One Way Ticket from Hell

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  • Published: 14 Apr 2018
  • Updated: 17 May 2018
  • Status: Complete
My live has always been a hell – and, I’m not exaggerating, I don’t have any teenage-crisis. I mean, Hell, literary. I live on the suburbs, you know, a dim and gloomy place called the Valley of Destruction, and my mom is a demon specialised in tempting our dear neighbours from above – from Earth. She’s really good at it – there are many of diplomas and statues for The Demon of the Year and even some for The Demon of Century. She has even a mug with bright red letter saying “A one-way trip to Hell”. But, if it comes to tempting humans, I must say I’m the best prove she’s good.
My name is Abandon – yes, after this Abandon, mum’s a real fan of him – I’m sixteen years old and I’m a half-demon.

Entered in the monster story marathon, category: a love story.

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14. Susan

 

14.

The next two weeks pass much too quick, but they’re pleasant enough. There’s school and Rachel, and I find myself spending every free minute with her. On Sunday, we finally go to the zoo; I watch the apes, play with Amanda on the playground, and eat two portions of cotton candy.

I love cotton candy and I vow to take back to Hell as much of it as I can carry.

The whole situation about the cemetery and the police is long forgotten. I try not to think about Peter, and most of the time I’m really good at it. My dad and Laura seem happy, and the four of us get along pretty well.

If not for my angelic neighbour, the two weeks would be perfect.

Her house is opposite to ours, and when I look out of my bedroom’s window I can see her window – and it would be nothing wrong with it, if I didn’t find her looking out and staring at our house at least a few times a day. She’s always cheerful, and she makes friends with Laura. And then, when she visits us to have a tea with her and my dad, she watches me with the serene smile of her and keeps asking me how I’m doing.

I’m sure she’s a spy; a spy sent here to spy upon me. And I don’t like it. Like every self-respecting teen, I value my privacy more than anything.

So this morning I wake up before dad calls me for breakfast, and I come to the kitchen even before Amanda and Laura to eat with him. It’s a new habit of ours, to eat together before he goes to work. It turned out I like muesli, so I don’t have to endure eating the stupid cereal.

“So, anything interesting at school today?” he asks casually, glimpsing at me from above his paper.

“Nah, not really. And I won’t be back on dinner,” I dig in my muesli. “I’m taking Rachel to the new bar near our school.”

I’m getting pocket money, so I can afford it. I don’t save money, because they won’t be worth anything in Hell, so I rather enjoy spending them now.

“Good for you,” dad winks at me. “She seems a nice girl. Are you dating?”

“No idea,” I answer with my mouth full of strawberry yogurt. I down it and take a sip of my tea. “How one knows if he goes out with a girl or not?”

He puts the paper aside, surprised.

“Well...” he scratched his chin. He hasn’t shaved in a few days. “I mean, if you spend so much time with her, and you know, you hold hands and... Maybe you should ask Laura. She’s a woman, after all.”

I laugh under my nose. A few days ago he tried to explain to me where little half-demons as myself come from, and he was so uneasily I let him talk until I couldn’t refrain from laughing anymore. Considering he has a wife and two kids, he’s really bad at talking about relationships.

Just then Amanda and Laura come to the kitchen, and for another hour they discuss if I date Rachel or not. Amanda asks how it feels to kiss somebody, but we are already at the school parking then, and I can retreat to the high school building.

I know pretty well how it is to kiss somebody, though. The kiss Rachel gave me at the bridge in the forest was the first, but not the last one.

She waits for me at the door and I kiss her cheek. She takes my hand and we march through the corridor and into our first class.

It’s chemistry, but I don’t pay much attention, wondering if I should tell Rachel the truth or not. She didn’t as me questions during the last two weeks, but she somehow managed to make me eager to tell her. I don’t know, maybe it’s because the only one who knows is my father, but we never talk about this part of my life – I’m under impression he doesn’t want to, and every time I mention Hell he changes the subject. I think I would like to talk about it with somebody. I’ve never really had a friend who wanted to listen to me, but I have Rachel now. She proved she can keep a secret already. What could go wrong if I told her?

When the Chemistry teacher, Mrs. Thompson, asks what the class is about, I have no idea. All the strange symbols on the blackboard mean nothing to me. Rachel asks question about atomic numbers and Mrs. Thompson forgets about me.

Two hours later we have a free period, because the English teacher is ill, and we go to the canteen to boy ourselves some sandwiches.

“Let’s sneak out,” I whisper in Rachel’s ear. “I want to tell you.”

She gives me a triumphant smile. She’s won, but I don’t mind. Hell, if my mother could sleep with a human, I can date one.

We go to the café we talked a few weeks ago, the one where Rachel showed me Peter’s film. And again, we order latte macchiato and sit in the distant corner. Rachel sips her drink and the smile doesn’t leave her face even for a second. Her eyes shine with excitement and I know I’m making the right decision.

“I don’t know how to tell you,” I mutter, looking away. “I’ll put it straight forward. If you don’t believe me...”

“Hey, do not worry,” she squeezes my hand. “Just say it already.”

I nod my head, taking a deep breath and...

“A half-demon,” I gasp out. I look at her cautiously, not sure if she’d burst into laughter or start screaming. Maybe subconsciously I suspect her of chasing me around with holly water.

She slowly nods her head.

“All right,” she looks straight into my eyes. “I know when people lie to me. A half-demon, then.” She leans back. “Demon was one of my ideas,” she giggles and takes a deep breath to compose herself. “Sorry. So, where are you from?”

“Hell, Valley of Destruction,” I recite and add, as she looks at me taken aback. “Really. It’s a district.”

“That’s cool,” she smiles, this time to herself. “Gosh, I date a demon!”

So we are dating! I need to tell Amanda.

“A half-demon,” I correct her.

“So your dad...”

“Yeah, he’s a human. You should meet my mother, though,” I cut in. No, a meeting between Rachel and my mom is not a good idea.

For another hour I tell her everything about Hell I can think about. I tell her about the school, about the lava canals, about the trip to the Abyss and about a bat I used to keep named Nemesis. I even confess I’m so terrible at tempting mortals.

“It’s because you have such an honest face,” she nods. “You’d make a poor liar, Louis.”

Rachel is nothing but curious and excited. She wants me to show her my eyes getting red, but I can just switch the colour – my eyes are not traffic lights. She laughs at the comparison, and then I tell her everything about my family, my uncles and aunts so ancient she can barely imagine it.

“So, the extinction of dinosaurs was your doing?” she asks.

“Why, no!” I can help laughing.

“But the World War...?”

“Yeah, my uncles are really proud about it. You should hear the stories they tell...”

“And you’re immortal. How old really are you?”

“Sixteen. Really. We stop aging once we reach full maturity,” I explain. “My aunt knows Cesar, but she still looks twenty-something.”

“That’s awesome!”

When we remember we should go back to school, there already only one lesson ahead of us.

When we arrive there’s still a break, and Rachel goes to the only room when only girls can come. I wait outside, trying not to look like waiting outside a girls’ toilet. Susan walks up the corridor, and I’m sure she will walk past me acting like she couldn’t see me, but then she stops before me.

“I want to talk with you,” she declares. “About Peter.”

Oh my devil, why?!

“I didn’t know him much,” I answer casually. “But you two were close, weren’t you? I’m sorry you lost your friend, Susan,” I add as she frowns. “But I don’t understand why do you want to speak with me about him?”

“Because he never drank,” she keeps gazing at me without blinking.

“Sometimes once is enough,” I say rather roughly.

“He behaved strangely before it happened,” she continues and I sigh heavily, wishing Rachel had already gone out of that toilet. “He talked about you. Like he was afraid.” There’s a questioning look to her face. “He kept saying something’s wrong with you, but I though it’s because you and Rachel getting close.”

“He was in love with Rachel. He mentioned it,” I nod. She frowns at me again, and I know I’m the bad boy in her eyes, one who stole his friend’s girlfriend. “Rachel knew it, but she wasn’t interested. And we were only friends at first.”

“But at the cemetery, those strange things happened...” she mutters.

“You fainted, Susan,” I remind. “The only weird thing was that this junkie managed to somehow creep up on us...”

She nods her head and heads to the class. Just then Rachel finally joins me.

“What did she want?” she asks, glaring at Susan back.

“She wanted to talk about Peter,” I mutter. “His death must have been a shock to her. She told me he never drank.”

“Yah. It wasn’t like him,” she agrees.

We walk to the class and sit at our desk. The lesson begins, and a few minutes later my phone vibrates in my pocket. I look at the screen; it’s an email. I open it while Rachel looks from above my shoulder.

There’s no message, only a video as an attachment. I make sure the silent mode is on, and I play it.

It’s the very same video Rachel deleted from Peter’s phone, but the quality of it is very low. The images seem to be corrupt, the film falters.  But this is the very clip that should not exist.

I flinch. I look around, through the faces of my classmates, all the boys and girls whose name’s I still don’t remember – and I freeze, when Susan looks up, directly at me.

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