Chapter 1: These Soles are Useless Without You
“I'd walk through Hell, for you
Let it burn right through my shoes
Are useless without you” Say Anything
The words echoed relentlessly in her head for days following Nick’s disappearance into hell.
“I love you, Spellman. You taught me how to love.”
Nick’s words, his sacrifice continued to plague her. The pain was amplified by the words she had spoken to him before he had trapped Lucifer in his body; the ugly words that slipped from her tongue out of anger and confusion. Now she had nothing, but time to think on the exchange and while her feelings in that moment were valid, she felt nothing, but regret for what she had said. As she watched Lilith carry Nick into the fiery depth of hell, Sabrina realized her exact feelings for Nick.
She was still angry at Nick for hiding his order from the Dark Lord, but the sincerity of his words and actions made her believe that he did truly love her. Nick would not have gone along with Satan’s demand if he had known it would put Sabrina in danger. Nick had fallen for her just as hard, she realized recently, as she had fallen for him. They would have to work back up to the level of trust they had, but Sabrina was absolutely certain they would be able to do that. She and Nick had something special, something she couldn’t completely verbalize. However, in order for them to begin repairing the damage and building something stronger, Nick would have to be there. So, of course, Sabrina planned to walk through hell to bring him home.
It had been weeks since she had recruited her friends, the “Fright Squad” as they dubbed themselves, and had begun the necessary research and preparations to descend into the depths of hell, release Lucifer from his bind to Nick, contain him in some other way, and bring Nick Scratch back to Earth. There was also the issue of convincing Lilith of all of this, of course. But, as always, Sabrina had a plan. Kind of. She had done the research, dug through the remnants of the library for any text that would be of some kind of aid, and after sleepless nights of scrapped plans and headaches, Sabrina had finally devised a way to extract Lucifer from Nick’s body and contain him in another. She would then use the complex elements of sacred geometry to seal Lucifer within the new body more effectively. Essentially, Lucifer would be locked within a series of cages where if he escaped one, he would be stuck in another, if all went according to plan. It was complex and delicate, one wrong move and everything would fall apart, but if it was Nick then she could do it. She didn’t have any other choice.
Sabrina finished charming the small bag for her and the group to store the essentials for the trip. They couldn’t afford to carry too much with them, but since mortals would be tagging along, Sabrina had to find a way to bring along the necessities for all of them. After shrugging the bag onto her shoulder, Sabrina headed down the stairs to find her cousin waiting for her.
“Are you sure about this, cousin?”
“Absolutely, Ambrose,” Sabrina nodded with a determined look.
“Okay, this is what you’ll need. Prudence said it should work. I’ll make sure to find a way to contact you should anything change.” Ambrose handed over a small box, carefully sealed, over to Sabrina. She took it gingerly before carefully sliding it into the enchanted bag.
“This is an incredibly dangerous move. You know that? Right, Sabrina?” Zelda walked over to Sabrina and Ambrose with Hilda in tow. She had convinced her aunts into letting her take on the task of finding and freeing Nick from Hell. They knew she would attempt it regardless of what they said, so they chose the safest route in helping her prepare and doing all they could to help ensure a somewhat safe journey through the infernal fires.
“Yes, Aunties, but he needs me. I owe him this much,” Sabrina replied as she steeled herself for what was ahead. Zelda, Hilda, and Ambrose shared a look before sighing.
“I wouldn’t expect anything less from you, Sabrina,” Hilda replied softly. “They’re waiting for you outside. Whenever you’re ready.” Hilda stepped forward to pull her niece into a hug. Zelda and Ambrose joined in. It was a moment before the four pulled themselves apart.
“You better return in one piece,” Ambrose said quietly before clapping a hand on her shoulder.
“I will, and I’ll have Nick with me.” Sabrina took a deep breath, gave her family a smile, and turned toward the door.
“I promise. I’ll return. We’ll all return,” she said quietly as headed out of the door and into the night.
Chapter 2: All the Good Girls Go to Hell
Sabrina and friends begin to make the journey into and through hell
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
“All the good girls go to hell
'Cause even God herself has enemies
And once the water starts to rise
And heaven's out of sight
She'll want the devil on her team” Billie Eilish
After a drive in deafening silence, Sabrina and the self-dubbed “Fright Club" stood at the opening to the mines. Harvey hesitantly stepped closer to Sabrina and gently squeezed her shoulder, drawing her attention away from the gaping entrance.
“You sure about this ‘Brina?”
“Without a doubt,” she replied, gently patting his hand before he withdrew. She turned to face the group. They looked at her without hesitation, a glint of determination to their eyes. Her friends were here for her. They wouldn’t back down now.
“Let’s do this,” Theo exclaimed as he began to step forward.
“Hold on.” Sabrina moved to stand in front of the group. She rummaged around in her front pocket and pulled out three ornate pendants. She had spent a good number of days creating them with her aunts. It took hours of research and a very complicated conversation with Lilith about her plan, but she was sure they would work. “Before we go in, you all need to put on one of these,” Sabrina said as she passed the pendants to her friends.
“What are these?” Roz slipped the cord over head and raised an inquiring brow.
“Mortals cannot enter hell unless they are dead. If they do somehow enter hell while alive, they are trapped there. These pendants give you the ability to enter and exit hell, as mortals. If you take these off at any point while we’re down there, you won’t be able to leave.”
“Oh, that’s….great,” Roz replied as she looked down wearily at the piece of enchanted jewelry.
“They also offer a certain level of protection. As long as you don’t actively...disturb anything down there or fall to any of the temptations, this should keep you safe. But, it’s still safer to bring all of that.” Sabrina gestured to the gear her friends had with them. Her eyes traveled from the hunting rifle hanging from Harvey’s shoulder to the baseball bat Theo had slung over his. She didn’t know how effective they would be if anything happened in hell, but it couldn’t hurt.
“So never take these pendants off ever, got it.” Theo smiled nervously and adjusted his hold on the bat.
“At least not until we get back out of hell.” Sabrina smiled weakly at her friends before turning around to face the entrance to the mines, once again. Sabrina’s friends stepped forward to stand beside her.
“You’re not alone, ‘Brina. We’re here for you,” Roz said reassuringly.
“Let’s do this then.” Sabrina took a deep breath and walked into the dark unwelcoming entrance with her friends beside her.
Sabrina and her friends walked silently down the mines until they reached the area they had worked so hard to guard just months ago. When they reached the gates to hell it became significantly warmer. The group looked around for a moment at the final remnants of the sigils they had drawn to keep the gates closed. Finally, with an air of caution, the group approached the actual doors. Sabrina looked back at her friends that nodded to her determinedly.
Sabrina took another deep breath and placed a hand on the gate. She recited a spell in Latin and took a step back. The doors glowed a deep and fiery red before a loud piercing screech resounded throughout the cavern. The group placed their hands over their ears as they watched the doors slowly swing open.
“I’m coming Nick. Hold on. I’m coming for you,” Sabrina whispered, as she stepped forward into the orange glow illuminating from the entrance. Her friends watched her for a moment before following.
The first thing to truly hit them was the unbearable heat. It was unlike anything the four of them had experienced on Earth. It was dry and humid at the same time and both were incredibly uncomfortable. Sabrina attempted to chant a spell to help with the heat, but it barely did anything. She grimaced at her friends.
“I’m sorry. I guess magic isn’t as effective here.” Sabrina sighed before continuing onward with her friends. They simply shrugged at each other and followed after her. Sabrina and her friends continued to walk in an orange/red glow that seemed to continue on without end. Suddenly, the colors broke and the friends eyes adjusted to a barren wasteland ahead of them. The trees were stripped of leaves and color, the sky was grey and dull, and there was no sign of plant or animal life beyond that, but a distance way they could see a castle of sorts that had the same gloomy aura as the sky.
“I think that’s the first circle of hell, up there.” Sabrina shadowed her eyes and squinted into the distance.
“First circle, as in LImbo? As in Dante’s Inferno?” Roz raised a brow as she looked ahead at the castle all of her friends were staring at.
“Yeah, Dante actually had it right. He was dragged down here and managed to get out, even though he was a mortal. Anyway, he described the sections of hell perfectly and those are what we have to push through to make it to the center of Hell and Lilith’s castle.” Sabrina squinted as she looked into the distance. “So, first we have limbo, or purgatory, as it is more commonly called. This is where many
‘Pious, but non-Christians,” as well as wandering souls and those with unfinished business, call home,” Sabrina replied, as the “Fright-Squad” continued forward.
After a long walk through a very barren land, the friends finally approached the castle.
“So, there are 7 gates we have to move through here?” Theo looked at Sabrina expectandly. They had read Infrerno together in English and worked as partners for a project.
“Yes.” Her voice was quiet as they approached the first gate. The sight before them was utterly miserable. Waif-like souls wandered around aimlessly, groaning and weeping. The sound was constant and penetrating, but under that was an occasional low rumble, something like a growl.
“Poor thing, someone should help them....” Roz trailed off and began to move toward a crying child that was wandering near the gate.
“Stop. You can’t disturb them or anything here.” Sabrina put out a hand to prevent Roz from moving any further. Roz looked dejectedly at the spirit and back at Sabrina before stepping back to Harvey. Sabrina watched as he placed an arm around her shoulders and and embraced her for a moment. Sabrina’s felt a pang of pain in heart as she thought about Nick and how she was unable to comfort him when he was in pain; when he needed her. She steeled herself and looked at her friends.
“Let’s move forward.” Sabrina motioned them forward as she began to move past the first gate and deeper into Limbo toward the second circle of hell and closer to Nick.
So, maybe I won't be able to update weekly like I had planned, but I want to do the circles of Hell justice. Please enjoy my chapters titles as they all reflect songs off of my Nabrina playlist.
Chapter 3: My Lucifer is Lonely
Time to switch up perspectives~
“My Lucifer is lonely.” - Billie Eilish
He remembers confessing his love to Sabrina before muttering the incantation to trap Lucifer within his body. Then there was a flash of searing pain before a velvety darkness ensconced him.
Nick wished he could have stayed in that safe, quiet blackness. Unfortunately, the world was not that kind, or more so, Lucifer was not that kind. Now Nick spent his days in constant battle with the Dark Lord. Occasionally, he would hear someone outside of his body recite an incantation and the peaceful darkness would return, but for the most part he was locked in constant combat within his mind; fighting for control with Lucifer.
The agony was excruciating. Nick was caught in a never ending nightmare where Lucifer played out his greatest fears in the most debilitating ways. This was one of those moments where he was forced to watch these play out before him as Satan whispered in his ear.
“Just give yourself over, Nick and this will all end. You can finally be at peace.” The words were always soft, velvety, and inviting. They were never forceful, which made them harder to resist. Threats, aggression, and violence were easy to handle in Nick’s world, but the soft, comforting words promising rest and an end to the horrors berating him.
But, Nick was able to resist and stay strong in the face of Lucifer’s torture. He had Sabrina to thank for that. The fact that she was safe and able to continue living with her family and friends, especially after hurting her so badly, was what continued to push Nick forward. There was no way she would have forgiven him. The hurt in her eyes was unmistakable as she spat in his face. He deserved that and, truly, he deserved this. Sabrina was right, Nick could have refused the Dark Lord’s orders and been honest from the start, but he was not as strong as she was. So, he used the order as an excuse to get even closer to Sabrina, as he had already intended, but he had no clue there were such dark intentions beneath the simple request to “show a pretty girl a wicked time.”
Now he was here, essentially exiled to Hell with Lucifer sealed within his body for the rest of eternity. Still, it was better than the alternative. If he had lost Sabrina’s trust, then life on Earth would have been miserable. But, to lose Sabrina’s trust and her existence to the Dark Lord? That would have been unbearable. The only logical option was for him to take her place and trap Satan within himself, allowing Sabrina to continue her life on Earth. When it came down to it, he simply wanted her happiness.
This want was something the Dark Lord continuously used against Nick. In fact, Nick was currently dealing with very issue. He was, once again, stuck in a scenario where Sabrina was being tortured before him and he was powerless to do anything, but watch. He could not close his eyes, he could not cover his ears. Nick was subject to all the emotional and physical pain that Sabrina was enduring before him. And, through it all, she continued to carry that clear hurt in her eyes. Every time he saw that, he began to wonder if this was something that he could continue to fight into eternity.
As this thought began to creep around his mind, though, the calming darkness began to appear at the edges of his thoughts. Relief began to wash over him as he prepared himself to give into the all consuming sleep, but before he could, something caught his attention.
Something that could barely be called a murmur called to him. He struggled to pay attention, to catch the words floating softly around him.
“Hold on, Nicholas. She’s coming. There may just be hope after all.”
She? Was it her? Was Sabrina coming to save him after all? Was it out of pity? Did she feel obligated? It didn’t matter. If he could see her one more time.
Nick slipped away into dreamless slumber.