Peer Review by David M. (United States)

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Lunch with the Devil

By: Phoebe


PROMPT: Open Prompt

The devil sits there, black hat tipped donned with a suave black checkered suit. He has a red tie that falls slightly off the table. He smiles at me.

Everything stills for a moment around us.

"So, I ask you, Rachel. Will you listen to my offer?" His voice slithers around like a snake, smothering me.

No one moves, and it's as if a bubble encases us. I was really here. Really involved with the devil. The man I desperately tried to avoid even though I knew he was coming for me. I finally manage to sputter some words. “Go away. Go away! I don't need you for anything!" I screamed.

The devil frowns as his nails trail along the air in front of me, showing a crimson aura. A chill ran through my bones.  “Look, you called me here kid." He leaned over the table, and my body stilled itself. Why couldn't I move? What was he doing to me?

His amber eyes swept over my body. “You want someone. You're engaged to....the love of your life. Matthew? Or is he?"

I let out a growl. I could imagine my fist just slamming into his face." Of course he is! I don't regret a single moment I've love him." But my stomach dropped as I spit out these words. Did I...no! No, I loved him. There was him, or no one else. There had to be no one else.

The devil tsked, wagging his finger. “It’s not good to be a liar. You have one foot in hell already, don't put the other one in."

With a puff of smoke, two pictures appeared in his hand. One photo is of Matthew, with a sweet loopy smile and cowlick brown hair.

The other...my heart stopped when the photo met my eyes. My body stilled. Liz with her sunflower colored hair tossed over her shoulder, adorned with her heart shaped lips. My mouth went dry, as the picture, the memories began to break like a damn.

No.

No matter what, she would never draw me into her again.

I looked up at the devil, who was watching me. Studying me. “Is this picture supposed to mean something? Because I feel nothing when I see this women.” My voice cracked, betraying me.

The devil smiled like a cat that had caught its mouse. I cringed. “So you have both feet sinking in to hell. This means you only a few choices left. Here are two people important in your life. But this one…” His hand hovered over Liz’s picture as he smiled.

“I can feel your regret.  Your desire, you’re-”

Enough!” I was not going to allow this anymore. No more of this.

The devil sniffed. “Fine, I’ll get to the point. I’ll give you a chance with Liz for a price. I’ll take your soul. If you don’t you will never get a chance to be with her.”

I blinked, tried to speak, but no words were there. Allow…allow that woman to come into my life and bring me into something that was wrong, that was immoral? Why would I want to be subjected to a lifetime of hell? I’d finally gotten away from it, only to enter it again?

But the thoughts of her pearly skin, the brush of her lips against mine, and suddenly our arms are just perfect for each other…

No.

I shook my head. I scoffed. “There is no way in hell I’d do that. Go back to hell, devil.”

He raised his eyebrow. “Are you sure? This is your last chance.”

Last chance. I closed my eyes, and she was there. Holding my hand, looking into my eyes, and pleading with me.

Don’t leave me.

“I’m certain.” I whisper, as I see, I see her tears slid down her cheeks. My heart stops.

The devil sighs as he snapped his fingers. “So be it.”

And it was done.

***

Yet a week later, my finger dials her number. Just hoping. Just hoping that…I don’t know. I don’t even know what I want to hear. That what I did was not a mistake.

It dialed for a second, before it picked up. My heart hammered. “Rachel, is that you?”

My heart fell, it wasn’t Liz’s voice. It sounded like…her mother.

“You…you killed her. You killed my daughter. She’s dead because of you! She’s dead because you did everything in your power to hurt and destroy her after you left-”

The phone tumbled to the floor, as my body grew numb. What had I done? I’d killed her. I’d killed the one person who mattered to me the most.

I drop to the floor, tears sliding down.

Could that devil had been an angel? An angel that I so foolishly turned away?



Message to Readers

The characters, the flow, the dialogue, how you felt reading the story. I think I'm trying to work on making the characters more complex too, so tell me how complex you think they are. And of course, tell me how you felt because I really love when people give their opinions on my story, good or bad. :)


Peer Review

I'd say this piece is about a woman who has lunch with the Devil, who forces her to choose between her fiancee and her ex.


Honestly I love the way you handle dialogue. It's very well done. And that's not an easy thing to do!


The ending. Now, I'm pretty sure I see what you're trying to do, thematically: you're trying to write a piece where what is commonly said as being "from the devil" (gay marriage) is flipped and turns out to be a good thing. But that doesn't end up making much sense here. Because why would an angel disguise itself as a devil only to offer a malicious dilemma? And in a world where the devil and hell clearly exist, isn't it in people's best interest to act to avoid hell no matter what?


Reviewer Comments

Overall, I'd say this is pretty good! The characters are about as well-developed as you can expect them to be in a story this short, although it's never quite clear why the devil has such a personal interest in this woman. Your dialogue is really good, and the story flows nicely. And I felt carried along and invested until the very end, where I just became confused. Watch out for tense switches, but overall, nice story!