Genre: Dark Fantasy
Type of Short Story: Novella
Summary: The Grim Reaper wants to kill God. His quest will take him across the dark landscape of Hell, and to the gold-paved streets of Heaven. He will come face to face with the perpetual cruelty of the underworld, and the endless hedonism of paradise. Sadistic demons, unsatisfied souls, and an army of angels stand in his way. Can he succeed?
From all sides, I could hear the screams echoing in the gigantic dark cavern. They came in all languages, accents, pitches, keys; an inhuman symphony of the damned. Occasionally through their anguished screams, intelligible words would pour forth, making their demands, and asking their questions.
“Please!” one of them said, somewhere to my left.
“I’m not supposed to be here!” an older voice, high above. A shrill bird-like squawk followed.
“I couldn’t help it! I’m sick! The doctor said so!” From somewhere up ahead.
“My leg!” from right behind me. It was followed by an amused roar.
“I can’t help it if braces turn me on.” A nasally voice from the horizon said, and was silenced when a silhouetted tentacle threw something into one of the magma pools.
“God please!” A little figure said from the top of a pillar of flame. The screams continued as I walked on.
“I wasn’t myself! I made a mistake!”
“No, please no!”
“I’m so sorry!”
“I’ve learned my lesson! Please let me go!”
“I wasn’t ready!”
“The fucker had it coming!”
“I didn’t know!”
From the darkness something wet grabbed my arm and said, “Please help me.”
The voice was weak and familiar. I turned and by the dim yellow glow of a nearby magma pit, saw a man whose soul I’d taken to Hell only months before.
Dark circles hung under his eyes. His face was the color of chalk. Small streams of dried blood flowed from his nose, ears, and mouth, and mingled with the dried tears and dried sweat. The letter A had been carved on the top of his bald scalp. I looked down at his quivering naked form, and saw that all his skin from the neck down had been ripped from his body. What he now gripped me with was a collection of nerves, muscles, and tendons, stretched over bone.
“Please help me.” he whispered, and it was hard to hear him over the screams. His lips were trembling, and he kept looking over his shoulder. I wanted to tell him the truth; that I wanted to help him; that I’d come down here for that precise reason. But I couldn’t risk one of the demons over-hearing.