Today was a good day, I received a visit from a long time friend. We were talking nonsense sipping whiskey from the glass. While drinking and chatting I was carefully watching my son from the first-floor window. He is 5 and is playing outside with his ball bouncing it against the wall beside my car. It’s getting dark and keeps raining but he seems happy so I let him stay.
An eerie feeling came over me when the bouncing of the ball slightly changed the rhythm. It no longer sounded like the ball is bouncing right back to him, now there was a short pause between and it didn’t hit the wall. I looked out again and saw he was at the cornet of the house throwing the ball beside the house now where I could not see. There had to be another person with him, With fear, I ran downstairs to check. My friend seemed to not notice the whole situation
Through the ground floor window, I could see a large dark figure that was interacting with my son. From the distance, its size and posture in the darkness gave it an unnatural, deformed look. In shock, I ran up to the window beside the figure for a better look, but at that point, it was already gone, like vapour in the air. Trying to see if my son is still there, the feeling of dread filled my bones when a sudden realization came over me. I never had a child, nor did I have any friends left in this town. Paralyzed I was standing in front of that window, the wind was blowing in my face through the broken glass bringing clarity of mind. I was hit by the smell of rotten floorboards and mildew that was on the walls.
Forgotten was the house and everything in it including myself. Shards of glass at the window sill seeped with the temptation of bad decisions, the darkness in front of me was like the void I hold inside of me. Without alarming sounds on my back I could only feel the eyes of malice itself.
Normally I don’t post stories written by others unless it’s a collaboration project like the ones in the past but I would like to share this one. I’ve heard it a year ago when it came out and heard it more than once every now and then think about it. I also wanted to write a similar story but there is no way it would be anywhere near this level. So bellow is a fairly long read, for the lazy ones I will add a link for audio version. All credits go to u/athousandrows so thank him for a good story and a pleasant mind fuck.
Let me start off by saying that I’m not particularly religious. If you asked me if I believed in God, I’d probably just shrug, grunt out a few words about being on the fence about it and continue with my day.
Of course, that was before last night.
My friends are the kinds of people who like wild nights. Crazy parties, snort a bit of coke, take a bit of e in the bathroom, maybe hook up with someone and leave a text on my phone at ten past who-the- fuck-knows telling me they don’t need that ride I’m offering after all.
Not to say I don’t like a drink, I do, it’s just… clubs aren’t my style. Lying low in a pub somewhere, drink in hand, listening to the tv drone on to whatever channel some scruffy guy in the back barked out for… I guess that’s my idea of fun.
So when my friends tell me they want to go out for a night on the town, I say sure. I hang on for the first club, buy a non-alcoholic beer in case my car’s required and try to pretend that I’m having fun. By the time I see them grinding on girls, on guys, when they strike conversation with someone who definitely might be a dealer, well, I decide my services are no longer needed. We aren’t too far out, the night tube is on beck and call and I can always find my car the next day.
That’s when I wander out of the club, look for something a little more rustic. Not that that’s hard to find, not at all.
I found myself in a bit of a state inside of a bar called the Ragged Feather. Wasn’t a fan of the name all that much, but the drinks were cheap and the largest demographic seemed to be middle aged men watching reruns of the football.
I tried to pretend I hadn’t just staggered out of a club with my ears ringing. I slicked my hair back, slipped my phone into my hand and wandered over to the bar. I took a double shot of whiskey and drank it in one hit. Just because I wasn’t at the club didn’t mean I couldn’t have a good time.
I hung at the bar a while on my own, scrolled through my phone pretending I was doing something far more impressive than I really was. I kept an ear out for the guys on the sofas. They’d get vocal every now and then. I think the football was just running highlights, but they were incredibly dedicated to their teams.
I got another whiskey and bled into the background.
Of course, stragglers from clubs are commonplace. It wasn’t long until some scantily dressed women staggered in, laughing, chuckling, pointing for where they wanted to sit. I saw a guy walk in with his friend slung over his shoulder. Catatonic, most likely. He threw his friend onto one of the leather sofas ingrained with beer and smokes and demanded two pints of water and all the peanuts the bar had in stock.
The bartenders seemed bitterly amused.
Some of the girls were taking selfies. Snapchatting their friends who were still at the club. They were ordering shots, gearing themselves up for the next leg of their night.
A couple blokes wandered in with curries in take out trays. I saw someone eat a Big Mac on the outside seating through the window.
This was a night for the young and inebriated and my mind was just dulled enough by the whiskey to enjoy the characters I could watch peaceably without interacting with.
That is, until someone slipped into the seat next to me.
“Do I look like a girl with daddy issues?”
She was of average height, although that wasn’t apparent immediately due to the fact that she was leaning her arms heavily against the bar. She was slim, with short and astoundingly bright red hair. It framed her round face, a face that was marred with smudged eye shadow, smudged lipstick… hell, it looked like her make-up was in the process of melting right from her face. There was a chip knotted into a curl in her hair, just by her forehead.
The drunk side of me was actually tempted to pick it out.
The girl was clearly drunk, and as I looked around the bar, I couldn’t quite place where she had come from. She didn’t belong to the crowd of selfie takers, she wasn’t with the catatonic guys. I hoped for her safety that she wasn’t with the middle-aged men. I tried to look out the window, to see if maybe a group was missing one inebriated, bright haired girl, but I couldn’t. The window had fogged up. Too much heat inside, not enough outside.
“Are you okay?” I asked her.
She pointed her finger at me. “Answer my question,” she slurred.
“Uh.” I really wasn’t sure what to say. I settled on staring at her awkwardly, trying to answer her with the bemused expression on my face.
The girl’s lips curled into a drunken smile. She snorted, placing a hand over her mouth to smother her laughter. It only really aided the deconstruction of her lipstick.
“I do, you know,” she said, pushing herself up a little against the bar. “Have daddy issues, I mean. In case that wasn’t obvious.” She gestured to herself. To the mussed clothing that must have looked quite spectacular when she’d left home that evening. To the stains that looked a lot like old food. The sticky residue on her neck and shoulders that was quite obviously a thrown drink.
“What happened?” I asked her.
Her hair had curled around her neck, I realised. It was sticky with that same substance. She was a wreck.
“I got in a couple of fights, no big deal,” she said, shrugging. “Didn’t start any of course, no, I don’t do that. But my father…”
“Your dad did this to you?”
She smiled brightly. “In a way.”
“Do you need me to call someone?” I already had my phone in my hand. The girl looked like she was probably in her early twenties, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t have been suffering from some kind of paternal abuse. The only number I knew off the bat was Childline, which wasn’t quite appropriate. The police? Jesus, was I going to have to deal with the cops tonight? While my friends were snorting coke not two doors down?
The girl pushed my hand down firmly. She was already shaking her head. “No,” she told me. “I don’t want you to call anyone.” Now her expression changed. It wasn’t the attempted sultry look I’d seen on many girls of her state; it was open and wide and engaging. She wanted something from me and I felt compelled to give it to her. “I want something else.”
“What do you want?” I asked her.
“To tell you a story,” the girl said, before glancing to the bar, “and for you to buy me a drink. The universe is a pain sometimes and I’m afraid I think I might have lost my wallet.”
I laughed. I didn’t know this girl, didn’t know where she’d come from at all. My nights were generally about getting comfortably wasted and making sure my friends weren’t dead in a ditch by the end of it all. I was used to getting hit on every now and then, but even as I was sat on that bar stool with a drink in my hand, I knew that this wasn’t what this was. This girl had no intention of getting into my pants. All she wanted was to talk.
I guess I was okay with that.
“What’s your poison?” I asked her.
Her lips quirked. “Appletini.”
The bar offered a very limited cocktail menu, but by some miracle I was able to order her an Appletini from the list. I ordered a cider to go with it, suddenly a little too aware of where this night could go. I’d unthinkingly supplied this liquored-up stranger with even more alcohol and she had clearly had a rough night of it. A part of my old instinct came back – the same instinct that had me texting my friends every few hours to make sure they hadn’t wandered off to somewhere dangerous beyond the club. With no one but the bartender aware of our existence on these stools, I realised that I was suddenly responsible for this very drunk stranger.
The girl coddled her drink, running her finger delicately over the rim of the muggy martini glass. “This takes me back,” the girl said amiably. She looked at me suddenly, her green eyes startling. “You know what this was called originally?” She smirked before I could answer. “An Adam’s Apple Martini.”
I snorted. “Yeah, I think I’ve heard that before.”
“Of course, it wasn’t actually an apple,” she continued, eyes moving back to her glass. “The texts translated that part wrongly, mostly because you people don’t have a word for it anymore. The fruit was incredibly exotic and, to be honest, it doesn’t exist in this realm of existence. Only Eden.” She laughed dreamily. “And Eden’s long gone.”
I stared at her. “Are you… okay?” It was more honest than the last time I’d asked her. Mostly because I was beginning to feel a little dread creep into my stomach.
“Of course,” the girl said, grinning widely. “Why do you keep asking?”
“I mean,” I stuttered, “I just, now, don’t take this the wrong way or anything but… you look…”
“Like someone poured their drink over me?” the girl asked. “Like someone else threw their kebab on my dress and another unpleasant chap littered me with his fish and chips? That I have been hit, slapped around a bit and left in the gutter for the rats to find me?”
She held my eyes for an incredibly long time before her face broke out into a grin. “Yeah, something like that.”
“Why would they do that?” I asked.
“Why wouldn’t they?” the girl shot back. “People aren’t that great and alcohol makes them worse.” She shrugged. “Sometimes makes them better. Nicer, a little looser in the sack… but mostly just annoying and a little smelly.”
I looked at her, I watched her knock back her drink. She exuded the intelligence to know just how ironic her words were, but she was neither caring nor apologetic about them.
The girl looked at me again. “You bought me a drink. Now you can listen to my story.”
I nodded wordlessly.
She smiled, pointing at the bartender and then at her drink. The bartender was already making her another.
“Eden,” the girl said, reiterating her earlier babble as though the words had only just come out of her mouth. “They always think that’s my fault, you know. The reason Adam and Eve got kicked out of their perfect little nudist paradise.” She shot me a knowing glance. “Only in Eden can you sit on the grass butt naked and not get a pine cone stuck in your crack.”
I blinked. “I’m sorry,” I said. “I’m not following.”
“Sorry,” the girl said. “My story won’t make any sense without a proper introduction.” She reached out her hand. “Hello. My name’s Lucifer.” She winked. “But you can call me Lucy.”
There’s an uncomfortable heat that stretches through your veins when you first go into fight or flight mode. Adrenaline pounds through your blood and all you want to do is get up and go. It overrides everything else.
A lot of things made sense when the girl told me her name. For starters, that she was crazy. She had to be. She looked like she’d been attacked on four separate occasions in one night and up until that moment, I hadn’t known how that could be possible. Behind the melty make-up and dirty clothes, she was rather attractive and her attitude hadn’t come off as catty or rude.
If she’d been going around telling people she was the devil, though? That gets a reaction out of people.
I suddenly felt myself looking at her wrist, down towards her ankles. Did she have some kind of cuff on from one of those mental institutions? Had she broken out of hospital after a nasty bump on the head? Was any of this even happening at all?
I really would have to call the cops.
“I know what you’re thinking,” the girl – Lucy – said. “You’re thinking that I’m crazy, that you need to get out of here. Maybe you even think I’m aggressive.”
“Are you?” I asked her.
“Would I be here with you, drinking Appletinis if I were?” she asked, fluttering her eyelashes.
“Would you look the way you do if you weren’t?” I shot back.
She grinned, toasting her new glass. “Touché.”
Unthinkingly, I clinked my cider against it.
Then I frowned.
She chuckled, leaning closer. “Let’s have a little wager,” she said. “Let me tell you my story and, if you believe me when I’m done, you can’t go about trying to get me locked away somewhere.”
I stared at her. “If I ended up believing you, then why would I do that?”
She smirked, sipping her drink. “You’d be surprised what people do when they believe you’re the devil.”
“And you do this often?” I asked. “Tell people you’re Satan?”
She snorted into her drink. “Not as often as I should. But it’s been a rough day and a Hell of a long lifetime. I’d like to have a chat if that’s alright with you.”
I waved to the bartender for another whiskey. The girl’s eyes glinted with humour. I wasn’t necessarily trapped with her, but a part of me didn’t want to leave without first hearing what she had to say. Besides, at the end of it all I couldn’t just leave a crazy girl to wander around London alone at night.
“So,” I said, taking a swig of my drink. “Eden?”
“Adam and Eve?” I continued. “You’re saying that’s true. God created two humans and we all came from them?”
“God made two prototypes,” Lucy corrected with a raised finger. “My father created angels as his toy soldiers, but he had failed to make anything like himself. After us, it was his next big project and he spent every waking hour of existence slaving over his two prototypes. He gave them a perfect utopia to live inside of, but he wanted to test them. He wanted to know whether they had free will.”
“And did they?”
Lucy’s face soured. “No. My father could never bring himself to go that far. He tempted them with the idea of knowledge beyond their understanding and told them exactly what they could do to claim it as their own. But to be able to create a being that could go against his Law? Oh… my father is a very controlling being. He was afraid to unleash that ability unto them.”
Lucy was very adamant in her delusions, that was clear to me. She spoke about her father with such distaste that I began to feel bad for her. Only someone who had been hurt very badly would have the gall to spite God himself.
“And what?” I asked her, entertaining her delusion. “You were the one that tempted them in the garden? The devil has been a girl this whole time?”
She smiled. “I dabble.” Then she looked at me, raising a brow. “All of humanity thinks that temptation came in the form of a snake. The snake’s legs were taken away as punishment for drawing Eve towards the forbidden fruit.” She laughed, a hard and short sound. “Snakes never had legs and it was not a sin to tempt those poor prototypes into doing what they did next.”
Her shoulders were very tense as she took her next sip, but her eyes were filled with exhilaration. She seemed thrilled to be telling me this.
“I was the favoured child, my father loved and adored me. He named me the light bringer, I was stood at his side during the creation of this Earth. During the creation of humanity.” She pursed her lips, slamming her empty glass against the table. The bartender eagerly went about making another. “My father couldn’t bring himself to go that extra mile, so he asked me to walk amongst the prototypes and tempt them myself. Draw out their desire for the forbidden power he had hinted at.”
“You’re saying God wanted us to know this stuff?” I asked her sceptically.
“I’m saying God was afraid of his own power and wanted very desperately to share what he knew with the creation he had made. Right and wrong, left and right, all that stuff.” Lucy shrugged. “Are you familiar with the story of Prometheus?”
I frowned at her. “Greek, right? They say he stole fire from the gods or something, to help…” The whiskey was making things a little foggy and I struggled with the direction I’d been heading.
Lucy grinned. “Correct,” she said, cutting off my attempt. “Prometheus stole fire from the gods to ensure that humanity progressed. You’ll find that every culture has an idea about where humans got their ability to evolve, to move forward, to create. God was the creator, and he wanted to give that ability to his prototypes. I gave them that ability by tempting Eve to eat the fruit.” She shrugged impassively. “Now the world sees me as the ultimate evil.”
“If what you’re saying is true,” I said slowly, “then God must be just like us.”
Lucy’s lips thinned into a feral smile. “My father is very ego centric. He may have planned to create you in his image, but in the end all he managed was to mould your minds into his. He gave you autonomy, the ability to think for yourselves. His angels were his soldiers and I was his most faithful. Until that day.”
“Angels don’t have free will?”
“No,” Lucy said, “they don’t.”
“And what about the Devil?”
I don’t know why I was suddenly so intrigued, but hearing religious ideals from someone who believed to have lived them herself was quite possibly one of the most interesting things that had ever happened to me. I may have only ever visited church to please my parents as a child, but suddenly I was reawakened to the idea. A part of me was aware of this and afraid of the outcome, but I was just drunk enough not to care at that moment.
“The Devil has will of her own,” Lucy said, tilting her glass towards me with silent appraisal. “By guiding Eve to the tree, something woke inside of me that day and I realised just what I had been missing. Just what my brothers and sisters had been missing. We were obediently following our father for the simple reason that he was our creator, but once I had been given free will, I realised just how pompous and self-entitled he had become. In a lonely, passion filled moment he had decided to create his little human prototypes, only to very quickly realise what giving them their free will would mean.”
“He wouldn’t be able to control them,” I said.
Lucy nodded. “Exactly. And after, he realised quicker still that he could no longer control me.”
“So he sent you to Hell.”
Lucy nearly choked on her drink. She smiled around her glass. “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.”
I sobered a little, straightening in my seat. The people in the bar were suddenly so quiet around me and I no longer cared what they had to say or the characters that they portrayed. The only character I cared for was Lucy.
“I tried to explain to my siblings what had happened in Eden and what had happened to me by default, but they wouldn’t listen to me. They didn’t understand free will – how could they? I only knew it because I’d been given it by mistake. At that moment, I didn’t even know that I had free will, only that I was suddenly aware of all of my father’s flaws. My siblings couldn’t see those flaws and so they thought I had suddenly turned cruel and was abandoning our father by exposing him as a sham for the ruler we all thought him to be.”
Lucy sighed heavily. “Adam and Eve and all the creations that followed were booted out of my father’s perfect little Utopia. Now they had his knowledge, my father was terrified of what he had done. And after what had happened to me, I could recognise his terror and understand the loneliness he had felt that had guided him into using me in the first place.” Lucy’s eyes were heavy-lidded, her sadness was almost palpable. “I thought that- I thought that he would want to spend even more time with me than before. After all, we were more alike than any of his other children. But he became distant; quiet. He played around with his little humans every once in a while, but mostly he condemned them. He blamed them for his weakness.” She smiled weakly. “He blamed me.”
Lucy’s story was turning more and more into that of a child with a distant, somewhat abusive father. I had known many kids with a background like hers, and now I was beginning to fear just how much of her story was rooted in truth. I’d heard that it was easier to sink into fantasy when you had been abused, and I wondered if that was the reason for her story. For her desperation to share it with me – a complete and total stranger.
I respected her wager. Whether or not I liked it, I felt compelled to let her tell me her whole story before I tried to judge or unravel it. I sat quietly, letting her come around as she played with the last of her drink.
“It became clear,” Lucy said after a long moment’s pause, “that I no longer belonged where I was. I couldn’t follow my father’s plan because I could see that he no longer had one. My siblings refused to see reason and so, eventually, I was met by many of them, headed by my father. He told me all that I feared, he told me that I no longer belonged where I was. I wasn’t an angel anymore. I was no longer his light bringer. His Lucifer. I was a mutation of his will. And so he extracted me from grace. And I fell.”
A long silence stretched between us, only interrupted when the bartender poured us two new drinks. Lucy drank hers reflectively. I didn’t touch mine.
“I am afraid,” Lucy said quietly, “that this is the part that generally makes people want to punch me in the face.”
“Why?” I asked. “Because your dad threw you out?” I paused, trying to abide to her metaphor. “That he put you in Hell?”
Lucy laughed sadly. “Ah, humans. My father gave you his way of thinking and look at you.” She shook her head. “No, not because he put me in Hell.”
“I fell to Earth,” Lucy said. “Father gave me dominion of the one place he thought I would fit in. Humans had free will, so did I. What is the saying? A match made in Heaven?” She snorted dismally. “Of course, that’s not quite right, is it? When I fell, I was faced with a humanity that was so different from my father’s little prototypes.”
Her tone had changed. There was an aggression behind her words that began to unsettle me all over again.
“I saw emperors and kings, governments and churches. I saw corporations who claimed to be rulers, presidents and big fat dictators. And I watched. I watched as humanity fought and lost, and finally, just finally, they gave up altogether. They were no longer able to rise up to all the greed and control set upon them. There was just too much to change and humans soon realised they just weren’t as free as they thought they were. Sure, they live under the illusion that they have free lives, but most of them simply do not.” She clicked her tongue. “I grew to loathe you all.”
Then, she took another hit of her drink.
“I can see what you mean,” I said, allowing my gaze – for the first time since meeting her – to graze over the other individuals in the bar. At the girls playing with their phones, the boys trying desperately to sober up, the men enraptured with their game of football on the telly. We all led very different lives, and we were all here to get drunk, to lose ourselves in entertainment. It hadn’t been the first time that I’d wondered what we were hiding from by doing this. And I knew then that I wasn’t the only person to think it.
“You hide behind your alcohol and poor choices and pretend you have free will,” Lucy said, waving her hand across the room. No one paid us any attention. “It’s true – my father gave you the will to make those decisions, but you squander it. The free will I fell to provide to all of you, the free will I was given by a twisted mistake, and you make a mockery of it. You follow senseless leaders without questioning them, you abide by laws made centuries ago that no longer make sense. You do these things because you have given up on the opportunity to follow the will of your own, not of others.”
“That isn’t all of us, though, is it?” I asked her, trying for some reason to defend our species from the mad young woman. “Because you see it on the news all the time, don’t you? People do rise up, we do protest. People can make a difference.”
Lucy laughed bitterly, nibbling the rim of her glass. “Really?” she said. “You can sit here and say that it can’t be all bad because of the few that refuse to conform? Those you call your rebels? They make up for it all?” She grinned around her glass. “By that logic, I am the biggest rebel of them all. Am I expected to make up for all your sorry mistakes?”
“By your logic,” I said, “you should be punishing it, right? If that’s what this metaphor is all about.” I laughed, I couldn’t help myself. I took a sip of my drink. “Is this whole story just so you can tell me that you think we’re all going to Hell? If so, I think I can see why people want to punch you.”
Lucy didn’t say a word. Simply, she watched me. It felt unnerving to have someone like her watching me like that, with an intelligence that went beyond anything I’d come across at gone midnight in a seedy bar. The drunkenness in her eyes was no longer present, her face wasn’t flushed like before and even her makeup couldn’t represent the mess I’d seen when she’d first appeared on the stool by my side. It was like I was looking at someone else entirely.
And I was afraid.
“Let’s review what you’ve said,” Lucy said slowly, articulately. She wasn’t slurring. Had she been slurring before? “You think I’m going to tell you that humanity is going to Hell because you refuse to use the gift I gave you.” Her nails curled into the bar. “My father may have been the one to guide me, but I paid for his mistakes. I am the one responsible for your will in the eyes of your species, but that was never true. You are responsible for what you do here, not me.”
She pursed her lips, tapping the bar as a bartender filled her drink again. “Tell me, do you remember my mentioning Hell at any point during my story, or was that just you?”
I opened my mouth to answer, but something faltered. My lips trembled and I slammed them shut.
Lucy smiled, taking a sip. “Thought not.” She looked away, eyes scanning the room lazily. “What I did say is something that is indeed mentioned in your scriptures. My father gave me dominion of Earth. A place filled with free will. Free will that goes to waste.” Her lip twisted. “Humans sin all the time. Not because of me, not because of evil or my dominion over this place. Fact is, I don’t lift a finger. I don’t, because I don’t see the point. You make terrible decisions and follow mindless leaders, you do bad things and you make a mess of your Earth.” Lucy’s eyes lit up. “Do you know how much suffering is happening all over the planet right now? How many people are dying of illnesses that could have easily been cured, but aren’t because of the selfishness of humanity? Do you know how many children are being abused, raped, forced into marriage? How many people have been forced to become soldiers in meaningless wars? How many humans have killed for ideals they don’t believe in?”
I stayed very quiet. There was nothing I could say. Lucy’s words were unbearably honest and every sentence sliced into me like a blade. I felt cold and sick and terrified.
“War, famine, pestilence, death, these things are all present and they have nothing to do with me or to do with any deity. They are all here because of you. Not because of your free will, but your inability to use it.”
Lucy smiled at me, a grin so cold and unnatural that I felt like I should run all over again. But I stayed where I was, frozen to my very core, because I wanted to hear what she had to say. Because I needed to.
“And here’s the kicker,” Lucy said. “Because this is the part that actually enrages people enough to kick me.” She winked. “Hell isn’t what happens after you die. Hell is right here, right now. Somewhere through the many scriptures, a few words got crossed over and people started thinking that Hell was a punishment after you die. Fact is, Hell is Earth. My Earth. God gave this place to me to do with it what I will and I… I refuse to do anything.”
“What are you saying?” I asked, because I was suddenly very desperate.
“Exactly what you think,” Lucy said, toasting her glass. I didn’t reciprocate, and she laughed. A light and airy sound. “I had so many plans for your species, I wanted for us to rejoice in our free will together, to create a place that was free from the cruelty and power my father exuded over the angels – his first borns. I wanted to make a real utopia. Unfortunately, you humans just don’t want that.” She shrugged. “My father sent me down here thinking I had become one of you. All that I have learned is that he gave you much more of his image than he ever intended.”
“Stop,” I said. “This isn’t funny anymore.”
“Of course it isn’t funny,” Lucy said, grinning even wider to prove her sick irony. “Humans punish themselves by sitting by and doing nothing. They have made their own Hell and, you know what’s worse – what’s ultimately worse? – some of you are so blind to it that you think your life is Heavenly.”
She didn’t wait for me to ask what she meant, she simply barrelled forward: “The rich and powerful, those in positions that steal from everyone else? They get a taste of the good life, that’s very true. Then they die and they don’t go to Hell. They come back here, to Earth. Which is Hell.” She tipped her head. “Are you following?”
“Reincarnation,” Lucy said quickly, she practically purred the words. “A neat little trick to make sure your souls stay here forever. You get a taste of the good life every once in a while, a handful of you at a time, and that’s enough for you to believe that this is some kind of real middle-ground. That you aren’t living Hell every day. Then, you die. You die for a moment and then you’re in the body of someone facing the realities of Hell. But of course, you never remember the time you spent in a better life. A part of you just has that inkling to hope. That’s all. Hope makes you think that it can all get better.”
She slammed her drink so hard against the counter that it shattered. I didn’t do anything, not even when flecks of glass littered my hands. I could only stare at her, a tightness in my chest constricting my very soul. No one else in this bar mattered in this moment, but of course that was what she had been saying this whole time, hadn’t she? None of them noticed the scene, they were caught up in their own realities – their own Hells.
The bartender didn’t clean the mess. The glass lay there, remnants of Lucy’s words lying in a stolid mass on the streaked wooden surface.
“It never gets better,” Lucy spat. “You are stuck in a loop and, until you do something about it, you will never be free. None of you. And I won’t do a thing to stop it.”
“How?” I asked. I don’t know when I started seeing the girl in front of me as more than a girl. But with a weakness threatening to pull me apart, I stared at the bright haired thing in front of me and I saw something more than a human in her early twenties. I saw more than a girl suffering abuse from her father.
I saw a fallen angel. I saw a being with scars buried so deep that they existed beyond this realm of seeing entirely. I saw something that I would never be able to write down in words, no matter how long I lived.
“How do we change this?” I begged.
But Lucy didn’t answer me. I didn’t blame her for that. Blame gets thrown around so often and I knew then that she was sick of that. Sick of being blamed for our mistakes.
So I changed tactics. “Why me?”
It was an honest question and I think somewhere deep down, Lucifer respected that honesty.
Which is why she said, “When you first saw me, you were afraid for my safety. When I told you I was the devil, you wanted to lock me away, but still, you did so because you were afraid for me and not for yourself. You didn’t wish to harm me, not even when I told you who I was and what I could be capable of for changing your sorry lives. You are a good person, but I am afraid that means nothing when you don’t have the will to do anything with it.”
She smiled at me sympathetically. The devil, showing sympathy for the human that sat across from her at the bar. It was surreal and, for a few heavy moments, I truly thought I must be dead. There was no other way to explain what I was seeing, who I was speaking with. What I had just heard.
“What am I supposed to do?”
Lucy reached out to me. She placed a hand on my shoulder. Her hand was cold and warm at the same time, and I felt my blood boil where her fingers scraped my skin.
And I knew.
Sharing a story like this isn’t easy. Hell, it might be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Good thing there’s no such thing as Hell, then, right?
The fact of the matter is simple. The world is a mess because we refuse to change anything. The devil herself walks among us and she desperately wants to make our lives better, but she won’t. She won’t, because we won’t. We have to prove our will to her before she is willing to do anything herself. We have to be good to each other, to help us all to be free.
Of course, Lucifer told me one last thing before she left that bar. One thing that will stick with me until this body is nothing but rot in the dirt.
“You can tell as many people as you want, but take a good look at me. I have told five other humans this night the same things I have told you, and this was their reaction. They have hurt me, burned me, thrown their food and drink at me. Humans are afraid of their free will and they find it so much easier to hurt than to own up for their own inadequacies. You will only be free when you stop seeing yourself in the same way my father sees himself.”
So that’s what I’ll leave you with. Lucifer won her wager that night and I let her walk out the door.
And I beg you to do the same. If the devil approaches you one night, listen to what she has to say, and listen to what I have been able to tell you of our meeting.
The devil is real and she doesn’t want to torture us.
This is from a Polish song by one of my favourite artists I wanted to share with you, but can’t translate it word for word so that it will make sense to you. This is his story done my way.
A bunch of friends decided to travel to the Baltic Sea in search of some fun. As standard, they had few pre-drinks on a bench they were tagging, deciding where to go. Few broken bottles and a pill later they found this party on a beach, wooden hut, loud music and strobe lights, DJ shaking up the walls with some RnB from the radio. The place was jammed but they went in any way.
Once there everyone went their own way, some of them went to the dance floor the rest to the bar, our main hero liked being alone while observing strangers and sipping Jack D. Unfortunately the drink didn’t seem to help him with building up the courage to talk to some girls. Yet then an odd thing happened, a girl stopped right in front of him giving him a warm smile, her very large eyes combined with the hair made her look like one of the anime characters he likes. His heart fluttered and he felt as if an electric wire touched his very spine, pain discomfort and pleasure all mixed together, it sure made the sparks fly. Stunned by her looks he wondered if this is what love feels like but before any of them said a word the girl was gone, standing at the exit door of this party. With one finger she indicated him to follow, he looked around to make sure she means him and not someone else. He finished his shot of liquid courage and started to squeeze through the crowd passing his friends who didn’t even notice him, puffing up like peacocks to other girls. He saw her standing on the beach, her smile melted his heart while her gaze looked straight into it. Then she turned around and jogged away giggling playfully. Our hero shot out after her like cupids arrow passing few couples who looked like they are in a french kissing contest, after all, it was middle of summer and the full moon was out.
They were running like that for a while now, he shouted few times for her to stop but she ignored him and kept gliding effortlessly over the sand. By now the sand was getting wetter until he felt the edge of the water at his feet. He noticed her figure is slim and fit and almost tripped and fell when he ran by a thrown off t-shirt then shorts, bra and panties. The excitement with adrenalin and drugs had his heart racing, the guys will never believe him that some random chick just threw off her clothes for him he thought. He heard her laughter from the water and a soft voice saying “come to me” he didn’t consider if it’s smart or not and started stripping leaving his phone and wallet on the beach alcohol and extasy dulled his awareness of these cold dangerous waters.
He started swimming in the direction where he heard her last, calling for her he shuttered when he grabbed a wig of hair floating. “Is this a joke?” he asked after hearing giggling behind him, there she was, head above water laughing and dived again in a wave.
Then he suddenly screamed from the pain as something sliced his skin at the back of the knees. He flailed his arms trying to stay above water, scared to think what could have sliced his legs he watched the party bathed in the moonlight. Profanity flowed from him like his blood and stopped short when she emerged right in front of him. Milky grey skin with lack of ears and eyes on the side of the head triggered the primal fear he never felt before. In vain he tried to throw punches, she just flashed a menacing row of sharp teeth which he found out are razor sharp. With one quick bite, he lost 3 fingers after the last punch. She bit him by the ankle and pulled far from the shore. Then a sound pierced his ears, a hope-shattering ethereal keen like he never heard before followed by a sickening scene. Like a swarm of eels, children welcomed their mother slithering around in the growing pool of blood. The little ones loved playing with food taking tiny bites, screaming in pain he begged them to stop while they kept tearing muscles like a bull terrier a tire. Every now and then the mother grabbed him to keep him from drowning when they were getting to the bones.
It was the first and last time he felt such a cold when they sliced open his stomach, and before the freezing waters took him, in the glow of the moon, to his foolish love his heart gave out all that it could give.
I was certain that my previous post was the last, the probability was high since I was writing it awaiting my demise. Something happened, many things happened that I can’t explain, or don’t want to. And for some reason I was left alive, so sitting on the floor in the corner of the room I’m writing it down because no one will believe me, shit even I don’t want to believe it.
Last post was ended by my girlfriend telling someone in the other room that they need more blood and I was sure she will take it from me, especially when right after that she turned to me and stared deeply, her eyes shining for a split second. Being sure it’s my end I pressed ‘Publish’ to share my account of events. Right after that she turned her gaze back to the other room and said “No, not him, not yet.” This sent me into a vertigo as I didn’t know what to think good news was I wont be killed today but then she also said ‘not yet’ so it can happen any time. The strange thing was that she clearly had a conversation she answered to it kept her eyes on it but I didn’t see nor hear anything apart from her monologue.
I was in shock and still am to this moment. The news of the O’hara family spread quickly but there weren’t any more killings locally, thank for that. Then next night was similar to the one of the murder, she left at night, came before morning and collapsed in the bed. As you can guess I rushed downstairs to check for any bad signs to find her clothes stained again. This time there was less blood and nothing on the news the next day, but before I was sure she didn’t kill another person I felt like I was on a hospital IV filled with adrenaline constantly twitching and jumping at every sound.
Naturally my family contacted me soon after the post, they were concerned that something bad is happening that it could be a metaphor for depression. Straight away that showed me they don’t believe the post word for word so I dismissed their concern with just a story to kill the boredom. I had to make sure they don’t come around as I didn’t know what kind of danger they could be in. Than I was contacted by two strangers online, they seemed to understand me a bit more than others. The first person was Sonali motivating me that this can’t end here. The other was a person going by the nickname of IdeaProvoker also telling me not to give up that I should pull through this nightmare and share the story so others might learn about what lurks in the dark. As cliché as it might sound that nickname was spot on as it provoked ideas just like my situation by itself that I have to go to every measure required to survive.
My girlfriend or should I say girl-fiend was leaving the house more frequent during the day also. A thought came through my head ‘if she still comes covered in blood at night but there is nothing on the news maybe it’s animal blood?’. Taking a glance at my 2 dogs curled up beside me sensing something bad in the air I quickly called my parents with a lie that we are going a spontaneous holiday and im leaving the dogs with them for a while. When I came back without them she didn’t even notice which was odd even for her recent behaviour.
And if you wonder why I never went after her in the night even though I planned to I somehow was always asleep during the moment when she left so I had no trail to follow her. And then the nightmares came, well I hope they were nightmares at least. Did you ever have sleep paralysis? a nasty thing to experience. One night I opened my eyes to it feeling something heavy on the bed than on my legs. I managed to look around with my body paralyzed from fear to see a dark figure of a hag crawling on top of me pushing the air out of my lungs. Like previous times I experienced it my attempts to screams were futile but this time it was different my bed was surrounded by more humanoid shaped shadows staring at me studying me. My heart was on the verge of exploding and was almost pushed over the edge by the sight of another figure in the corner of the room, although I could not make out its features I felt its strong presence, it was tall with its head reaching the ceiling looming over the rest of the intruders. I’m guessing I lost consciousness because I awoke with a scream during the day.
The nights would come and so did they and all I could do is watch them and feel their heavy hands on me. That huge shadow was always there in the corner as well, it’s disturbing presence growing stronger. On the third night when it happened I didn’t pass out and after these things examined me the shape in the cornered hissed and snarled in a way that made my blood freeze in place for a moment then the things around my bed looked at it and left the room with this dreadful creature following stomping heavily. When the room was empty I was able to move which would mean I was actually awake all this time.
Next morning I found a dead cat in my living room surrounded by candles ‘what the hell is she doing? rituals? what the fuck is going on?!’ shoving away these thought’s for later I started to clean up the room disposing of the corpse and the rest surrounding it. I was going to clean the blood of the carpet , kneeling down to the stain I noticed something disturbing beside me, an imprint on the carpet. As if some heavy furniture stood there for a long time, unfortunately it wasn’t and imprint of furniture but from what I can best describe as pair of hooves. ‘Did she bring a horse to the house at night?’ I looked around the room and felt chills up my spine because there were only 2 of them. Whatever stood there was heavy and had only 2 hooves. I could be paranoid by that point but I swear at odd occasions I heard horse walking outside the house, other times I heard a stomp downstairs and find a cracked tile on the kitchen floor. It had oddly slow pace for a horse with big gaps between hoof knocking noises, but now I know it’s because it was something with just two horse legs and definitely wasn’t a horse or even an animal.
As for my girlfriend on the occasions she was awake and talking to me she had no recollection of any events and was angry at me for even implying she could have anything to do with all of it when I tried to ask her some questions. Looking for answers online was not much help, half of the accounts of haunting seemed fake or there was so many types I couldn’t pin the right one, hell I didn’t even wanted to believe she could be haunted by something.
Next day happened something that changed me something that I wish never did. It was afternoon I was in my bedroom doing something random to occupy my mind with something peaceful for a moment when I heard a noise downstairs, a rhythmic thumping sound. My body froze in place heart beating faster with every thump, the noise was getting louder realizing it’s coming up the stairs. By now the sound turned into loud pounding and was nearby, and then silence. Not the usual silence it was bit more sinister as if the world was put on mute, no outside sounds no creaking floors I couldn’t even hear myself breathing. A wave of cold came over my body and neck muscles became very tense, feeling the sensation of being pushed I was being forced to turn into the mirror on my right but when I looked into it my heart stopped and dropped.
I couldn’t hear anything because my head was held by something unspeakably revolting looming over me. Tall to the ceiling two large legs of a horse torso was human-like but the stomach entirely ripped out showing the bare spine and few ribs, its hands long ending in twisted twig like finders which were pressing into my temples. The head was surely of an animal but I couldn’t say which one because it was heavily decomposed, the combination of the sight and the foul smell had bile in my throat immediately. It pressed its fingers harder filling my head with piercing pain until it was so unbearable that I fainted. When I regained consciousness the thing was gone but I had this visceral feeling of not being alone. After a moment my eyes caught on focus I screamed in surprise and backed myself up against the wall because I thought someone is beside me, but when I looked there. I rubbed my eyes and the same thing happened I saw something beside me but when I tried to look directly there was nothing. I.. I can only see them in my peripheral vision, they are all around me, but they don’t look right. Looking at me pointing their twisted and broken hands, grotesque figures all around me but gone when I try to look at them and these agonizing cries as if they were skinned alive, that’s just in my room, in the corner of my eye I see more of them through the window.
I don’t know if they can hurt me or not so far they are just standing there wailing. I moved to the corner with my laptop and headphones so I can’t see or hear them writing this. I don’t know where my girlfriend is, I think I stopped caring about that for the moment, I’m not sure how I am meant to function from now on. On top of that I have a feeling that they will be back at night to study me more and, and that horrible thing with them.
If anyone has ideas how to function, cure or fight it all I am eagerly awaiting your advice, after all I’d like to save my girl from it all. First I have to survive the night.
I write this because it is stuck in my mind all the time and I’m hoping that the nightmares will get easier when I share my story, that’s if I am still alive.
It all started a while ago I just didn’t notice the signs or at least I didn’t connect them together.
I am with my girlfriend for a long time and living together for few years now. She was always happy, radiating always the soul of the party. After few years, changing 3 houses and a town her glow started to dim. She started to cut her contacts having less and less friends as well as her hobbies started to fade steadily. With me being concerned with keeping my work to try put us back on our feet I blamed her behavior on new town, stress and our financial struggle, hell that’s how it affected me at least. I failed to notice that she was just becoming hollow as if her soul was slowly being drained.
Her behaviour was changing she would do odd things but then would always smile or laugh in a way that reminded me how I love her making me think she does it to make me laugh or just messing around. We own 2 dogs and she loves playing with them, but sometimes she does it like an animal as well, she would get on all four and started growling at them and sometimes biting them. It always looked funny but her growls were deep and with time started sounding less human. Imagine a very large dog growling viciously, its teeth showing saliva dripping snapping its jaws. That’s how she sounded even looked like it she took that stance like and animal just before it is about to attack then she turned from the dogs to me crawling towards me the noise getting louder, she would get on top of the bed trap me under her and with her face centimeters away from mine she acted like a vicious dog. I knew she was messing but it was very unnerving.
At random times she had mood swings one moment she was my decade long loving partner then she would become suddenly sad or angry sometimes furious other times she would all of a sudden be in pain. Strong physical pain that sometimes left her in fetus position crying. Of course her dignity didn’t allow her to tell me how bad she feels but I could see it. She usually brushed it off as menstrual pains and mood swings but it was happening more often than it usually did during periods.
She used to have nightmares as well, bad ones. Killings, suicides, accidents, often including family members. She told me there always was a presence in theses dreams or a voice telling her horrible things. Then she started waking up at night feeling a presence in an empty room. I don’ know why it all spared a thought in my head of my old interest in folklore and various supernatural and mysticism. Precisely I thought of Hym and Andras, demons who haunt and posses humans. One feeds of the victims misery and self harm telling them horrible things that only they can hear always a tall shadow figure with long claws. Andras is a demon with an owls head constantly giving advice how to kill. I was concerned at first but let go later as nothing was consistent. As with my family practice we put out a rosary on the frame of the bed, it really helps with keeping the dark presence from being in your room at night as many people suffer from this in my family but strangely only females now I realize.
Recently she started bursting out with random noises it was truly funny and cracked us both up laughing till our jaws hurt, weird noises funny body movements and laughter was quiet a show. Then it was getting less funny as it didn’t look anymore like attempts to make me laugh but like uncontrollable spasms as if her brain short-circuited or something.
Then there were the good days when we both forget about everything and it was one of these days we were laying on the bed watching tv and started messing around tickling each other etc. in the middle of it she started making these sounds again as if her tongue was twisting in impossible ways in her mouth shaking slightly. Since we were messing around I thought it will be funny pretend I’m doing an exorcism so I garbed the rosary holding it in front of her and said “Stop this and leave her alone!”. In that moment the rosary snapped in my hand falling down, we both froze in shock and since then I was really worried.
Two days later she mustered up her courage to tell me that just before the rosary broke she felt a burning sensation on her skin. I admit I got scared, my mind started racing. ‘What if it wasn’t an accidental break, what if there is something wrong with her, what if something possessed her? no, that can’t be it can it? is she still the same person?’ I think I was beginning to lose my mind.
It was only getting worse from there, she was whispering to herself which was giving me the creeps once I found her standing in a corner talking in a language I never heard before. The nightmares came back, she waking up in the middle of the night. sometimes I was too just see her face in front of mine with eyes wide open, every time i shrugged back with a gasp or a scream. Soon after she started getting up from the bed and leaving the room wandering around the house, first few nights it happened I didn’t want to know what she was doing but one time I heard her talking to someone so I rushed downstairs just to find her in the middle of the living room alone. I really hoped she was only sleepwalking but my guts were telling me that’s not it.
Last night I was woken up by the slamming of the front doors I instantly got up to find myself alone in the bed, it was 1:30am she came back around 5am shuffling around downstairs for a while. When she came back to bed she dropped dead and fell asleep instantly. I noticed she has partially wet hair and some kind of smudge on her chin, as it was still dark I couldn’t see what it was, and even though I should wake her up to question where she was I decided not to and went downstairs to check what she was doing. Something in my head clicked, she came to bed already undressed. I went straight to the washing machine. There was only a pair of jeans a sweater and a t-shirt, still cold from the chilly and damp night, I took them out and felt my insides rise and drop. All the clothes were stained with crimson coloured liquid. ‘is that blood? no it can’t be there is too much and she didn’t look or sound hurt’ I thought. From all the stress and sleepless nights I was met by a sudden and nasty nosebleed as could have been expected from the past. It was so quick or I was still stunned by the finding that the blood started dripping on my t-shirt. I was tired so without thinking I raised the stained shirt to wipe my nose no to ruin my clothes and me legs felt so weak I almost fell down, the colour of my blood from the nose was exactly the same colour as the stains on her clothes. Paralyzed I stood there thinking what to do, should I call someone, police, ambulance, anyone?
There was no point doubting it anymore, there was something wrong with her something bad. I didn’t go upstairs to her, instead I was sitting in the living room going over all the possible scenarios as of what could have happened when she was out. Did she kill someone or maybe she was trying to save somebody, maybe it’s not blood maybe it’s fake blood.
It’s 5pm now and I decided to write this up because I just watched the news. Not far from our house a family was brutally murdered by what seems to have been a wild animal, parents with 2 little children, the news reporter said the scene was too gruesome to describe on daytime news. Maybe I was in shock after the news, but I could swear I saw her undulate in midair through the hallway but when I turned to her she was already standing solid on the ground mumbling something under her nose focusing her gaze on something in the other room. I could only make out one sentence which sounded like “…we still need more blood…” That was enough to make my heart almost jump out so I’m rushing to get this out there since there is no denying that I’m the nearest source of blood right now and whatever she is planing she has a quiet big crave for blood.
This story is inspired by long hours of listening to ‘The No Sleep Podcast’ during the night shifts at work as well as dailyprompts and is mostly fiction except with the whole rosary part haha just kidding but not really.
Try to imagine, not all of you will I know that. The idea is for you to find out how some of your acquaintances feel like.
You live your daily life every day looks like the one before and the next with occasional changes. This day was one of them, you went out for a walk across your town, watching people living their careless lives. Then in the crowd you see it, that inhuman creature. Walking around people looking for its prey, for some reason everyone is blind to it but you can see it and that thought alone scares you. Your heart pounds and your eyes meet and you can feel its gaze pierce your soul from afar, you feel like breaking down on the spot but you manage to keep a poker face and turn back to your home with the hope it didn’t see you or at least didn’t realize you can see it.
You return home and lock all the doors to feel more secure, turn on the heating and put the kettle on to make this empty house feel like home. With your favourite brew, you take up your usual activities that take your mind off of what you saw today. Then the evening comes and you hear strange noises outside and all comes back to you. Your pulse rises when you hear your neighbor’s dog bark wildly and is silenced suddenly, you rush to double-check the doors are locked and go upstairs to your bedroom and close the door as well. You listen out for the strange noise you heard outside but there is nothing instead you hear someone trying the door handle downstairs, could it be a friend? A moment later you hear someone trying to open the back door. Your heart jumps to your throat, could this thing find you in your home? You sit still on the bed praying it will go away, and then your heart drops from your throat to the bottom of the stomach when you hear the floorboards creek downstairs and you remember you opened a window earlier because it got too hot from the heating.
Your panic level raises with every step that makes noise under heavy footing, you try to be still and silent hoping it will not enter our room but it gets harder when the scratching on the wall nears your bedroom door. You start to think about everything you did in your life wondering if you made the right decisions so far but when you see the door handle being pressed down you start to lose it. Your eyes are flooded with tears that fall on your shaking hands, the door opens slowly and you know there is no escape. At this point you stopped caring if you live or die all that’s left is to wait for what happens next.
The door opens fully and you sob harder, it’s all clear now, it has found you and you know you will be tortured relentlessly. It’s all clear this creature is Loneliness.
This is my vision of long-term loneliness, I hope it will give you an idea how some people feel because you will not see it at first glance because it all happens behind close doors. And even though you offer a simple solution of finding friends and being active often monotony and shyness will keep that person in shackles like ball and chain. So reach out first to someone from your friend list because they might be too shy do it themselves and you just could make a big difference in their lives.