Hell

The following short story was presented at the Jersey City Writers’ monthly genre event–Creepypasta: A Literary Reading of Web Horror. Please enjoy.

 

You hear of those who let a malevolent spirit into the world through some portal, but I’ve done the opposite, allowing a living person to come into my hereafter, where he torments me like a demon in hell…

I was in a hospital bed.  The morphine made it difficult to speak to my wife, children, and friends, and as I slipped away, the echo of their voices reminded me of a TV in another apartment, mistakenly left on as someone fell asleep in bed at night.

When I awoke, I was in what appeared to be a dingy apartment.   It was evening, and shadows had taken over.

“Hello!  Hello!”  I remember calling out.

No one answered.

When dawn came, I began to explore the dusty rooms and corridors – all without furniture.   Windows were flecked with dirt and the residue of old rain, but I didn’t look through them at first.

A whole day passed, and then days and weeks turned into months.  Alone for so long, I began to go a little mad. Running from room to room, I would cry out, “Is anyone there!?!”   Even worse for my sanity, I discovered that when I looked outside, children were playing in a backyard!  Through the glass, people were eating, sleeping, fucking. Going about their business. I tried opening the windows, but they wouldn’t budge.  It was impossible to break through with my foot.  I found a piece of wood – a two by four – and smashed against them as hard as I could, but nothing worked.

How long did I go on like this before I discovered I wasn’t alone?

His head was stuck into a window, with glass and skin fused so perfectly that not a trace of wind could pass through.  In the front, the glass joined with his forehead, skirted between his eyes, along the bridge of his nose, across his philtrum and mouth, down his chin and around the back of his head.  In this way, he occupied my world and the world of the living at the same time.

“Who are you?”  I asked.

Though his mouth didn’t move, he replied, in a low impassive voice, “William.  And you are?”

“Ed.”

“Ed. What do you do?”

“Wander from room to room, trying to find someone to talk to.  Why are you stuck in a window?”

He told me, “I’m only waiting for instructions.”

“What do you mean?”  I asked.

“The dead are wiser than the living.  Please tell me what to do.”

“I don’t know.”

“Is there anyone else around here?”  He said.

“No one.”

“It must be lonely.”

“You can’t imagine.”  I told him.

“Then I’m the first.”

“The only one, so far.”

“I am only waiting for instructions.”  He repeated.

“Do you have any friends?”

“I’d rather be with you.”

“But I’m dead.”

“I wish everyone was.  Then I could relate to them.”

 

A few nights later, I was looking through a window at a young woman sitting in a bar.   She was pretty.  In her early twenties.  Long auburn hair.   If I turned sideways, it was as if she sat next to me.  I would’ve bought her a drink, but of course, there was no way for me to do this.

Not long after, I heard, “Ed!   Ed!”  Coming from another room.   William repeatedly called my name until I came to where he was, “Ed! Guess what!?!  I think I’ve found someone.  I’m still a virgin.   What should I do?”

“I don’t know William.   Fuck her brains out!”

“Fuck her brains out!?!  Jeez.  Thanks Ed.  Why didn’t I think of that before?”

“I. I. I was kidding.”

“No you weren’t.”  I had a bad feeling I’d said the wrong thing, and was afraid to leave him now, but he said, “I need some private time with my girlfriend.”

“Where did you meet her?”

“At a bar, less than an hour ago.  Can you leave us alone?”

As I was about to turn around and go, I looked over William’s shoulder and saw he was in his living room.  The walls were colored a deep red, and on a black leather couch, a girl sat.  The same one I’d seen in the bar.

An hour later, I heard, “Ed! Ed!”

“Yes, William!”

“I’m no longer a virgin!”

William was standing naked, from his chest downwards covered in a glistening red.   “Look what I did, Ed!  I fucked her brains out!”

“That’s not what I meant!  It was a joke!!”

“I never understand it when people laugh.”

“Where is she?”

“On the bed.”

I looked through the window and saw a naked woman tied by her wrists and ankles.  A bloody pickax had locked her mouth into a frozen scream and reduced her forehead to the appearance and consistency of grandma’s manicotti.

I started to run.   From then on, if he called my name, I went in the opposite direction.

One evening, I heard William say, “The police came and questioned me.   They asked, ‘Do you know anything about the disappearance April 11th of a woman who lives on Amsterdam and 121st .   Danielle Brooks.  We have information you met her at a bar that night.’  They’re on to me, Ed.  What should I do?”

As I walked away, I heard those words echo through the corridor, what should I do?  Every window I passed was like a frame in a movie, as he wrapped a noose around his neck, and hung himself from the staircase railing irons outside his apartment.

A few minutes after this, I heard, “Ed! Ed!”  His voice was getting closer in the dark.

He approached and sat down next to me, breathing hard, in a pant of sexual excitement, as his fingers dug into my side like talons and his tongue slid over my ears, slithered around my neck and encircled my waist.

“There are others who want to come, Ed.” He whispered, “It is time we begin populating Hell.”

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