Halls of Asgard

❝Ary Aragon witnesses someone commit suicide, but the unthinkable happens―the body disappears.❞

With her best friend's support and a ticket to Seri Rue University (SRU), Ary Aragon wastes no time in escaping the unyielding chains of abuse her father and brother roped around her. Fear is no longer merely an acquaintance; looking over her shoulder becomes much more than a habit. Panic eats at Ary's sanity, distorting the sense of normality she thinks is all but hopeless to achieve. They will come for her. They always do.

To achieve a sense of protection, she applies to a self-defense class to ward herself from them, but reality has a funny way of clawing sense back into Ary's world. Before her very eyes, a student from SRU commits suicide, but the body—it vanishes.

Now, with deranged cephibions at her tail and the devil's advocate beckoning her soul, Ary knows one thing is certain: an estranged family is the least of her worries.

Paranormal || Fantasy

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3. (1) Purgatory

✝ (0) PURGATORY || EIGHTEEN YEARS AGO ✝

ROBYN ARAGON WAS NOT a pleasant sight as she stood, slumped over in the realms of Hell. With trembling fingers, she clutched a sheet of fraying parchment, her bony knuckles bulging with protruding veins. She was among several other haggard beings, who were forced into doing the same dirty deed. The heat was tremendously scalding, but entirely worth it. She had waited far too long for this day to come. Nothing could make her back out now.

Several torturous screams filled the area, but it was too dark to see the ones responsible. Each laughter that followed caused goosebumps to rise up on Robyn's skin.

"Next," Was whispered into her ear, causing her to jump.

Robyn didn't know where the voice derived from. When she turned to look, no one was there except for another horrified human, shaking with equal fear. It appeared as if the human had seen the demon that had spoken to her mind. His expression was pale, frantic, and filled with shock.

She didn't put much thought or consideration of how it happened, because anything was possible and nothing was impossible when entering the supernatural world. The element of surprise and not knowing was the worst thing one could have when walking through the gates. She tore her gaze off the human and looked forward, forcing herself to rid of the building fear in her body.

Robyn began walking, following the lines of fire embellished on the ground that lit up at her touch. She took great care maneuvering around them, having an inkling of fear that if she stepped on the intricate embellishments she would burn her feet off. The floor was already hot enough, so she didn't want to take any chances. She clutched the paper in her hands much tighter, feeling her hands warm up with sweat and nervousness. At the last moment when she reached the door, she briefly thought if what she was doing was worth it.

The thought escaped her mind as quickly as it had came. She knew what she was doing the moment she stepped into Hell and had an extremely valid reason for doing so. Thinking otherwise would be a crime.

I'm thinking like a mother, Robyn assured herself. For the future of my own child.

Taking a deep breath, Robyn took the last step, and the door in front of her slowly creaked open. As soon as she stepped inside, hundreds, thousands―millions of voices whispered into her ear, the sound so loud and pure that it shocked her right to her core. Sincere darkness blocked her vision for ten seconds and the voices gradually disappeared, as if there was someone purposely controlling the volume. Then, her skin began to prickle and bleed, like tiny needles digging into her skin as fire illuminated the room, making her vision clear somewhat. She could see again, yet the pain she was experiencing was excruciating, unbearable, and unlike anything she had experienced before with her training in the Halls of Asgard.

A heart-wrenching scream escaped Robyn's lips, and the pain continued for a while, until it all stopped minutes, hours, days later. She didn't know how and she couldn't tell when. Blood dripped from every part of her skin, and it hurt so much up to the point where she couldn't feel her legs or her arms or the rest of her body; soon, she was numb. She collapsed to the floor, groaning, as the fire burned brighter than any light she had seen in Heaven, her voice cracking at the intense pain.

Robyn had heard countless myths from angels and true stories from fallen angels, and each had said that the realms of Hell were so dark and full of anguish that one was never the same when they managed to escape.

If they managed to escape.

But Robyn wouldn't just waltz into Hell for no good reason; no, she contemplated whether all of this was worth it for weeks, wondering if God would ever forgive her for her impending actions—siding with the devil after being told no. She hoped He did, for she never meant to betray Him, but when she had asked Him for forgiveness—to keep her child as a result of pure stupidity, He shut her offer down without another thought, and for that, she couldn't and wouldn't forgive Him. Even when He said himself that forgiveness is everything in this cursed life. She wondered for months why He would do this to her when she worked so hard to earn her spot in Heaven, to be apart of God's angels.

And then one day, when Robyn was about to kill herself—the worst sin an angel of God can ever commit—a piece of paper appeared out of thin air and floated right in front of her eyes. With handwriting so intricately, beautifully curved that it pinpointed in exact fundamentals on the parchment, it was absolutely flawless, so alluring, yet enthralling at the same time. Her name was at the top in blood red, and other words began forming like a sacred dance, with infinite twists and curves. The words and sentences seemed simple at the time:

'Robyn,

Just as you would enter the gates of Heaven, go the opposite way and you shall find yourself in the realms of Hell. You won't be burned. An elixir has been attached for your safety, since you are still apart of God's angels. Upon arrival, drink the concoction in one swallow and your wish shall be granted for a small price. We shall speak in detail quite soon.'

The decision had been tough, to say the least. Weighing the odds of losing God's trust, after she had worked for almost a decade working hard enough to prove her honor, all for it to go down the drain just for making a deal with the devil. It took a while, but before Robyn had even known herself, her decision was already made. She would become apart of the fallen for this. She knew what was at stake—losing possibly all contact with her friends and family—yet she was still firm in her decision.

It was as if she was Eve and ate the apple when God told her not to. Although in this situation, Robyn wasn't taking a bite—no, she was eating the whole tree containing the fruit right in God's face. She was succumbing to evil.

She swallowed the guilt and forced herself to deal with the excruciating pain as it gradually faded away, her heart thundering endlessly while her body racked with chills as she anticipated what was to come. A shadow ran past her vision. She attempted to reach in to draw her power, but she knew that while being so deep in Hell, no power of holy could help her besides the devil himself; and that, was if the Devils intentions were pure. She settled for praying when she saw she had no power, but as soon as she began, a burning sensation began brimming at the back of her mind.

"It would be wise to not pray in here, my dear Robyn," A deep, haunting voice thundered.

Robyn flinched at the proximity of the Devil's presence, feeling his darkness and evil overwhelm her being, even though she couldn't see him. She knew it was him because of the power he held and the intimidation his aura radiated; it was just far more distinct than the other demons she saw as shadows.

She had been accustomed to being next to good throughout most of her life. Although she had encountered demons and other creatures of the like, she always incapacitated them and held them in prison for eternity in Heaven, where they could never escape since they were on holy grounds. She never killed a soul in her life. Being in front of the devil, who killed more innocent souls than she could bear, was so frightening and so difficult to process, nevertheless to accept.

"Ah, I must say, it has been awhile since one of God's own followers betrayed him and ran to me for help," The devil chuckled, sending tremors down Robyn's spine at the darkness and demonic rage that relayed beneath his words. "Let me guess... you asked him for something, he told you no, and look where you are now... am I right?"

Staring blindly, Robyn nodded frantically, as her bottom lip trembled with fear. She was too afraid to speak. The shadow flew past her vision again. She flinched again, trembling as she begged for any light to save her.

And then suddenly, as if the fire was listening to her, it illuminated the center of the room, shining on the human-like figure standing imposingly. Robyn felt her heart stop as the fire lighted the Devil's face. He was the epitome of beauty and the temptation, greed and lust of all. He was the entirety of evils in the world, composed in a human form, and it was absolutely disgusting. Obsidian black eyes poured into hers as the corners of his lips curved into a tantalizingly beautiful smirk.

"Speak to me, Robyn," His voice turned from thundering to alluring in a matter of seconds. She felt an immense wave of desire rise from the pit of her stomach so quickly that she instantly began to fight it off. "Tell me, what do you want that God, the 'almighty lord' cannot give you?" His tone was mocking.

She was speechless. The moment she had been waiting for was right in front of her and she couldn't even get the words out. With shaking fingers, she fought back the wave of desire, knowing he was taunting her on purpose, and reached out, the parchment enclosed so tightly that her knuckles were white. Robyn couldn't bring herself to say the words, for shame overwhelmed most of her emotions for disobeying with God's decision.

No, she thought fiercely, forcing away her frantic emotions. I am doing what I have to do. Like any mother would.

The Devil took his time, his black, demonic eyes pouring into hers. Without faltering his gaze, the paper drifted from her fingers and into his. Robyn could feel the dark magic surrounding her fingers and she desperately tried to shake off the evil. She felt it, the evil begging her to use it, to disobey God's word. Even though she didn't want to, oh how she didn't want to, she knew that she needed to do this, no matter how much it disgusted her.

"Speak to me, Robyn," He repeated, stepping closer. His steps were so precise and so graceful, he oddly looked majestic, as if he was floating on air. His lengthy fingers curved around her chin, sending sparks throughout every nerve in her body as her blood stained his skin. He slowly traced the outline of her jaw and kneeled to her level, his eyes staring straight into her soul. She felt incredibly alive feeling her body course with an infinite amount of indescribable electricity and passion. The desire had rose up to an uncontrollable level and it took everything in Robyn to not eliminate the space between them and kiss his dangerous, intoxicating lips. The temptation was there, and she wanted to give in so badly, but... she didn't.

She pushed his hand away, ignoring the electricity that ignited from skin contact and took a deep, shaky breath. "I-I am here to request a simple favor from you, w–with no faults or other mishaps you may conduct from my words," Making a deal with the devil was indeed risky, since he could twist your words in such a way that he willingly gave you the complete opposite of what you asked for. He was very cunning being indeed.

"I am aware of that," His voice was deep and husky, sending tremors down her spine. "What is your request?"

"It is on the paper you've taken from me," Robyn's voice cracked, nervousness seeping into her voice. Any wrong word she said or any way she phrased her sentences could very well determine her and her child's fate. "If you'd just read the paper—"

"I shall do no such thing," His eyes gleamed dangerously in the dim lighting as the paper burned right in front of her glassy eyes. "Tell me of your request or else you shall gain nothing and suffer for eternity." Robyn swallowed and ignored the rising panic crawling from the bottom of her stomach, and told him of her request with clear words and exact precision.

Only to regret it nine months later after her death.

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