[Flashback; Lily's point of view] Ashes to ashes, we all fall down...
Ennui ... My fingers outstretch to reach the end of the tunnel, but I'm just so tired and jaded. Sick of the darkness, life's just flying by and I'm not sure how I'm going to get out of this. It's ... limbo. There's no night sky and there's no soft patches of lush grass, I can almost feel the heartbeat of the nothingness. But my ears pick up footsteps and my own feet swivel around to meet with someone just like me. I know he's like me, his face is full of anger and confusion.
Electric blue hair, unnatural green eyes, he wears a purple cloak but I don't understand why he's the only one I can see. "'Ello Lily. 'M perfectly sure y'know why you're here," I don't even think his lips moved when he spoke, so I just shook my head. "You do know. Yer' not even in Heaven nor 'Ell."
"I.. I'm dead? Uhm, like, see this is just a dream, right? A lucid one. Where I know I'm dreaming. Tell me I'm right," my legs wobbled with uncertainty, the air hanging low, causing me to have difficulty breathing. Something was different when I inhaled and exhaled. No pressure, no need to keep breathing regularly. Surely this wasn't entirely odd in a dream.
"S'okay, everyone's got doubts when they end up 'ere. I'm James 'nd I'll be watchin' over you for a little bit, makin' sure you get settled into your proper place now that yer' deceased. Last name please."
"Monroe, but look James, I'm not 'deceased'. Get that through your thick head, mister, just wake me up or something," so stubborn I am, but the way he stared at me just told me that he wasn't feeding me lies, only the bittersweet truth. Now was when I'd wake up, am I correct? Wrong, wrong, wrong. James retrieved a clipboard from out of nowhere. "Ah, Miss Lily, 'm afraid you can't be admi'tted."
"And why the hell not?" I barked with no pun intended
"It's zee law," he sighed, having seen this far too many times. "What 'appens to you isn't up to me now." All right, so I was a tad speechless, not sure why though. "So, er, who decides what kind of cruel twisted fate I receive?" keep in mind that I did not believe one bit that there was really a Heaven or Hell so I thought it was a sick joke.
"Ehm, either zee Devil or God itself. Whoever comes to see you first." And that is when James left me, not a word of notice after that. His lavender coat didn't sink off into the distance, his neon green eyes didn't radiate then fade into the darkness, he just flat-out evaporated. Before I had given up all hope, he came. Delicate shedding wings, a shredded suit from all his battles, and even a toothy grin to accompany the sinking feeling in my stomach. Of course he approached me, but he swiftly grabbed my hand, planting a kiss upon it that burned to the core. Even his fingers made me queasy, just bare bones with obviously fresh blood flowing down as if there were still veins pumping.
"Good even'ing Lily dearest," I was entranced by his smooth voice. "I take it that one of my many henchman, shall we say, killed you? I'm afraid so, but that's the way the cookie crumbles. Isn't that how the metaphor goes? I'm a little slow on the catch phrases of teenagers these days."
I withdrew my hand upon noticing that his had morphed into a recoiled snake. The green beast lunged out at me while I yelped before feeling pain, the owner of this "hand" apologized. "We haven't formally been introduced 'ave we? The Devil is I, charmed I'm sure." Man, was he full of himself ...
"Are you kidding me? No really, are you even close to serious?" I choked out a laugh.
"Does this face not look serious?" his smarmy smile faded, spider mites seeped from his pores.
"No, but ..."
"Missus Lily, limbo doesn't accept any 'buts'. Just a simple yes or no, that's all we need. Now I'd like to spin you a little tale before I leave you to be consumed by your thoughts. Once upon a time," he began. "An adolescent named Azy came to me because she wasted God's greatest gift, life. She was in peril and full of strife, her little home life just wasn't enough. The rope was still around her neck when she came to me, but she spoke of one person she wished she could see, and that'd be you. How would you like to be back with that suicidal monster?"
My mind raced, little time was given for me to answer. "I'd do anything to just be reunited! Don't display a promise you can't keep."
"Anything? Honey, did it slip your mind that I am the Devil?" a fragment of one of his pant legs drifted into the ground which gave way to an abyss. A crippled piece of stained paper was withdrawn from his coat pocket. "You're in luck because I'm in the right mood for making unforgettable deals!"
"Hmph, I'm not entirely stupid," I growled, turning my back on him. "I know all about those terrifying deals with the Devil. They never work out. Go ahead and send me to Hell, it's where I wanted to be anyway."
"Didn't James inform you? You were brought to limbo for a reason and that is that you can't be sent to Hell or Heaven without a good enough reason. But just listen to my deal. You, Lily Monroe, will kill for me one hundred women, men, and children of my choosing. Empathy must not be applied to these humans nor will you feel compassion for them, or under my ruling they will be exterminated. I shall send you visions, when it rains, of these people to guide your way, but once you have completed my task, I will grant you life, free of sickness and aging. Only your victims can see you but there is an exception, however, I can not tell you about them. Remember, the living do not seek the dead, so there should be no reason why someone who is not going to be deceased should see you. Your memory will be stripped from you although you will still remember Azy but not much else from your past."
"But I want to go Hell! Did I not make that clear?" his deal was enticing but I had a point.
"Once you're back to life, you can make that decision on whether or not you want to go to Hell," basically he was telling me that once I was alive again, I could just end my life and live with Azy. "Don't be so sure that you want to go to Hell. It's not like any living person can tell you what it's like because only one soul has ever managed to escape. Sign here and I'll put your own soul back on earth. Heh, your body is still buried in a local cemetery, no need to worry about that."
I stumbled over to him, accepting his pen filled with poisonous lead, my signature glowing as every letter was printed. "Good good. It was a pleasure doing business with you." Just like James, he went missing without a trace. My eyelids flickered and soon before me was the world as I had always known it. I stood in the middle of the street and naturally, cars swerved around me but without urgency. The masses on the sidewalk did not notice me for they could care less. "'Sup?"
How many new voices were going to parade around my ears? I swung around to meet my latest visitor. Gleaming black hair, blinding red tie, studded belt, was he in a wanna-be punk clique? "Saint Jimmy, possible heir to Hell, do me a favor, kill in my name."
"Why are you ... even asking me this?" he was already a threat to me.
"Y'know, you kill for the Devil, well kill for me instead. I'll bring Azy back to ya."
"I'm not believing your shit. I could hardly believe that two-bit Devil, why should I believe a fraud like you?"
"Because I'm going to get even with the Devil and God someday and take over Hell. You'll witness it. You'll be my mistress. Sound good? All right. See you." Why was everyone disappearing? All I could ask myself was ...