There are fates much worse than death.
She knows this now, more than ever. Lying curled up on the warm wet floor, blood and water swirling together like a macabre painting left outside in the rain.
Spending eternity wandering the darkness alone… Being chained to a boulder, eviscerated over and over by razor sharp beaks, with no hope of salvation… Or forced to torture others, skinning them alive, unable to stop your blade from slicing and slicing…
Yes, there are many fates worse than the cold starless void of death.
There would be no light at the end of the tunnel. No dead relatives waiting with kind smiles and outstretched hands.
Not for her. Not after what she’s done.
A sharp, shrill noise, like keening, makes her raise her aching head. At first she thinks it is someone – or something – attempting to break through the beautiful gilt framed windows above the overflowing bathtub.
Her eyes slide away from the windows to the locked door. Blinking, her heartbeat slows, pumping the last of her blood from her body…
The door bursts inward, hinges splintering, and suddenly someone is shouting her name.
“Leave me alone,” she whispers. “Let me go.”
Prompt: Description of the devil recruiting a new servant.
The devil is drawn to tragedy.
She inhales the despair and savours it on her tongue.
Lucky for her, this world is rife with tragedy.
The flavour of the day is vengeance.
Beneath the bows of a weeping willow tree, she watches the police cars drive slowly away from the scene at the tidy cottage across the lane.
A woman sits on the front step, head bowed. Her long blonde hair falls over her face and her shoulders shudder with sobs.
The paramedics have come and gone. The neighbours, drawn outside of their homes by the earlier commotion, have melted away.
Thick clouds darken the sky. The devil makes use of the shadows and is mere steps away from the blonde woman before she is noticed.
“Go away,” the woman pleads weakly. “I have no time for you.”
The devil grins. “Yes you do, Rachel. You now have all the time in the world.”
Rachel slowly gets to her feet. She roughly wipes her tears away with trembling hands. She does her best to appear strong and unafraid. Her bloodshot eyes meet the devil’s piercing gaze.
“The deal is complete. What a fine job, too. Truly well done, Rachel. So much blood!”
The devil proffers a delicate, beckoning hand. “Come,” she coaxes. “There is much to do.”