Note: I wrote this in High School so its not very well written. Before posting it I had to reread it and correct a bunch of awful stuff that didn't make any sense. I like to think of this short story as Dante's Inferno meets Alice in Wonderland. If your able to make it through to the end please leave your name and address in the comments section so I can send you a fruit basket with a note of apology.
There she stood at the edge of the gym roof. The wind blew Penny April’s pure black hair around as if it was just a nuisance. Her baggy black t-shirt and dark green cargo pants were soaked with anxious sweat. Hundreds of her unknowing peers were walking to class below her without a care in the world. Completely unlike her, thoughts of her uncaring mother, failing grades, shattered dreams, and unwise choice of friends swirled around inside her head.
Bobby Drake was the friend who abandoned her when she needed him most. Penny’s father had died in a terrible shooting at his office. A coworker of his had had enough of this world’s bitter reality and took it out on the people he worked with killing himself afterwards. Bobby was supposed to meet her at the soccer field but it seemed that he found a girlfriend that was more important than his best friend. He had found out about her father’s death and didn’t want to feel down so he went to see a movie with Michelle.
Miranda Kellso was the friend who immediately left her when Penny started to get deeply depressed. Miranda and Penny had been friends since they were 6 years old, but Miranda’s friendship turned out to be conditional. If you fall into depression than she’s not sticking around to help get you out of it.
Penny slowly bent down and pulled a surgical razor blade out of her right sock. She quietly examined it. The sun reflected off of the clean blade as Penny subtly moved it around. A tear ran down her face as she placed the razor against her left wrist. Than with a quick movement of her hand Penny sliced up her entire forearm bringing forth dark blood. After that she did the same to her other arm. She raised her arms over her head as the crimson flow ran down her thin pale arms. It dripped gently onto her long raven hair. The razor fell from her hand hitting the metal gym roof with a quiet clatter as Penny grew weak from the great loss of blood.
After a while her arms were completely soaked with her own blood. Her knees grew weak as she slowly stepped off the roof. A few drops of blood fell before her. Down below Bobby, with his girlfriend, and Miranda stood right where Penny would land in a few moments.
Something wet hit Bobby’s cheek and then whatever it was hit Miranda’s hand. They both looked up at the same time to see their old friend falling down towards them like a reject from heaven.
Penny’s hair ripped about her face as she fell unconscious toward the gray pavement. She closed her eyes and clenched her teeth preparing for the impact… but it never came. Penny opened her eyes and saw that she was still falling but it wasn’t where she had been moments before. She was swiftly descending through a fiery tunnel with mirrors every few feet. As she sped by the mirrors, ghastly reflections lurched out at Penny. Grabbing the edge of the closest mirror her decent came to a sudden halt. Her arms felt strong which didn’t make much sense after slitting her forearms a few moments earlier. Penny looked into the mirror expecting to see her face. A black red eyed demon with a sickening grin stared back at her. It had knobby fingers ending in tiny needles the hurt just to look at them. Her screams seemed to excite the demonic creature. It climbed through the glass of the mirror onto her head. Penny quickly let go. The demon tangled its sharp pointed claws into her hair as she continued her decent. Its laughter stabbed at Penny’s ears causing them to bleed. Her painful whimpers seemed to spur it on causing it to rip out large chunks of black hair.
Then suddenly Penny hit the bottom of the tunnel with a sickening crash. All the pain stopped. She slowly tried to push herself off the cold black floor but Penny instantly realized that it was hopeless. As she pushed her hands against the floor they sunk into it as if the floor was made of sticky black tar. Soon enough, her entire arms were enveloped by the tar-like ground. Following her arms, the rest of her body sunk beneath the surface. Penny tried and failed to scream. All she got was a mouthful of tar which she started to choke on. She struggled to be free of the now scolding hot tar. Her skin seemed to bubble from the heat of it. Penny soon felt her body straighten out and move vertically down. The pressure on her legs soon lessened and then disappeared as did the heat of the tar. Soon her head popped out and Penny hung there until her arms became free. She hurriedly spit out the tar from her mouth and took a deep breath. Then she took in her surroundings.
She was slowly being lowered into a round room without any walls. Instead of walls there were many doors. They all looked the same except for gold numbers attached to them. The doors were made of a black shiny wood like the black keys on a piano. Each one was carved very simply like the doors in a regular home. The floor was made of the same material as the doors.
Penny’s feet finally touched the floor as her hands left the tar-like substance that made up the ceiling. As she stood there the door with the number 666 ½ opened without a sound and an old devil entered the circular room. He had curled horns that protruded from his wrinkled forehead and went over his head and down his back. His entire body was deep red. His eyes seemed kind but in a cruel way as if he would do unthinkable things to you but only because it would be for your own good. His wrinkled talon-like hands clutched a red cane carved from the tree that the serpent had made his home in long ago. It swirled down to the floor ending in a point. Two large black wings extended from his arched back. The old devil was wearing a cloak as black as night that seemed to be made out of the same materials as the doors and the floor. It shimmered like silk as he walked. The door he walked out of closed by itself after he left its vicinity.
“Might I suggest you quit thinking I’m going to torture you in some horrible way,” his voice crackled like a fire might as it dies. “Because I’m not going to, at least not right now.” That last part he said very quietly.
Penny noticed as he came closer that he was actually very short. His shortness increased the terror that she felt deep inside. Penny quickly thought of how horrible it would be if he was hiding in her house while she was home alone with the power out. He was small enough to hide almost anywhere. She struggled to ask the old devil where she was but to no avail.
“Oh, yes, right, your voice has been taken away momentarily to keep you from interrupting, as you humans are know for doing down here.” His voice sounded of poisonous spite that cut Penny across the cheek. The blood ran down her neck soaking into her black t-shirt. “Now as for where… that'd be Hel. Spelled with one L mind you, not two as you wretched humans are inclined to spell it with.” Again his voice seethed with spite.
Penny felt as if she was falling inside. There wasn’t suppose to be a real Hell, or as the old devil insisted Hel. She didn’t want to go to Hel. Penny would never have killed herself if she had known. Her legs felt weak. Without realizing it Penny fell back onto the cold black floor with a thud. She scrambled over to the door marked with the number 652.34. Putting her back against it she curled up into a ball and started sobbing.
“I do enjoy the taste of tears, but the sounds you humans make to produce them sometimes can drive me to commit suicide!” he said that last word with such disgusting hatred that Penny’s forehead began to bleed from the impact causing her to sit up right and look in his direction. “Just so you know my dear you can call me Balthamos or Bellaraze or as some higher devils call me Totenkopf.” He said the last name with a wink that made Penny’s heart skip a beat.
Balthamos knew from the terrified look on her face that Penny would rather be anywhere but here with him. His wicked grin grew wider as he started toward her. Penny reached up and grabbed the doorknob of the door that she was resting against.
“Oh, if I were you I wouldn’t go through that door! It contains the River of the Burning Dead. Since you’re a human it would be so painful you’d chew off your tongue and drowned in your own blood. But us devils… oh… its paradise we enjoy the screams of the dead as we float along on their carcasses.” Balthamos enjoyed speaking of such awful things so much that he looked as if he wasn’t even paying attention to Penny. This turned out to be true when Penny quietly and subtly opened the door next to number 652.34. A smell of sweet roses escaped from behind it which Balthamos noticed immediately.
“Where do you think your going my little suicide!” he snarled. Green flames erupted from his mouth as he spoke.
Before he could say anything else Penny had crawled through the door and slammed it behind her. She looked around and saw nothing at all. It was completely black. Then a very faint and dim light appeared from a distance. It grew brighter as Penny focused on it. Then she realized that she was in a tunnel. She stood up and started to walk toward the light hoping with all her heart that it wasn’t a group of demons dancing around a pile of human corpses.
After she walked about twenty feet her head hit the ceiling. Penny’s shout of surprise and pain echoed quietly than grew louder and louder. Her hands instinctively covered her ears. After a few minutes Penny uncovered her ears. Instead of hearing her shouts echoing she heard Balthamos’ laughter. It pierced her soul. She screamed as loud as she could and his laughter stopped. Penny continued down the tunnel. She bent down because the ceiling was getting lower and lower. As Penny grew closer to the light she noticed that her hands seemed abnormally large. Then she noticed her feet. They were huge. Penny felt her head and it seemed to have increased in size drastically. The tunnel grew smaller as her body increased in size until she couldn’t continue to move at all. Then a needle was lowered down in front of her on a fiery piece of string. The needle was red hot but she felt like she had to touch it. Penny reached out with her index finger extended toward the point of the needle. When she touched it the needle immediately pierced her skin and blood started to flow from the wound. Penny soon felt her body decrease in size. She continued down the tunnel which became increasingly harder because of all the blood that had exited from her pricked finger. She slipped and fell over into her own blood. Soon it was over her shoulders and she struggled to stay above it. Penny’s body now seemed to be getting smaller.
Without warning the tunnel tipped vertically. Penny and all her blood rushed down the tunnel shooting out at the end. She quickly glimpsed a single white flower that grew bigger and bigger as she fell toward it. Then with a loud vomit inducing splash she hit the flower and struggled to stay on it. All her blood went rushing off the petals of the flower making it very difficult to keep from falling off into oblivion. Eventually all her blood had run off the flower leaving it a dark scarlet. Penny made her way to the middle and laid down on the soft yellowish pollen. A drowsy feeling came over her as she lay there. Soon she had closed her eyes. Than a quiet humming sound popped into Penny’s head waking her up a little. At first it sounded comforting but than it grew louder. Whatever was causing the sound was getting closer. Finally Penny couldn’t stand it any longer. She sat up and opened her eyes. Immediately the sound stopped. Penny slowly turned around to check behind her and to her horror a gigantic bumble bee stood there on one of the red petals examining her.
Penny stared into its compound eyes and noticed that inside each little cell was a little movie playing. The first one she noticed was of her mother June April. It showed her answering the phone. For some reason Penny knew that it was the school telling June that her daughter had committed suicide. Her mother hung up the receiver. Without warning she picked up the phone, ripping the phone cord out of the wall as she did, and hurled it across the room. With a deafening smash it hit the large mirror on the wall shattering it into millions of tiny pieces. Penny's mother screamed with angry sorrow and walked down the hall leading to her bedroom. With tears streaming down her face she ripped open the closet door and pulled an old shoe box down from the top shelf. Penny watched as her mother tossed it onto the bed and tore off the cover revealing a Colt .45 automatic pistol. She carelessly picked it up, put it to her head, and fired.
Penny tried to look away but couldn’t. She watched as the side of her mothers head exploded splattering blood against the wall and floor. Tears started streaming down her face. But they weren’t normal tears. They were like acid, burning lines down Penny’s face. She screamed with pain and began to sob.
After many tears of mourning Penny focused on a different cell of the bee’s compound eye. In it was an incredibly strange sight. Miranda and Bobby were in a blue lit room and they both shuffled around like zombies. They seemed to be asleep but the strange thing was they were missing the top of their skulls. Her friend's brains were completely exposed. After watching in horror for a moment Penny became aware of the massive amount of bees that started swarming around Miranda and Bobby. The bees started landing on their brains. Penny's view grew closer and closer until she realized that she had become one of the bees. She quickly found a spot and landed on Miranda. When she did a sudden rush of memories that didn't belong to her flashed before her eyes. These memories revealed the reasons why Miranda had seemed to neglect Penny. Then she landed on Bobby's brain and the same thing happened but this time she felt the pain that Bobby and Miranda were feeling right now. It was horrendous. She felt the bees stinging their brains. Penny felt their helplessness.
Suddenly everything went black and then quickly a judge's stand grew up out of the darkness. What followed were a jury's stand, a witness stand, and an eternity of rows for the onlookers of the trial.
"Penny April," screeched a loud bellowing voice. "You have been accused of murder, stealing, lying, cheating, arson, foul language, and every other sin known and unknown to mankind. How do you plead?"
Penny froze and then said, "Guilty."
She couldn't believe she'd said. Some of it was true but she hadn't committed every sin known and unknown. A demon then stepped out of Penny's body. It had been controlling her.
Penny looked around. Behind her were countless tormented souls sitting in rows with a demon holding the end of the chains around their necks. In the jury's stand were twelve demons. They had long gross black hair, sickly pail skin, and wore huge sickening grins which they continually ripped off exposing their inner demonic flesh. Their names were Mammon, Archemedes, Acron, Tolmud, Belrouge, his twin Belreg. Aage, Anubis, Helleck, Moroni, and Mawdona the whore of Hel. In the witness's stand sat Balthamos with a disgusting look of glee on his face. He had made the accusations. In the Judge's stand sat Mechara, the demon who had just possessed Penny. He was cloaked in darkness but his large red cat-like eyes shone down upon her. A large black fiery talon suddenly gripped the edge of the stand.
"The wretch has admitted to her crimes against the Kingdom of El." Mechara spoke as if he didn't realize he was lying. He had forced her to admit to it. "What shall be her punishment?"
Many horrible, disgusting, and disturbing things were shouted out but one boom above all the others.
"Off with her head!" shouted Mawdona as if she was the Queen of England. "Then we'll do everything else imaginable!"
"Agreed!" shouted every demon present.
"But I di-" Penny was quickly cut off because six harpies appeared startling her.
They swarmed around her ripping off her skin while shouting their names and which part of her body they would eat.
"Helenio! The head!" shouted the first.
"Fellgrinius! The right arm!" shouted the second.
"Mullfuss! The left arm!"
"Pyrelust! The left leg!"
"Muloch! The right leg!"
"Noname! The torso!" shouted the last.
Than before her eyes appeared a large oak door with the words, "Devils come and Devils go; but the Devil may cry," written in golden letters that radiated heat. Penny quickly opened the door revealing a large empty field of fire. Without thinking she ran straight out into it slamming the door behind her. The harpies' talons slashed at the door but to no avail. Penny peered about and noticed that the fire leaping away, like a group of rabbits, when she moved toward it. Then a mirror appeared in front of Penny's face. At first it just showed her reflection but then words started appearing:
Your life is reflected within this looking glass but don't look away. Its horrible and nasty like none before. Your life is disgusting, ugly, and impure and we know who you are for we are Legion.
Then the words were replaced by a sudden rush of Penny's entire life playing across the surface like a television. All the sins she ever committed were highlighted with slow agonizing precision. She smashed the mirror with her fist shattering it like her mother shattered the mirror in their home earlier. All the tiny pieces reflected Balthamos' face laughing with horrifying glee. The pieces of mirror all began growing legs and hands as they crept toward her. Penny immediately started stepping on them but realized she was barefoot. The demonic glass shards bit into her soft feet bringing tears to her eyes. All the shards began to dance around Penny. Each one happily took its turn lunging at her, cutting large gashes into her knees. Penny's terrified screams of pain became the music of the waltz. Soon the dance ended. The shards lined up. Penny quickly became aware that they were going to attack her with full force. She spun around looking for something, anything that she could use to defend herself. A red hot baseball bat rolled out of the fire. In her mind Penny tried to figure out if it would be worth the blisters and burns. She decided it it would and grabbed the bat. It sizzled and burned her palms, but she didn't cry out. She couldn't, there was no time.
With bat in hand Penny immediately started smashing the mirror shards turning them into dust. She spun around to destroy the ones behind her. Eventually there was nothing left except for a pile of fine powder. Penny took this moment to examine her hands. They were red and bubbling. When she dropped the bat a large amount of her skin was ripped off with it. There was a lot of crusted blood around the sides of her palms.
Then suddenly the pile of mirror dust began to swirl around. As it rose in spirals the thin arms of a skeleton reached from the midst of the dust. They grabbed on to the earth surrounding it in order to pull the rest of its body out. It was the skeleton of a lizard.
When it had completely pulled its body out of the ground the Lizard lashed out at Penny. Grabbing her, it quickly started shredding her flesh.
As Penny's body was being torn apart she cried out helplessly, "God! Help me!"
And Penny was back on the Gym roof with her arms raised ready to commit a selfish act. But this time she didn't. Penny quickly got off the roof and walked home crying the entire way. June April was surprised to open the door for her daughter. Penny wrapped her arms around her mother.
A week later Penny entered into counseling but she never forgot the day she fell.