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Melissa is a keen girl with a lot to prove in life. She is destined to be great. But what about when her life takes an unfortunate twist in the form of a deadly car crash? Can she negotiate with death, and if so, what is the price she has to pay?

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2. First Contact

 

Dead? No. How could she be thinking? Alive? Possibly. But at a slim chance. Neither? Yes.
Melissa slowly opened her eyes, and a brilliant white light almost blinded her, so she quickly shut them again. Lifting her hand up slowly, she felt her surroundings. She was lying on a springy mattress, with a thin cotton sheet spread over her. 
Was she in hospital? Ready for the brightness this time, she slowly opened her eyes again, and saw a white, badly painted ceiling, with paint peeling off in great chunks, and a bright white light. Scowling, she hoisted herself up and peered around the room. This most defiantly was not the hospital she had anticipated. 
White walls. With the same peeling paint, and the floor, with the same peeling paint again. She clutched her head. Was she in a mental institution? She clambered slowly out of bed, only then did she realise her clothes had been changed. She was now sporting a long, white (of all the colours) night gown. Glancing at it, she winced. No one she knew wore night gowns like this anymore. How horribly out of fashion. 
"Melissa Maulding. Please get back into your bed." Melissa jumped as a cold voice reverberated around the room. 
"Why?" She replied. At once she kicked herself mentally. Whoever this was, they didn't seem the type to negotiate. 
"Don't make this harder than it is Melissa. Otherwise there will be consequences." The voice spoke again. 
"What consequences?" She asked simply. Why was she asking so many questions? Couldn't she just control her mouth? Her brain seemed to be no longer attached to her mouth.
"Melissa." The voice said reproachfully. "Get back into your bed. Now." Without hesitation she span around and clambered back into the uncomfortable bed, shutting her eyes tight as she flopped back down onto the pillow. Wherever she was- these people weren't to be taken with a light heart. 

She slept for what felt like five minutes, before she felt a small prick in her arm. Opening her eyes sharply, her eyes fell upon a nurse wearing and all white nurses uniform, bending over her arm. Did these people not know any other colours? 
"What are you doing?" Melissa asked. The nurse didn't look at her, but instead pressed down the syringe, allowing the black liquid to steam into her bloodline. 
"What is that?" Melissa changed the question, the nurse looked at her, then turned away again. What was going on? Where was she?
She felt her arm tingle slightly. Were they drugged her? The nurse removed the syringe and turned to walk out of the room- through a door that Melissa had not spotted before, though she wasn't sure it had always been there. 
"Hello? Lady? Nurse? Can you tell me what's going on?" She called after her, but the nurse just walked straight out of the room, and shut the door behind her. Whatever was going on, she had a bad feeling about it. 
Several moments later, the door swung open again, and two burly looking men came through. Each one wearing a grey suit- not unlike the one her Dad wore to the office. Dad. The men were making their way towards her and she scrambled back across the bed. Holding up the pillow as a defence. 
The men looked at each other, and the one on the left beckoned Melissa forward, while the other nodded reassuringly. 
She didn't know why, but she felt she could trust these two men. She could see it in their eyes. Climbing back over the bed, she stood and faced them. Despite her easy surrender, the guard who gestured grabbed her by the arm and she screamed, the other guard grabbed her other arm. 
At the same time, the nurse came back in, with a strip of cloth in her hands. The guards had Melissa in a position so that she couldn't move. She could feel her heart rate increase as the nurse drew closer, rising her hand and resting it on Melissa's lips and nose.
Melissa closed her eyes. She wanted to sleep. 

Melissa rolled over, her hands her tied and she felt a cold hard ground against her face. Opening one eye, she peered around the room. She seemed to be lying on a black, marble flooring, in a large, dark room. 
Clambering to her knees, her sharp blue eyes fell upon the two guards who'd taken her here earlier. She glared at them. The guard who had smiled saw her doing so, and tapped his watch lightly. Smirking. 
She tore her eyes away from them, and faced the other side of the room, and large thrown stood there. It was at least 6ft all together, and the outline on it was encrusted with sparking emeralds. 
Whoever sat there, she didn't want to know. 
Moments later, and hooded figure barged through the solid oak doors leading off the hall, not noticing her, the figure took enormous strides across the hall, and came to rest when he reached the thrown. He plonked himself down on it, and gazed, haphazardly at her. 
"Ah, you must be Melissa? I must say, I witnessed your death myself- bloody sheep eh? But then, what can you do?" This completely shocked Melissa. The mans voice was light, and almost had the air of someone who thought the whole situation was funny.
"Excuse me?" Melissa asked "but who are you?" The man looked slightly take aback and snarled. Baring all his teeth at once, showing yellow ones mingled in with the black. 
"I beg your pardon?" The man questioned, apparently the question befuddled him. 
"If you don't mind me asking, who are you? I at least want to know the name of my captor." Melissa enquired.
The man let out a sharp, derisive laugh, that echoed around the hall. He leant forward, peering into he eyes. Melissa winced at the foulness of the greyish colour they were. There was no life in those eyes. 
"My dear. You are not here as a prisoner." The man replied simply. "You are here, because of a deal, I want to strike with you." He leant even further forward. "Do you know where you are?".
"No." Replied Melissa shortly. 
"Well, Melissa, in a recent, unfortunate event, you died, and now, you are here." The man said. 
"But where is here?" Melissa asked again. 
"Hell, my dear." The man blinked, and a sly smile curved across his thin, pale lips. "Unless of course, you want to take me up on my deal?" He carried on.
"That depends on what the deal is." Melissa replied shortly. Then man laughed his harsh laugh again. 
"I like her, doesn't miss a trick." He pointed at her while facing the guard, and they guards both laughed. Though Melissa noted how hollow it sounded. 
"You just do, a few simple tasks for me, and I will grant you, whatever you wish for." The man said dreamily. 
Melissa thought. "Would you let me go afterwards?" She asked, double checking the agreement. 
"Of course!" She man said happily. He knew she was considering the option. 
"Deal. What do you want me to do?"

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