Before my first story of this new series, I’d like to explain it a little. When I’ve hit a road block with my current writing schedule, I write prompts over at /r/writingprompts. With these posts here, I plan on editing and re-posting the ones that get more than average attention, or ones that I personally enjoy. Without further adieu, here we go…
Prompt: You want to sell your soul to the devil, but you find out your parents already did when you were a baby. You must now sort it out with underworld collections.
Finally! I said to myself, as the line moved forward and I became second-to-next. With my hands in my pockets, I glanced around the dingy place that was Underworld Collections.
Half of the lights had been burnt out, but never replaced; the white tiled ceiling had aged to a fine color of urine; and the floor tiles had cracks and large jagged chunks broken off.
Along the far wall were dozens of ripped maroon cushioned seats, each one seating an abhorrent creature that even the best horror writers could ever conjure. I thought Lovecraft’s work had been horrifying. . . Jesus, he knew nothing of true, utter, horror.
Monstrosities sealed below Earth’s surface, things that have never seen light, some creatures so pale they were transparent, others brilliantly colored with gold and silver and seemed to transcend humanity itself, living in some kind of fourth dimension; others travelling from the outreaches of space, others from a place void of time and space, some with enormous wings composed of tendrils, and so on. . . I could go on for a thousand years describing these abominations and still not even been half of the way through.
The thing ahead of me moved to the side, and at last, I was next. I shuffled up to the ancient moldy counter, and looked through the opening in the spider webbed glass. A heap of flesh and mildew looked back, or at least, I thought it did. It had no eyes, no mouth, and seemed to endlessly ripple, its mounds of skin continuously rolling over itself. And. . . to top it all off, its body had a tint of vomit yellow and gangrene black.
“Uh, yes, hi. My parents sold my soul before I was born, and I’d like to have their sale transferred over to me. I’m eighteen now, so I’m legally. . . well, legally in the States, to do this — not sure how it works down here — but yeah, anyway, can I have that done?”
Silence. Not a moan, groan, or a word came from the heap of flesh on the other side. After a few moments, as I grew fed up with the thing, a large stack of forms fell from the ceiling in front of me. Without pondering how they came before me, I flipped through them quickly, seeing that it was at least a hundred pages long. A pen fell from above shortly after, next to me.
“So I need to fill this out? When is this due?”
Again, the thing didn’t say a word, but a date magically burnt itself into the papers. The forms were due by tomorrow.
“Tomorrow!” I shouted. “How the hell am I going to do that?”
“For fuck’s sake. . . Fine, whatever. Can I take a seat over there and do this? Great, fine, thanks.”
And so, for the next twenty some-odd hours, I sat in an extremely uncomfortable chair, hunched over, and scribbled away. The next day, I waited in line for another five hours, and finally handed over the forms. I was then told by another sheet of paper, that I would receive a letter in the mail with the results within one thousand business days.
Truly, it was hell.