Dante lies still on the ground, in a comatose state. Visions, horrible visions fly through his mind. Tortures that go beyond anything that human beings could dream up go on in his head. Exotic memories fly through his brain. What he sees is Hell, literally Hell.
As all of these different images of gruesome brutality float through his mind, Dante's subconscious tries to focus on the source of all this which leads us to the beginning.
Going back, Dante's memories flash to several months ago…
After slitting his palm and letting his blood drip into a pot, Dante says a magical chant. This is called an invocation. An invocation is the process of summoning a demon. After the ritual is conducted, Dante stands there and waits. He waits for what equates to twenty minutes before becoming discouraged.
"I'm such an idiot," he says to himself, "Why would ever think that I could summon a demon? Everyone knows that demons aren't real."
He then returns to his car, slamming the door after entering.
Dante then sits in his car which is parked in the empty parking lot. It being night, the only source of light provided is the light projected from a street pole. Soon the light begins to flash on and off repeatedly before eventually blowing out.
Dante stares at this, puzzled, before getting out of his car and looking around. As far as he can tell the lot is completely deserted save for himself and his car.
"You called?" a voice says from behind.
Spinning around, Dante finds himself face to face with a man wearing a checkered suit and bowler hat. Looking like the sleaziest business man, the man has a moustache and a devious grin on his face.
"Beelzebub I presume?" Dante asks.
"Speaking," the man says, widening his grin.
"So you're the devil, huh?" Dante inquires, trembling.
The demon takes a step forward towards him. "You could say that."
Dante nods, looking down at the ground.
"So what can I do for you my friend?" Beelzebub asks.
His eyes having become teary, Dante wipes them using his shoulder. "My… uh… my wife is dying and she's… she's pregnant."
"And what do you want me to do about it?" Beelzebub asks.
"Could you save her?" Dante asks, looking up at him, voice weak and eyes watering. Dante, trying to preserve his masculinity the best he can, holds back the tears.
Beelzebub chuckles, "And why would I just suddenly do that now? I mean… after you know who I am. Why not call an angel or a faith healer. You might as well, given we're all equally useless in these types of situations."
"I've done some occult reading. That's how I knew how to summon you…"
"Oh did you now. Why do I have the feeling that this is just some petty attempt at some sort of a self-righteous, quasi-noble, suicide attempt?" Beelzebub taunts, now circling around him.
"Cut the shit! I know what you want! I know how you demons work! You want my soul right? Well you can have it! Just please heal my wife!" Dante pleads, trying his best not to cry.
Beelzebub busts into laughter.
The demon ignores his request and continues to laugh maniacally.
"Dammit! Stop it!"
Slowly, the wannabe devil stops laughing before he calms himself down. "May I suggest praying instead?"
"You know what? Fuck you! I don't even know why I came out here," Dante angrily states, before returning back to his car.
Dante opens the door and sits down inside.
"If you want your wife to live then I suggest you get out of that car," Beelzebub calls out to him.
Dante swears under his breath before getting out of the car and returning to Beelzebub.
"So you love your wife more than anything I take it?" Beelzebub asks.
"I do," Dante nods.
"So you'll give up eternity for her?"
Dante pauses for a minute before answering, "Yeah… yeah I will. I'm willing… to do that"
Beelzebub nods, grinning. "Excellent. Tell me…" Placing his hands on Dante's shoulders he asks, "What is she dying from?"
"Anemia… she has Anemia…" Dante answers.
"I love this," the demon says, licking his lips.
"So will you help me or not?" Dante asks.
The demon looks him in his eyes and grins. "I don't know where you've been…" He then slaps his shoulders. "Of course I'll help you! Otherwise this whole thing would be a gigantic waste of time for you and me," Beelzebub says, laughing.
Dante nods. "So what do you want for your service? My soul I take it?"
Beelzebub removes his hands from Dante's shoulders. "We'll worry about that later in the mean time…" Beelzebub clears his throat and says in a softer, more sympathetic tone, "Let's check up on your old lady."
With that, Beelzebub gently places his hand on Dante's shoulder and a dark mist surrounds them before engulfing them. Dante coughs violently as the smoke fills his lungs. The two then disappear into the puff of smoke.
They then reappear in Beatrice's hospital room where she lies in bed, her eyes closed, sleeping. A heart monitor is attached to her and her heart rate is struggling to stay normal. Her face is pale and her eye lids are black.
Dante falls to his knees and continues to cough while Beelzebub walks over to Beatrice's bedside where he examines her.
"Oh she's not doing good…" Beelzebub says, turning to Dante. "She's not doing well at all."
"Can you save her?"
"Of course I can save her. I was an angel once you know?"
Dante nods and stares at his dying wife.
"You said that you would be willing to trade your soul for her right?"
"Yes," Dante nods, not looking away from Beatrice.
"You can keep your soul. Just give me your child," the demon rasps.
"What? No! I thought we agreed upon it being my soul?"
"You do realize the consequences of you selling your soul to me right?" Beelzebub asks, pacing around the room before turning back around to face him again.
"Yeah I'll go to Hell when I die," Dante answers, crossing his arms.
"Yes and do you know what Hell will be like?" Beelzebub inquires.
"I'm guessing that there will be a lot of fire and brimstone."
"Oh you poor mortal, Hell is much, much worse than how your typical church services present it. The real Hell makes the Pentecostal sermons that describe it look like… well… Disney Land or… one might even say Heaven. It doesn't matter though, they're both equally overrated," Beelzebub then pauses, clapping his hands together before continuing, "My point is… is that this bitch is not worth going through Hell and…" Beelzebub holds up his finger to silence the pissed off Dante, "…and trust me, I would know."
Dante thinks about it for a minute before deciding. Looking up from the ground, he answers. "No… no I… I would never do that. I'm not going to. And no amount of convincing can change my mind. So why don't you take that car salesman bullshit and shove it up where it belongs and just take my goddam soul already and be on your way?"
Beelzebub chuckles before responding, "Still not convinced huh? Well no matter. How about this to consider now? If you make this deal with me by selling your soul then within four months you will die a painful death which would only serve as a prelude to the damnation which awaits you." The demonic salesman then gives him a smug smile when he is done.
Dante looks over at his dying, pregnant wife and considers the demon's ultimatum. Thinking about the future of his child and his own afterlife, Dante makes a difficult decision.
Returning his gaze to Beelzebub he says, "I'll see you in Hell."
Understanding that there is nothing he can do to change Dante's mind, Beelzebub begrudgingly nods his head and extends out his hand to Dante.
"Let's shake on it then: Your soul and eternity after these next four months in exchange for the curing of your wife's ailment," Beelzebub proposes.
Dante nods before shaking hands with the devil. A bright red glow then surrounds their handshakes and shines throughout the room. After the glow disappears, the two pull away and go over to Beatrice.
Beelzebub then shoves his hand into Beatrice's chest. Her eyes open wide and she screams as that same glow comes out of her eyes, mouth, and hole in chest.
Shocked, Dante grabs Beelzebub by his shoulder and tries pulling him away. "What the hell are you doing?" Dante angrily demands.
Beelzebub shrugs him off and continues shifting his hand into Beatrice's chest before yanking it out. The hole in her closes up and all the red glows disappear. Beatrice's eyes then close again and she falls back asleep, as if nothing ever happened.
Beelzebub then turns back to Dante. "It is down now, she has been cured. And as you previously just so boldly stated, I'll see you in Hell," Beelzebub bitterly says before disappearing in that black puff of smoke.
Dante coughs as the smoke blows in his face and he uses his hands to fan it away. Looking at his wife's heart monitor, he now sees it to have returned to normal. After seeing that his wife is now ok, Dante grabs a chair and sits down next to her. Stroking her hair, he smiles at her as she sleeps.
The next morning the doctors come in and to their surprise, discover her to have been miraculously healed. "It's an act of God," is what they tell Dante who feigns surprised.
Now, in his time of dying, Dante lies in the alley, immobile and experiencing Hell, Hell or the next best thing.