A/N: Hi all! Any suggestions you might have, please express them in a review. OK? OK. Thank you! By the way, I couldn't get HTML commands to work, so this when a word is surrounded by dashes (-word-) that represents italics. Sorry!

Introduction:

I didn't really mean for it to happen.

It was only a few words, and whatever idiotic gods that rule the world took me seriously. Either that or they were just toying with me. Yeah, sure. ' I'm bored. Hey, let's send THAT girl to damnation just for kicks!'. I wish I had never said anything. Now I'm here.

Where is here you ask? Well, I'll have to give you the long story for any of it to make sense. Don't worry; I -have- the time.

I have eternity.

Oh yeah; my name. Heh. I nearly forgot I had a name.

My name is Lira Trakatos.

~*~

Chapter One: The Poem on the Gate

My mother Madeline Trakatos was taking me to go shopping for Summer clothes when it all started. I hated shopping. I hated fashion. I hated the way that my mother insisted that I (read: forced) me to go look at crappy shorts and T-shirts that I would just grow out of in three months.

Hell, I think that at that moment think I hated my -mother-.

"Lira, you know that I wouldn't take you if I didn't have to, but these are your clothes and you need to be fitted.'" Mom said, not taking her blue eyes off of the road. "Besides, clothes are a necessity, like food and water. You -need- them."

-Ha!-

"If it were up to me, everyone would strut around nude." I grumbled, crossing my arms and glaring out the window. As I watched the scenery flash by, the sensible part of my mind ( the very small part, mind you ) told me that yes, I -did- need new clothes and that the sleeves of my once-too-big- for-me sweater did not even reach down to my wrists. I silenced that stupid little voice with a mental squash and resumed my pouting.

"Ex-cuse me?" Mom said, and when we stopped at a red light she turned to face me, her red curls bouncing up and down like they were on a trampoline instead of on her head. "Young lady, I will not tolerate such nonsense from such a sensible girl like you! You always make sure a big deal out of nothing at all, and it gets me into SUCH a state. We will NOT argue like this anymore, do you -hear- me?"

Yeah, I heard her. Mom has always had a fiery temper, while my dad was always the calm and peaceful one. Dad died four years ago (when I was ten), but Mom always says that I look like him with my long brown hair, brown eyes and copper skin. I also take after him emotionally in the way that I tend to take what's coming at me calmly and with poise, and I usually hate conflict.

However, 'usually' did not qualify for now. Now -I- was mad instead of Mom. Why the -hell- should I suffer because she was in a bad mood? I didn't want to be here. Not at -all-. I would rather....

I turned to face her, my waist-length hair almost thwaping myself in the face. She looked sort of surprised, and I could guess why: I didn't usually talk after she said the argument was over. I didn't usually argue period. I guessed that my eyes were dancing with little fires right about now.

"You know what?" I spat out at her, my lips curving at every syllable. "I wish Dad hadn't died! I wish I wasn't here. I wish I was -dead-! "

Mom looked surprised for an instant, and then the surprise turned to fear. I could tell it wasn't fear of me. I turned my head and looked out of the side window, where she was looking, and I could see a car heading straight toward us.

I don't even think I had time to scream before it hit.

~*~

Pain wracked through my body. It wasn't a measly little pain either. It felt akin to fire eating away at my sin, acid coursing through my veins instead of blood, and daggers scraping at my bones.

But I knew I had to get up. It was either get up or feel this way forever.... and I didn't want to feel the pain... the horrible pain....

I let out a soft groan and slowly pulled myself into a sitting position, keeping my hand to my head (which felt like it was about to split in two). After a few minutes of sitting like that the pain began to ebb away, and I blearily open my eyes, squinting even in the dim foggy light that surrounded me.

As soon as I stood, the questions I had held at the back of my mind were set free. -'Where am I? What happened? Where's Mom?'- Of course there were more, but those were the main ones. That car... it had been swerving so much... it had looked as if the drivers were...

Drunk. The drivers were drunk. That explained the hit. But where...?

Slowly, I turned around and then opened my eyes fully. Numbness spread throughout my body in an instant and I felt like I was about to pass out.

I was on a rocky beach. Water stretched behind me as far as the eye could see. In front of me was a stone wall that did not seem to have a top or ends. Set in the wall was a huge gate. If you could imagine every nightmare you have ever had and multiplied it tenfold you would create that gate. At the top of the gate there was the upper half of what looked like a demons' head carved in stone, making the gate look like a vile mouth set in a stone wall. And on the gate there was a poem:

Through me
the way to the woeful city,
through me
the way to eternal pain,
through me
the was among the lost people.

Justice moved my marker on high
Divine power made me
and supreme Wisdom and Primal Love;
before me nothing was
created but eternal things,
and I endure eternally.

Abandon hope,
all ye that enter here.

I was in... Hell?