Dancing with the Devil
Chapter 1: A Deal is Sealed with a Kiss
Name: Persephone Smoke, School: Bloomington High, Grade: 12, Age: 17
English 4: C-
Symphonic Band: C
American Government: F
Varsity Women Volleyball: A
Persephone stared at the piece of paper in her hands before shrugging. "At least I was able to keep up my grades this year." She swished her multi-colored brown hair over her shoulder as she smiled sweetly. "All I need to do is bring up my Physics and American Government grades and I should be in my cap and gown already." The woman winked at her boyfriend. "Aren't you proud of me?"
He was anything but proud. Zack Smith's ocean green eyes were troubled as they peered over her shoulder to see her failing grades. A huge sigh left his lips as he looked down at his girlfriend. "Are you sure you're good to go?" he asked carefully as he combed back his blond hair, not wanting to upset her. "Maybe you should study more this spring vacation."
Persephone snorted as her eyes rolled in exasperation. "Oh, jeez, Zack, you're not my parents. Chillax and relax, honey." Persephone Smoke hated studying with a passion. If anything, she wanted to get rid of knowledge and let the world become the bums of the century.
"And that's the reason why you might not be able to make it into college." Zack scratched his chin, feeling a sudden itch residing there.
His girlfriend only rolled her eyes once again. "College isn't everything you know."
The football player shrugged. "College is the future and it's the world of opportunities. With a college degree it'll make your life easier, get you professional jobs and be paid high than a high school graduate would. Why wouldn't you want to go?" He slung his arm around her shoulders as he led them off of the school's campus.
Irritation started to roil through her. "College isn't going to help me play a match against Misty May, Zack." And everyone in the school knew how bad she wanted to play against the champion.
Before her boyfriend could say anything, Persephone heard two voices shouting her name. She turned and her face brightened up as she saw her two best friends running after her. "Amanda! Veronica!" She squealed with happiness before running from her boyfriend's arms and catapulting into her best friends'. All three laughed with joy as they jumped up and down in excitement.
"Oh em gee, my stomach is growling right now," Amanda whined as she poked it. "Persephone, let's go eat out. I'm starving!"
Veronica rolled her eyes at the girl. "She's been drooling for food ever since American Government. It's as if this girl's appetite is going to keep outgrowing the food that's available." She laughed before turning her dark brown eyes to Zack. "Hey, Zack," she greeted, tucking in a strand of black hair behind her ear as she smiled coyly.
"Hey," he replied coolly, shifting his backpack strap over his shoulder as he gazed at her longingly.
The secret message that was oscillating between the two went unnoticed by Amanda and Persephone. They were talking excitedly about the restaurants that just had been built near the school. Amanda preferred the restaurants that were closer to their rival school, whereas Persephone (devoted to her school) preferred the ones that were close by.
"Fine! Jeez, all the restaurants are the same anyway!" Amanda entwined her arm with Persephone and strutted to the parking lot. "Let's eat fast food. Something with grease, oil, and fries, lots of fries."
Persephone laughed as she saw Amanda's blue eyes sparkle with glee. She could already see small burgers swirling around her best friend's head. She looked over her shoulder. "Zack, want to eat at a burger joint?"
Her boyfriend nodded, politely carrying Veronica's books. "Anything is fine, babe."
The group diverted to their own (individual) cars, each engine revving and aiming to the destination of the burger joint with deadly speed.
Once they were there, the group ordered their food, which was promptly received. The group was lucky that one of the students (well known to Zack) was serving and got their orders in quick.
Amanda bit into her burger and moaned. "It's so delicious. It's orgasmic!" She closed her eyes, reveling and tasting each ingredient that was put together in order to make the piece of heaven in her hands.
Veronica sighed as she sipped out of the straw that was inserted into her water bottle. "I'm on a diet, so I can't eat." She batted her eyes at Zack who inconspicuously winked at her.
Persephone, who sat next to Zack, merely shrugged at Veronica and started with her fries.
Suddenly, three of Zack's friend's approached the table. They were all from Bloomington High School. They were all on the football team, save for the blond who was also in the baseball team. The blond one smiled seductively at Veronica. Persephone didn't notice Zack tense up beside her. The other two brown-haired stood next to the table, arguing about the football positions they played in.
"Hey, sweet doll," the blond purred. When Veronica had a look of disgust, he frowned. Ignoring the black-haired bitch of a beauty, he then turned his attention to Zack. "Hey, I haven't seen you at practice lately."
"Maybe it's because I'm too fast for you to see," Zack laughed and slapped his buddy on the shoulder.
"Hardy-har-har," He sneered at Zack, disgusted by the football player's gloating. His blue eyes switched over to the girl next to him. "Hey, hey, Persephone-darling, you're looking mighty sexy, might I say. When am I ever going to see you play in those itty bitty volleyball shorts?" He sighed lovingly, almost hopelessly.
Persephone laughed, shaking her head, oblivious to Zack's stiff posture. "John, you dork, shut up before Zack hurts you."
"So, you do care!" John heaved a heavy sigh (this time) before turning to the two other girls. "And who are these young ladies?"
"Veronica and Amanda." Zack glared at John, smashing Persephone closer to his body.
Amanda didn't acknowledge him as she stuffed her burger in her mouth, enjoying every bite.
John slid closer to Veronica, ready to try again with his charm. "My, my, my." He slung his arm around her shoulder. "Is there anyone you're with?"
"As a matter of fact, yes," she snapped at him.
"Eh?" Persephone lifted her hazel eyes to her friend. "I didn't know you were seeing somebody."
There was a flash of guilt in Veronica's eyes. "I've been seeing him for a couple of days now," She looked at her nails and sniffed sensitively as if it was a difficult touchy subject. "I haven't told you guys, yet."
John sighed in defeat and extracted his arm from Veronica. He then turned to the other buddies who were still arguing about football strategies. "Hey, dudes, stop wanking off to each other." He snapped his fingers at them.
Rudy groaned, shaking his head as he pointed to the new kid to the school. "Dude, you have no idea how much, Ronald is pissing me off. He keeps thinking that football is exactly like rugby."
"It is!" The sophomore blushed brightly at the sudden attention he had from the table.
"How long have you played football for?" Zack asked, removing his arm from around Persephone once John was distracted.
"I've…uh, this is--"
"This is his first year." Rudy quickly stole one of Amanda's fries. She squealed in anger, fisting her hand.
Zack threw back his head and laughed. "Then you don't know shit about football. I suggest you keep your mouth shut in the future if you don't know two things well enough to compare."
Purposely, Ronald ignored Zack, turning to Persephone with new interest. The sophomore had a soft blush on his face as he spoke, "Aren't you in one of my honors classes?"
Before Persephone could say anything, Zack jumped in.
"Her? My girlfriend?" Zack chuckled and wrapped his arm around her shoulders. "She doesn't have the brains to be in those classes. All she has to do is just sit there and look pretty," He kissed her lips. "She's my doll, my sweet, sweet doll." He nuzzled her neck.
A wounded look crossed Persephone's face. She leaned away from his touch, placing a hand to his chest to push him further. She turned to Zack with hurting eyes. "What? Are you saying that I'm dumb?" she asked softly.
"I'm sorry, but I'm just speaking the truth." Zack removed his arm from her, looking at her straight in the face. He appeared in no way regretful for his words.
"Hey! Did you get accepted to one of your colleges yet?" Rudy asked Zack, hoping to make the fight disperse.
He smiled and nodded, his attention diverting from Persephone. "Yeah, I got accepted from Princeton, Yale, and from a UC in Southern California," Zack boasted. His chest puffed with self pride. "It took a lot of work, but I got what I wanted."
"How about you Persephone?" Ronald asked, offering her a kind smile. "Did you get accepted by a college?"
Once again, Zack interrupted her.
"Who says she's going to college?" Zack laughed, oblivious to the agony he was causing Persephone. "We were just talking about that but she doesn't have a chance." He took a sip from his refreshment. "All her grades are--"
"I can get into college." Persephone ignored her friends and Zack's friends' stares. "Who knows, I can turn everything backwards and start all over again. I can get into college."
"Do you think you have the chance to fix your life and go?" Zack scoffed at her, placing his beverage on the table. "Yeah, you can get accepted by a community college, but I bet you'll be out by three weeks. Your life is over and done."
Before he could add more, Persephone grabbed her drink and threw the liquid at his face. "You bastard," she hissed as she stood from her chair. She ignored her friends' calls, jumped in the car and drove home with a speed that would've made any criminal proud.
She ran up to her room and stayed there in the dark, under the blankets. She sat on her bed, gazing down at her report card. She sniffed and rubbed at her nose with the back of her hand. Once she felt proud of these grades, now she felt like they're nothing.
Out of frustration, she growled and ripped it apart.
She bent forward, put her head in her hands, and began to cry. Persephone sobbed as she remembered the fight she had with her parents two weeks ago. She shook her head and felt more tears welling up in her eyes. Her parents dearly want her to go to college, Persephone knew that. But it wasn't something she, herself, wanted. She didn't want to go to college. She just wanted to get high school over with and be done with everything. Volleyball can take her somewhere. Persephone was that good at it.
But her father threatened to disown her if she were to skip out on it, on his very favorite topic: college.
Persephone leapt from her bed and paced in the small room of hers. "Go to college? Ha!" She laughed crazily and shook her head as a fierce look of determination was on her face. "I can make it! No big deal! Just pick up my grades, be serious for the next week until vacation and surely at least one college will accept me!"
She paced faster and faster in her room, ideas spilling into her head.
"The grades from the past don't matter," she convinced herself. "It doesn't matter, right now matters."
She paused in her walk, closing her eyes as she inhaled a breath of oxygen. "I can do it," she whispered to herself. "I can do it. If it means to be going by all means to…" She sighed looking out the window. The moon was full. There was no wind and no birds chirping, no crickets chattering. "If I have to go all the way just to get into a college, I would."
"Is that so?" a deep, lethal voice said from behind.
Persephone jumped, startled by the voice in her room as she turned around to meet the maker. Her eyes adjusted to the darkness, spotting a dark figure standing in the middle of her room.
"Who are you?" she gasped when he stepped from the shadows and into the moonlight. His cold, grey eyes observed her with a hint of amusement. His obsidian hair swayed mockingly, perfected in a way to make any woman croon. His face was chiseled into perfection as was his body. The man laughed before swaggering towards her.
Persephone stiffened but held her ground.
"I am one with many names, human." His voice was deep, resonating with power. "I go from Aidoneus to Aides, Ditis Pater to Orcus, Polydectes to Clymenus." He chuckled, thinking about the names people have labeled him by. The man regarded Persephone with cool eyes, a cruel smirk on his face. "But many call me Hades."
"H-Hades?" Persephone stuttered, her eyes widening in disbelief. "Then you're saying that you're--"
"The God of the Underworld," he finished for her.
Persephone looked at him, doubt covering her face. "What are you? Some sick freak? Who do you think you are barging into my room in the middle of the night?" she snarled. Persephone turned on the lamp on her desk and grabbed the phone nearby. "Get out before I call the police," she growled.
Hades eyes turned to slits as a scowl appeared on his face. "Don't talk to me with that tone of voice, human," He snapped, causing her to flinch and step backwards. The strong flaming candle within her that flared with anger quickly diminished. "I am here for the deal you have proposed."
"What deal?" she spat, strength glittering in her eyes. "I didn't ask you for anything. I don't even know you! Get the hell out of my room." Her hand tightened around the phone.
"The wish you had to be accepted by a high university," he said before she placed her finger upon the nine of the telephone.
Persephone froze. She looked at him with her mouth gaped open. "What are you a stalker? How do you know that, you freak?"
He suddenly appeared in front of her; his arm slammed to the wall next to her face. Persephone gasped and backed away from him. The phone dropped to the floor. Hades sneered at her as he bent next to her head, his lips brushing against her ears as he whispered angrily. "I demand you refrain yourself."
Fearful, she nodded numbly. Terror rushed through her veins.
Once he had removed himself from her, she opened her mouth and questioned him, "How do you know that I want to be accepted by a college?"
Hades smirked. "I know many things."
"You want to go to college, but know you can't make it."
"So? That doesn't mean you know everything!"
"I know that you are having second thoughts on your partner."
She scoffed. "I told Amanda about that. Probably the whole school knows. And I'm keeping him until I'm satisfied with--"
Hades laughed aloud, shocking Persephone that she was forced to be quiet. She blinked at him with her wide hazel eyes as he cupped her cheek in his hands, gazing down at her with those exquisite grey eyes of his. "How about that lovely life of yours, Persephone?" he murmured seductively, grasping her chin harder as he yanked her head around. "Wouldn't want me to take that away, would you?"
The agony rang through the silence between them.
Persephone grimaced and shoved Hades away from him. She ignored his deadly anger. "Okay, let's say I believe you, that you are the God of the Underworld." She gulped nervously when a somewhat of a satisfied look was on his face. "What will you want…back?"
He smiled, his pearly teeth made her uncomfortable. "The only thing I bargain in return for deals is souls."
She was appalled. "Then, you want my…?"
He nodded. "I want your soul."
She stood up to him, defiance glinting in her eyes. "You sick fuck."
His face darkened with every word as she regarded him with disrespect. How dare this miscreant, this human treat him with such insolence? He was a highly known and feared in his world. Hades narrowed his eyes and stepped close to the woman. He grabbed her multicolored hair, twisting it in his fist as he forcibly jerked her head to look into his raging eyes.
"You despicable human." He jerked her hair harder, and a whimpered escaped from her lips. Tears came down her face as he pulled harder. "Speaking such high and mighty words and what? You're descending into a quivering mess already?" Hades laughed as he leaned down to lick the hot tears running down her cheek. "Stupid human."
She flinched away from him, glaring at him weakly through her teary eyes. "Stop," she whimpered.
A wicked smiled spread throughout his face. He pulled an inch away from her, smiling cruelly. "Do we have a deal, my sweet?"
Persephone bit her lip and looked away from him. If this was real, she could be accepted by any college she wanted. She would be intelligent, athletic, and pretty all in one. And Zack would actually be proud to brag about his girlfriend's intellect, not just her body. Not that his opinion mattered…or did it?
But in exchange for her intelligence, the Devil will have her soul. Persephone frowned, gazing at the man before her who called himself Hades. If this wasn't real, there wouldn't be any point to this conversation. But wouldn't the belief of this make her study more or even be much more important than thought?
Persephone nodded hesitantly as she held out her trembling hand. "W-We have a deal," she stuttered.
Hades laughed. He grabbed her hand and pulled her close to him, holding her against his broad chest as he looked down at her with those cool, ferocious eyes. "A deal is sealed with a kiss."
She pulled back in disgust. "I will never give that to you. My lips belong to my boyfriend."
He chuckled mockingly, tucking back a strand of brown hair behind her ear. "It's a kiss of death, not of love." And with those last words, he slammed his lips upon hers with such brutal force.
Her reaction was quick. Persephone pushed at his chest furiously, beating at it with her fists. But he wouldn't relent. If anything, Hades pressed his lips harder upon her own, bruising her soft petals. Persephone felt her mouth open against his, and in an instant, a cool breath of air from Hades' mouth entered her own and down the passage of her throat.
When he finally released her, Persephone staggered back and coughed. She hacked, still feeling the icy wind down her throat. "What do you think you're doing, asshole?"
He didn't reply. Instead, Hades grabbed her wrist again and pulled her closer to him. His hand slipped under her shirt, his palm against the flat of her stomach. A menacing glare from him stilled her movements. "Now your soul belongs to me, human," he hissed, power resonating in his voice. "You do anything to break the deal, I'll kill you."
The threatening words barely registered to her before something molting hot stabbed her straight through the stomach.
She gagged, dropping to her knees as the strength left her. Persephone screamed, biting down on her lip as if to try and contain the cries of pain. The agony engulfed her wholly, leaving not one inch of her body painless. Her back bowed off the ground as her hands scrambled around for something to hold on.
Not one second did the pain stop. Instead of keeping at a constant rate, the agony quaking in her bones grew with intensity.
Hades smiled cruelly down to the human as she shook in pain. He walked around her, wiping his hands from the residence of touching a human on his jeans before standing at her door. "Now that we've sealed the deal, I can take my leave."
Persephone gasped, taking in deep breathes as she tried to contain her sanity. Through the cloud of pain, she vaguely heard a click of the door before utter silence filled the room. Why didn't her parents hear her scream? She was practically kicking the floor, struggling to contain the pain. She crawled to her bed, too weak to stand, but couldn't heave herself upon the comforting mattress.
Persephone grabbed onto her blankets. Her knuckles turning white as she writhed about.
She couldn't take the pain anymore. Her grip went slack, releasing the blankets and she slumped on the floor. A few seconds later, she blacked out.
Edited by: trustnme