Supernatural Fiction posted June 19, 2017


Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Hell found me. I had come prepared.

Hell Bound

by Just A. Pretense


The author has placed a warning on this post for violence.

Hell found me.  It wasn't in the dead of night like you might expect or on a dark and stormy day.  No, hell finally came for me at sunrise while the sun still hung low, reflecting off the ocean beside us, and the world was awash in the colors of fire.  Maybe this had been more fitting after all, considering where I was headed if this thing had its way.  

If the exact timing had been unexpected, the form this messenger of hell had taken was even more jarring.  A year ago, give or take a few hours, I had made a sacrifice to save my niece.  My life, both here and eternal, forfeited for her to live.  For a year, I'd known this was coming.  I had tried to prepare, to guess how exactly my end would come.  I had spoken with leaders of many different religions, collected any paraphernalia even remotely suggested to drive off evil, and wrapped up all affairs just in case I failed.  

I didn't plan to fail.  I planned to fight.  I had said goodbye to a happy, cancer-free little girl a few days ago to prepare, and that is who I stood before now.  Only, I could tell this...thing.  It couldn't really be Sarah.

"Hello, uncle.  I've been waiting for you.  Do you like my dress?  Doesn't it make me look so pretty?" exclaimed Not-Sarah.  It was Sarah's voice too.  Black eyes, not her normal blue, pierced through me above lips in a grin wide enough to crack.  I had given my niece that dress to wear the day she was finally discharged from the hospital.  It wasn't going to get away with this.

"How dare you—" I started.  I tried to keep going, but I couldn't.  We were alone on this beach, but it felt like a hand was covering my mouth.

"How dare I? How dare I?  Do you not remember who you are talking to?  I saved this little girl.  Not you, me."  I tried to scream in protest, but only a whimper escaped.  Not-Sarah grinned at me and kept going.  "I kept my end of the bargain, and I have the nagging suspicion you don't intend to keep yours.  Don't think that I didn't notice your 'holy' weapons and our location.  Salt water, how quaint." 

I tried to reach for one of the mentioned holy weapons, a blessed gun capable of shooting silver bullets doused in holy water.  I couldn't get it out of its holster.  The creature chuckled.  I tried my dagger only to find it wouldn't leave its sheath.  One by one, I tried my whole arsenal.  With each failure, the creature's laughter grew until it was near howling.  I still couldn't speak.

"You are damned my dear, devoted uncle.  You have been damned since the moment you signed my contract.  Why would you possibly think you could wield His weapons?  He forsook you when you forsook Him.  You are hell bound.  There is nothing you can do to stop it," it proclaimed, stepping forward with arms outstretched.  For a moment, it reminded me of my niece begging for a hug.  But, this wasn't Sarah.  My weapons may not have worked, my mouth may have been unable to produce words, but my limbs were still working.  There was still fight left in me, and I had a family to get back to.

The creature stopped a few feet away, arms still outstretched, waiting for me.  There was a different smile this time, sweet like one of my real Sarah's smiles.  The audacity of this thing.  I lunged forward, tackling it to the ground.  

We fought for dominance.  It bit me in the meat of my left forearm, and I backhanded it across the face.  It scratched my right cheek leaving deep gouges, and I put a knee in its stomach.  Eventually, it didn't seem so high and mighty anymore struggling there on the ground, my knee pressed into its back.  

While I held Not-Sarah down, I took my useless items off my belt and slipped it from its loops.  I bound the creature's hands behind its back, flipped it over and stood up.  Even though I knew it couldn't be my real niece, it was heartbreaking to see her face this way, cut up with bruises already forming.

It spit out blood and looked up at me.  "I love it when they fight.  It makes it that much sweeter when they break.  You will regret what you do here." 

Frustrated, I backhanded the creature again then grabbed handfuls of Sarah's red hair.  Whatever power this creature had over my ability to speak seemed to have been lost in the fight, but I had nothing to say.  I dragged it out to sea by its hair.  It did not plead for its life, just let it happen. When we hit the surf, I heard a sob and looked down.  This time, I saw Sarah's eyes, not the black of the creature.  It was trying to play on my relationship with my niece, trying to get me to give in.  But, I would not be tricked!

I dragged us deeper into the water until the waves crashed just under my shoulders.  Letting go of the creature's hair, I looked into the eyes of this thing wearing my niece's face.  The maniacal grin was no more, just bruises, cuts, and scrapes.  I couldn't tell the difference between the tears and drops of water from the spray.  I closed my hand over the top of its head, a mockery of a gesture I would often give Sarah, gentle pats on the head to convey my pride.  

I pushed.  It tried to resist, so I pushed harder.  Whatever strength this thing had possessed, it was gone.  Maybe the devil had forsaken it just as He had forsaken me.  I pushed until it was completely submerged under the water, red hair only just barely floating up to the surface.  One minute in, all struggling had stopped.  We were still the only ones on the beach, but I could swear I heard laughter.  I waited five minutes then finally let up.  The undertow was strong.  I could not bear to look at the body as I let the current take it away.  Only the thought of the real Sarah and her father, my brother, waiting for me at home prevented me from letting it take my body away too.

I trudged back through the water and collected the failed weapons I had left on the ground.  I threw them into the ocean, hoping the current would take care of them too. I walked up the beach toward my hotel, thinking of the cellphone I had left in the room.  I would be able to tell them I was coming home, for good this time.  By the time I walked into the lobby, I was smiling.  

A sight I must have made, wet from the neck down with sand in my hair, scratches on my cheek and no belt around my waist.  But, I didn't care.  Could I finally be free?  I left a puddle in the elevator before getting out on my floor.  I whistled as I walked down the hall.  I couldn't wait to be home.

My brother was sitting in front of my hotel room.  His head was down, a note dangling from one hand.  He looked up as I approached, and I could tell he had been crying.  He asked me: "Have you seen Sarah?  She left a note saying she had to meet you on the beach so I tracked you here.  Please tell me you have seen her?"

He kept talking, but I couldn't hear him.  Had that been the real Sarah after all?  Is this what the creature meant when it said I would regret my choice and why it had stopped fighting?  Did I trade my life for hers then trade it back?  I couldn't have killed my niece.  I would never have if I'd known.  What had I done?

Hell had found me.  It did not take me; I didn't let it.  But, in the end...it still won.


Newbie Writing Contest contest entry

Recognized


Thank you for reading my first fanstory post. Please let me know what you think!
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by cleo85 at FanArtReview.com

Save to Bookcase Promote This Share or Bookmark
Print It View Reviews

You need to login or register to write reviews. It's quick! We only ask four questions to new members.


© Copyright 2017. Just A. Pretense All rights reserved.
Just A. Pretense has granted FanStory.com, its affiliates and its syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.