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Heyo! I’m Lauren, a high school sophomore who loves reading too many fantasy novel series, listening to music, and eating a probably unhealthy amount of ice cream.

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Is there anything I can revise or improve? Please let me know, I really appreciate it! ^-^

Devilish Wishes

September 24, 2020



The Devil was bored. Perched on his inherited throne of obsidian, which still echoed with the shrieks of sinners from time to time, he filed his talons with a wayward spurt of hellfire and hummed Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Dun dun dun DUUUUN.

Today had been another dull day of work—judging sinners, supervising torture, writing soul contracts, being summoned a couple times by deluded Satan worshippers—ah, after a gazillion years of doing his job, the devil was truly and utterly bored. He snapped his talons, extinguishing his fiery nail filer, and slouched on his throne. He could do anything he wanted—raise a couple more obsidian mountains in his domain? Pff, no problem. Fling a sack of criminal souls in a whirling vortex of their own pain and suffering? Pff, no problem. Encircle a whole planet with fire? PFFF, no problem. He had done that before, in all actuality, and it had been uproariously fun…at least until his holy colleague from the heavens above had intervened.

And yet, he was still tremendously, profoundly, extremely bored.

The Devil got up from his throne, stretched irritably, and teleported out of his throne room. He reappeared in his palace gardens with a tremendous bang and a sprinkle of sparks, impeccably unruffled. The palace gardens were one of the devil’s few sources of enjoyment, and his true pride and joy.

It was a veritable maze of jagged obsidian, twined with glowing blossoms—like snarled fangs hissing up into Hell’s crimson sky, echoing with the choruses of demon shrieks. The Devil grimaced contentedly as he trailed among the hell-fire pruned trees and pearly flower bushes. Curling up on a bench in a convenient cranny, he contemplated his options. They were limited, indeed, he noted dismally.

He could create several more obsidian pillars, except that took him mere seconds at best, and after admiring them for a spell, he’d simply be bored again. He could engage in a hellfire sculpting contest with one of his demonic ministers, except they all happened to be busy, and such contests, though conceptually exciting, weren’t much fun. He was their superior, and the supreme ruler of Hell, so of course they would always let him win. Their toadying manners were exceptionally comical.

The Devil, chortling to himself, recalled his last contest with Olgrollag, arch-demon of after-life finances, who administered his fine work ethic to the sorting of sinners’ pecuniary matters. The Devil, going first as always, had sculpted a fiery dragon; and Olgrollag, though perfectly capable of sculpting a castle or a Pegasus or even a 10-story soup tureen, had made a withered, depressed-looking tree and promptly proclaimed his defeat. Another contest now would probably be along the same lines and equally monotonous, but the Devil was at least mildly intrigued at what intentionally shoddy sculpture his ministers would come up with this time. Still, he crossed it off his mental list. They were busy, after all. Olgrollag, if the Devil recalled correctly, was dealing with an extraordinarily obese soul who had been a stingy businessman. The soul, practically wobbling in his corpulent, metaphysical bulk, had been unwilling to part with his Earth assets, which he still clutched in his incorporeal sausages of fingers. The Devil harrumphed. Humans were always mind-bogglingly stubborn.

He contemplated a third option. The Devil could go upstairs and talk to his heavenly counterpart…but what for? God was a thunderous being who loved His black coffee and never failed to offer a mug, which the Devil positively despised. God also never failed to remind the Devil of the last time He had to intervene in the planet issue. The Devil rolled his eyes. It had all been in good fun, and no one was hurt! Well, most organisms were fine. One poor fellow had unfortunately wandered too close to the ring of fire and gotten a full-body extreme tan. God had never let the Devil live that down, and it was a sure thing for it to be mentioned for the 101,537th time if he visited now. The devil crossed out the visit idea.

He sighed. With that, he had plain ran out of ideas…or had he? The devil shot up from his seat and gave a mighty crow of realization. He stomped his fire-proof loafers on the scorched grass and did a little jig on the spot. Why hadn’t he thought of that? He cackled, teleporting out of the gardens, waving gleefully to the puzzled demon birds as he winked out of sight in a burst of fiery sparks. The devil knew just what to do, and he wasn’t bored anymore.

The Devil stood on the house porch and contemplated the doorbell in front of him. It was rather dusty and more than a little rusty, but it worked when he pressed it with a well-manicured talon. Immediately, a frantic cacophony of barking exploded behind the door.

The Devil groaned inwardly. He never did well with dogs. The creatures disliked him, loathed him even. The Devil straightened his impeccably-ironed suit jacket and took a calming breath.

Coming up to the door were muffled, slipper-clad footsteps—slow, methodic, and shuffling. The Devil groaned again. He’d been hoping that he’d get a sprightly young person. Sprightly young people always wished for the cool things in life—like lots of money, or a spanking neon green Lamborghini, or an enormous mansion—all of which he’d be willing to grant, at a price of course. He’d be a bad businessman if he didn’t. Old people, like the person he’d undoubtedly meet in a few moments, wished for stupid, sentimental things like going back in time for a bit or seeing bygone friends again, or worse, nothing at all. The last human the Devil had offered wishes to was an old man who’d turned him down completely.

That was why the Devil had stopped giving out wishes for a bit—for what was the point of giving out wishes when no one wanted them? However, he was bored and wanting of some entertainment, and so, willing to risk all and go for it.
The door creaked open, revealing an elderly lady with pink plastic curlers arranged in what was left of her hair and reading spectacles drooped low on her nose. She smiled brilliantly at the Devil.

              “How may I help you?” she asked in a sweet, wobbly voice.

The Devil startled to attention, preening a bit and giving the old lady his best business grin.

            “Well,” he drawled winningly, “You may know me. I go by many names—Satan, Lucifer, the Devil, and I’m willing                to offer you the prize of your lifetime.”

This impressive statement appeared lost on the old lady. She squinted near-sightedly.

            “Mister, you seem to be one of those trouble-making youngsters who delight in pranking old women as me, so I                recommend you to educate yourself and—” she began.

The devil interjected,

              “Oh, no, ma’am,” he said, “You’re quite mistaken. I am the Devil.”

He demonstrated with a fancy flourish of hell-fire, with which he conjured a fizzing aerial whirlpool of marshmallows, which exploded and coalesced into a steaming mug of hot chocolate. He proffered it to the old lady, who now looked extremely alarmed.

              “Good heavens!” she exclaimed, and began to close her front door.

The Devil, unperturbed, continued smoothly,

              “I can introduce you to Him if you’d like, or grant you anything you wish.”

The old lady stopped and peered at the Devil from the tips of his fire-proof loafers to the top of his vaguely-disguised horns.

              “Introduce?” she asked, curious despite herself.

The Devil snapped to attention.

              “Of course!” he said.

And he opened an old-lady-sized portal to heaven. Through it, he could see the gag-inducingly white clouds and the oh-so-holy angels, and he could smell God’s coffee. Then he turned to the old lady.

                “Here, ma’am, the portal to heaven,” the Devil announced proudly. “Just step right through and I’ll charge                 you a week later.”

The old lady was now completely flabbergasted. Dumbfounded, she goggled at the shimmering portal.

              “I-Is t-t-that?” she stammered.

The Devil beamed ginormously.

              “Indeed, ma’am, exactly what you asked for, a visit to Heaven.”

The old lady gawped.

              “B-but,” she sputtered.

The Devil frowned. His patience would only go so far, and he wished the old lady would just hurry on through the portal so he could visit the next house he’d located on Google Earth. He flickered the portal on and off impatiently.

The old lady gathered her composure.

              “Sir, if you truly are the Devil, what business do you seek around this neighborhood?”

The Devil heaved a sigh, and the portal disappeared with his disappointed exhale of air.

            “Ma’am,” he began, slowly and methodically, “As I’ve previously stated, I’ve come to grant wishes. A certain             entertainment on my end, if you must say.”

             “Wishes?” queried the old lady, now looking very confused.

            “YES! WISHES!” howled the Devil hysterically, having lost his cool and his patience. “ANYTHING YOU DESIRE, I             WILL GRANT IT TO YOU!”

He flung the conjured mug of hot chocolate into the air, where it dissipated into a pleasant-smelling mist. The old lady waved her wrinkled hands in a vague motion of appeasement.

            “Hush, there is simply no need to speak so loudly, my hearing aids are perfectly functional,” she said. “Now tell             me, what kind of wishes?”


The Devil was now feeling the complete opposite of being entertained. Instead, he was supremely irritated, nearing irate, and he thought nothing more of abandoning this wishes idea and leaving the daft old lady on her doorstep. The daft old lady herself, on the other hand, had sunk into a state of contemplation. Several seconds passed, until she stood up quite straightly and looked the Devil in the eye.

              “Sir, I’d like to make a wish.”

The Devil sat on an antique, surprisingly uncomfortable sofa in the old lady’s living room and sipped tea from a teacup he’d been offered. The dog he’d heard earlier had finally summoned the courage to make its appearance. It growled at him from time to time, flattening its white triangles of ears and curling round the old lady’s legs protectively.
The devil snorted. He was tempted to send a small flare of hellfire to tickle the dog’s nose, but refrained from doing so. Apart from his lapse in good temper, the devil was on his best behavior.

The old lady, seated across from him in an equally ancient armchair, sipped from her own teacup and eyed him seriously.

              “I’d like to see my late son again,” she said, clutching the bone china cup tightly.

              “Hm, hm,” mused the Devil, “What was his name?”

The old lady paused and looked over the Devil’s shoulder. Her eyes grew misty. The Devil stiffened uncomfortably. He hated it when people cried, so he turned awkwardly and looked behind him.

On the mantelpiece, among assorted trinkets, stood a framed picture of a family. A middle-aged man with graying hair had his arm round a middle-aged woman, who the devil instantly recognized as the old lady at a younger age. A sprightly young man stood between them, grinning with such effervescent energy that it was impossible not to smile along with him.

              “Martin,” said the old lady haltingly. “He died in a car accident several years ago.”

The Devil regarded the old lady solemnly.

              “And you’d like to see him again?”

The old lady nodded wordlessly.

               “Alright,” said the Devil, “I’m feeling generous today, so I’ll give you an entire month with your son, without                 any payment required.”

As the old lady perked up considerably, the Devil peered at her.

              “Mind you,” he said, with his business smile pasted on again, “There’ll be a slight catch.”

Getting up from the uncomfortable sofa, the Devil placed his empty teacup on the table between them.

              “A pleasure conducting business with you, Ms. Tabitha Rawlings! Expect to see your son very soon,” he grinned                 enormously, vanishing in a puff of smoke.

The Devil filed his talons nervously. He was sitting on a surprisingly comfortable cloud chair that emanated nothing but holy rays and the sweet scent of virtue. The smell of God’s coffee was everywhere, a constant reminder of who, exactly, he would meet in a matter of moments.

The door swung open. God waltzed in, dressed in his customary white robe and carrying his customary cup of black coffee.

            “Lucifer Morningstar!” He boomed. “What brings you here today? Perhaps an apology for the planet issue?”

The Devil pasted on his business grin hurriedly. He simply had no intention of discussing the planet issue.

            “Well, erm,” mumbled the Devil, squirming in his cloud chair, “I have something to ask of You.”

God flopped into His own cloud chair behind His immense gilded office desk and placed His coffee cup on a meticulously-arranged coaster. Then He folded His hands, the very instruments that had created the Earth, on the tabletop and eyed the Devil suspiciously.

            “It’s nothing too big, I assure You,” the Devil clarified quickly. “It’s just that I have to fulfill an old lady’s wish.”

God took a sip from His coffee cup and leveled His Singular Holy Judgement GazeTM Level 1 on the Devil. Then, He said, in a moderate boom:

        “And so you return to wishes. Have you not forgotten the time I helped you turn the ocean pink for Hailey Smith?         The time I helped you make a cloud solid so that a fanciful Edward Hiliker could float on it? The time I—”

The Devil interrupted before God could mention the planet issue for the 101,539th time:

        “Yeees,” the Devil said, twisting his suit lapels, “I do recall, but this time, it’s an old lady. How bad can that be?”

God took another sip and leveled His Singular Holy Judgement GazeTM Level 2 on the Devil.

        “Lucifer,” He sighed, “You came to me. That’s how I know it is definitely serious.”

The Devil was mighty, but not almighty, so he crumpled and said, hurriedly, meekly:

        “I need you to retrieve Martin Alexander Hopkins Rawlings from Heaven, so he can be on Earth again for a month.”

God frowned a tremendous frown.

        “Lucifer,” he sighed, “You do know what the Section 236 of the Heavenly Code says…unless you’ve forgotten?”

The Devil squirmed some more and tied a knot in his suit lapels.

              “Err, yeees?” said the Devil, in more of a question than an answer.

God leveled His Singular Holy Judgement GazeTM Level 3 on the Devil.

                “Those of pious and virtuous quality, upon their passing from Earth, must ascend to Heaven…and remain there                 for happy eternity,” He boomed.

                “And I get those of putrid and sinful quality?” echoed the Devil uncertainly.

                “Correct,” continued God, “And so, you see, it is no laughing matter to ‘retrieve Martin Alexander Hopkins                 Rawlings from Heaven’”.

Crestfallen, the Devil stared at his knotted suit lapels, but raised his head slightly as God continued continuing—

              “However, it is of my knowledge that there was a dreadful misunderstanding between Martin Rawlings and his                 mother, Tabitha, with whom I believe you’re already well-acquainted.” Said God, a pensive look on His                 magnificent countenance, “It is thus that I believe bringing Martin to Earth, and potentially mending this rift,                 would be a sufficient reason to grant this wish. A miracle worthy of my Son, indeed.”

Here, God turned to His office doorway and shouted with the force of an enthusiastic thunder peal.

              “Jesus of Nazareeeeth!”

Promptly, the door swung open, and Jesus, luscious brown locks flowing, holy halo glowing, floated in.

                “Dad? What is it this time?” He said, holding a wine glass whose contents were shifting between good Merlot                 and alpine water.

God took a sip from His coffee cup.

              “Son, I need you to bring Martin Alexander Hopkins Rawlings to Earth.”

Jesus swirled his alpine water contemplatively.

                “Well, Dad, there could be some issues with that,” He said, swirling his Merlot counter-clockwise,                 “Transitioning heavenly souls to bodily flesh does not occur instantaneously, and we’ve only done that a few                 times over the past millennia.”

God beamed widely.

                “Ah, my Son, you were always a genius,” he boomed, “But you must realize that perhaps the transition will                 provide a basis of illumination in the process.”

Jesus’ holy halo glowed a little brighter, and he swirled his alpine water excitedly.

                “Indeed, indeed,” He murmured, as He floated out of the office with a final swirl of his Merlot.

Relieved, the Devil deflated in his cloud chair. His mission was complete, and God had not mentioned the planet issue—

                “And now, Lucifer,” intoned God, with the fire of determination in His great eyes. “About the planet issue…”

The Devil bolted.

The last thing Martin Alexander Hopkins Rawlings remembered was a dazzling, be-robed figure carrying what looked like a wine glass on LSD and telling him in an incredibly soothing voice that he’d be on Earth shortly. For what reason, Martin had no idea.

And now, he was somehow perched atop the branches of an old oak tree. More specifically, the old oak tree he played on as a kid. Martin saw the initials “MAHR” he’d scratched on an uppermost limb, and he saw the glimmer of too familiar streetlights and the rooves of too familiar houses in the gaps between leaves. It was night, and a chill breeze stirred the tree branches lightly.

Instinctively, Martin inched downwards, his feet finding the little old notches he’d carved in strategic places along the tree trunk. He landed on the soft grass and observed his surroundings. There was Mrs. Delilah’s house, with its pink walls and antique gate, and there was the Homers’ house, with that upper bedroom window whose lacy curtains he had spent too much time staring longingly at. Martin cringed. He was pretty sure Natalie Homer had graduated by now from her dream university and married another genetics researcher.

And next to the Homers’ house was the Rawlings’. His mother’s house. Martin winced again. The last time he’d seen those roses was two years ago, before the argument. Before his mother had stomped on his dreams, before his mother took over his bank account, before his mother screamed in his face and told him fixing antique cars was a good-for-nothing business—all so she could get him to study at the university she wanted him to go to, so that she could mold him into the goody two shoes son she always wanted—Harvard graduate doctor who scribbled prescriptions with clean hands and a clean smile. And then? Martin left.

Slammed the stupid door and drove. Tires squealing, angry tears burning. He remembered camping at a friend’s house, and wondering what the hell should he do with his life. He remembered the frantic calls, the tearful voice messages, all of which he ignored. He remembered starting over, working three jobs, and spending night hours hunched over dingy cash registers and the stuffed cans of other people’s garbage. Things were crappy. But somehow, his life took a turn for the better. He found work as a car mechanic and scrounged up enough money to fund his own business. And then? Something happened. Martin never knew what went down that fateful day, the one that ended in an explosion of glass and twisted metal, and the sense of terrifying loss.

Yet somehow, he was back where he started, in his old neighborhood, facing the house he grew up in. His mother’s house.

Something compelled Martin to walk across the grass, across the asphalt road, until his feet touched the brick sidewalk and carried him up the porch steps. Hesitantly, he halted. Martin stared at the roses, illuminated silver by the light of the full moon and touched with the cast of the yellow porch lamps. He sucked in a breath. Then he stared at the rusty doorbell. He raised a finger…and screamed.

That wasn’t his finger. Not the fleshy digit he knew, soaked in grease stains and flecked with tiny scars. No, it was pale, rigid, jointed, and gleaming. Bone. It was bone.

Martin screamed again, a panicked, bloodcurdling shriek that went on and on, until his throat rattled and the sound died away like the wheeze of a battered old radiator. Then he collapsed against the porch railing with a clack, and stared at his hands, made a pathetic tee-hee as he realized he looked like one of those dusty skeletons in every high-school biology classroom. Because he was a skeleton.

The realization hit him again. Ululating hysterically, he dragged his bone fingers down his skull, hitting a note high enough to break glass as those pale digits went clean through his eye sockets. For a while, there was nothing but frenetic wailing and the eerie noise of a cannibal’s xylophone. Bone on bone. ClackclackAAAAAAAAAAAclackAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH.

Finally, Martin slumped against the roses and cried. Technically, it wasn’t really crying, since no tears actually fell, but more like a lot of pitiful wheezing and sniffling. Half-heartedly, he banged his skeletal hand against the porch railing with a loud clank.

So he was a fricking skeleton now. Now what? Martin gave one last sniffle and shuffled to his gruesomely skeletal feet. Suspiciously, he eyed his mother’s front door, and glared emptily at the rusty doorbell. There wasn’t much else he could do. Martin raised his finger again, wincing slightly, and pressed it.

Tabitha Rawlings stared blearily at the ceiling. It looked the same as always, with its loopy rabbit-shaped crack down the middle, and the odd water leak stains by the corners. Slowly, she blinked. Then she hefted herself about and peered at the clock on the bedstand. 12:00 AM, it flashed at her, glowing green in the hazy darkness.

Tabitha fumbled around for her glasses. She was now positive the strange sounds she’d heard were not from her dream, which featured a lot of china-clinking and tea-tasting, but from her front garden. Tea-tasting, a peaceful activity where the taster’s only sounds were critical slurps and hums of pleasure, did not feature loud clanging noises (oh Lord, what of the delicate chinaware?) or Heavens despair, ear-splitting screams.

Tabitha worried her thin bottom lip worriedly, as she slid out of bed and into her slippers, and wrapped her dressing gown tightly around herself. Her first guess was that the dratted neighborhood raccoons had gotten into her trashcans again, except raccoons didn’t emit blood-curdling screeches or eerie clacking like the sounds she’d heard. Her second guess was that a horde of teenage buffoons had decided they’d roll down the street whilst caterwauling hysterically. The simple thought of that instilled in her a rush of righteous fury. Determinedly, Tabitha advanced to her bedroom window and yanked back the lacy rose curtains. Flood of reprimands ready to let loose, she threw open the window latch and glared outside. Yet…

The street was quiet. The trees, tinged gold and silver with the light of the streetlamps and the moon, swayed softly. The cool night air swept into the bedroom, filling it with the scent of wet grass and faint smokiness of a bonfire. Nary a soul walked the sidewalk, and nary a teenage buffoon galloped down the street.

Tabitha frowned slightly. Then huffing a laugh at her old self (she must have dialed her hearing aids too loud), she turned to close the latch before she caught a chill. Just as Tabitha’s wrinkled fingers alighted on the worn metal, a sound caught her attention.

Diiing…. dong.

Tabitha glowered darkly. First, the imagined screaming. And now the doorbell. Whatever young nincompoop was wreaking havoc tonight, they’d experience her wrath in full.

Irritably, Tabitha slammed the window shut and hurried out of her bedroom, down the hallway, and into the drawing room, clicking on the rose-patterned lamp as she did so. With a renewed burst of indignation, she flung open the front door.

And screamed.
A novel?/novella? project I've been sitting on for quite a while now. I have a general idea of the plot and atm I'm just fleshing out chapters and hoping for the best. 

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