Don't Call The Devil Ugly

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Just don't coz he's petty as hell.


The devil wasn't what I imagined. No red horns. No sharp pitchfork. No cloven hooves. Instead, he wore a regular brown suit. The well-worn kind with the edges slightly fraying apart. He wasn't handsome either. Not like how they portrayed him as a British man in the tv shows. Instead, he had a receding hairline all the way to the back of his scalp and had dull, tired skin.

 

To the uninspired, he looked like every average working citizen. Well, except for his shoes. They were clean and polished to a terrifying shine.  Oh, and he wore dark shades over his eyes. In the middle of the night. No one seemed to notice, though. But this was Legna City. No one cared.
 


I was seated at my usual table at my favorite coffee shop, working on a project that was due tomorrow.  I had been working on it since late afternoon and was already on my 7th cup of coffee when I vaguely noticed him walk in.



Moments later, a tall shadow fell on my table. Frowning, I looked up, wanting to know who was trying to disturb my focus.



It was him. His greasy, half-bald head gleamed against the light. I could see my reflection in the dark shades he wore on his face. A young, slightly tanned woman with reddish-brown hair tied in a ponytail wearing a casual shirt and shorts.



He smiled at me, white teeth gleaming against the bright fluorescent light.



"Mind if I sit with you?"
 


I gave him a dirty look. The last time I saw him, he tried to kill me. I hadn't forgotten it, and I couldn't believe he had the balls to appear in front of me again.

 

"I'm busy right now. I have a project due tomorrow."



He took a seat anyway.



"So how is it going?" He continued.



Inwardly, I frowned. I didn't have time for this. "You're not leaving?"



"Are you sure you want me to leave?"



I paused. My mother always warned me not to take the devil lightly. I've seen her face off the worst atrocities than demons or devils. in all my twenty years of living on earth. And when she says something, I pay attention.



scooched closer to my table.



"Is this any way to treat an old friend?"


 

"We're not friends," I stated calmly. "More like acquaintances."



"It doesn't matter. I know your name. And you know mine. We even shook hands."



"That was one time. Before I knew who you really were. What do you want?"



The devil placed his coffee cup on the table, folded his legs, and leaned against the chair, looking completely relaxed.



"What makes you think I want something from you? What if I just wanted to chat with an acquaintance?"



I couldn't help let out an unladylike snort. "You're the devil. There's no way you would just stop by for a chat. Aren't you busy collecting more damned souls out there?"



The devil snickered. "Who says the devil can't take a break? Truth be told, damning billions of souls take hard work, you know. And speaking of the damned, are you aware of the naughty things your little brother is doing?"



"What do you-" My phone rang, cutting me off mid-sentence. I looked at my screen, then gave the devil a look. I answered the call.



"Laurence? What's the matter?"



My little brother's voice sounded panicky and breathless as if he had been running. "Aria, I need your help. I made a big mistake and-" A high pitch frequency blared through the speakerphone. I immediately pulled it away from my ear, feeling the pain ringing in my ear.



I could tell from his voice something was wrong. After the frequency died down, I put the phone back in my ear. "Where are you?"



Static and garbled words only came through. "He..lp! R..e..ple..se..!!"



 My anxiety grew. "Laurence? Laurence?!" Then the line went dead. Immediately, I stood up, preparing to leave.



"Hey now, don't go in a rush. We're still having a conversation."



I glared at him. "What did you do to my brother?"



"Nothing, I swear." The devil assured me, still looking as relaxed as ever. "If he is in trouble, he put himself there. You know I can't harm your family without facing the wrath of your parents. You should have seen your dad in his prime. He was glorious. He could crush civilizations under his feet. And your mother was the reason men were terrified of the dark. Then they had the gall to fall in love."

 

He sneered. "If Heaven hadn't intervened, they would have gone into history as dark legends."



Taking a deep breath, I sat back down and looked at the devil straight in the eye.

 

"Why are you telling me this?"



"Oh,, you know me. I just love sharing delicious tidbits of information. And the phone call from your brother, well, let's just say there is no cell service where he's in."



"Where is he?"



The devil smiled.



"He's in hell, my dear Aria. Your little brother is poking his nose into places where he shouldn't be."



"You damned him!" Surprise covered my face, I couldn't believe Laurence was in hell. He was the family's baby, and he always wanted to help people. His dream was to be a law enforcer.



"He damned himself." The devil corrected. "I can get him out, but I need something in return."



I narrowed my eyes. "I don't make deals with devils. Especially not with Satan himself."



"Not even to save your little brother?"



I paused. He had me there. I love Laurence. He was my little brother. I remembered when he first showed up with my parents. He was wrapped in a warm blanket and stared at his new surroundings. He looked at me with his big dark eyes and I swore he smiled at me. My heart melted, and I knew this new baby brother would become a special addition to the family.  



"What do you want?"



"It's pretty simple. I want you to save someone. In fact, you already know him." He snapped his fingers and the coffee shop disappeared, and we stood in a place I hadn't seen before. But the important thing was happening in front of me.



Everything was frozen. As if time had stopped. I observed the situation. It looked like a fight had broken out. Several bodies were lying on the ground. Pools of blood everywhere.

 

In the corner, I saw a man wearing a combat uniform surrounded by several other people. It looked like he was fighting them off while trying to reach toward the middle of the room.

 

In the middle of the room was a platform with a large fire torch. Besides the burning torch was a man with a crew cut lying on the ground. Dressed in black combat gear, his skin looked pale. He had a large wound on his chest and blood stained his clothes. It looked fatal.



Despite his sorry state, I immediately recognized him.



"Eric!"



I ran over to his body and crouched down. I held his wrist and felt for his pulse. Eric was my little brother's childhood friend. I also grew up with him since his family lived with ours.

 

My stomach turned cold. 

 

There was no pulse. He was dead. I faced the devil sharply. "You better tell me exactly what's going on before you regret it."



The devil laughed. "How cute. But I have no obligation to tell you what's going on. I only brought you here because you're useful. Use your powers. Bring him back and I'll keep my end of the bargain."



I looked back at Eric and remembered the days when we were young and he used to tag along with Laurence playing around the house. It's not a lie that I see Eric as a younger brother. Fuck it. If saving a life meant making a deal with the devil, then what other choice do I have.



undamned and taken out of hell, got it?"



I held out my hand and waited for the devil to take it.



He clasped his hand against mine. I felt a throb of power between us and for a split second, I saw his face. Beyond the 40-year-old bald man, I glimpsed his true shape. It wasn't what I had imagined. Not ugly or malformed, as the rumors say. The image was bathed in golden yellow light and it left me breathless.



It wasn't until he tried to pull his hand away I noticed I was staring at him.



He raised an eyebrow. "Is there something on my face?"



I sneered. "It's too ugly."



"..."



I let go of the handshake and immediately went over to Eric's side. I put my hands over the wound on his chest and focused. With an exception of a few people, namely the devil, no one outside my family knows about my power. Aside from having healing powers, I also had the power to pull dead souls back to their bodies. If anyone knew about this, the government would chase after me like I was a leprechaun at the end of the rainbow.  



I searched for Eric's soul. Usually, the souls of the dead linger around their bodies for a few days. I frowned. I couldn't find his soul anywhere. I expanded my awareness, trying to pinpoint where Eric's soul had gone. But I couldn't find it anywhere.



Could it be? I pulled back my awareness and settled it on Eric's body itself. The body was empty but dove deep into it. To my surprise, I felt a barrier. I couldn't exactly tell what it was. It wasn't Eric's but something alien and otherworldly.



I poked it with my power. The barrier became alive, and I felt something looking back at me. There was a pregnant pause before I felt the barrier give way and I was allowed inside.



My consciousness became aware I was standing inside a white room with no doors or windows. Instead, there were three chairs in the middle of the room. Between the chairs was a wooden table and on top of it was a chessboard, with chess pieces.



I walked toward it, observing the chess pieces. They were placed as if a game was currently going on.  I tried to pick one up,, but they were stuck on the squares. I left it alone.



"What is this place?"



Eric appeared, sitting on one chair. Something nagged at me the moment I saw him. It could be the shape of his face was slightly more mature or how he seemed to fill up the chair despite being only a teenager. I was too overjoyed to pay too much attention. The important thing is, I found him and he's safe. I grabbed his shoulder and shook his body.



"Eric! Wake up!"



He opened his eyelids, blue eyes looking dazed. "A-aria?"



"What happened to you? Where is Laurence?"



Eric blinked twice, putting his hand on his forehead. "I-I dunno. The last thing I remembered was heading to an underground sewer with Kyr-. Wait, why are you here? Aren't you supposed to be working at the hospital?"



I clicked my tongue. He must have had a concussion. "Don't worry. Everything is okay now. I've got to bring you up. Trust me, ok?"



He closed his eyes and nodded. I grabbed his hand and with my power, pulled him from out of the barrier.



In the real world, we both gasped at the same time. But there was no time for me to relax. Eric might have revived,, but the wound was still there. I immediately used my power to heal the wound, watching Eric gasping and groaning in pain.



"It's going to be alright." I kept repeating, trying to hasten the healing process. Eric didn't seem to hear me. His blue eyes looked blurred and out of focus. He kept muttering something obscure from his lips, but I couldn't pay attention. Saving his life was more important.



Finally, the wound closed. The blood stopped flowing, and I sat back, feeling exhausted at using my powers to their full extent in such a short amount of time. Despite still looking pale, Eric was breathing again. His eyes were closed, and he seemed to be in deep sleep.




"Is it done?" The devil asked. He was holding a cup of coffee from the coffee shop.



I nodded. "We should put him somewhere safe so he can recuperate."



"He's a tough boy. He'll be back on his feet in no time."



"How do you know Eric, anyway?"



He looked at me, slyly. "Do you really want to know? It will cost you."



I narrowed my eyes. "On second thought, never mind. I can ask him myself later. I did my end of the deal. You better keep your promise."



"Of course."



I crossed my arms. "This doesn't sit right with me. Stay away from my brothers from now on."



He chuckled and snapped his fingers. We appeared right back at the coffee shop and it looked like everything was normal. No one noticed us disappearing or re-appearing.



undamned and should be back on earth. Till next time, my dear." He lifted the coffee cup and walked out of the shop.



I picked up my phone and called Laurence. He picked up almost immediately.



"Laurence, are you alright? I heard you were in trouble and went to get some help. Where are you?"



Laurence's voice sounded strange. "Uh, you did? Who told you? I'm fine now, but can I ask you for another favor? Can you book a plane ticket for me because I don't think I'm in America right now?"



I raised an eyebrow. "Then where are you?"



.I'm guessing by the looks of the local people and the weird stares I've been getting, I think I'm somewhere in Asia. Thailand, I think? Maybe in Vietnam?"



I took a deep breath as I processed this information. I assumed the devil would place Laurence somewhere near my area. I didn't expect him to teleport Laurence halfway across the world.

 

I sighed.

 

That's what I get for calling the devil ugly.


 


Submitted: November 21, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Myariel Lee. All rights reserved.

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