Water was not your friend.
Though, it isn't entirely your enemy, either. No, water is the single thing that sustains life and brings everything together, once and for all. From the farthest reaches of biomes, it can rejuvenate a land that was once damned to death by drought. Did you know it's one of the first things that astronomers look for when investigating a new planet for signs of life? Without water, there is no life.
Without water, things cease to exist.
There were an infinite number of ways you could be persuaded into never touching water again, but you had also heard that it was perhaps one of the more peaceful ways to go. Perhaps it would have been if you hadn't panicked upon the realization that you couldn't breathe. If you hadn't, your slow lapse into eternal damnation would have been as peaceful as you could get unless you took out the want of dying at the old age of eighty-five in your sleep.
The struggle, the desperation, and then the acceptance with your attempts remaining futile. The sand, no doubt bruising and scratching your defenseless flesh as you tumbled around; for just as you were about to reach the surface-
Your hopes remained stagnant; the darkness had already curled into your husked body; beckoning you welcomingly with open arms.
You were doomed to die the moment you set foot on that beach.
When you escaped from your lack of consciousness, you found that you couldn’t exactly remember the minute details of your death, your memory foggy just as your eyes were. You brought a fist to them, rubbing them gingerly, the smallest of frowns adorning your lips. The second thing you noted was that your lungs screamed at you to breathe, brain short-circuiting as it finally vetoed whatever restraint it had previously forced itself to submit to; forcing your lungs to expand with the sweet, precious air that—good lord was the air stale here—you so desperately needed.
A singular eye opened, and then another, a darkness shrouding the entire land in a suspicious red hue that intimidated all those who dare to let their imaginations wander. At the very least, it was easy enough on your eyes to allow them to adjust, as unwilling as you had been previously.
A groan forced it’s way out of the chamber of your chest, reverberating through your ribs as your hands gripped the hard gravel beneath your palms. It clicked to you that, right then and there, with the minuscule stones lodged painfully into your skin, that you had no clue where the fuck you were and how you had gotten there.
The heart, such a important organ, sped up in your chest, the sound reverberating in your ears. Needless to say, however weak, you sat up enough to discover you were, in fact, laying on a ground that was converted in bones of different animals or... creatures. No doubt someone's shitty attempt at a warm welcome or whatever. For the final kick in the ass that you had left to endure, it occurred to you that you were actually supposed to get off of your ass and move once you heard talking.
To you. Someone was talking to you. Turn around and face them, you coward.
"’Ey dumbass! Ya just gonna sit there all day and rot or smth'n?"
Flinching, you snapped your gaze to the individual who caught your attention.
"Well, I mean ya can't rot anymore." He laughed in a smug, mocking tone as if he just knew you were unable to understand whatever the hell was going on.
An alarm went off in your head as you trailed your gaze up to narrow upon at the white, pink fluffed up... creature. It took all your will-power not to scream right then and there.
Oh, that wasn't human. That was a monster.
He took a step closer, and you instinctively scooted back. The loose gravel was painful, yes, but your instinct to survive this Elmo’s knockoff long lost cousin was so, so much stronger.
A loud, dramatic sigh and a roll of his mismatched eyes before he let them trail across your figure. You would have been jotting down that the eyes were curious if you know, weren’t considering that you very well may have fell down Alice in Wonderland's rabbit hole.
"Right." Angel Dust huffed in a bored manner, his actions remaining idle. You were pathetic. Useless. Why was he wasting his time on you?
"Yer in Hell, blah blah, welcome to yer eternal stay or what’eva." He took another step towards you, leering down. In his explanation, his lower pair of arms leaned upon his hips, the top coming up to fluff up his chest. A moment passed before a single hand came down and pointed at you.
"...Hell?" You managed to croak out. Your eyes were wide, owlishly staring up at the creature in a mixture of awe and fear.
He snapped his eyes to you. "Are ya deaf or somethin'? Ya, Hell." He waited for you to respond, and once you didn't, he released an exasperated sigh. "Ya know, fire and flames 'n shit?" You see, this was why he didn't go to these parts of town often.
He ran into nobodies like you.
You took a glance around. It didn't appear to be a land of suffering or eternal damnation. In fact, it looked far more similar to a large, run-down city. It hadn't clicked yet that being in Hell meant you were dead. One thing at a time, cowboy.
"How do I leave?" You turned to face him once again. His expression screwed up into a smile, in which looked more like a baring of teeth than an actual smile. He laughed. And laughed. And it took you a moment to realize he wasn't laughing because of what you said, but he was laughing at you.
"Toots, tha' only way yer leavin’ is if yer exterminated by those egotistical pricks up there. so make it worth yer while." He wiped away a stray, humorous tear. And then he began to turn away. He had shit to get done.
And then you stood up.
"Wait!" Your voice was hoarse, dry. You weren't sure why you had said anything at all, but you knew you needed to find out more. If he was offering you information, if you had a chance of figuring out what had happened to you, what was even happening, he was your best bet.
Hell, Hell, you were in... Hell?
The effeminate spider paused, shoulders visibly sagged as if truly, waiting for you was the worst thing that could have ever happened to him. Legs still shaken, partly because of your inability to function them after the lack of use and partly because you were scared out of your fucking mind, you cautiously closed the distance between the two of you. It had its first pair of arms crossed and second pair on its hips, tapping its foot impatiently.
“I-“ You were cut off before you could continue.
"What? I got places to be, people to do..." A mischevious expression crossed his face, and you knew instantly that you did not like that.
"Oho, toots! I don't swing yer way, but if ya want something, I'll do it for a quick cash grab~" He held out a gloved hand expectantly. His mood had instantly lifted.
Your jaw fell open in shock and confusion.
"W-what? No!" Finally, some confidence. You shook your head rapidly. The world swam around you, dizziness suddenly becoming a very well known companion. Maybe slow that down a notch. "I-I just want to know why I'm here, why-" You were cut off by mocking laughter.
The bastard was laughing at you. Again.
"Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm messin' with ya toots, don't get ya tits in a twist." He waved a hand at you in a dismissive nature. "I doubt ya got any cash on ya anyways. Last prick sure didn't..." He trailed off, looking off to the side with a frown before perking up almost immediately. “But hey! Don’t look so drab, yer making me feel bummed out just lookin’ at ‘ya. ‘Yer in the best part of the nine circles!”
He paused, looking at your dumbfounded expression with a dramatic roll of his eyes.
"Yer here ‘cause ya did some ‘bad thing in your life that eternally damned you to Hell’. It ain't all that bad here though, ya get all the shit you wanted done without repercussions!“ It laughed, “Drugs are my personal favorite, and- and! Doin’ otha demons!" He sure rambled a lot, and he didn't seem like it was finished. You didn’t mind too much, really, though you couldn’t bring yourself to even begin to wrap your brain around his jovial words.
Truthfully, you had missed the majority of it.
You felt lost. Unsure. A fool. Maybe you had just gone insane; yeah, that had to be it because you hit your head too hard on... something and went a little crazy!
But why did that feel wrong?
The feeling that coiled in your gut only made you feel nauseous. The terrain was unfamiliar, strange, foreign.
There had to have been a mistake, if whatever he had said was remotely true. Hell was a place for the bad people, right? The place where murderers went to suffer, the sinners—You weren’t a bad person. Could it be that any sin damned you to Hell? No. That didn’t sound right! Everything was fuzzy after you went into the water; the beach becoming more of an uncertain thought, in general, the more you were conscious. You weren't certain if it had been a beach, or a lake, or a river at that point.
Something happened to your memories.
“Listen, ya make me feel like shit just lookin' at ya, so I don’t do this often." You looked up at him with knitted brows. "I’ve... ah, been ‘clean’—“ He made bunny ears out of all four of his arms before putting a hand to your back and pushing you in front of him. You supposed that meant to walk. “—For two weeks now; and I take it ya’ don’t got a place to stay. Once in a death-time offer, lady—“ You blinked like a deer in headlights, a frown forming at your lips. The pun wasn’t funny. Perhaps if you had been more into the situation it would have been, but as the creature babbled on about ‘the Princess of Hell’, you couldn’t help but boldly say:
You looked behind your shoulder to see him lag behind a bit in surprise.
He narrowed his eyes.
He seemed surprised that you had agreed so fast, so utterly trusting of something you had no knowledge of. You could have just signed away, through word of mouth, your soul and you would have not known the difference. Eventually, however, his expression morphed into a smile full of sharp teeth that absolutely screamed danger. Such a spontaneous agreement that you had to wonder why you had done so without thinking twice.
The word 'hotel' was the only familiar thing that you recognized and, until you could figure out why you had been placed here, you needed a place to stay. To think things through. A quiet place to freak the fuck out, alone.
Yeah, that made sense.
You just hoped that the beds weren't made of the remains of dead people.
How bad could it really be?
Oh, naivety at its finest.