Prompt: You’re summoned into a parallel universe to be the Antichrist. The only problem is that you’re not feeling any more evil or powerful than you were before.
“Look!” A man shouts from the tightly packed crowd, pointing towards me. “The Antichrist!”
“Oh sweet Mother!” A woman moans, holding her face in her hands.
“How horrible! How unholy!” Another man screams.
I look from them to my pale hands, my doughy arms, my faded black pants and shirt, my shoes that were bought five years ago on clearance, then back to them. “So, um… Yeah. Hi.”
“Oh God!” A few scream as they sprint away. I watch as they scurry like packed rats down the street, turn at the corner, and disappear behind a row of brick buildings.
After a while, there’s nothing but silence, stillness. The clouds drift in reverse here, and there’s no sun, at least not one I can see. The four-way I stand in is empty, trash blowing in the breeze, cluttering the water drains.
“What the hell am I supposed to do here?” I ask myself, aloud.
I shrug, and start down the road. There’s shuttered shops and dingy buildings that have rooms for rent, there’s trashcans spilling their contents onto the sidewalks, there’s towering tan brick churches at almost every corner, though there seems not many people live here; there’s so many things of the same that I wonder if I hadn’t just been dropped in another town in the same world than a parallel one.
I turn to the voice. It’s a short teenager huddling in an alley. He’s wearing camo shorts and a white t-shirt, and carrying a broken bat.
“What?” I ask.
“Are you the Antichrist?”
I raise my hands, let them fall. “I suppose so.”
“You don’t look like the son of the Devil.”
“Not many people look their part either.”
“What’s that mean?” he asks, stepping out of the alley.
“Doesn’t matter. What do you want?”
He shrugs. “I don’t know. I was bored.”
“We all are, but not everyone talks to strangers. Didn’t your parents tell you not to do that?”
He shook his head, nearing me, stopping at the end of the sidewalk. He rocks on his feet. “Nah, I don’t have those.”
“Sure you do; everyone does.”
“Well if do,” he says, “I never met them.”
I look at my hands, move my fingers. I feel something coursing within, like a dull warmth. Maybe there’s something in me after all? “Would you like to meet them?”
His eyes go wide, the grip on his bat tightens. “You can do that?”
“Maybe,” I say, “or I can at least try.”
The teenager bites his bottom lip, moving his head from left to right, and eventually nods. “Yeah, I guess, at least once.”
“All right.” I walk over to him and grip his wrists. “This might not work and it might hurt a bit, but I’ll try. Now close your eyes.”
Hesitant, but the boy obeys. I do, too, and focus on the warmth, focus on fanning the flames. It grows and overwhelms my arms, washes over my chest and fills my body. I smell burnt hair, charred hot dogs. There’s a whooshing sound and the ground is gone and I feel air wafting against my legs. Then, there’s solidness beneath my feet and I open my eyes.
“Fuck,” I say.
We’re in Hell. The Hell. Brimstone stretches forever into the distance before being overtaken by mountains that scratch the sulfur sky. Fire erupts from fissures in the ground, moans and groans echo through the air. Smell of piss and shit and rot stings my nostrils.
The teenager opens his eyes, shakes my hands away and moves around me. I turn. There’s a man and a woman in tattered clothes with scorched flesh and burnt away hair. The man is missing an eye, the woman an arm, but they look similar to the boy.
“Is that you, son?” the man asks.
I hear the teenager sniffle, his chest hitch. “Da— dad? Mom?”
“Oh Lucifer!” the mother shouts before oily tears stream down her face.
Al three of them embrace, and another type of warmth fills me and something stings my eyes. I wipe the fiery tears away quickly. No one needs to know the Antichrist can cry.
Read my previous prompt, “The Odd Wishing Well”
Read more of my writing prompts here.
Check out my bibliography for more of my work.