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Death Protects You Down Here

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I.

Winning a bet against a demon was something beyond your wildest imagination. You were always a "shoot now, talk later" kind of guy. In fact, you still are. But there was something different about this particular demon. Firstly, it was no longer at its fullest power, reduced to nothing but a floating flaming skull. Secondly, it wouldn't shut the fuck up about how much it loved strawberries.

It didn't put up much of a fight when all was said and done. It seemed accepting of its new fate. You got along with it as well.

Its name was Johnson, a former "hot shot" demon, now cursed and cast out from the Underworld. He could transform into anything--a scepter for clubbing demons, a pistol to shoot their heads off, a shotgun to blow them into pieces--and much, much more.

It was the beginning of a beautiful partnership.

II.

You found her behind a dumpster.

The blonde bombshell said nothing to you when you help her out, even more so when you took her home. The treatment continued for weeks until you got a phone call one night during dinner.

She immediately shot up from her seat and demanded that you don't answer. Her eyes, formerly dull and cold when you first met, spark with emotion for the first time. Why she didn't want you to answer is unknown to you, but you stayed in your seat and let yourself fall in love with her.

You had been hers ever since.

Beloved Paula, your dear ángel.

III.

Your heart threatens to stop beating when you discover her body hanging over the bed you shared. Paula's head hangs limp, her blonde tresses softly caressing her face as she slowly swings around in the air. You scream out her name the moment her eyes shoot open as she shrieks in agony. A demon cuts through her back, eventually slipping out and falling onto the floor with a loud thud, spilling Paula's blood everywhere. Several more follow, and all you can do is blast their heads off while cursing at them through gritted teeth.

Her body falls onto the bed during the battle and is soon dragged away by a bigger demon.

The asshole introduces itself as Fleming--a pathetic name for a pathetic demon. You can only watch as he took Paula away, never flinching as Johnson's bullets ricochet off him. Somehow, you manage to shoot him out the window of your apartment, but Paula attempts to reach out to you with an outstretched hand, begging you to save her. She and Fleming disappear through the portal to Hell.

You jump in immediately after, clutching your partner and signature purple jacket close.

IV.

You are damned to run after illusions of Paula. Damned to let your guard down every time you hear her voice or catch a glimpse of her turning the corner.

You are damned to watch her get ripped to shreds over and over. To watch her head fall clean off her neck. To watch her drown within the depths of Hell's swamps. To hear her scream and gasp your name as she meets her demise.

You are damned to run from her as she chases after you with blackened claws and bared teeth. She laughs as she pursues you, her hands desperately reaching out for you. You can't bring yourself to look at her, but you refuse to hurt her. You can't add to her misery.

And yet, you only do so the longer you take to save her.

V.

You triumph over Fleming. Paula stands in the middle of the battlefield. Her dress, formerly stained red with her own blood, is now pure white. It's over now, you whisper into her as you embrace her. You're afraid to let her go. After all, it's too good to be true. You watched her die and transform into different demons more than enough. Paula is warm within your arms.

It's over. You've won.

So why are her fingers curled tight around your neck? Why does her deranged laughter continue to haunt you?

You try to look at her as you struggle to break from her grasp. She only smiles, her eyes laced with malicious intent.

Your vision goes black and you only descent further into Hell.

VI.

You ángel soars above you, dressed in pure white with six wings outstretched to keep her afloat. Her hair is now blood red. She looks down on you, her eyes burning with fury--almost like the time she told you not to answer the phone. She verbally assaults you with question after question.

"Why didn't you help me?

"Why didn't you console me?"


"Why did you let me die each time?"

"If you truly loved me, why didn't you die with me?"

"Why did you let me suffer all alone?"

Don't you love me?"

"Why must I suffer because of you?!"

"What about me! Where's my freedom?!"

She has every right to be upset, to hate you. You've gone through hell in its entirety and are still unable to save her. You've contributed to her suffering. You are just like the lowly demons that plague the world.

You have fallen in love with the Lord of the Underworld's mistress. This is your punishment.

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"Paula... Forgive me."

"Never."