shirt felt tight, and wet. Being unable to open its buttons, he tore them apart; they rung loudly on the ceramic tiling. He held his chest to calm down his breathing.
His breaths were still hoarse, so he held up a finger to the stranger. For the moment, he couldn't see; he hoped that the stranger could.
He rubbed his eyes.
"Um... Where am I?"
He held the panic back in the front of the stranger; a debater knew how to.
"You are dead." He said in a deep and bothered voice. "Convince me you aren't."
"What!?" His eyes were just about clear, now. Especially since they were torn open. The man across the table had a moustache, he wore big rimed glasses, on a slightly pale complexion; which made their brown darker. He chewed... on peanuts.
"You.." he paused. His fat face twisted with pain. He was at the beginning of another panic attack.
"You've got twenty minutes to convince me." He checked his watch. His left hand was filled with shelled peanuts. He chewed, loudly.
More than words were needed to be a good debater. Although spoken words were always king. Upright posture, a friendly smile, and timing with humour, were learned tools, that could win a debate. Damian had this, and, he was good with words.
He sat up and was about 30 pounds short of three hundred. Being 5'7 meant he was compacted. He held himself stately, within the chairs unsettling grip. He stretched out a hand, that had been dried.
"Damian Fowly." He said.
The man stretched wiped peanut oil onto his blue cuffs. "Angelo. Nice to meet you." His hands were soft. Damian assumed he didn't get out that often. Angelo didn't smile, he just kept chewing.
"Okay. First and foremost, I'm an honour student; top scores in all my classes..."
"I know. I know that you're also the type to write out stacks out information slips, and sell them to your classmates. Printing them would be easier."
Damian didn't have an excuse so he went on.
"I am also the president of multiple clubs. I've lead them to regional dominance and we've done well nationally."
"Yeah, those are clubs. Can you take all of the credit?"
"I help them, in my free time. Their home work, their practices for debate," he counted off of his fingers the things he done. He maintained eye contact, and said. "I may not do everything, but I do a lot."
"Okay, you can keep going."
"I'm young, and seeing that you seem to know my history, I show a lot of promise. You want to judge me, right? Take a look at my history."
"Yeah, I'm your judge, jurry, and maybe the last beautiful mug you'll ever see. You should just ask directly if you want to know something, it's quicker. Fourteen minutes."
"Alright... My mother and sister depend..."
"No." He broke in firmly. His eyebrows were thick when scrunched. "Me, you; we are the only ones in this room. No one can help you, but you. Hurry... ten minutes left, boy."
"This would be a waste." He leaned back. "I'm seventeen."
"And I don't care. You are dead. No amount of crying is going to fix that. Come on, seven left."
There was silence for two of those minutes. The room was entirely white; his eye had adapted, enough to see most of the tiles, those that were closer. Where it blared harsly, in the back, he assumed was tiled also. The room wasn't all that big, and there weren't any doors... He sighed, defeated.
He righted himself and bit into his lips. " I don't know what to say? I just don't know. Why me? Why do I have to go? So many... many others. How'd I even die?"
The stranger laughed and choked on a mouth filled with half chewed peanuts. Damian drew himself from the chair, and patted his back. The man waved him away.
"Ha, ha, cough, karma." He threw the peanuts onto his desk, and Damian took his seat, again.
"You want to know?"
He sat up straight, Damian saw where hunching had crushed the man's shirt and tie. He looked a little messy to be a judge. Damian bit his lips.
"You choked to death on nuggets."
The rest of his minutes passed in silence. Damian remembered the incident. It felt so dull. What would his mother say?
"The time up, kid. You didn't convince me. You did, however, try. Most people are usually too scared to talk. And I usually give them an hour."
"So, why did I get less?"
"Because, I need you someplace. You're my chest piece I'm saving for a brighter day."
"You don't know a thing about chest."
He he tapped his watch. "We are on my time, now. Sit there and listen for a while, and answer a few question, too."
"First off, are you a Christian, a Jew, or something else?"
"I go to church."
"You're a Christian, then? You believe in God?"
"You are not God."
He picked up some peanuts and chewed them up. He didn't look angry, but Damian got the impression he was. Because he didn't seem to be thinking of what was next after dealing with him. He seemed to finally be here; looking at Damian.
"If you believe in good what about evil?"
He thought it over, this was a hard one.
"I've done some bad, and some good. If I had done more bad, a lot more, than good; I'm evil. More good and I'm a saint."
He nodded."Okay then, question times over. Listen to every word I say. Heaven, Hell, Here, and more, are real. This is harder to explain then I'd like. The world is ending. Not now, though."
"And what do you want me to do about it?"
"You're going to be sent to Hell, to do a little work for me. Do a good job and get another chance to convince me you're alive."
"That isn't enough, I want three more. Whenever I've accomplished three things you've requested. And it must be on my time that these convenings be initiated. Or I'm out."
"Deal. Now that we're clear on rewards, time to get to the point. You'll be living with demons, devils, spirits, and other things, keep your head down and wait on my orders. In the meantime, there this friggin huge tree in the middle of this forest I'll be sending you to."
"They've got trees in a forest?"
"Don't be an ass. It's the tree of knowledge, or a tree of knowledge. Get a fruit, learn the world; and hell, did I mention there's magic over there?"
"I can't imagine anything more important... Maybe my mother, my sister, not wasting years of studying? Or being sent to live by myself , when I haven't been any place a bus bus ride wouldn't..."
"Come on, I never said you'd be alone." He got up and walked to the wall, to his left, Damian followed. "You can make friends over there. Not everyone's a piece of shit... Just most of em; like earth."
He looked at Damian's pale face, and neat haircut, and couldn't help but laugh. He tapped twice on the wall, covered in tiles, and slowly a ceramic handle grew from it. He stared for a moment, then eyed Angelo.
Angelo snorted. "Come on, fat boy." He opened it, it lead directly to darkness. Seeing him shiver, it must have made the scrawny man happy, because he said. "Get in yourself and you'll get a gift."
His feet shook, but he did. One foot landed on solid nothing the other foot followed and he fell screaming.