Chuck has had us working on first lines over the last few weeks. This week, we had to pick another person's first line and write a story to it... mine is the one below in a lighter blue... which turns out to be something totally different to how it starts out from being. Enjoy.
Stevie Jennings approaches her baby blue Chevy Cavalier, and says to me, “This is Ivan. He’s undergoing a mid-life crisis at the moment. So be gentle, ‘K?”.
From the moment I looked through the passenger window of the car, I knew he had more on his mind than a mid-life crisis… it was the absolute, mother-fucker crisis of all time.
Ivan appeared as though he had been dragged through hell by his toenails by Satan himself and had only just survived it.
But I didn’t want to say anything as insensitive as that to him, so I stuck my hand out and to catch a feel of his aura and where he was at right now and smiled steadily at him, “Hey, Ivan, it’s nice to meet you.” The moment his hand engulfed mine for those few moments, I knew he had actually been to Hell!
I could feel the heat of the Brimstone scorching my skin!
The screams of the damned almost deafened me!
And the one thing that I don’t think I could ever get out of my head was the hideous laughing I heard… it was the mocking laughing which was constantly there in the background of those few seconds.
As Ivan let go of my hand, he let out small groan – as though in pain – and yet he didn’t have a single wound on him. I had noticed he had dark rings under his eyes and wondered when he last had a good nights’ sleep.
“Stevie, when did Ivan get a good nights’ sleep last?”
She glanced at his buddy and then back at me, “Um… I don’t remember… he arrived at my door a few days ago and he looked like shit.” She shook her head, “He’s been staying with me since.”
I led her away from the car a few feet, “And why did you bring him here? I mean to me?”
A flash of guilt crossed Stevie’s face before she glanced to the ground and back at me, “I’m sorry dude, I shouldn’t have… you’ve got that psychic thing going and I thought you’d know where he’s been.”
“Yeah, from his handshake I know alright.” I looked over at the car worriedly, “I wished I didn’t, but I do.” I watched the poor guy in the car drop off to sleep on his own shoulder, “He’s sleeping.”
“No, it’s not… he dreams of only one place.” I said, “And you and I don’t want to end up there.”
Almost as quickly as Ivan had gone to sleep, he began screaming; thrashing, convulsing and fighting in his sleep as the inner demon tortured him in his own private little piece of Hell.
“Oh crap! This happened the other day.” Stevie muttered, “Quick, we have to get him out of the car before he destroys another windscreen.”
As the words left her mouth, Ivan’s fists connected with the glass of the windscreen and it splintered in a variety of places as he bashed at it continuously.
“Ivan!” I screamed in his ear and his eyes snapped open, staring at me as I held him hard into the car seat, “Are you with me? Are you here? You can see me?”
“Yes to all three questions.” He muttered.
But I could see his mind was still swirling around in the Hell he had just been wondering around in.
“How did the windscreen break? Did we run into something?” he whispered.
“No, you broke it … again.” Stevie rubbed the tips of her fingers along her brows and I could hear the pain in hers voice as she knew it was going to cost her another lot of money to get this fixed again.
“Ivan, would you like to tell me how you got a return ticket to Hell? And why Satan is beating your head in all the time?” I asked.
“I can’t…” tears welled in his eyes as he pushed me away.
“He said he’d kill me if I told anyone.”
“Well, I know you’re riding the Brimstone Highway each time you go to sleep… so now it’s not such a big secret… let me in on why.” I undid his seatbelt, “Come on, get out of the car and let in on your bigger secret.”
Stevie stood back from her car, “I wouldn’t have done that if I was you.”
I felt the Powers inside me stir as Ivan get out of the car, warning me of just who had possessed him.
“Well.” His voice had changed to a deeper octave, “A sensitive little mortal… you’ll do for lunch. And I’ll drag you through Hell like I do Ivan.”
This is when I smiled, looked up at Ivan, and Satan within him, when another voice (not my own came out of my mouth), “I’m not who you think I am.” I glanced at Stevie, and gave her one command, “Run.” And she obeyed by getting into her car and speeding down the laneway.
I turned my attention back to the man in front of me: “Now, we have the day to ourselves, Lucifer… exactly what kind of fun and games do you have in mind for me?”
Lucifer turned a wide grin in my direction, “All kind, Michael, all kinds.”