Who Would Win: All of Hell, or One Bitey Boy?
"So um." I said to the beautiful girl I was holding in my arms in a bridal carry, "Where are we going?"
"We need to find some kind of shelter before the rain comes," she answered as she draped her arms around my shoulders. I nodded. That made sense. Rain is bad, and we were in hell. It probably rained acid or blood or spiders or something.
"How can you tell when it'll rain?" I asked. I peered up into the dull, red brown sort of haze that hung above us. "Are there clouds?"
"Clouds?" She asked, sounding a bit confused. "I dunno. Maybe? If there are, then the Hell Rainbow makes it impossible to see them." The Hell Rainbow! I laughed heartily. "No, but you can just...we get the vibes, I guess." She tensed up. "WATCH YOUR-" too late. I'd stepped on some sort of trap. The ground angrily yanked both of us into itself and then launched us out the other end, where we hit some kind of tiled floor. It seemed to be made of stone.
"Ow." I said simply. I stood up and rubbed my head. "Are you okay?" The pink girl, a few feet away, was also rising to her feet. Her body shuddered and a weak shaky groan escaped from it as she swayed and brushed herself off.
"I've been better…" she whined with a look on her face that suggested she was far out of her element. "Are you okay, Victor?" She looked my way with concern that was buried far beneath a crust of visible discomfort. I nodded and shrugged.
"I'm alright." I answered her. "Where are we now? Besides, you know, the fact we're still in hell."
"I'm not sure," she mumbled, sounding stressed. She took one hand to her mouth and seemed lost in thought for a moment. "That was actually the closest I've ever been to the tower. Rumor has it that the area immediately surrounding it used to be part of purgatory. Though...nobody down actually knows whether purgatory exists in the first place." She averted her gaze. "Nobody who you can trust to give an honest answer, anyway." I nodded. Yeah, that made enough sense.
"Alright, so...that was purgatory. Maybe. Any idea where we are now?" She went over to a wall, which seemed to be made of some kind of silvery colored stone. It looked surprisingly clean, almost polished. She examined it.
"I have no idea, really. And not purgatory, an area of hell that may have once been part of purgatory," she said to me without turning around from the wall. I rolled my eyes at her. She leaned in to analyze the rock and made a humming sort of noise as she focused. "I think this is some kind of language but I can't...read it." She sighed. That caught my interest! Perhaps these once in a millenia eyes of mine could-
Nope. None of the inscriptions were intelligible to me at all. Note to self, I said in my mind, new reason to beat the shit out of God.
The ground quaked. Both of us stumbled about wildly.
"Grab onto me!" I shouted. She lunged and grabbed at one of my hands with both of hers, but she couldn't quite grasp on. Space seemed to ooze and slide and split. The walls and floor waved. My vision blanked out.
Next thing I knew I was lying on my back in a field of grass. It was red and felt awful-like sandpaper and splintered wood-to touch. I shot up into the air immediately and my cape billowed dramatically behind me. At the zenith of my leap my cape billowed out behind me and stayed that way. I frantically searched for somewhere safe to land as my body fell seemingly in slow motion. It took a moment to realize that my cape seemed to be letting me hover.
"Holy shit!" I shouted to myself. I twisted and squirmed about in the air, cramming my neck into the toughest angles it could turn to. This let me get a better look at it, and sure enough, yes! My cape was fully spread out and billowing gently at the tips.
Was this all it could do, I asked?
But it would be unfair to tell you before I got there, wouldn't it, dear reader?
In my confused aerial tumbling I saw a second thing: some kind of dirt road. Seeing that even my slowed descent had me close to that awful grass, I leaned over and was bats.
Again, not sure how I did it, but I was bats. The bats (that I was) flew over the grass to a space in the air over the road and coalesced back into my body, two inches or so above the ground. I flung my arms in the air and my cape flung its ends upwards in kind.
My feet gently touched down as I landed in a grand flourish bowed to an imagined audience. "Thank you, thank you everyone!" I said in jest with a celebratory twirl into a curtsey. I looked up to the sky and saw that it was a similar dull red to the one that I'd landed under. Or, actually, it wasn't. It was red, much like that one, but it was a much deeper, purer red. Off over the horizon I could see a distant mass of dirt brown which almost resembled a celestial body, but it seemed to be curved inwards. In fact, it seemed to take up the entire sky looking in that direction.
"Am I inside the mountain that houses Babel…?" I asked myself. It was the only explanation I could think of. So, some kind of trap had taken us in and sent us down inside the mountain.
I heard a wet noise.
I looked down.
Some kind of giant...spearhead, or tusk, or especially girthy sword with a curved blade was protruding from the cleavage window of my coat.
"That…" I hissed through clenched teeth. "Shouldn't be there…"
Once again the breasts attached to my body ceased to exist.
The blade turned so that its curved point faced up and sliced-or I guess more accurately one might say it ripped-up through my shoulder.
I probably don't need to point this out, but I'll give you one warning. Being impaled and having something physically tear a huge gash through your collarbone both hurt like hell.
"OWWWWW!" I shouted at the top of my lungs and grabbed for my shoulder.
(There was lots of blood I assure you)
I assumed based on the lack of me being immediately trampled or pulverized my attacker wasn't an animal or some kind of similarly instinct driven monster. I turned to face them and jumped backwards, keeping a vice grip on my gaping injury. "What the hell!?"
I landed and saw my assailant: a red eyed woman who was crouched into a fighting stance. Some kind of goat skull encased her face like a helmet, which meant that other than the color of her eyes (again, red) and skin (black) I couldn't see any of its details. A tattered cloak fluttered dramatically behind them, much like how my cape did behind me.
(Also like my cape, it was animated by wind that wasn't blowing)
She stared at me with intent. Her body was drawn tight, ready to lunge for my vitals at a moment's notice (assuming, that is, that I did still actually have those).
"Where are you from?" She asked at last. She kept her eyes pointed squarely at me, though she notably wasn't actually making eye contact. I hesitated to answer.
"I...earth. I'm from the land of the living."
"Human…" she murmured, seemingly at a loss. "So, you one of the Seven?"
"That thing that happens every six hundred years?" I said. She nodded. I swallowed and tried flexing the fingers on my arm with the newly mangled shoulder. They responded well to my wishes. That was reassuring.
"Yes," she answered. "Are you?" I hesitated and found myself grimacing. I couldn't lie but it would be suspicious to say that I was...but I could handle myself.
"Yeah," I answered. I felt blood trickling down my arm, over my wrist, across my palm and onto my fingers. It was warm and gross. "I think I am. I fell into hell without having died, and my eyes are apparently one of a kind in their pure violetness, even assuming I'm one of them."
"I can see that," she muttered warily. Not a muscle of her body looked like it had relaxed. "Why should I trust you?"
"Well, for starters I'm grievously injured," I said, "I think. And I also haven't made any effort to hurt you, even after that." I winced.
"Your boobs disappeared. Are you some sort of succubus or something?" She asked, less hostile than before even if only in voice.
"I...don't know. With the clothes and the cape and the bat thing I'm inclined to say I'm a vampire. As...atheological as that is." I laughed. Was atheological a word, before I had just spoken its true name and potentially birthed it into being with my voice alone? I had no idea.
"Hmmmm," she mused. At last the woman stood up and leaned on her spear. "I'm keeping an eye on you anyway."
"Yeah," I answered with a pained grunt, "that makes sense. We're in the circle of hell for wrath, I take it?"
"What makes you say that?" She asked with a sarcastic glint in her eye. "The sky being bright red, the grass that hates you, or the fact all the fruit and vegetables here fucking bleed?"
"I haven't encountered that last part," I said. Three massive lengths of some kind of black substance-almost resembling hair-drifted down from the sky and landed near us. She walked to them, eyes still on me, and swept them into the air with a twirl of her spear to then snatch them with her free hand. "What are those?" I asked.
"Lashes," she said, "God's eyelashes. They're the currency down here. Not much to buy in this circle but we take them elsewhere sometimes to exchange for stuff we can bring back."
"Elsewhere?" I asked. She glared at me. For a moment neither of us spoke. She spat on the road.
"Just come along with me, new guy."
The pink girl came to, back in The Area Formerly Known as Purgatory. She was on her side in the dirt. Her head hurt and she was dizzy. She shakily managed to get to her feet. Her vision wasn't woozy or anything.
She realized that she actually didn't know where she was, so turned her gaze upwards. Sure enough, the Hell Rainbow spread across the sky above her. She balled her hands into fists as the realization of just what was happening hit her.
"Damn it all!" She screamed to nobody. "Damn it all to the Pit!" Tears started welling up in her eyes and she stomped on the softish dirt beneath her feet multiple times with one foot, motivated by sheer petty spite. Once that fit of irritation left her she kicked at it once for good measure and collapsed into position sitting cross legged. "What do I do now!?" She growled to herself. Then she heard something loud in the distance and looked up.
A streak of red soared across the horizon. A flash of light exploded from the point where it hit the ground. Was that what she thought it could be? Her heart thundered. She was in luck! She jolted up to her feet and took off in a sprint.
"ANOTHER ANOTHER ANOTHER ONE ANOTHER ONE!" She squealed in euphoric glee as she ran on long thin legs. Her world narrowed to herself, that distant crash site, and the straight line she'd have to traverse to put the two in the same place. Ledges, cabins, stone buildings, she darted across and over and around them at the fastest pace she was capable of. She had a destination. No plan, of course, but she was not a creature of plans.