Chapter Six: Introducing the Devil

A young Charlene threw her book bag down as she staggered into her empty home. It was just after noon, when Tommy had shared disgusting video of the two of them having sex in his bedroom. It had been her first time, ever 

And now it was all over town. Everyone had seen her having seen with Tommy, him leaning over her, grinding into her. She had even tried to enjoy it, but all that had now changed to pitch black shame.  

She hunched over the kitchen sink for several minutes, sobbing and afraid she might vomit. While she stood there shuddering in grief and humiliation, she hatched a plan. 

Wiping the wet from her face, she went directly to her mother’s cabinet and took her bottle of sleeping pills. Shedding her clothes as she walked, she went to her bathroom and poured water for a bath. Filling a glass of water from the sink, she swallowed the bottle of pills a small handful at a time. 

Naked and shaking, she settled into the tub and let it fill to the brim. As she settled her head back, she could feel the pills starting to affect her. She sobbed again, hard at first, then softening until they stopped and her head slipped under the water.  

She awoke laying on a lounge, bathed in sunlight, beside a pool overlooking a dark mountain.  

A woman with an apron quickly towelled off her face then gave her an iced drink and encouraged her to drink it. As she did, she felt vibrancy and calm take over her body. 

As the attendant moved away a beautiful, princely man came to the foot of her lounge chair. 

“You are a very rare thing for us to find down here, my dear.” he said to her.

“What do you mean, rare?” 

The man replied “You have a beautiful soul, an almost unblemished heart. If it hadn’t been for that boy you would most certainly be in a better place than this.” 

Charlene questioned, “What is this place?” 

“This is Hell, my dear. And I am the one you call the Devil.” 

Charlene looked around incredulously. “This seems too nice for Hell…” 

The Devil replied chuckling, “Well, I keep certain areas reserved for entertaining honoured guests. The rest is quite nasty, believe me.” A dark fog momentarily descended over the whole of the valley. Charlene could swear she saw moving outlines of massive wings and a tail appear in the dimmed light. 

The Devil went on, “You, my dear, are an honoured guest and I am here to make you a very special offer. I am in need of another envoy on earth. You can return home to your rapidly cooling bathtub and carry on the rest of your life.” 

“Never. I never want to go back to that place. I died to get away from it, remember?” Charlene turned away remembering her scarifying shame.

The Devil said softly, “Oh I remember Charlene. I was watching. I saw you and your cleanly broken heart and I watched you lock yourself out of the gates of Heaven. So now you’re here with me. And I’m giving you one chance to stay out of an eternally burning pit of fire.” 

With that, the world around her changed and she found herself falling through a flaming maelstrom, fire and debris and charred bones hitting her from all directions. Through boiling eyes she watched as her hair and fingernails caught fire. She screamed once before breathing in burning agony. 

Just as suddenly, she was back on the lounge chair. She spilled a small splash of her drink onto her bathing suit. The attendant came by with another towel to wipe her dry. 

“So you see now, I have been quite accommodating with you up until now.” 

Charlene took a trembling drink from her glass and steadied herself. “Why me?” 

The Devil turned towards her, he let his eyes fall over the length of her and finally met her gaze with a surprising softness . “You remind me of someone I used to know, a long time ago.” 

He approached her and sat down beside her, taking her hand and locking her eyes with his. “I want you to serve as an agent for me on earth. You must understand both that this is a rare honour and that nothing that you were afraid of will ever hurt you.  You will have powers as my agent. Powers of persuasion, powers of influence and some more basic abilities.” 

With that he stretched back his head and arched his back. Curved horns appeared on his head adorned by golden filigree. Sharp black wings sprang from his back and extended out well past his outstretched arms. As he pulled back down to her, his wings furled behind him as his tail curled around Charlene’s leg.  



He said to her, “You will not be the same girl as you were before. I offer you a chance to be a master of men. I want to fix that broken heart of yours so it can never be broken again. Wealth, power, revenge... Anything you want can be yours.” 

The Devil’s lips curled into a smile as he said the word revenge.  

He watched Charlene’s gaze turn inward and felt the fire of hatred towards the boy that hurt her. He smiled again as he saw her return to him and nod.  

“OK. What do I have to do?” 

“Just kiss me.” he said.

She shuddered for a moment, inches away from this monstrous creature. But she focused her gaze on his soft eyes, then closed her eyes as she leaned in. The Devil closed his eyes too, and as their lips met there was a compaction of the universe down to just that one moment. Then a flash of black lightning and a smell of new smoke.  

The Devil held her close as waves of energy swept through her body. Each wave helped to grow her new horns, wings and tail. After her form was complete, the Devil laid her down and resumed his human form. He waited beside her until she awoke. 

He steadied her as she snapped to awareness.  

He gently ordered her to stand. “Stand up my dear.” 

She did as she was told, discovering as she did how much larger she was than before. She stretched her wings and felt the movement of air at their tips. Her tail flailed behind her, wrapping itself around her lounge chair and convulsively crushing it.  

The Devil held her steady, “Careful, my dear. You really don’t know your own strength... yet.”  

He touched her chin with his hand and within an instant, Charlene was back in her human form, naked but unafraid.  

“I must now return you to your body, my dear. But I will give you everything you need to succeed. I will visit you from time to time, but I have every confidence you will know what to do.” 

He embraced her and looked deep into her eyes before he kissed her again, filling her lungs with perfumed air before letting her go.  

Her eyes opened under the water of the bathtub. It was still warm. As she raised her head out of the water she saw that the water was covered in rose petals, their flowery fragrance ripe in the air. 

She smiled and as she stood up the rose petals vanished. She pulled the plug on the water, stepped out of the tub and dried herself. On the vanity was a safety deposit box key and a list of passwords and accounts. A fresh bottle of her mother’s sleeping pills was beside it. She looked at her own eyes in the mirror and for a brief moment she saw her old self before recognizing what she had become.  

Taking her clothes and key and her mothers medicine she went naked to her room to find something new to wear. It had to be something tight. 

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