Barter For My Soul

I could feel myself drifting, painless, numb. My head is still spinning from hitting the door and my back stung remotely form numerous little cuts. I can't connect the pain with myself. There's been so much of it in my life time that more is no surprise. Satan, still dressed in that damn white suit, stands in front of me, looking smugger than ever. Finally, some rare meat to feed his mindless brethren on. My face twists in disgust at the mere thought. As if reading my mind, the Devil smiles wider than ever. He looked so non-threatening that I have a hard time getting my head around the fact that he is evil. From what I've had seen of God, he was the scarier deity.

The cuts in my wrists ached like a broken bone on a cold day. Blood flowed out of them at a steady rate, draining me even more than the cancer. I can hear the sounds from the other room, but can't act on them. I'm too weak to fight any more, too weak even to stand. I can't believe that I'm was pinning all of my hope on the Devil.

"So... what do you want? An extension?" Satan asks.

"Isabel…" The name is barely a croak on my lips. My mouth is dry- almost painfully so. I need some water, ice, anything to put the liquid that I'm bleeding out back into my body. The irony isn't lost on me and I think I smile.

"What about her?" The Devil sounds bored.

"... let her... go home…" I manage to say. I'm so close to death I can taste the gritty air of hell in my mouth. Or perhaps it was just the taste of death approaching. Whatever it is, I don't welcome it.

"You would give up your life so she could go to Heaven?" Satan sounds incredulous. I think I've shocked the creature. A grim sense of satisfaction fills me and I manage a single nod, head slumping on my chest as the last of my strength leaves me.

"Fine." He sounds annoyed, but blinked his eyes closed and then open again. "It's done." Satan grins, anticipating taking his prize home. He grabs my hand, not minding my cut wrist and started to drag my limp body across the tiled floor. Too weak to move, I am unable to resist.

Satan hadn't taken more than five steps before my body started to grow heavier and heavier. I can feel a strange weight pressing down on me. It doesn't hurt, but feels calming. It's the hand of God. The devil can still move me, but it was increasingly hard work for him. A few more steps bought him to the point where he could drag me no further. He turned, to see my body floating up towards a pure white light. Enraged, Satan used a fraction of his own enormous powers to drag me back to earth. Trapped in the middle of a cosmic argument, I can only raise a finger at the Devil. It feels good, and I know a grin is splitting my face.

One more pull, and God's hold over me snaps, sending me back into Satan's clutches. Rather than taking me to hell where the Devil thought I belonged, he plunges his hands into my chest, ripping out the tar and tumours while I scream in agony. Those probing hands pulled back, withdrawing full of gooey black tar. I slump to the floor, reeling still with shock and left over pain. I pull in a deep breath, and another as I realise that I had been healed.

The devil starts backing away, repeating with glee "You will live, You will live, John Constantine, you will live so you'll have the chance to prove that your soul truly belongs to me!"

I can only stare at my healed wrists, running a finger over the whole flesh. There wasn't even a scar. I can hardly believe that I'm alive, let alone free from cancer. My bare chest receives the same treatment. I can still feel where those freezing hands slid into my body and I rub the spot. It's a miracle and I wonder what Angela will say when I tell her God wasn't responsible for the healing. Intuition tells me that she'll believe my story, if I ever tell her it.

I have work to do yet, and standing, I enter the other room to finish what the divine has started.