Dating : Hell or High Water

h2>Dating : Hell or High Water


There was water everywhere.

Where was I? I gasped for air but there seemed to be no way for me to breathe underwater. I was slowly drowning in the dark blue sea around me. The sunlight from the surface seemed to slowly dull away and the water started to engulf me, lulling me into its depths. I stopped flailing my limbs to save what energy I had left, even though I had given up trying to swim back to the surface.

Silence. There was no sound coming from anywhere, except for the ringing in my ears. And then there was pain. A lot of pain, that seemed to be mixed in with tremendous guilt. It electrified my brain into numbness.

I decided to scan above the water one last time, and in the distance, I saw a looming shadow edging closer to me. It was a huge boat. And there was one man standing on the edge of it, a despicable smile taking over his face.

The man was clad in a purple cloak and suit. His eyes were light green but they didn’t seem like they belonged in his face. He had a big scar on his right cheek and he was smoking a cigar, the smoke fogging up my vision of the rest of his body. His features turned into a scowl when he noticed me struggling underwater. It seemed like he knew that I had no idea how I got into this situation. But I knew exactly who he was.

He called himself the Magician, the gang leader of an illegal ring of workers who operated in the South Pacific. He was the most wanted underworld arms dealer. His strange hobby included dabbing occasionally in acts of the supernatural. He was also reported to have been part of major cults aimed at summoning dangerous monsters from other dimensions, into our world. Yes, he was an eccentric delirious psychopath.

And how did I know all this? I’m an agent from the Secret Service who had been assigned by my superior to observe the Magician and report his work in the underground. I had successfully destroyed one of his major secret weapons warehouses with my team, and naturally, he’d come out to take vengeance. Too bad I’ll already be drowning to death before he could get the chance to kill me.

He looked down at me, sneering, and glanced at his wristwatch. He smiled maniacally and tapped it, whispering, “It’s time. Bring out Lia.” His voice was faint but to me, it was excruciatingly clear.

And suddenly, swimming towards me, I saw a massive eight-legged monster materialize in the murky depths. It seemed to be a rendition of a deformed octopus that seemed like something that a preschooler was asked to paint from memory and he seemed to have used the black paint much more than required. Oh, this is great, isn’t it? An eight-legged monster thing, a little too fondly named Lia, is out to get me now.

It had slimy yet sharp and scaly skin and numerous rows of massive needle-like teeth lining what seemed to be its mouth hole. Its tentacles had suckers down its length and they seemed to drip some kind of poison. And then there were its eyes. Its eyes seemed to make up half of its face and when I looked at it, for a moment, time suddenly stood still. The huge, black and dark orbs were scattered with bright shining dots that glimmered like stars. It seemed like it carried a galaxy of its own. It was dangerously beautiful. If I wasn’t going to die due to drowning, then I sure as hell might die due to shock now. I realized this was one of the Magician’s magnificent inter-dimensional monster creatures. And it was out for my blood.

It reached out its hungry tentacles at me and then the next minute, they were around me, encircling me, squeezing and crushing me. I screamed with pain but there was no sound, there was only the darkness blurring my vision. I realized finally at that moment, that I had failed my mission. I had failed my service, failed my boss and most importantly, I had failed my family. The thought of them having to hear about my death, pricked painfully at my heart like numerous tiny needles piercing my cells. It was agonizing. The pain, the regret and the immense sadness of death. I hated myself at that moment, more than I’ve ever hated anything in my life. The tentacles squeezed me into submission, and I let go of any sliver of hope that I might have had of seeing myself live again. I closed my eyes and gave myself to the void.

Some force seemed to magically wrench my eyes open and all I could see for several seconds was pitch black darkness. I couldn’t move or speak as I struggled to look around and make sense of where I was again. I was certainly not underwater anymore. Suddenly, a foggy figure started shaping itself from some kind of a vortex that approached me and filled my vision. I tried to scream, but I couldn’t feel anything, except the deafening silence and the horrifying vision in front of me.

The figure seemed to be the same colour as the purple of the Magician, except that now, there were horns. Multiple sharp horns curved out of his head, above red glowing eyes like fire and multiple rows of razor-sharp teeth. Its body didn’t even look corporeal in the least sense. I couldn’t comprehend the body of this creature, but I sure did feel the dread exuding from it.

“Hey there, It’s your pal, Lucifer. It’s nice to meet you again.” Its mouth seemed to speak. “I might not look like it, but I consider myself friendly to anyone that visits me. All those who…” he searched the air for words, “are not exactly evil.” It sneered at me with a menacing grin. “well, at least, all those unlike YOU.” I started to move back from the heavy look on his face but I seemed to be held in place by an invisible force that started to slowly suffocate me.

“Okay, so here’s the deal. I’ll just repeat whatever I’ve said to you, the past 267 times you’ve made me leave my plane of existence to monologue in front of you.” He said annoyed, before muttering, “why is my job so lovably exhausting?” The next second, he immediately looked up straight at me again, his red eyes glowing impossibly bright. “You, are Alastair. You were sent here to my place, Hell, after your death, and here, you were condemned to be punished and tortured for all of eternity for your cruel acts during your lifetime down on Earth.” Every word of his dripped with venom, with a feeling of immense disgust that seemed to say ‘Wow, I’ve found an entity almost as evil as me, this will be fun.’

So this is Hell? This isn’t exactly how I’d always imagined it. Where are the demons, the eternal flames of punishment and the screams of the prisoners piercing the air? Wait, why am I so calm about coming to Hell? It’s almost like I expected it. Oh, well.

“You were a terrorist back there on Earth. Of course, you killed a lot of people. Money and power obviously tended to stay on your mind all the time. You were filled with my friends, the deadly sins. Who, by the way, was very excited to meet you for the first time. Anyway, back on your planet, you had once brutally drowned and killed an eight-year-old innocent girl. Lia. Oh, you evil, evil man. Good work on your entry into my ledger. Your level of red is off the charts for a human.

So, anyway, back to the plan of your eternal torture. I’m going to send you back to your trip of failure and the suffocation of guilt and watch you slowly crumble repeatedly and as many times as your punishment wills it.” He smiled evilly. “And I will watch every moment of it.” He drew closer to me with a look of spite that threatened to tear out my soul. I screamed, I cried, I shouted profanity. None of it seemed to escape my lips. I hated this feeling of helplessness. I could only hear the faint words of Lucifer saying, “Is it go for scenario number 277? Okay bye. It’s time” before invisible chains shut my eyes and jerked me out of the dark void.


There was water everywhere. I was drowning, in an unknown sea.

Where was I ?

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