This is the end, friends. I'm going to die. I don't wonder what will happen when it's over – I know I'm going to hell. At least, if there is a Hell; I was never quite sure on that point.

But if there is a Hell, I'm there. Not because I'm committing suicide, which the reverend tells us is a great sin. There's that other matter…

There is pain. I guess, what was I expecting? I could have taken pills, that would have been painless. But no, I chose to blow my brains out. For simplicity you see; the gun was in the apartment, a leftover, and it's closer than the store, easier than buying pills.

I was still kind of hoping it would be painless though. It's not. For a moment, everything is pain, but then I'm dead anyway, and he's there, standing over my body.

"Shit." he says, looking at the brain bits on his boot in disgust. "Couldn't you have waited just a few more seconds? I got stuck in traffic on the way here. Traffic! Can you believe it? You people are killing yourselves off like there's no tomorrow."

He looks down at what used to be my face and sighs. He looks irritated. "Of all the… You could have spared me the work you know? But no. Of course not. You people are so inconsiderate."

I wish he would shut up. I'm dead; why do I have to listen to his bitching? Even death is unfair…

He kneels beside me. I wonder briefly what he's up to, before deciding it doesn't really concern me now that I'm dead. He could piss in my skull cavity for all I care.

"I'm not giving you a new body, if that's what you were hoping for." he says before scraping together what he can of my brain and dumping it in the half of my skull still attached to my body. Ok, that's gross.

"Now hurry up and get better. I'm a busy man."

I feel like laughing at him. I'm dead. You don't get better from dead. What a dumb shit he is; I thought he was smarter than that.

Then suddenly I am laughing at him. In my body, with my face intact as before. I stop laughing.


He grins at me. "You didn't think I would let you off so easy, did you? No, I've got plans for you."


"No buts. You sold your soul to me remember? A soul by itself isn't much use to me though, so I'll make you another deal. You could be useful."

"But I blew my face off!" I yell, feeling my face. He even restored my eyebrow piercing. I look around my apartment; it's as bare and blood spatter free as before as well. "My head hurts."

He tuts at me, the insensitive bastard. "Maybe you should have thought of that before you shot yourself in the face."

I moan and clutch my head. Is would normally have sworn at him. How was I supposed to know he was going to bring me back to life? Is what I might normally have said, but my head hurts too much. "Could you get me some Tylenol, or morphine or something please?" I manage to ask through my pain. I think about asking him for 40, but decide against speaking again.

"We're not getting off to a very good start, are we?" he asks softly and walks away. Moments later his boots, clean again, come back into view and he hands me a bottle of Tylenol. "I couldn't find the morphine." he says. I take the Tylenol and swallow two, and another two for good measure, then I lay back to wait for it to kick in. He sits on my chair and lights a cigarette. I watch the smoke swirl up to the ceiling. He passes his fingers through the smoke in what might be a pattern and sighs again.

"What do you want?" I ask. My head still hurts, but it's a bearable pain now. "Don't you have other souls to steal?"

He takes a deep breath of smoke before answering. "That's why I'm here. I need a… secretary, you could say, and that's where you come in."

"You want me to be your secretary?" I repeat in disbelief.

"Well, that was the plan, but after talking to you I wonder just how competent you are. I might change my mind." He looks right at me. I think my mouth must be hanging open. The thing is; he's beautiful. I'm quite sure he's an evil fuck, but he has the face of an angel – with sideburns.

I realize I don't want to go to Hell, after all it doesn't sound like a very nice place to spend eternity, so I shake my head. "I'll do it. How hard can it be?"

"Oh, you'll have your hands full with all the paperwork I get." He smiles as though he's said something funny. I don't get it.

He takes one last drag on his cigarette and puts it out on the arm of my chair.


He grins at me; it gives me shivers down my spine. "No worries, you're moving up in the world, girl. No secretary of mine is going to live in a dump like this. Also it's a bit much to be lugging around, so come on." He gives me a hand up and ushers me out the door with his arm around my shoulders. "Let's go see what work I've got for you to do."