CHAPTER 1: Angel Jane
It was snowing outside. I sat down in front of the bed Jane was in. The doctors were able to save her from dying, but they also said it would be a long time before Jane would wake up. That was two weeks ago. Jane seemed different. All of her hair turned silver and grew longer in those two weeks. Her heart also seemed to race every now and again and she would struggle in her sleep. It was like she was having a bad dream and I couldn't do anything to help her. I felt so helpless too. I couldn't take the bullet for Jane, instead she saved me. Now she was laying down in this bed hanging on to life by a thread.
"Jane...Come back to me. I need you here with me Jane..."
She moved a little every time I called out to her. It was like she could hear me, but couldn't find me. It got dark outside and the nurse told me that visiting hours were over. I took Jane by the hand and kissed it.
"I'll be back Jane. We'll see each other tomorrow."
I put her hand back and drove her bike back to my hotel. I kept everything she left in good shape, even her shades. I tossed my helmet and myself onto the bed. I wiped my face with my hands and stared up at the ceiling fan. The light was blinding and it made me see green colors every time I blinked. I rubbed my eyes and turned off the light so I could go to sleep and have the morning come quicker.
I woke up in the middle of the night by a crashing sound from outside on the balcony. I sat up quickly and took Jane's gun from underneath my pillow. I crept slowly toward the door and slid it open. From inside a light started to glow. I walked more and more toward the light and a figure appeared. A woman-like figure. Her hair was long and silver and she had white wings that gave off the blinding light. The light was warm and relaxing, so was the figure. I lowered the gun and she walked more toward me. The closer she got the better I could see her face. It was Jane's face. Jane was an angel.
"No it can't be you. You're asleep in the hospital. You didn't die."
"I'm a soul now Todd. Until I wake up, I'll be stuck this way..."
I extended my hand to touch Jane's face. I was trying to prove something to myself. My hand slipped right through her face.
"Am I dreaming?"
"No Todd. I'm real. More real than I was alive."
She took me by the hand and led me to the edge of the balcony. We stood at the top and before I could even reject the idea, we jumped. We were heading straight for the ground below. Before we hit, Jane's wings grew and we flew up toward the night sky. We flew high above the clouds soaring through them. It didn't feel real, but I just had to believe it because I tried punching myself a thousand times when we fell. I didn't wake up. The sky outside was blue and the stars were brighter than ever.
"It's beautiful, isn't it? This is the only upside to becoming a soul."
I didn't respond I was lost in the lights below. Jane landed us on a building downtown. It was the best view ever. I saw the entire city from way up there. Jane was in love with it though. She jumped up from the edge of the building and danced above it. Then she looked at me and flew toward me lifting me up into the air to dance with her. She rested her head on my shoulder. We waltzed at about 70,000 ft in the air over the city lights. I looked into eyes that gleamed just like the lights. I couldn't tell if it was because I hadn't seen those eyes in so long or because she was just that beautiful. She looked at me and smiled. I leaned in to kiss her but before I could I landed on the floor of my hotel room. It was a dream.
CHAPTER 2: Satan's Little Reaper
It had only been a day in Limbo and I couldn't take anymore wandering. Where was I decided to go? Heaven or Hell? I couldn't wait for some kind of guardian to appear out of nowhere and tell me where to go. Besides I knew very well where I belonged. I ran into the direction of Hell. The white clouds faded away with every step I took in that direction. Demons flew over my head and flames grew on both sides of me. I kept running, I didn't know why, but I kept running toward Hell. I had to find a way out of here even if it meant working for the biggest enemy of God. I was well prepared to take any risk. Any risk just to see Todd. I started to slow down when I came to a big black gate. In front of it a man appeared. He was awfully skinny. Almost as if he was withering away. Only two minutes before the wind blew and so would he.
"I am the gate keeper to Hell. Have you been sent here?"
"No. I ran here to work for the Devil..."
"Foolish girl. Working for the Devil is an awful thing to do. Especially willingly. Do you not see the poor product before you?!"
I was less committed than I was two seconds ago, but I shook it off and showed the old soul a confident face.
"I am prepared for the consequences that lie beyond that gate. Please, let me pass."
The old man let out a disappointed sigh and opened the gates. The huge black padlock on the gate fell to the ground and disappeared into black demonic souls that flew rapidly past me toward the exit. The huge gate flew open and I walked through it. I was careful this time. I had no weapons with me to depend on and I doubted my fighting skills were a challenge for the Devil himself. I walked into a dark room with black smoke circling the ground around me. Everywhere around me screams could be heard. Screams from the poor lost souls burning in the flames around me. Among the screaming I finally heard something different. It was a horrible laughter.
"What is Margaret Johnson doing in Hell??"
The black smoke emanating from the bars holding back the flames swirled into a figure in the middle of the room. His hair was black and his skin was pale. He was tall and wore a coat that followed his height and ended somewhere close to his shins. His wings were black and very appropriate for someone of his status. This was Satan...
"Judging from the look on your face: defiance, false courage, and a hint of fear, there's no need to introduce myself."
"That's right Maggie. I am Satan, ruler of Hell. Now what are you doing in here? The court was still deciding your fate."
He smiled at me with fire in his eyes. He knew why I was here. He was only toying with me.
"Are you going to talk Maggie?"
"My name is Jane."
"Ah yes. Jane is the name your little boyfriend Todd gave you right?"
"Stop talking. I'm only here for business. You should know that..."
"You're right, and I do know that. You're here to go back to Todd by striking some kind of deal with me."
I was impressed. He knew exactly what I wanted. I nodded in agreement. He started laughing as if he already knew what he wanted me to do. He walked toward me and circled me slowly. He studied me. When he came back forward he looked as if he was pleased with the being I became.
"I'll send you back to Todd. But, you have to work for me forever."
"So in smaller terms, I sell my soul?"
"I'm glad you get it because explaining it to people is such a pain."
A smirk grew across his face. Now instead of killing for Portia, I killed for Satan. He created a contract out of more smoke and a pen to match and handed them both to me.
"You, Jane Johnson, now work for me as my new Reaper. You agree to be bound by this contract just to be with your loved one again. I will hold your soul here and you are allowed one visit every two months. Your physical body will stay with Todd, but your consciousness will stay here by my side. Do we have a deal?"
I showed regret, but I signed it anyway. The contract went up in flames and the smoke from the flames swallowed me up into it. My appearance changed again. My hair glowed and I wore a long black dress. I looked more like a woman than a 17-year old girl. Satan smiled. I took my place beside him and he snapped his fingers. Then I woke up in a hospital room with Todd next to me.
I sat up and he hugged me. I was glad to be back in his arms.
Chapter 3: Not the Real Jane
It's been a month since Jane woke up from her coma. The doctors ran some tests on her and said that she was normal. But the day after she woke up I knew that the doctors were wrong. Jane wasn't Jane...in a way. This girl was way more different than Jane. Her way of talking was different. It was slower and calmer than Jane's and she stared off into space way too often. She flat out was depressing to be around. She agreed with everything I said, there was no defiance in her voice. Who was this girl staring at me in the face? She smiled at me every time we made eye contact but it wasn't convincing enough. I couldn't put my finger on it. This was NOT my Jane. I watched her read her book to me and she looked at me occasionally and smiled. I would smile back and she would keep on reading. Then the doctor came in.
"Sir, I'm going to need to conduct one last physical on Ms. Johnson. After that you can take her home, but while I'm conducting the physical you'll have to wait on the other side of the curtain."
I sat down on the other bed and the doctor pulled the curtain so that it covered half of the room on Jane's side. It may have been wrong, but I had to make sure this was the Jane I loved so I peeked through the curtain a little and noticed that resting on her right shoulder beneath her hair was a logo that the doctor didn't seem to notice with the devil's insignia. I looked at the back of my wrist and saw that it was the same thing. Jane threw her life away and sold her soul to Satan, just like I did when Jane took the bullet for me that night.
That bullet did hit me that night and I died instantly. I ended up in Limbo and that's probably what happened to Jane. I tried going to Heaven first, but I was told that deals having to do with living again were always handled by Satan. So I went to go see him and asked to be born again. He sent me back knowing that I had a condition in that contract. I didn't figure it out until he sent me back to the exact moment when the bullet was going to be fired. The exact moment when she pushed me out of the way and got shot. Jane made a deal with that lying bastard, but gave her entire being just to live again. I had to figure out a way to get Jane back. I couldn't let her suffer. I was there, I heard those screams! I didn't want Jane to be one of those people suffering in the flames of Hell. I stopped thinking when Jane pulled the curtain open. I stared at her then looked away in embarrassment.
"What's wrong Todd?"
"Um, nothing. You might want to put back on your shirt though."
She looked down and swung the curtain closed again. Her silhouette quickly put her dress back on and put on her small jacket. The curtain swung open and I was able to look at Jane again. I had to tell her I knew, but given her current condition I doubted that she even knew she was an empty shell of a girl. I took Jane outside and gave her my helmet to wear as we got on her Harley. Jane still had a soul, I had her body with me. I had to protect it as much as I could. We drove in the cold guided by the moonlight. It was late but just for Jane I kept driving. I looked up at the moon and saw a figure jump through it. She had pale skin and long silver hair. The face was all too familiar to me as well.
She barely held onto me and I thought that she was going to let go. I was right, she let go and jumped off the bike onto the sidewalk into a puddle. I stopped the Harley abruptly and ran to her side. She looked okay. She stared into the puddle like it was talking to her or something. What was going through this Jane's head? She was flat out insane. She let go of me while I was driving as fast as I could. I worried about her. I watched her stare into the puddle and I picked up her hand and smiled at her. I wasn't going to let anything bad happen to Jane. The old version or the new one. I loved her, no matter who she turned into. I could see that she was dozing off and I led her back to the bike to take her back to the hotel so she could get some rest. It was a very tiring evening. I laid her down on the bed next to mine and tucked her in. No matter who she was, she still looked beautiful sleeping. I petted her head and a small smile grew across her face as she slept.
Chapter 4: Life's a Living Hell
I stayed in Hell right by Satan's side. I became the new Reaper of Death. I collected souls that were sent to Hell by The Council. I collected them because these souls would never go to Hell willingly. When that job had a slow day, I worked as Satan's Little Killer. I would cause natural disasters and occurrences and made sure that the people who were supposed to be killed, were killed. Sometimes I even had to cut the lives of innocent people short to uphold my contract. I was given an Earthly body and had to kill those innocent people personally. Life was a total Hell.
"Maggie, where are you my delightful killer?"
He was looking for me. In that tone, it was best to stay away from him. Everyone knew that when the flames were white, He was angry. I ran around the corner to try and avoid him and walked quickly down the hall. I kept looking behind me to see if he was following me. He wasn't. I kept checking and was almost out of the gate until I bumped into him. He stood over me looking down upon me. I backed up and tried to run, but all he had to do was snap his fingers and the black smoke from the flame walls turned into two men holding me in front of him. I was trapped, and sure enough I was going to be punished for not coming when being called. He walked up to me slowly and lifted my head up with his cold hands that oozed out smoke forcing me to make eye contact with him.
"Did you not hear me calling you, Margaret?"
"No... I didn't."
"Then how come you bumped into me at the gate exit?"
"Exactly. Now, you've been a good girl Maggie. This is your first sign of defiance to me, so I will not punish you too badly."
He smiled at me and I was carried away. The men threw me into a containment chamber and turned up the heat. The flames grew larger and it got hotter. Sweat poured out of me and evaporated as quickly as it came. The flames crept up on me. It went from red-orange to blue and burned my skin. I was shrieking in horror. Over and over again I burned and red static and overlapping skin re-grew my missing limbs back. I suffered in the chamber for days on end. Each day the temperature rose and I wasn't able to scream anymore because my throat and tongue were burned out by the flames too many times. Thirty days had passed since I was thrown in for punishment. The fire had been turned down to a bearable temperature and I was let out by Satan himself. The gates swung open and he came in and found me sitting in a corner regenerating all the skin and hair that was burned off of me. I stared at him with a hateful look and stood up.
"Why don't you come watch something with me, Maggie? I've forgiven you for running away and I think it's very important that you see something."
I staggered toward him holding my arm and he extended his hand toward me to assist me. I looked at him hatefully, but remembered my punishment and took it. We went back to the main room and a mirror appeared in front of us. I took my seat beside him and let the regeneration continue. This mirror showed Satan everything that had to do with death. Assassinations, man-slaughter, suicide etc. If it was one of those options, it would appear on that mirror. The mirror defogged and on it was the night I died. The night when I was shot and forced into Hell. However, this scene was different. Todd was about to tell me he loved me, but instead of me noticing the bullet, he was shot and blood splattered across my shirt. I didn't want to believe it. Todd died before I did... My heart raced as I thought of how Todd died, yet lived and I ended up dying. Mostly though, I was angry and hurt. I stood up from my seat and for the first time, the flames rose and turned blue while I rose out of anger. A smile crept across Satan's face. He was impressed. He had a plan, but for now I was too blind to notice. I was in control now. If the flames rose up when you did, Hell was at your will. I snapped my fingers and assumed my Earthly body and walked out of the room.
"Where are you going Maggie?"
"Don't act like you don't know. I'm going to pay Todd a visit in my new body."
"Have fun, Jane."
I walked out of the room quickly as he laughed and out onto the surface world. It was daytime. I stopped by a flower shop and bought a dozen roses. Then I took them to the house provided for me by Satan himself to stay in for long-term trips. I took the roses and picked off the petals off of 11 of the roses. I spared the last one. This last rose is meant for him...
Chapter 5: The Shell's Sacrifice
It was still dark outside when I woke up with a chill down running up and down my spine. There was a shift in the atmosphere. She was back. I was only a shell, but I knew when my soul would come back. Todd was still asleep so I snuck out by jumping from the third floor window. I had to make sure that Todd was safe. That was my one and only task that Jane trusted me with, (even if I was the one getting into most of the trouble). I knew Jane worked for Satan as his errand girl and there would always be a shift in my body when she did come back to Earth to do her job, but this vibe was different. There wasn't a serious feeling to it. This was anger and hatred. Pure hatred. There was something wrong with Jane. Satan had pulled her toward him. Jane wasn't Jane any longer. Just then, my phone rang. It was an unknown number.
I knew that voice. It was my voice. It was Jane.
"Jane. What's happened to you?"
"You haven't figured it out either, have you Shell?"
"Figured what out?"
"It's Todd, Shell. He betrayed us. He died before I did. He asked for re-birth and handed me to Satan."
"Jane... I'm sure he didn't know that would happen. Todd loves us Jane."
"He's a liar Shell. Everything he did for us was an act. He doesn't love us."
"Give him a chance Jane. You still love him. I know because I still get butterflies when I see him."
"I know I do Shell. That makes it more heart breaking and I have to do what is fated to be."
She hung up the phone. I turned and ran back toward the house to protect Todd from whatever Jane was planning. I also had to find out the truth. Todd would never do something as selfish as what Jane had said just to live again and hand her to the devil. I kept running toward the house and up the stairs. I opened the door to the room halfway and poked my head through and looked around the room to see if everything was okay. Todd was missing. His bed was empty. I opened the door more to see if my eyes were wrong. I searched around the room and Todd was definitely not in there. I ran out into the hall and back down the stairs. Then I heard a creaking noise and everything stopped. I stood up against a wall and put my guard up. The creaking came closer and closer. I tensed up and prepared my gun. The creaking stopped next to me. I closed my eyes and banged the back of my gun against their head. He fell forward and as I took a closer look, I could see that I knocked out Todd.
I fell to my knees and tried to wake Todd. I shook him roughly and by the 6th shake he started coming to.
"Shut up Todd!"
"I know that you know I'm not the real Jane, so drop the act."
"What are talking about? You are the real Jane."
"You think I'm stupid?"
"I'm sorry. But what do I call you now??"
"Just call me Shell."
"Shell?? No I re-named Jane and I'll re-name you."
"Okay. And what are you going to call me?"
"You're kidding, right?"
He smiled at me, stood up, and petted my head. He walked back to the room and went back to sleep. I walked back in and fell back asleep.
Morning came quicker than I expected it to. The sun peeked through the white curtains and shined brightly in my face. I pulled the blanket over my head, but Todd immediately pulled it off. I opened my eyes and saw his smiling face, but that didn't delight me, I wasn't Jane. I didn't feel the same way about Todd like she did. When Jane left my body she gave me my very own state of mind so that I could be aware enough to give Todd the attention Jane did. I pulled the covers back over and he pulled them back off. His face was more serious now. I pulled the blankets back over my head.
"C'mon Jo! Get out of bed! We're going to get out of this house and do something together!"
"Well I, as in "The Girl Who Is Responsible For YOUR Safety", think we should just stay home. We need to stay out of sight for a long time Todd."
He didn't answer back so I thought he understood me and left. Instead he wrapped me in the blanket and carried me out of the room. I struggled to get out of the hold and was finally able to get my head through to see that I was thrown into the bathroom with my clothes and a towel next to the sink. I kicked off the blankets and ran toward the door and had it slam in my face. I tried opening the door but Todd barricaded it.
"You're not coming out until you're ready to go out with me today!"
I banged the door and took my shower and put on the black dress that Todd picked out of my drawer.
"Todd! I'm ready..."
The door opened and I stepped out. He smiled at me and extended his hand toward me. I walked right passed him and grabbed my car keys off the table. He got in on the driver's side and drove all the way to downtown. We were at a stoplight and as I looked out the window, my eyes grew wider as I noticed Jane standing in the crowd. We drove away as she mouthed out something to me. She was ready. She was coming for him now. I reached for the wheel, but as my hand got closer, Todd grabbed it and it scared me a little.
"We're not going back home Jo. We're going to have fun today, okay?"
He smiled at me, still holding my hand. I smiled back at him. He squeezed my hand anxiously. As if he knew what was going on. What I was hiding from him, to protect him. I tried to gently pull my hand out of his grasp, but I couldn't get free. He knew what was going to happen today, yet he could still smile at everything that went by. My expression darkened as we drove further and I squeezed his hand as I choked back the tears.
"You know, these last few months made me feel like you took everything for granted. Like everything was given to you. Jane didn't because she knew you. I was wrong to think like that."
He kept looking forward and I let a tear race down my cheek. He rubbed my hand with his thumb as if telling me that everything happens for a reason.
We finally arrived at a local fair. When we got there, he instantly turned into the biggest kid I had ever seen. He grabbed my hand and took me to all the rides. He even played a few games, but he didn't win any of them. It was sad to see him lose so I played a few of them and lost so he would feel a little better. It did and I was glad it did. The rest of the day went on like that: smooth, easy, no sign of Jane. I wished it would stay like that forever or that Jane would realize what was going to happen. The last ride we went on was the Ferris Wheel. The sun started setting when we got on. It was nice. When he looked out the window the warm golden color shined on his face. It was a peaceful image. I took out my phone and took a picture of him. It was a nice picture.
"Today was a really fun day Jo."
"I wish it didn't have to end."
I smiled softly and leaned over toward him on the other side. I kissed him on the cheek quickly, sat back down, and looked out my window. In the corner of my eye I could see his puzzled expression and then another smile. When we reached the bottom again, we left for home. This time I got in the driver's seat so Todd could sleep. I stopped at a stoplight and looked over at Todd sleeping.
"Maybe she changed her mind."
"Or maybe I wanted his last day to be special."
I turned around quickly and saw her just outside my window.
I stepped on the gas and drove as fast as I could away from her. Anywhere was fine as long as we could get away from her. She followed behind me in the air, using her wings to catch up to me. I took a right into an alleyway. She was still behind me. I drove faster and faster, but I couldn't shake her. My luck ran out when she chased me down to the docks. She landed about 20 feet away from the car and walked a few more steps into the light where I could see her. I came out and held my gun aimed at her. She laughed.
"It's pretty useless you know! I've already died once, you can't kill me again."
"That's true, but it doesn't hurt trying. I'm the walking impossibility."
Her devil smile faded and she came at me full speed. I started to shoot and she dodged every bullet. Soon enough she was in my face and kicked the gun out of my hand. I grabbed my wrist and swung at her. She ducked down and swung back. She hit me and my nose started to bleed a little. I wiped it away.
"Now I'm mad."
I came at her and landed a few good hits and knocked her to the ground. I picked up my gun and aimed it at her ready to shoot but she was disappeared. I turned around and looked at Todd still sleeping.
"Amazing isn't it? How he can sleep through all of this."
I could hear her voice but I couldn't see her body. Black smoke went by Todd's nose and he woke up. He looked around and saw how messed up I looked. He got out of the car and ran toward me.
"TODD DON'T!! SHE'S STILL HERE!!"
"I am Todd. The girl you loved so much."
"COME OUT JANE!! STOP HIDING AND LET'S FINISH THIS!!"
A black cloud appeared in front of Todd and formed into Jane. She walked toward Todd and put her hand on his face.
"Do you recognize me Todd?"
"That's right. Its been so long Todd. You don't know how long two months can be for me. It's like hell being away from you for that long."
I noticed a change in Todd. As she kept talking, he fell deeper under her spell. She was seducing him with her fake words. Like an actress talking to a real person. He held her in his arms and she kissed him. He was a goner. His fate was sealed but I still didn't give up. I ran toward her and pulled her off of him. He fell unconscious in front of the car and started to regain himself a little. Jane was angry. I could see something snake out of her trench coat and toward Todd. He couldn't get up and before I knew it I jumped in front of him and took the slash. I looked at him from the ground and the picture of him grew blurry. He was stunned, but he was still alive.
"I'm sorry it has to end like this Todd. Especially after such a nice day. I was really starting to like you and think of you more positively. At least I'll die knowing that you're a good funny person."
"Jo, please don't die."
He reached out for me with both hands. I took them in both of mine and put them on his lap. I could see the sun set on my life. I brushed his hair out of his face and felt a tear fall down from his eyes. I smiled at him and managed to kiss him on the cheek again as he held me up. I put my hand on his face and watched it fade to dust with the rest of my body.
"Good bye Todd...I love...you..."
Chapter 6: Complete Strangers
I watched as Jo blew away in my arms. All there was in front of me was ash. My mind was filled with questions that I couldn't answer. Only Jane could. I looked up at her and saw a smile creep across her face. A smile of satisfaction as if she had done her job. The tail that snaked out of her trench coat snuck back in and she walked toward me. I got up and walked toward her. As we got closer to each other I felt something bubble inside me and I knew she could see it in me. We met face-to-face in the middle of the docks. The sun's golden rays peeked from behind her shoulder and she extended her hand toward me with a smile. What was happening? I reached for her hand and our fingers intertwined with each other. Her hand was warm, as if fire was beating inside of it. As I stared into her eyes, I could feel all sense leave me again. My head drooped from side to side and I could see a darker smirk grow onto her face. Her eyes lit up with small golden orange flames hidden behind it. What was Jane becoming? I couldn't keep strong. My vision became more and more blurry and my body became more heavier to carry. The last thing I saw was Jane's lips moving as they told me something. I could barely hear.
I woke up in what seemed like a half-lit furnace. It was hot and it smelled of burning flesh. I was back in Hell. It didn't make any sense. Did Jane kill me?? I didn't understand. Didn't she love me? I loved her. Nothing made sense anymore. I sat up against a burning gate and stared at my Hell outfit. Earth-toned and a white shirt. It didn't seem very hellish. I got to my feet and went straight to the master chamber. I was looking for Satan.
"Searching for me is entirely unnecessary Todd."
I turned around and found him standing right behind me.
"Well, she was wrong. You are stupid. I mean a second chance and you STILL ended up dead, but it's not you're fault I guess. I mean she did leave here in such a fury. The flames grew and changed color. I have to admit I'm impressed."
"YOU! What did you do to Jane?! Why did she kill Jo and-?!"
"You? Todd, its so simple. You gave up her life for your own. You asked for re-birth and I gave it to you."
"BUT I DIDN'T KNOW THAT WOULD GET JANE KILLED INSTEAD!!"
"And when she did die, what did you do?? You sure didn't come back here and spend eternity in Hell with her, did you?!"
I withdrew for a minute to think. He was right. I didn't go back for her. I didn't die to be with Jane. I put her through so much.
"You can say you love her all you like, but nobody will ever love Maggie the way I do. I will always have her by my side. She is mine for the rest of eternity. Nothing will change that."
"SHUT UP!! ALL I EVER WANTED IN THE FIRST PLACE WAS JANE!! I RUSHED HER TO THE HOSPITAL SO SHE COULD LIVE WITH ME FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES AND THEN ETERNITY!!"
"HAHAHA! Stop wasting your breath screaming at me. What good will it do? You died again and now one of you have to end things once and for all."
"What are you talking about?"
"She's not through with you Todd."
He smiled at me darkly and snapped his fingers. Flickers of dying flame clicked away and I was enveloped in dark smoke and was put back on the docks. I looked around for Jane but only saw my mangled body on the docks.
I couldn't believe that she did this to me. But I had to keep looking for Jane to find out the truth. I felt her presence strongly. She was still on the docks.
"You just don't know how to die, do you Todd?"
"Why did you do this Jane? Look at me. Mangled? Really?"
"You broke my heart. You traded my life for your second chance."
"I can explain!"
"Then explain, Todd! Explain how I ended up half alive, working for Satan. Going back and forth between Earth and Hell. Can you explain that to me?"
I grew silent and hung my head. She exhaled heavily and a fireball grew in her palm.
"I didn't think so. Now I understand."
"Why your picture was in the last rose in the garden I saw when I died. It was a garden of people I killed and in the future would kill."
"The last rose?"
A rose grew out of the flame in her hand. She held it out for me to see and then brought it close to her chest and kept it there.
"It was a beautiful red rose, but now that you're dead it started to wilt and burn. Look at it."
The rose was wilted, but she still held it close to her heart as if it were a delicate infant. She looked at adoringly. Then she looked at me as if she knew something that I didn't know yet.
"Look in your shirt pocket. You have a rose too."
I opened my jacket and found the same rose that she had inside of it. I took it out and held it. It was colder than ice, but it was still beautiful for some reason. I looked at Jane and saw the stranger I met for the first time holding a new rose. That's what she saw me as too. Right now we are strangers again. Complete strangers, yet for some reason one of us had to die and we were prepared for it. She reached into her pocket, took out her shades, and put them on. I didn't love this Jane so I smiled darkly at her. I wore the devil's smile. She smiled back at me and I knew that she also gave up on loving me.
"I loved you Jane."
"I loved you too, Todd."
"Sadly, we both know what happens here today."
She took out her gun and aimed it at me.
"Yup, I shoot you and wipe you away from existence."
"Lets not be confident Margaret. We hardly know each other now. We're complete strangers."
Chapter 7: When Blood Rain Turns To Snow
Margaret. He threw it away just like that. He said he loved me, but yet here he was standing in front of my gun: fearless and confident. I was annoyed and more hurt than before. I started shooting at him and he dodged them and hid behind a crate. I heard a gun cock back and he started shooting at me. I did my best to dodge but he shot me in my side and shot the gun out of my hand.
"Come on Margaret, if you let yourself get hit you'll end up dying!"
I grabbed two more guns out of my belt and fired at him endlessly. The crate suffered heavy damage and after the 10th shot, it exploded sending Todd flying into a pile of other crates. Fire danced from crate to crate and each one exploded after the other. These crates were full of dynamite. This was going to be anything but boring. I walked toward the pile and saw Todd trying his best to get up. He gained some sense and finally noticed that my gun was directly on his head.
"It's better if I kill you now, while you're still fresh."
"True, but can you pull the trigger and send me to oblivion..Jane...?"
I stroked his cheek with the the back of my hand, he pulled off my shades, and I pulled the trigger. His eyes were left wide open as blood from his forehead trickled down to his neck. I held his face in one hand and puckered his lips.
"If you let yourself get hit, you'll end up dying. Isn't that what you said Todd?"
I threw his head back and walked away toward the end of the dock.
I held my stomach and felt something in my throat. I coughed into my hand and blood stained it. I was shot, but by who? I turned around and Todd was still dead in the pile of crates. I looked around the docks searching for the shooter.
I was shot again. This time in my leg. The red static finally came and started to close the hole in my stomach and the wound in my leg.
"That's a neat little trick you got there, Jane. But it won't do you much good."
"Who's there?! SHOW YOURSELF!!"
"Look behind you, Jane."
I turned around again and saw a white figure standing in the middle of the ashes from earlier. It was Jo.
"You know he never had a chance against you, but you still shot him. He's not dead you know."
I looked over at the pile of crates and saw movement in him. Damn it! He was still alive which meant that it was too late to use a gun to kill him. I turned back toward Jo.
"What are you doing here? You turned to ash."
"It's funny really, but much too long of a story to tell you right now. Maybe some other time if you get that chance of course."
I charged at her with my hidden knife. I sliced at her but she dodged every attempt and shot me again. I held on and kept attacking her. I wasn't going to lose to myself, not when I was so close to my objective. Todd and Jo will die. They will feel the pain that I feel right now! I landed a hit and scratched her arm and her left side. She cringed and shot at me again. I stayed strong I wasn't going to die, not again. I took the knife out of my sleeve and swung it at her body. She was clearly cut in half but there was no blood. She was a ghost. This time she muttered words and disappeared completely. Not a trace was left behind not even dust.
Her energy flew into the air like white butterflies and into Todd. It gave him the energy to stand back up and fight me again. He crawled out of the crates and held the gun up in front of me. The docks shown with fire and red clouds rolled in above us. A drop of rain fell onto my hand. It wasn't regular rain it was blood. The fires grew more intense, as if being fueled by the blood rain. Todd cocked the gun back and aimed it at me. I wasn't scared of him. He wouldn't shoot at me. He was weak. He wouldn't land a kill shot.
"What are you waiting for!?"
"I'm giving you time to think, Margaret. I know how bad I hurt you, how betrayed you feel right now in front of me."
"YOU TRADED MY LIFE FOR YOUR OWN!! HOW COULD YOU UNDERSTAND HOW BETRAYED I FEEL?!?"
"Because, I can see it in your eyes. Those demon like eyes are red with pain and suffering. I understand all of that because I was hurt the most when you were struck down in front of me. I came back to spend our entire lives together only to see that I wouldn't get that privilege. I'm giving you a chance Jane."
"Don't act like you know me. Don't pity me!!"
I took out my gun and shot the gun out of his hand and threw mine to the side. I ran toward him ready to fight without the guns. They wouldn't work. My tail snaked out from trench coat and headed straight for his eyes. Something blocked me and when I looked up I saw that it was his tail. I attacked in a flurry of movements and anger. I was fighting, but not consciously. Every attack I made was blocked. He was even able to get close enough to fight me head on. My tail rushed back inside of coat and I started throwing punches at him. He took every single hit, like it didn't even affect him. Tears fell from my eyes. I was filled up on anger. I couldn't hold it in anymore. They kept falling.
"YOU LEFT ME ALL ALONE IN HELL BY MYSELF!! IF YOU LOVE ME SO MUCH THEN HOW COULD YOU LEAVE ME BURNING IN THE CAGE?!?! HUH?!?"
He grabbed my wrists and I leaned on him still crying. My hair turned from silver to blonde and his hair turned black. The blood rain turned to snow and it fell on us. He held me tight and didn't let me go. I kept crying and I wiped my eyes on his coat. He still loved me after everything that happened he still loved me. I couldn't handle how forgiving he was to someone like me. We fell to the floor and sat down on the burnt docks.
"I really made a mess, huh?"
I looked up at him and he just smiled at me. A genuine smile, not Satan's stupid smirk. We looked around at the snow covered mess. It almost made it better to look at. I laughed a little at how stupid and enraged I became. It wasn't his fault, it was only Satan's. I took out the rose for my coat and put it on the front of his pocket. He looked at it and then he looked at me.
"This last rose is for you."
"Why did you save me that day, Jane? If I died this whole mess wouldn't have happened."
"I always find ways to get into situations like this. I'm glad it ended well."
He looked down at me and kissed me.
"C'mon, let's go spend eternity together in Hell."
"I'd like that. Very much."