All I remember was gentle slip, as soon as I closed my eyes I felt the darkness take me.
“Welcome to hell!” A booming male voice thundered through the air. The darkness soon turned into a muddled white glow.
I opened my eyes to see a red ruin of a building, striped in yellow and white like a circus tent.
I was inside a McNonald’s, a cheap knock off burger place, behind the cash register.
Wait a second, I don’t have a job. Aside from that, there was something off about the place. It did not seem normal, as if it was not any mere McNonald’s.
My gaze shifted to the windows. Outside the glass planes was an apocalyptic scene of fire jetting into the sky and brimstone clouds gathering in mass. Outside were creatures beyond nightmares waiting in an organized line. Demonic figures shuffled in front of the doors.
I screamed and tried to duck down behind the counter, but all of a sudden I was frozen, unable to move as chains coiled around me.
“Hello Ronald!” a man in a black suit and red tie addressed me as he appeared from a mass of black mist. Polished Black horns jetted from his forehead.
“Who are you, what is this?” I shouted questions in a panicked scrawl of words. The chains constricted me further, wrapping around my mouth.
The man smiled and approached. His teeth were a knotted conglomeration of long fangs and incisors, yet all where pearly white. “You’ve been a bad, bad, boy; Ronald Dillinger. You’ve racked up a long list of misdeeds and misdemeanors and you are only 23!” Up close his eyes looked strange and demonic, with red hexagrams around the pupils of a deeper red.
“Well, you’re right about one thing, this is hell!” he continued. A shimmer of red lighting appeared on the horizon.
I looked about the off-brand restaurant, to the seats of polished red leather, to the metal tables, to the counter in front of me. Everything felt fresh and cool. Everything looked normal, nothing out of place.
I tried to mumble out a sentence, but the chains tightened around my lips. The man in the suit found my struggles amusing, and with a wave of a hand the chains became looser, but loose enough for me to speak.
“Ah, thanks. I thought that hell was supposed to be hot, why is it air conditioned here?” I asked the demonic man.
The man’s smile expanded, and he giggled.
“Recreational areas need to accommodate the customers, of course, and having you treat them is punishment enough.” he explained.
My pupils widened, Oh no… he doesn’t mean…
“I have to work a traditional job? What did I do to deserve this?”
The man began to laugh again. When does this guy not laugh?
“You lazy little ginger, you went through life being an ungrateful shit, serving your own agenda time and time again. You murdered, killed, and even tortured a saint!” The demon’s eyes glowed with fire. “We had this place here for the deepest of sinners, for people like you, Ronald Dillinger, to serve for the rest of eternity as you served yourself.”
I blew out a raspberry, and began to laugh as well.
“Ok, I know I’m a piece of shit, but I am not that bad! Why aren’t there other more terrible people in my position? Like Hitler, Mao, or even big Joe Stalin?”
The demon smiled and continued to gaze at me.
“It’s because I said so, because believe it or not, but you’re talking to the big man down under…” His eyes turned a sudden shade of black and his voice deepened. More lightning crackled outside.
I smirked, while in actuality I was terrified.
I hope he can’t read my thoughts…
“Nice to meet you, Satan? Lucifer? Beelzebub? What name would you prefer?” I asked nervously.
Satan’s eyes returned to the placid red.
“Your boss, that’s what you need to call me now. I think that title will suffice.” He began to turn away towards the doors. The chains began to restrain me again. “Take orders, take cash, and serve food, ya got all that?”
“Yeah, I think I got that”, The chains suddenly tightened.
“What’s my name again, Ronald?” Satan turned towards me.
”Boss?” I squeaked through the cold metal. The links soon evaporated into a bad smelling mist. Oh no, my asthma!
I began to cough violently, all the while the devil was enjoying my pain. When the fit died down, I managed to say something through my ragged breath.
“But wait; why am I here, honestly?”
Satan’s eyes stared through me, his teeth practically glowing in fluorescent light.
“Honestly?” He asked in a mocking tone.
I rolled my eyes.
“Yes, boss.” I asked again.
“You’re here because you pissed off Santa Clause that one Christmas, a very long time ago. He called out a favor, and said ‘teach that ginger some manners’. I don’t particularly like the guy, so I won’t be that hard on you…” The Prince of Darkness let that last part hang off. “Speaking of punishments, I enlisted a certain assistant to help you in your daily ordeals!” Satan said cheerfully. He snapped his clawed fingers and instantly a rock came into existence on the register.
“Wait… a rock?” I questioned. The rock wobbled side to side.
Oh no, no no no no! Not this again….
Suddenly a gruff voice filled the atmosphere, shouting obscenities and panicked studders. Satan began to laugh nefariously as the dark memories returned.
Its Johnson, Rock Johnson!
“Have fun you two, the restaurant opens in five, and I want you all thoroughly prepared for the hungry horde. As for now, chao!” Satan evaporated in a puff of sulfuric smoke, leaving me and the screaming, sentient rock.
Johnson’s screaming overtook everything. I looked down to the little brown rock and I slapped him with an open hand.
“OW! WHAT HAPPENED? WHERE AM I? IS THIS HELL, OH GOD THIS IS!” The rock shouted.
I promptly gave it another open-handed smack, and Johnson finally gained his wits.
“Oh for god’s sake! Ronnie the ginger! Of course I would go to hell with you at my side!” The rock verbally complained.
“Speaking of, was your soul supposed to live on in the world, forever free of corporeality?” I asked, eyeing the small rock.
“Eh… about that… I did say ‘I think’, with everything I said, so. Anyway thanks for sending me to hell you asshole!” the rock spoke with contempt.
I shrugged my shoulders.
“You were begging me to kill you, so why are you mad at me for your shitty plans?”
If the rock had eyes, they would be staring me down is a torrent of judgmental fire. Instead the rock spoke quietly.
“Shut up, ginger.”
The doors that held the demon horde back busted open, releasing a gust of hellish heat and monsters my way. The first hell-spawn approached the register. A wave of fear brushed over me. A deep chill caused by the fear of responsibility went through my body.
Everything went dark as the demon began to order its meal.
The veil of black returned, accompanied with the faint, yet familiar sounds of Russian speech.
A sharp pain caused me to open my eyes again. The first thing I saw was Alexi, my perverse fat Russian landlord standing over me, holding a mysterious pink object.
“Oh good, ginger is done being dead. Thank god for the Дик Бога, how ya feeling, Ronald?”
I breathed in and breathed out whilst simultaneously going through my brain like a computer to see if I was missing memories.
Did I have a rock named Gilbert or Johnson?
After awhile of thinking I knew what to respond with.
“Alexi… why the hell are you in my room with your closet toy?”
Alexi did not acknowledge me at all, and only said “Спокойной ночи, Ronald…” before leaving.
I really need to move out….