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Chapter 1

I sold my soul. Bad idea number one. I then died. Bad idea number two. I never thought I would end up like this. I feel the same, but almost lighter if that makes sense, like I lost something. I don’t know if i want it back.

My name is Reed. I was 28 years old when I died. Bachelors degree in engineering, working at a small business in Chicago. Two sisters, two dead parents. One sister 30, one 22. I loved them. They were all I had left in the terms of family and friends. I sold my soul for them.

My youngest sister, the baby of the family, got blood cancer. Lymphoma. It was fatal. She was said to die in a year or less. Lily shouldn’t have made it. That disease should’ve killed her. It didn’t because of me.

I was 24. Lily was 18, had just graduated high school. She was supposed to die in the next 7 months. Our oldest sister, Megan, was 26. She had been working her ass off since our parents died. She took care of Lily and I. Grandpa paid off the doctor bills and mortgage on the house, but we paid for everything else. I had a job at the local hospital, making sure all the machines ran smoothly. Megan was a pediatric doctor there, she always had a knack with kids.

January 18th, I sold my soul to a demon. Lily was not getting better, and I couldn’t let another family member die. Lily was too precious, the world needed Lily. She was pure optimistic energy. Standing near Lily was like standing near the sun. She was like our mother. Myself and Megan were more like our father. Stubborn realists with too many stress lines and not enough laughter ones.

I summoned a demon. I was visiting a knick knack shop close to our apartment. I went to the back of the store and saw an old book sitting in between a bunch of random picture frames and old coca-cola bottles with the old Jolly St. Nick on them. The book was a random book. It didn’t call to me, it didn’t shine to me with an aura of suspense. It was just there. I opened it to the index. I shit you not, it had an index of old spells. A fucking index. Anyway, I looked up how to cure a loved one. It said the only way to truly rid the person of the disease is to summon a demon to cure the disease. Poetically saying that the only thing that can take away death is those that bring death.

Lucky me, there was a demon summoning ritual. I found out about that in the index as well. It was actually pretty simple for me, which scares me to this day. It was like one was waiting for me to call on him. He wasn’t really there, he was kind of shadowy and flickering in and out, almost as if he had bad reception. I told him my trade, he would have my soul when I died in exchange for Lilys disease to go away and for her to live a long happy life. He agreed. We shook on it. It was the strangest thing in my life, shaking hands with a shadow and it feeling like skin. I won’t ever forget it.

After that, Lily healed quickly. The doctors say it was a miracle. I think Megan knew something was up when I gave a terrible performance when Lily woke up. I don’t think she would ever guess demons, but I can never be to sure with Megan.

Now I’m dead. I got four years with Lily. Four great years. We were a small family, but we were a happy family. Now, I’m dead. I know I’m dead because I’m being pulled through the ground by the man i sold my soul to. He’s not so shadowy, or maybe now were both shadowy.

It’s really hot. I was never a big fan of heat. I was always more of a winter person. Snowboarding with my sisters and parents are some of the best memories I have. Heat always made me sluggish and lazy.

Shadow man, who I’m just gonna call Shadow, is slowing down. I kind of forgot about the whole going to hell thing, so this is probably gonna suck.

“What the fuck.” Hell is kind of beautiful, in a dark way. We’ve stopped traveling through the earth, and our now in a castle. The walls seem to be made of some stone that looks like granite, but is blood red. On the walls are vases filled with black roses and poppies. There are black chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, casting a bright light on everything in the room. I expected hell to be… darker. There are large, plush black couches with large throw pillows on them. The floor has soft black rugs in different spots. Shadow looks at me, and motions me to sit.

I look more closely at Shadow and notice a few things. One, he has a ball and chain on his foot. Two, he has the number 4 along with a diamond tattooed to his upper arm on both sides. Three, his mouth is sewn shut. I can’t say anything, since he can’t speak, so we just sit there in silence.

A door opens. Out steps a man. About 6 ft. 2 in. Dark hair cut short with a goatee. Strong body, chiseled jaw, and an ass you could bounce a quarter off of. What I last notice about him, and what I find the most enthralling, is his black eyes. There beautiful, like someone stuck a onyx in his eye. He seems to radiate power out of every pore. Something about him seems old, though he looks 30 at the oldest.

“Hi Reed, how was your trip downstairs?”

“Um, why are you asking.”

“Am I not allowed to be amiable to newcomers to hell?”
“No, It’s just not what I expected.”

“Ah, well I’m glad to hear, I’m sure you expected burning pits of hell fire and tortuous weapons beyond your imagination.”

“To be perfectly honest, I tried not to think about it too much.”

“Well Reed, we’re glad to have you, we haven’t had a pure soul here in such a long time, I quite enjoy the glow.”

“What glow?”

“Why Reed, just look at yourself.”

Looking down at my arms, I noticed a faint glow coming out of the pores of my body.

“What the fuck is that.”

“That is your soul, Reed, your soul is so pure that it glows with light energy. You may notice I have a dark energy around me. That is because my soul is so impure, that I have a dark energy surrounding me.”

“Who could be that bad?”

“Well, some would say I’m the worst of all things, the bringer of evil, the Morning Star.”

“Your Satan?”

“In the spirit.”

“You seem nicer than I expected.”

“Thank you. That’s the nicest thing anyone has said to me in a while.”

“So, why am I here, I feel as if most new souls don’t get to meet you.”

“Quite true, you are special to me Reed. I’ve started to notice something. I’m… tired. All this evil that is being brought to the world is an exhausting job. I need someone to be my right hand man, make sure I don’t go overboard. I need someone to step in and stop me from making world was three happen. Who else better to do that then someone of pure soul.”
“So my job is to make sure you are evil, just not to evil?”

“Perfect, we want controlled chaos.”

“But why not just have wide spread evil and panic?”

“Well, if everyone dies, then who will there be to torture?”

“This just doesn’t seem morally right to me, at all.”

“Strangely enough, this is the most morally sound thing you can do. You are stopping me from destroying the world, which I think is a pretty good idea.”

“Ok, I will be your right hand man, on one condition.”

“What condition?”

“I need to know if my parents are down here.”

“Ben and Sheila Ester? No, they entered the pearly gates to heaven, devils promise.”

“Ok, well you, Satan, are looking at your right hand man I guess.”