Hell and Heaven


For ninety-five years we've been stuck in this room. It's the perfect prison for demons. We don't need food or water or anything else, so our captor never needs to interact with us. The magic used to create the room protects the walls and ceiling from our powers. We can't break out. We might as well be rotting in chains.

She blames me for our problem, for us being trapped in this fucking room. For nearly a century, we've been confined here, with nothing to do except bitch at each other and sleep. Every day I wake up and wish she'd have a heart attack or a stroke or something. Being a demon, that's probably not going to happen. A man can wish though, can't he?

Fuck, she is annoying. Everything about her drives me insane, especially the way she breathes. She hasn't done more than walk five steps since we were locked in here, yet every time I try to sleep, she starts gasping as though she's just run a fucking race. She knows how much it pisses me off, how all I can think about is ripping her head off every time she starts. That's why she does it. She doesn't want me to sleep properly, to rest. She wants me tired and on edge. She thinks it gives her the advantage.

Really, the only thing keeping me from ending her life is the system we set up the first day we were locked in this fucking hell-hole. I had scratched a line down the center of the room; she stays on her side and I stay on mine. That system has kept us from slaughtering each other for close to one hundred years. Yeah, pretty damn effective.

Things are different today though. I can feel something coming in the air, something important. I don't know what it is. Excitement, maybe? Anticipation? I don't have a fucking clue. So I sit up, open my eyes and look around, trying to spot something, anything.

She's sitting on her side of the room, on her side of the line, watching me. My sudden movement sets her off and she leaps to her feet.

"You asshole!" she screams, coming as close to the line as she dares. "I hate you so fucking much! I wish your head would rot and fall of your shoulders, you little cocksucker!"

I just shrug and continuing peering around the tiny room. There isn't anything I can do to make her stop, and it's not as though I haven't heard her say the exact same things before. Actually, I can usually predict what she's about to say before she says it. I do that when I'm particularly bored.

Unfortunately, she isn't done. "Look at me, you fucking idiot! This is your fault! You're the reason we're stuck in this fucking place!"

I don't bother switching my gaze to her. "Don't step over the line," I warn her. "You step onto my side and I will kill and eat you." I tell her that often, at least once a day. She loses her cool so easily, I know one day she's going to fuck up and cross it.

"Oh, shut the fuck up! You and your fucking line." She shakes her head and sneers. "As if I need to worry about you killing me. You don't have the guts or the power."

Something in her voice tells me she truly believes her own words. It makes me laugh, loud and long. Even as I'm shaking with hilarity, I know shit is going to turn ugly quick. She really hates it when I laugh at her.

"What the fuck are you laughing at, moron?"

"Your face," is my quick reply. Oh shit, she is going to fucking blow her top now.

Green eyes flashing, she bares her fangs and growls loudly at me. "You little asshole! Is this your plan now? Are you going to provoke me, try to trick me into making the first move? You want me to cross the line don't you? You want a shot to kill me?" She edges forward, her attention completely focused on me. "Well, fuck you, little brother! It's not happening. I'm going to stay over here and spend the rest of my unbelievably long life tormenting you. And when you finally die, I'm going to go over to your side and dance on your ashes!" By the end of her little rant, her voice is dripping with rage.

For the first time in a long time, I wonder if maybe I've crossed a line. Not the line, a line. She's never been the most sane demon, and every minute we're locked in here, she's probably sinking ever closer to madness.

She stares into my eyes and I can see the insanity lurking in the depths of hers. I break first and look down, away from those green orbs. And I smile when I see what she has yet to realize.

Slowly, I rise to my feet, the grin never leaving my face. She's confused by my actions; I can see it on her face. "Well, sister, that was quite a little speech. It really did a number on me." My grin widens, exposing my own fangs. "You fucked up though." I gesture to her feet.

She knows what she's done the second I point; I can see it on her face. She looks, just to make sure. Sure enough, all five toes on her right foot are over the line. Slowly, she looks back up at me. The sudden fear on her face is intoxicating, though it doesn't last. It's only there for a brief moment before it's replaced by a look of supreme nonchalance.

"So what?" she asks, shrugging. "Is this the end? Are you really going to attack m—"

I leap at her before she can finish. My weight and momentum carry us both to the ground, and she lets out a muffled groan of pain when her back hits the rough concrete floor. She must have hit her head as well, because she isn't struggling as hard as I know she can.

Before she can gather her wits, I sink my fangs into her shoulder, right near the base of her throat. I shake my head viciously and pull back, separating a huge chunk of bloody flesh from her body. Her agonized scream rings out, echoing off the walls. I barely hear her. My whole world is focused on the sweet, sweet taste of her iron-filled blood as I savour the bite I've taken. It's the first thing I've eaten since we were trapped in the fucking room all those years ago. We demons don't need food to survive; that doesn't mean we don't enjoy eating.

After that first bite is gone, I go for another. This time, I'm the one who has made a mistake. While I was distracted, she managed to free one of her arms from underneath me. As I lean in close, she strikes, clawing at me eyes. I yell, more surprised than hurt, and instinctively leap backwards, rubbing at my eyes.

By the time I pull my hands away from my face, my sister has made it back to her feet. Her red blood is flowing from her wound, the wound I made, staining her ratty white shirt. Her breathing is laboured, and from her stance, I figure she injured some ribs when I hit her.

This time, she moves first. I see her body tense for a second. It reminds me of a snake, coiled to strike. And she leaps. It isn't much of a warning. I roll with it though. I'm significantly bigger, stronger than her, so I catch her in the air. She struggles against my grip, growling viciously. She's weaker than me though, and affected by the blood-loss. Shock flashes across her face as I hoist her up over my head. She doesn't realize what I'm doing.

I'm tall. I can count on my fingers the number of beings I've met who are taller than me. So the distance between my sister's body and the floor is pretty substantial. The distance grows even more as I toss her up in the air, silently blessing the high ceiling, and watch her come crashing down.

It happens so fast, she barely has time to react. She throws out a hand, tries to break her fall. It doesn't help. She's falling too fast, from too high. I hear a bone in her arm break as she collides with the ground, and I smile as she screams. She rolls onto her back, clutching at her injured arm, and begins to sob. My smile widens.

Kneeling by her side, I reach out and grab her by the throat. "Now," I say, speaking softly, "I was going to drag this out. I wanted you to suffer. Plus, I really am hungry." I eye her dripping wound regretfully for a moment. "You're in luck though. After all the shit you've put me through, all of the absolutely vile words you've directed at me over the years, I only want one thing now; you, dead and rotting in hell. Sayonara, sis." I don't even pause to enjoy the fear in her eyes. With a twist of my hand, I snap her neck.

As is the norm for all demons, she doesn't leave a corpse behind. Even as I pull back my hand and step back, flames flare up from her injured shoulder and quickly spread to cover her entire body. They burn with incredible heat for a few seconds, before dying out, leaving behind only a small pile of ashes and the pungent stink of sulfur.

It's quiet now. No more yelling, no more screaming, no more complaining. And no fucking breathing. It's completely silent for the first time in so long, and I revel in it. I inhale deeply, choking a little on the powerful smell of sulfur that still lingers in the air, and let out one big sigh.

"Finally," I say to myself. "She's finally dead."

I stare at her ashes for a moment, and decide to leave them there for the moment. Maybe I'll want to stomp on them later.

Going back to my side of the room, I collapse to the floor and close my eyes. Seconds later, I slip into the first peaceful, uninterrupted sleep I've had in almost a hundred years. It's heaven.