A/N: I'm really sorry for not updating The Secret Heir recently. I've had some serious trouble with writer's block concerning that particular fic. I know a lot of you really want me to continue, and I will. I just need time. Just because you see me submitting more fics does not mean I'm not going to continue it--because I will. It's too good of a story to let go and I'm determined to finish it. However, in the meantime please enjoy this and whatever else I submit in the near future. I'll keep everyone updated as much as I can.
A seemingly endless line of the deceased--the more unfortunate breed of deceased, however--structured by velvet ropes, lined up before a giant wrought iron gate. A good number of them wore tattered and blood ridden clothing, if not completely nude; while others stood in their pajamas and very few in suits.
"Next!" A man in long black robes, kindred to the cliché variety, called out from behind a wooden podium.
"Name." He eyed the next person in line--a young African American boy, embellished with knife wounds and stained with dried blood.
"Are you deaf? I said what's your name." The man--who then, at a closer glance appeared to be a demon--at the podium said impatiently. The boy shook his head, frowning at the demon.
"Andre." He answered.
"Got a last name, kid?" Was the response. The demon turned several pages back in the big book that rested on the podium and drew his thumb along the page, his thumbnail scratching against the aged and yellowed paper.
"Keyes." Replied the younger man.
"Ah, Andre Keyes. Here you are. In for eternity, I see. Too bad, though; a young man like you shouldn't have wasted his life trying to make it in a gang. You should've followed your first instinct and kept away. Now look where it's gotten you." The demon dipped a quill in black ink and traced a line over Andre's written name in the book.
"See you in hell, kid." He said and the gate behind him slowly opened in an eerie fashion.
"Wait, hell? What, man, no! I went to church with my ma and everything. You can't do this!" Andre shouted and the demon shook his head.
"I'm not doing anything, Mister Keyes. Just my job… which would actually be worth it if I got paid." The demon said. Suddenly, Andre felt himself move forward; his feet began to drag ahead of him as he involuntarily passed through the gate and into a flaming pit where nothing but his agonizing screams could comfort him in the infinity to come.
The Devil growled, tapping his chin with his forefinger irritatedly. "Carl!" He shouted and stood, planting his hands on his desk as a short and stocky demon ran into the fiery office.
"Why hasn't Derek Barnes signed yet? Did you give him the papers like I ordered?" The Devil's voice was dark and steely.
"Yes sir. I did exactly as you commanded." Carl confirmed with a quick nod.
"Then why isn't he down here with a pitchfork jammed up his embezzling, cornholing ass as we speak? Explain this to me, Carl. Do I have to do everything myself?"
"N--no sir. I'm sure he's signing it right now." Carl stammered, avoiding eye contact with his clearly angry boss. The Devil snarled and waved a hand; before the demon could raise a hand in protest, he burst into a pile of flaming ash. The Devil sighed. That was the sixth assistant he'd gone through that week.
"I really think you need to take anger management." A woman's voice said and the Devil looked up in acknowledgment. "Really, Lu, the sixth this week? Doesn't that tell you anything?"
"What? It's not like I'm gonna run out." The Devil replied, sitting back down in his chair.
"I think you need a break. I still owe you that dinner in Houston. What do you say? Come on." The woman said, sitting on the edge of the Devil's desk. The Devil clasped his hands together and looked as if he were deeply in thought.
"Oh quit the act. You're not thinking about anything. You're worried about Derek Barnes? That idiot? Do you really think that he isn't going to sign? Come on, Lu, you know better. What has gotten into you lately." She folded her arms and crossed one leg over the other.
"You know, if I didn't like you so much, you'd cease to exist just like the rest of 'em, Mary." The Devil arched an eyebrow.
"Please, spare me your "if I didn't like you so much" speech. As if I haven't heard it before."
"He's not going to sign that contract. I know it, Mary. I don't just know it, I feel it."
"Who do you think you're kidding? You don't feel anything. Save that for your potential clientele." Mary sneered and the Devil frowned. "Let's make pretend like we used to, Lu. Let's go to Houston and I'll buy you that dinner you've been gloating about ever since I lost that bet. Get off your fat ass and let's go." She leaned in then, closer to the Devil. She made it clear that she wasn't discriminating against revealing too much cleavage as half of her chest hung out of her black dress.
"You think I don't know that you're just looking for attention, putting on this poor me, I'm out one less soul show? Boohoo. Even if Barnes doesn't sign, he'll end up here eventually anyway. He lives a lousy careless life. He's a lawyer, Lu. A lawyer. Have you seen him get even one lawyer up there? Come on, have you?" Mary said, pressing her arms together so that her chest stuck out more.
The Devil glanced up and then back down and shook his head.
"See. Now, don't make me say it again. Let's go. Besides, I need an excuse to get out of this pit anyway."
The Devil smiled, then.
"I don't know what I'd do if you weren't my secretary, Mary." He got up and gave her a kiss on the cheek.
Mary grinned. "That wasn't so hard, now was it?"