“My Hell” by Cole DeNardo
We’d like to present a new Feature Story here at Metro Fiction. Please check the Metro Fiction page for more information about us.
If you think your job is bad, just wait until you meet Nicole in this week’s story.
Please enjoy our Feature Story: “My Hell” by Cole DeNardo:
Help, I’m stuck in Hell. I’m panting; sweat begins to form in places I’ve never thought possible. The stress of the world steps on me with its big black boot.
The demons wait inside the Gates to Hell. Every nasty breed. Waiting to come in and torture me.
The first set of demons are soul suckers who sit at Table 30. Their eyes dart around Hell, glaring, waiting for me. I walk over to them ready for them to poke me with their pitchforks.
“Hello my name is Nicole. Would you like to start off with an appetiz…”
The female soul sucker with the face of someone who sucked ten lemons cuts me off. “We’re ready to order,” her voice booms. “I’d like a chicken noodle soup with no noodles in it. Just the broth… Oh and I’d like a garden salad, but make sure the salad is fresh. If you can cut me some fresh lettuce in the back, that would be best.”
“Oh and honey…” Her tongue rolls over the words, slippery like a snake. “Please make sure my meatloaf is piping hot. If it’s not, I’m going to send it back. Oh, and I’d like it precisely ten minutes after my salad. Thanks.”
A family of Verrine demons, testers of patience, sit at Table 32. Their imp is wailing.
“Hello, my name is Nicole. Would you like to start off with an appetizer, soup or salad, or something to drink?”
“Mommy, I want ice cream!” shouts the imp.
“No, honey, you have to eat dinner first.
“Ice cream!” He screeches, his voice climbing ten decibels.
“Um, would you like me to come back?”
“No, we’re ready to order. Honey, what would you like, grilled cheese or a hamburger?”
“No honey, grilled cheese or a hamburger?”
“Cheese…” says the imp, testing his mother’s patience.
“Grilled cheese. A grilled cheese for my son.”
“Burger…” He says testing it once again.
“What do you want a grilled cheese or a hamburger?”
“Are you sure you don’t want me to come back in a few minutes?” I say, trying not to explode.
“No, we’re ready. Grilled cheese or hamburger?”
So I stand there as the demons drone on and the imp wails, his horns growing bigger with each scream and his hooved feet kicking the air violently.
Ten minutes pass… time goes by slowly in Hell. The male demon who remained quiet the whole time, erupts in fury.
“Susan, why do you always do this?”
“I don’t know what he wants, Charlie.”
“Don’t you realize you’re spoiling him?”
“Don’t tell me how to raise my son!”
I’m stuck in the middle of a demon pitchfork fight. If they don’t hurry up, the other hellish beings are going to be mad at me or worse yet, Satan.
Another five minutes pass and the demons finally stop fighting and make up their mind. But it’s too late; the other monsters in Hell already have their pitchforks aimed at me.
I see Satan walk towards me with his sneaky swagger. He looks like a nice guy from the outside, someone you would want to hang out with, but that’s the way it is with Satan. It’s all deceiving, one of his tempting illusions. You know that he’s evil when he opens his mouth. His teeth are crooked and jut out of his mouth like a shark waiting for his prey.
And today I was the prey.
“Nicole, Tables 19, 20, 21 are all seated and are hunting for a waitress! What are you doing? Get over there!”
“But… uh… that table over there took 15 minutes to order…”
Satan belches a deep throated laugh and all of Hell shakes like an earthquake. “No excuses! Get over there now!”
At Table 66 are fallen angels causing chaos. They fling salt and pepper in the air with their pointy tails and laugh in high-pitched voices that sound like a witch’s cackle. Fallen angels used to be sweet and innocent, but slowly become corrupt like the rest in Hell. With twisted smiles, their beady dark eyes impale me.
“What took you so long?” said one female teenage fallen angel with slimy skin and scales over her face.
“Sorry…” I say.
“You suck as a waitress…” she says, laughing.
I predicted that this table would taunt me for an hour. And I would be tortured for nothing. There wouldn’t be any pieces of heaven left on the table for me when they left…
Next table. The middle-aged female fire demon waves something in my face. You have to watch out for fire demons. The littlest things can get them to burst into flames. She waved a free pass to Hell. Why would any one want to come to Hell, even with a coupon? I look at the Free pass to Hell and it’s expired. Uh-oh. My stomach crunches to a ball. I know what that means.
“Um, that is expired…” I say meekly.
“What do you mean it’s expired?”
“It expired yesterday…”
“And you can’t just let me use it?”
“No, my manager told me we can’t accept those coupons anymore.”
Her eyes turn blood-shot red, her horns curl over and contort themselves like a grotesque statue and suddenly she spews fire in my face. “Well, if I can’t use this coupon then I’m leaving.”
“Um… I dunno what to tell you…”
She stays, but I have to deal with her fiery breath for the rest of the night. And I don’t think she’ll leave me a piece of heaven on the table either. But there is very little heaven for me in Hell. It’s a trap that has ensnared me.
Suddenly, the power goes out and the demons growl.
A sign from God?
Time passes, they begin to pile out.
I look at the gates. I should leave and never return. Now is my chance.
As I get my coat, the lights turn back on and those who remain cheer. A moment’s peace. I still walk forward, not looking back, till I can feel them around me. Satan, the succubi, the incubi, the witches, the soul suckers, the fallen angels and all of the other monsters. Their hot breath is upon me, enchanting me with their voodoo spells.
The weight of the world.
The lightness of my wallet.
I’m at the gates. Satan’s hot pitchfork is on my back and I turn the other way to await my punishment. Maybe one day, I can get out of here. But for now… I’m in the demons’ boiling pot and the water is rising up to my neck.
Cole is a Renaissance girl who likes to explore everything once. In addition to writing short stories, novels and plays, Cole is a pickle enthusiast, self proclaimed dorkasaurus and animal-lover who sings Broadway show tunes at the top of her lungs. In her spare time she likes to visit Wonderland and hang out with the Cheshire Cat, her hero. She has previously been published in the ALL THINGS GIRL E-Zine and Metro Fiction. She can be found on Twitter and Facebook and she frequently blogs about her Her Quest To Become Zen. She somehow wrote a musical about a therapist for fantastical creatures, which is coming to a community theatre in July.
Tags: cole denardo, metro fiction, short stories