To Hell and Back. (A sci fi story I am writing)

Bang Bang

Chapter 1
Wicked

Antel was small for his age, a first generation American whose parents were from Hungary. He stood about 5’9 with a skinny athletic frame. His blue eyes twinkled like stars against his dark midnight curly hair. His skin was white as a ghost. People would call him Powder, but he didn’t mind. He enjoyed the uniqueness of who he was. He hated bullies, the nighttime, and preferred to stay away from big groups of people. He loved true friends, God, adventure, and her.

Brooklyn was small for her age. Her grandparents immigrated to this country from Italy. She stood beside him at a tall 5’2. She had green eyes that glittered like seashells underwater against the sandy color of her hair. She was confident. She could do anything. She didn’t need anything. Especially God.

They were in love and married for seven years when this story takes place.

It was Brooklyns’ birthday and her husband Antel surprised her with tickets to go see the Broadway show “Wicked”.

“yddddddd, yddddddd.” Brooklyns’ teeth chattered as they walked in the open December New York City air to catch there train home.
“Hold me.”
Antel wrapped his left arm around her tiny frame and kept his other hand in his pocket for warmth as they walked.
“LOL, so did you like the show?” said, Antel.
“yeah, I am just cold, and I can’t wait to get home. Yddddddd.”

After about a ten minute walk they arrived at the subway station. Antel tipped the saxophone man playing in the entrance and held Brooklyns’ hand tight as they descended the pee stained stairs that led to the platform.
“Ahhhggg, we just missed it. The next train won’t be here for another hour. Do you want to catch a cab or just wait it out?” Antel said.
Brooklyn looked at him a bit worried and said, “Lets catch a cab, its getting late and I’m freezing.”
“Sounds good to me, there is not a soul around down here. I am feeling a little uncomfortable.” Antel said.

With that they proceeded to walk back to the stairs that led to the street. The next sound they heard their lives changed forever.

“Fwhrrrrrrrrrrt.” A whistle came from behind them.
“hey there pretty lady.”

Antel gripped her hand tighter and began to walk faster toward the subway steps.

“Click, click.” The sound of a pistol being cocked back stopped the couple in there tracks.

A tall black man began to emerge from the shadows. He was wearing a ripped green army fatigue jacket with black sweatpants and tan timberland boots. He smelled like beer and peanuts.

“Its not polite to ignore a compliment.” The gunman slurred as he waved his gun around.

Antel positioned himself between his wife and the man and said, “ I don’t want any beef. Take my wallet. There is about one hundred dollars in it with a bunch of credit cards. Just take it and we’ll be on our way.”
The man snatched the wallet out of Antels hands and said, “I will take it… and… I will take HER!”

With that he cracked Antel in the head with his pistol and reached out his other hand to grab Brooklyn.

“Get off of me!” Brooklyn screamed.

“Bang!”

The gun fired. Brooklyn dropped.

Antel jumped behind the man putting his head into a lock and began choking him. The mans face turned purple. Spit flew from his mouth as his struggled to break free until he finally dropped the gun.

“Click, clack.”

Throwing the man aside, Antel picked up the gun and rushed to Brooklyn as she laid motionless on the platform.

“Brooklyn!”, Antel shook her still body.
“Brooklyn! He began to weep. To sob. To hold his dead wife closer than he ever held her before. Her blood was all over the platform, his clothes, his hands. He watched the black man run into the shadows he emerged from and thought,
“I will follow you into the shadows.”
“Brooklyn, I will follow you. I will find you. I will bring you back.”

With that he put the pistol to his head.
“Brooklyn, I love you.”
“BANG!”

Chapter 2

“The Conductor”

“Thump, thump. Thump, thump, Thump, thump.”
Antel woke up with his heart pounding hard. He was sitting on a train witch was incredibly smooth, and seemed to be going very fast. He looked around and noticed the train car was packed with very ordinary looking people. Sitting next to him was a little old lady smoking a cigarette while she scratched lottery rub offs with the nail of her thumb.
“Where are we?” Antel asked
“Ill be damned if I know.” The old lady said quickly more interested in the lottery ticket than Antel.
Looking out of the tiny plexiglass window he saw something that took his breath away. It was like the train was driving through a rainbow. The colors were full, and seemed to be dancing with each other.
“Where am I?” Antel whispered to himself.
When all of a sudden the train took a sudden dive. Antels but lifted from the seat. It felt like a roller coaster ride from hell. Every passenger in the car started looking wildly at one another yelling to get someone’s attention. Antels stomach jumped to his throat. The train kept diving, and diving, picking up more and more speed. He glanced out the window and noticed the colors faded into a greyscale. Only greys, blacks, shadows, and rain. The train finally leveled off. His but slammed back into the seat. He grabbed anything he could to stabilize himself.
EEEEERRRRRRRRRRSSSSTTTTTTT. The train came to an abrupt stop. The door of his car was opened and the conductor appeared.
What a strange conductor… He had a bald head shinier than a cue ball. His mustache was a very long and curly, like the Pringles man. He was dressed in a very fine 3 piece gray suit with a strange bow tie that kept changing colors. The most peculiar thing about the conductor was his glasses. They seemed to have the clock numbers 1 to 12 lazered into the frames. The hands of the tiny eye clocks were spinning out of control.
“Tickets!” The conductor shouted.
“Tickets, They will be in your left pocket. Tickets!”
Antel looked to his left and saw the old lady take out a ticket from her pocket. He quickly reached into his pocket and found not one but two tickets about the size of a one dollar bill, but thick like cardboard.

The first ticket had this monopoly card printed on it: Chance, take a walk on the boardwalk, This ticket may be kept until needed or sold

The second ticket had this monopoly image: Chance, Get out of jail free, This ticket may be kept until needed or sold

Antel had no idea what the two tickets meant. He glanced over at the little old lady’s ticket and saw this: Chance, Go directly to jail. Do not pass go, Do not collect 200 dollars.

“Tickets!” The conductor was now staring at Antel and the old lady through his crazy clock glasses. The old lady nervously handed him her ticket. The conductor punched it, click click, click click, click click, and gave it back.
Antel didn’t know what to do. He didn’t know what ticket to give, so he just gave both.
The Conductor stared at the tickets, then back at Antel. The tickets, then Antel.
“Son.” The conductor said.
“You’r on the wrong train. You have a ticket to heaven, and a ticket back to your life.
But…You however… do not…, have a ticket for… “
With that the conductor bent down and whispered in Antels ear, …
“Hell.
Which is were this train is heading.”
With that he let out a dark, belly of a laugh that seemed to shake the train and make the hair on Antels arm stand to attention.
The Conductor then reached out and grabbed Antel by the scruff with his left hand and the back of his pants with his right. The train doors flew open. Antel was surprised by the strength of the Conductor and even more surprised as he was thrown out of the train.
Crash! Antels rear end smacked into the platforms hard soil. The Conductor stuck his head out of the trains window and shouted. Wait for your train kiddo, and watch for the snatchers…..The train was gone.
It was cold and raining. The only light around was the dim streetlamp that lit the trains’ platform. He must have been in the middle of a thunderstorm. Alls he heard was constant rounds of lightening and thunder. Streak! Kaboom! Rumble!
Antel buried his head in his hands and started to wait. “I wonder what he meant by snatchers?”

Chapter 3

“Stowaways”

Grbrbrbrbrbr…… The ground began to shake. With that Antel heard the sound of a trains whistle. It was deep, and ancient. The closer the train got, the more the ground shook. It was a beautiful train from a distance. It seemed to be very colorful. Colorful indeed. As the train pulled up Antel witnessed some of the most beautiful graffiti he ever saw of muraled bible stories, and names. The train was covered in names. Names he recognized and names he never heard of like, Martin Luther King, Popcorn Billy, Mother Theresa, Billy Hartz, Chief Stands Alone with Bear, and Clive Lewis.
Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeech…. The train came to a complete stop. Its sliding doors were opened and a couple of things were kicked out. I say things cause Antel wasn’t really sure how to lable these so called people. There was a skeleton just as alive as a human, walking and cursing at the conductor while giving him his middle boney finger. Then there was a bright white monkey with a red beard and bat like wings that was shouting an unknown sort of monkey language. Oh, I can’t forget the Preist with no eyes who was stumbling all over the place, searching with his hands as if someone just took his eyes and he didn’t quit adjust to blind living yet. Last but not least was a man. A man Antel would later call Roosafee. He had a full black beard, long dreadlocks, and a pair of reybands. His grey t shirt read, give me liberty or give me death. His blue jeans were worn, and his cowboy boots looked very broken in. But the most interesting thing about Roosafee was his tattoos. He was covered in them head to toe. They were very bright and seemed to glow.
The conductor of this train, witch looked similar to the hell train conductor, stuck his head out of the window and shouted, “Stowaways are not welcome in the Kingdom of Heaven. No ticket, No ride. Boarding all passengers to the Kingdom of Heaven! Boarding all passengers to the Kingdom of Heaven! All aboard!

Antel quickly pulled the two tickets he held out of his left pocket. Everything in him wanted to board. His heart was racing, His hands were shaking, but his memory was on his wife Brooklyn.
Rushing up to the conductor he asked.
“My wife’s name is Brooklyn Zipay. Has she boarded this train? It must have been about an hour ago.”
The conductor looked at him puzzled through his lazered clock monocle that was spinning out of control.
“An hour ago……?” Curling his pringles mustache he smiled and said,
“I don’t understand what you call an hour. There is no such thing as time here. An hour, a second, a decade, a century is all the same. You measure the big picture in movements. We see the big picture as a whole. You say your wife was here an hour ago, but it could have been a thousand years ago for all I know. To help you understand it a bit, I just picked up John the Baptist and if you really want your noodle cooked, your son Josh is in car 7.”
Antel looked like he just had his mind blown, “But I don’t have a son!”
“Yes you do,” said the conductor.
“In fact he is in his 80’s right now, he lived a very full and exiting life.”
Now Antel was completely perplexed. “Think Antel, Think.” He whispered to himself.
“My wife, My wife, Brooklyn Zipay. Has she ever traveled this train?”
The conductor put his head down, mushed his lips together to hold back tears and said in a very soft voice, “no. she was not issued a ticket for this train.”
Pulling out what seemed to be an i phone from the future he scrolled through his digital passenger log. He paused and said,
“She hasn’t been issued a ticket back to life either. I do not have hells log book, but its safe to say….”
Antel punched the side of the train,
“No, I was just on that train and they through me off, I can’t go with you. I have to get to her. You don’t understand, I have to bring her back.”
“The conductor put the i phone in his pocket and said, “This train is headed toward the kingdom of Heaven, All aboard.”
Antel turned around with his head down. The trains doors closed and was gone in the manner in which it came. The ground shook, the whistle whistled and the colors were gone.
Chapter 4
“A Dillo”

Antel was sitting on the platform with his head in his hands when he heard the sound of a piano. As soon as he looked up to see where the noise was coming from he noticed he was alone. The monkey, the priest, the skeleton, and the man with the tattoos were gone. He stood up shook the dust off of his rear end and saw a dim light about a 5 min. walk away. The piano seemed to be coming from the light.
The closer Antel got to the light the more he realized it was some sort of bar. This was no sports club with fancy drinks, neon signs and girls with tight shirts serving drinks. This little pub had an old world, aged, pirate, outlaw sort of look. Its doors swung on hinges like the western movies and its only light seemed to be coming from a huge candelabra hanging from the center of its ceiling. The piano he heard was being played by little fairies that leap frogged over each other playing single notes. There must have been about a half dozen of them jumping on the keys. Their little bodies lit up like lightning bugs when there key was pressed. They were playing Billy Joel’s “The Piano Man”.
The moment Antel was in the bar he decided to sit down and order a drink. He sat down and realized he didn’t have any money but before he got up to leave the bar tender grabbed his attention.
“Help you to a drink, Can I?” he said this while he cleaned a mug with one set of hands, poured a drink with another, held money with yet another, and used body language with yet another. Yes. The bartender had eight arms.
“Ummm.” Antel said, “I havn’t got any money.”
The bartender was an honest sort of guy. The kind of guy that could get along with anybody. A real listener.
He said, “I fancy the looks of you. So me thinks, you tell me a good story and your first drink is on the house.”
Antel took a seat and immediately began to tell the bar tender what happened to him and his wife on the subway.
The bartender looked at Antel with a happy sort of grin and said,
“You gone need real stiff one if you intends to go to hell and back. I be glad to give you this on the house.”
He reached to the top shelf of the bar and pulled off a black bottle with a red label. The bottle read “A. Dillo”. As soon as he popped the cork a blue flame lepped out of the top of the bottle. He put a frosty mug on the table and poured. The mug was smoking with the A. Dillo that was poured to it’s brim. The bartender immediately poured a second mug for himself.
“Bang, Bang, to hell and back!, The bartender said as he lifted the mug.
“Bang, Bang, to hell and back”, Antel repeated as they clanged mugs.
Cling! Gulp, gulp, gulp.
The bartender slammed his mug on the bar and said, “Make it back and I be glad to pour another on me. With that he walked to the other end of the bar.
The mug Antel just drank filled him with warmth all over his body and a sense that he just woke up from the best nights sleep of his life. He swiveled his stool around to take in his surroundings. The bar was filled with strange characters. He saw the monkey and the skeleton from the trains’ platform playing a game of pool. He saw what seemed to be Angels and Demons dressed in regular clothes shooting darts. There were animal like characters, leprechauns, elves, trolls and humans. They were all busy playing versions of chess, and poker. The pipe smoke was thick and it seemed to swirl around the candles that lit the room.
It was at this precise moment that a locket caught Antels eye. It was identical to the one he bought his wife when they were just dating. He knew the sight of it very well because it was a custom piece made by a Master Jeweler in the family. A man he called Mr. Swartz. The bright red ruby seemed to glow in the candlelight. The locket was around the neck of the sexiest women Antel had ever seen. She had long black hair, blue eyes, and an athletic build. A tight purple dress complemented every feature of her body. The woman was sitting at a little round table smoking a cigar. She was playing poker with an alien looking gentleman dressed in black, a very drunk leprechaun, and Peter Pan.
The leprechaun slammed his cards on the table and yelled at the woman, “Cheeter! Snake of a creature! For heavens sake.” The rest of his words were in an Irish broche very hard to understand but very funny to listen to.
“Cormick”, The woman said with a very deep mans voice. (This shocked Antel) Turning to the others at the table she said laughing, “Have your alligator arms gotten shorter?”
With that the rest of the table began laughing up a storm. The little leprechaun got up from the table and stormed out of the bar. The woman gathered the trinkets that they played for. There was absolutly no money around. It seemed as though you bet, and bought with a barter system. With the leprechaun gone there was a empty chair at the poker table. That left an opening for Antel to sit and inquire the woman about his wife’s necklace.

Chapter 5
“A Black Box, Harmonica and Key”

Feeling very confident after the mug of A Dillo, Antel approached the poker table.
“May I have a seat?”
“What do you feel like loosing blue eyes?” The sexy lady said to Antel.
Antel reached deep into his pocket and placed his ticket to heaven on the table. Everyone at the table gasped.
Peter Pan smiled, looked directly at the woman and said, “I believe the stakes have been raised Eros.”
“So they have Pan, what have you hidden away in that little leather bag of yours?”
Pan rummaged through his side bag. He crinkled his lips and narrowed his eye brows as he focused on something hidden away.
“Not that I need the ticket to heaven, but its value is unprecedented with the damned. It’s worth it.”
With that Pan carefully set a little white harmonica on the table. Eros took one look at it and sarcastically said,
“Are you serious? The value of blue eye’s ticket far outweighs your childish instrument.”
“This is no childish instrument!” Pan said with a serious look on his face. I won the harmonica in a sword fight against your brother Acedia after the Great War. When this childish instrument is played, all within 100 yards fall into a deep sleep.”
“Fair enough.” Said Eros. “Ill be glad to win it back for my brother. What are you putting on the table Solrac?” Eros gestured to the alien looking fellow dressed in black.
Solrac then rolled up his sleeves like a magician and showed both hands empty. He then clapped his hands together and whispered,
“Enihsnus.”
As he spread apart his hands a black box was stretched out to the diameter of how ever far apart his hands got.
Solrac with a face full of pride said, “Before a word is on your tongue Eros, this is a magic box. It is hidden to all but Jesus. You can put whatever you want in the box. You can summon the box and make it disappear out of nowhere with one word.”
Solrac then collapsed the box as he brought his hands back together and said the word,
“Enihsnus.”
The box was gone, and a deed to the box was placed on the table. Eros looked extremely happy at the game that was about to take place. She reached behind her neck and undid the clasp to her necklace. Dangling it over the other trinkets on the table she placed her free hand on Antels thigh. The moment she did this Antel felt an uncontrollable lust for the woman. Like a dog in heat, his sex drive kicked into Hyper drive. This was strange because the moment she lifted her hand from his thigh, the feeling was gone. She grinned and said,
“For certain you know this locket, don’t you blue eyes.”
With that she gave the chain a shake and the locket popped open. A little key fell to the table. Ting ting.
“Your picture has been replaced with this key. This key unlocks any door in Hell.”
Peter Pan gave a nod of approval and said, “Let the game begin! The games House Poker, winner takes all, new guys shuffle and deal.”
Erose took one long puff of the cigar. As she exhaled she blew a little smoke demon out of her mouth and said,
“Game on.”

Bang Bang Chapter 6
“Angels watching over me”

Antel grabbed the deck of cards and began shuffling. After about 4 rounds of tight shuffling he dealt the deck. Five cards each. Peter Pan looked at his hand and laughed out loud.

” Don’t mind if I do!”

With that he folded two cards face down and pushed them towards the middle. Solrac looked highly disappointed and folded one card faced down. Eros didn’t fold a single card. She was gonna play the hand she was dealt. Antel looked at his hand, took a deep breath and began to shake a little. He knew he had a really bad hand. He held a 5, 7, 3, Ace, and King. Deciding to keep the ace he folded the other 4 cards face down. Eros grinned. She took another puff of her sweat smelling cigar and said,

“This is shaping up to be a very fine game, don’t you think? Blue eyes?”

SMACK! Eros all of a sudden was lifted from her chair. Her sexy figure treated like a rag doll was slammed into the center of the poker table by the tattooed man with dreads from the trains platform. The piano stopped playing, the bar chatter stopped, and all eyes were on the situation unfolding.

“Should I expect anything less! Should I expect anything less! You will play fare with blue eyes or you will not play at all!, said the tattooed man with a voice that sounded as deep as a waterfall.

He took the cards being held in her hands and revealed seven cards. She was hiding two Queens in the slip of her dress. With her hands being held tight behind her back and her face smooshed into the tables hard wood Eros cried,

“Damn you Roosafee! What do you care? Your outside your boundaries of authority. You cannot govern or judge here!”

The tattoos on Roosafee’s arms began to glow like the neon bar signs in the pubs window. On one arm was a Lion surrounded by seven stars. On the other arm was a dragon holding seven keys.

“I know my realm of authority,” said Roosafee.

“Do you plan on protecting blue eyes like you protected Adam and Eve? Oh how you were suckered! Roosafee, The Great Arc Angel, The great arc donkey of an ass?”

“You forget the Authority given to me by your master after my suckering.” said Roosafee “I have fallen, but am non the less a Great Angel who’s authority has the power to bind you in chains and drag you through the lake of fire. Do you really wish to meet God’s presence in judgment head on before your appointed time?”

Suddenly black chains like vines began to encircle Eros like a dozen boa constrictors.

“You are nothing but Satan’s dog! You abuse the muscle he gives you for your own gain! Is this your way of keeping us in line? By becoming righteous? “, Shrieked Eros.

The chains then wrapped tight around Eros’ neck and cut off her voice. Roosafee flipped Eros around and looked deep into her eyes.

“I will allow you to humor me by playing blue eyes and these fine gents in one honest game. Win or loose you will walk out of here back to the assignment given you. Understood!”

Eros nodded her head in agreement. The chains unwrapped away. She tried to regain her composure and sit back down. Peter Pan looked around the table and shifted his eyes from right to left thinking of the words to say to break the ice.

” How about a new deck?”

Pan then reached into his bag and pulled out a brand new deck of cards still in there plastic wrapping.

“Roosafee, why don’t you shuffle and deal?” said Peter Pan with an honest nervous kind of smile.

Roosafee then picked up Eros’ cigar that was dropped in the commotion and took one deep drag. The piano started playing,and the chatter started up again as Roosafee exhaled a set of eyes that blinked at Eros.

“Game on.”

Chapter 7

“Khalija”

Roosafee Pulled up a chair and took another long drag of the cigar. He exhaled two hands of smoke. Placing the deck into the smokey hands, the table watched the cards being shuffled. As the magic faded away the deck dropped back into Roosafee’s hands. He dealt. Everyone at the table had there poker faces on. Peter Pan, Solrac, Eros, and Antel. Antel recieved the first card. A jack of hearts. Second card a 2 of spades. Third card a jack of spades. Fourth card a 10 of spades. Finally his fingers turned the fifth card. A king of diamonds.

“O.K,” Antel said to himself. “I can work with this.”

Debating in his heart on what to do, he decided to keep the king and two jacks and let go of the 2 and 10. Solrac dumped one card. Pan got rid of 3. Eros like before, kept all of her cards. Roosafee dealt the hits accordingly. Receiving his new cards Antel had a peak. A jack of clubs and a 7 of hearts lit up his eyes like a pinball machine.

“Three of a kind.” Antel whispered in his heart.

Confidence filled his bones better than the bartenders A. Dillo. Roosafee took another puff of his cigar and said, “Show your hands.” Peter Pan not sure but ready, displayed a pair of Aces. Solrac immediately flipped his cards in disgust showing a pair of Kings. Eros smiled at the entire table and slowly flipped the first card over. A six of diamonds. She flipped the second. A six of hearts. One by one to delay the agony and rub salt in the wounds. The third card was a Queen of hearts. The fourth a Queen of clubs. The fifth was a jack of diamonds.

“Two pair, Queen high, No cheating,” said Eros looking directly at Roosafee.

Peter Pan gulped the mug of ale in front of him and wiped his mouth with his sleeve. “That was a doozy of a hand… Tinkerbell!”

He shouted toward the piano and one of the little fairies came flying toward him and sat on his shoulder. Antel closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He picked up his cards and laid them down in one shot.

“Three Jacks.”

With that Eros’s blue eyes turned red. She placed her hand on Antels thigh once more and said, “We could go one more round. Couldn’t we blue eyes?”

Antels’ heart began to pound. His hormones went from 0 to 60 in a nanosecond. He could think of nothing else but sexual thoughts for Eros. He wanted more of her touch, more of her voice, more of her.

“We could go another round.” Antel whispered to himself.

Klingsllllllrrrrrrrrrruppppp, Gulp! The black boa constrictor like chains were up to Eros’ neck again.

“Enough!” Commanded Roosafee. “One honest game, win or loose, be on your assigment.”

Eros’ hand was stripped from Antels thigh. The hell bent lust subsided. She fell to the floor. As she got up she fixed her skirt, propped up her boobs and began to walk out of the bar. Antel shook his head and said,

“One game is all I can handle for the night. I just have one question. Eros!”

She kept walking as if she couldn’t hear Antel.

“Eros! cried Antel. Where did you get the locket from?”

Eros stopped dead in her tracks. Without turning around she shouted.

“It was a present from Ebag. High captain of the guard under the castle of Khalija!”

When she said the word Khalija the whole bar shook as if the pronunciation made the very ground uneasy. Not wanted to repeat the word Antel silently watched her walk through the bars swinging doors. As he put his head down he felt a large hand pat him on the shoulder.

“Collect your winnings and meet me at the bar. There is much you need to hear. There is something I need to know.”

Roosafee got up from the table and walked over to two empty stools at the bar.

Chapter 8

“A frosty pint of Hartley’s Lager”

Solrac looked at Antel and said, “Give me your hand blue eyes so I can show you how to work the box.”

Antel reached out his hand and placed it in Solracs. “Prick!” Antel felt a quick pinch.

“Ouch!” cried Antel. “What the hell are you doing?”

“Relax.” said Solrac. Solrac then sqeezed blood out of Antels hand onto the deed for the box.

“Ok blue eyes, put your finger in the blood to make a print. At the exact same moment say your magic word.”

Antel thought for a second as he looked around the table. He placed his index finger in the blood and said the word, “Tinkerbell.” Tinkerbell giggled and glowed pink. Everybody at the table got a good laugh.

Solrac closed Antels hands together and said, “Its done, whisper your word and stretch out your hands to the size you want the box to appear.”

Antel said, “Tinkerbell.” and opened his hands to a box the size of a shoebox. “Thats pretty dope.” Antel proceeded to fill the box with the locket, the key, the harmonica, the deed, and his two tickets. “Tinker bell.” Wasting no time he clapped his hands together and the box was gone. “Its been a pleasure fella’s, now if you’ll excuse me.” They shook hands with each other and Antel approached the empty bar seat where Roosafee sat.

Antel pulled out the chair and had a seat next to Roosafee. “My treat Kiddo.” said the demon. “Can I recommend a cold mug of Hartley’s Lager?”

“Sure.” said Antel.

“Willy!” yelled Roosafee towards the eight armed bartender. “Two cold pints of Hartleys!”

“Be glad to serve you fine gents!” Yelled the bartender. Within seconds two ice cold pints of beer were slammed in front of them. The bear was golden with about an inch of a head on each. The mug was so frosty it looked like it was made of ice. Roosafee reached into his jean pocket and tossed the bartender what seemed like two diamonds. Willy the bartender caught the diamonds in the air and yelled,

“Tis enough lads, tis enough.”

Antel wasted no time to his drink. Gulp, gulp. It was the tastiest beer Antel ever tasted. “Thank you Mr. uhhhh. ahhhhh.”

“Roosafee.” said Roosafee. “The names Roosafee. Why don’t you tell me your story blue eyes.”

“My name is Antel.” Antel then proceeded to tell Roosafee about the subway, his wife Brooklyn, the murder, his suicide, the train to hell, how he was thrown off, and how he plans on bringing his wife back. Listening intently to Antels’ story Roosafee was moved in his heart. Antel reminded him of Adam from Eden. This meant so much to Roosafee because Adam was like his little brother. God had in-trusted Roosafee to help Adam protect Eden. They were closer than brothers. Roosafee and Adam would go on adventures together, make discoveries together, drink homemade ale together and get yelled at by Eve for coming home late together. There was nothing neither wouldn’t do for each other. Until Roosafee was seduced by Satan to betray Adam, to betray God, to betray Himself. Since that moment in time Roosafees’ soul has been tortured with guilt. When he rests, he dreams of way to say he is sorry. A way to receive forgiveness. But he never can. The more Antel talked, the more Roosafees’ soul cried.

Intrigued with Antels character more than his story the demon took a gulp of ale and said, “How do you plan on getting to Khalija, rescuing your wife and then getting her back to Life?”

“I don’t know.” said Antel. “I’ve made it this far. I made my wife a promise. I will find a way somehow. She is my friend and friends find a way for each other.”

Roosafee reached into a black saddle bag and pulled out a black mag light. He placed it on the bar and said, “I want to help you Antel, but I need to know if you’d be willing to help me. I am one of the highest ranking Demons in hell. I am like Satans’ black operations. I have the power and authority to take any demon into custody, pronounce judgement, and carry out punishment. The roads to and around Hell are very dark. Without aid you could wander for eternity in loneliness. This flashlight when lit, lights up the roads to and around hell. They are all color coded. Each colored road will take you to a different destination in this realm. For instance, The red road leads to the lake of fire. The blue road leads to the sea of forgetfulness, and the green road leads to a swamp of despair. But the road you seek, the road to Khalija. The castle of Satan himself is marked by a road of white light. You can find this path no other way.”

The more Roosafee spoke, the more he reminded Antel of his grandfather. Antel loved and trusted his grandfather. Because Roosafee reminded him of his grandpa, Antel strangely enough began to love and trust him.

Roosafee took one deep breath and said, “I watched you walk into the bar, but you didn’t really catch my attention until you put your ticket to Heaven up for grabs. I’d be damned if I let your prize fall into the hands of Eros. I kinda like you and I kinda needed what you were playing. Thats why I stuck up for you. You see, I have some very important unfinished business with the Arc Angel Michael, but have no way of crossing over into that realm. Them damn crazy conductors have a power and authority that surpasses even Satan himself on those trains. They wont let me ride without a ticket. If you are willing to get me to heaven, I will be willing to give you a tool that shows the road to Hell.” Roosafee then finished the beer in his mug and placed the mug back on the bar. “What do you say kiddo?”

Antel swirled the remanding gulp of beer around his mug and said,

Chapter 9

“The Router Rider”

“You buy me one more round of that Hartley’s Lager and its a deal.”

Roosafee created a watermelon slice of a grin showing a set of pearly white teeth. One tooth was gold.

“Willy!” He yelled.

Before another word was out of his mouth Willy the bartender slammed two more ice cold pints down in front of the men. They both lifted their spirits and mugs into the smokey air. Clang!

“To hell and back kiddo, to hell and back.” said the demon.

They both finished there mugs rather quickly. Roosafee stood from his stool and padded Antel on his back.

“I think its about that time Antel. Why dont we head outside and I’ll show you how to use the Router Rider.”

“The what?” said Antel.

“The Router Rider.” said Roosafee. “It shows you the routes you want to ride.”

Antel got up from his stool and followed Roosafee out of the smoke and through the bar’s swinging doors. The rain seemed to have stopped even though lightening was seen and thunder was heard in the distance.

“You see this switch here?” said Roosafee. “This switch turns the light on and off.”

Roosafee then turned the Router Rider on and Antel was amazed at what he saw. There were all sorts of roads made up of all sorts of colors. Zig zagging, criss crossing, and overlapping one another, the roads were beautiful.

“A few things you need to know Antel. The White road up ahead will lead you to Khalija. There are sign posts along the way letting you know how far you still have to walk. The Yellow roads along the way will always lead you to a train platform. If it gets hairy you still have your ticket back to life. Stay away from every other road. No matter how pleasant the color, how logical it may seem, or how scared you may be. Stick to you’r course, or get the hell out of here. Understood?”

“Understood.” said Antel.

Antel graciously took the Router Rider and put it in between his belt and jeans. He clapped his hands together and said, “Tinkerbell.”

Spreading the box apart he retrieved the monopoly looking ticket and closed the box.

“Here you go Roosafee.” Placing the ticket into Roosafee’s hands, Antel said, “Thank you.”

“No, thank you.” said Roosafee. They both laughed and smiled because of the exchange that was just made. Both were content. Both thought they got a good deal. Both were about to be on there way.

“Antel, about five hundred paces into your journey you are going to come across a tattoo parlor. The man who owns the shop is named Serrot Susej. He is a very good freind of mine with a very special gift. He tattoo’s the spirit. Hell is a very strange place with allot of unusual powers and people. Everything can be stolen, given, and lost. All but the tattoo on your spririt. Unless of course your spirit is stolen, given or lost, and the only way that happens is if you yourself give it away. . . Anyways, show Serrot this.”

Roosafee placed his hand on Antels neck and burned what looked like wings into his neck.

“Ahhhhhhh.”

“Hold still kiddo. Sssssssssss. There we go. As soon as Serrot sees this mark he will know that I sent you. Tell him your story and what you plan to do. Allow him to work on you no matter how long he says it will take. Even though you have no reason to trust me. Trust me.”

They shook hands or should I say they shook forarms.

“Take care Antel”

“Goodbye Roosafee.”

Roosafee started to walk to the trains platform where he was first thrown off. When he was about twenty feet away Antel shouted,

“Roosafee! What kind of unfinished buisness do you have with Michael?”

Roosafee turned around but still walked backwords and shouted,

“He stole my motorcycle, I tend to steal it back!”

With that he turned around and continued walking in the dark.

“A motorcycle.” Antel said to himself. Thinking it strange to go through the trouble of going to heaven for a motorcycle. Then again everybody wants heaven for the wrong reason in some way. Antel walked to the side of the bar and knelt down to pray. The thought of it was foolish at first but he remembered a pslam that talked about God being in the depths of the earth. This seemed like the depths of the earth.

“Hm…God I dont know what I am doing, or where I am going. Can you guide me. Can you flood my soul with your peace and preseance. Keep my wife safe until we reach her. I love you.”

Antel stood to his feet and pulled out the Router Rider from his waist.

“Click.”

Chapter 10

“apple pie and the tattoo guy”

Antel wasted no time and started walking on the road that seemed to be lit up with white light. He was surprised on his energy. It seemed as though the road for some reason was extremely easy to walk. He noticed he was on the top of a mountain ridge. As he gazed forward he noticed the road dipped down into a very long valley. It must of been 100 miles. Across the valley on what seemed like another mountain was a beautiful structure. It was lit up and looked like Cinderella’s Castle. A place every girl dreams of. A world where your wildest dreams can come true. So promising, so exiting, so breathtaking.

“Could that be Khalija?” Antel thought

If it was, he had a very, very, very long journey ahead of him. Looking down at his Router Rider he thought, “I’m not sure what kind of battery this thing runs on, better save it.” With that he clicked it off. Darkness rushed in. Tall torches dimly light the cobblestone road he was now walking. The Castle in the distance seemed to vanish. That’s when he came across his first sign post. It was being held by a skeleton glittered with precious stones, bracelets and necklaces. It was shackled to the ground. The sign read.

“Khalija 176,127 paces”

“Damn, thats a long way.”

One foot in front of the other. Antel was shocked at how quiet Hell seemed to be. The only sound he heard was the fire that lit the torches. It wasn’t a comforting quiet. It was an eary, lonely, fearful kind of quiet. The kind of quiet where little children imagine monsters under their beds. He would be fooling himself if he told you he wasn’t afraid. He was. And his imagination was running wild. His deepest fears seemed to be very real possibilities. He thought he needed a weapon. The Router Rider was like a club of sorts, but smacking a demon with a flashlight is like an trying to cut someones throat with a feather. The only sorta weapon he had was the harmonica he won from Peter Pan. At least if he played he would be able to kill the awful silence. He would be able to put anything around him asleep. That should protect him most of the way.

“Tinkerbell.”

The black box was opened and the harmonica was retrieved.

“Tinkerbell.”

The black box was closed and magically disappeared.

“ehhh ummmm.”

Antel blew into the instrument and heard a deep note. He wasn’t sure how to play a tune so he just breathed in and out, up and down the scale. He played as loud as he could. Surprised at the fact that the fear, the loneliness, and the eeriness died down a bit along with the monsters he was imagining under his bed.

He must of played for what seemed like an hour when he came across a little cottage. It was made of stones about the size of basketballs and had a thatched roof. It’s chimney was puffing out great billows of white smoke. There were little tree’s planted all around with white bark, yellow leaves and tiny fruit. The smell of apple pie poured from the tiny glass windows. A red door braced itself sturdy and proud. It had a knocker with the face of a monkey. Above the door was a sign that said

Serrot Susej

Master of Ink and Needle

175,622 Khalija Rd.

Antel remembered what Roosafee said about getting his soul tattooed. He always wanted one. And the coolness of the idea gave him confidence to knock.

He grabbed the ring held by the monkey’s teeth and knocked.

Knock. Knock. Knock.

He waited. No answer.

Knock. Knock. Knock.

He waited. Still not even a sound of someone scurrying about.

Antel went to the window on the left of the house to peek in. He saw candles lit and books scattered all over the place. But not a soul in sight.

“WHO GOES THERE!” The deep baritone of a voice scared Antel enough to crap his pants.

“Umm. My name is Antel. I have been sent by Roosafee. He told me to come and see you.” Antel said with a very broken and nervous voice.

“SIT ON THE STOOP WITH YOUR HANDS BEHIND YOUR HEAD AND YOUR LEGS CROSSED INDIAN STYLE”

The commanding voice rang out again. But Antel couldn’t see the man or get a grasp on where the voice was comming from, so he just obeyed. He sat on the stoop in front of the house with his hands behind his head and his legs crossed Indian style.

“HOW DO I KNOW ROOSAFEE SENT YOU YOUNG MAN?”

Antel turned his head and showed him the wings Roosafee burned into his neck. Serrot could see the mark burned into Antels neck.

“A FREIND OF ROOSAFEE IS A FREIND OF MINE.”

Click Rock, Click Rock, Click Rock. The sound of latches being opened. The red door swung open.

“COME IN. WELCOME TO MY HUMBLE HOME.”

Chapter 11
“A cup of tea”

Antel slowly walked into the old cottage. He felt very warm and welcomed. To his left, the room opened up to a big parlor with a fireplace against the wall. In front of the roaring furnace sat two dark blue recliners. There was a small coffee table between the chairs with a couple of objects on them.

“PLEASE TAKE A SEAT. ANY SEAT WILL DO.” said Serrot.

Still Antel could only hear this voice but couldn’t see a thing. He sat in the blue chair to the right of the coffee table and was convinced it was the most comfortable chair he ever sat in. Antel looked at the coffee table and noticed a very big magnifying glass and a mug with a strange looking tea bag in it.

“CAN I GET YOU A CUP OF TEA?”

Looking into the air, Antel was trying to dicipher where the voice was coming from. He said, “sure.”

“USE THE TONGS AND TAKE THE POT FIXED ABOVE THE FIRE AND POUR YOURSELF A MUG”

Antel grabbed the mug and rose from his comfortable chair and took a step toward the fireplace. He used the old copper looking tongs and managed to clumsily pour himself a full mug. Spilling some water on the floor he mentioned he was sorry. As he put the pot back into the fireplace he noticed something strange on the mantle. It was a long wooden box about the length of the mantle filled with dirt and tiny grass. In the center was a little cottage no bigger than the mug he just poured. The type of little houses one sets up at Christmas time. But this one was real. There were lights on, and smoke was coming out of the chimney. It was this little house that seemed to be pouring out the wonderful apple pie smell.

“This is so cool.” Antel though to himself as he sat back down.

He took a long sip of the warm tea. “Ahh. this is very good.”

“WHY THANK YOU. WHY DONT YOU TELL ME A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND WHAT BRINGS YOU TO THIS PART OF THE COSMOS.”

Antel smiled and was blown away by how many characters in Hell really seam interested in the stories of people. Its as if they get a big kick out of us. Its as if they see the miracle God created us to be. Its as if they know our worth to the father and by discovering us out they discover him. Antel spoke for about a half an hour. Explaining everything that happened from the subway to the pint of ale with Roosafee.

Serrot listened intently with a couple of “HMMMS. and ARGHHHS.”

“WHY DONT YOU COME A LITTLE CLOSER SO WE CAN SPEAK FACE TO FACE.”

Antel looked up again and said, “Where are you?”

A big belly of a laugh rang through the whole house.

“GRAB THE MAGNIFYING GLASS ON THE TABLE AND APPROACH THE LITTLE HOUSE ON THE MANTLE. FOCUS YOUR LENS ON THE FRONT DOOR.”

Antel put his empty mug on the table and stepped toward the mantle once again. He focused on the little houses door and waited. He heard little latching noises.

“click,clack, click,clack, click,clack” The tiny door swung open.

A little man riding an ant came strolling out. He was wearing black pants, sandals, and a white long sleeved shirt. He had tiny square glasses and was smoking a teeny pipe. One hand held the reins around the ant and the other one was waving. He wore what looked like headphones with a mic attached. As soon as he came to the edge of the wooden mantle he dismounted his ant and bowed.

“HELLO ANTEL. ARE YOU SURPRISED. IT’S GOOD TO LOOK DIRECTLY INTO YOUR EYES AND HAVE YOU SORTA LOOK INTO MINE.” Serrot said with another laugh.

He took a long drag from his pipe and said,

“NOW LETS GET DOWN TO BUSINESS.”

Chapter 12

“Big things in small packages”

“I am sorry for the loud and obnoxious sound of my voice. I have to wear the headset in order to hear you and you hear me. It’s complicated.” Said Serrot as he sat down in the tiny grass in front of his house. ” I tattoo the soul. But it’s not just any tattoo. It is a badge. It is a constant reminder of your mission and authority. Have you ever seen Roosafee’s tattoo’s?”

“Yes.” said Antel. Remembering how Roosafee displayed them at the poker game when push came to shove.

“It was a dragon holding keys on one arm, and a lion surrounded by seven stars in the other.”

“Yes, the dragon and the lion…. A very nice piece if I don’t say so myself. It took me a whole year in your comprehension to complete Roosafee’s Badge.”

“How did I see it if it was tattooed on his soul, Said Antel trying to figure out this strange custom.”

“It was tattooed on his soul alright. You could strip Roosafee’s skin off, take away all feeling of pleasure and pain, and the tattoo would remain. You could remove his brain, all logic and mental vain and the tattoo would remain. You could carve out his heart, along with all emotions of love and hate, and the tattoo would remain. It is the tattoo on the soul that pushes us forward if nothing but the soul were to remain. After your long journey through the shadows it may very well be your spirit and tattoo that holds you together in the end. Hell is a dangerous place Mr. Zipay. There are authorities, powers, seductions, and darkness that you cannot imagine. But you will none the less encounter. It will take me 3 months in your comprehension to finish. But don’t worry you will go to sleep for what feels like a night.”

Antel put his head down in thought then looked at Serrot again through the magnifying glass. ” But my wife, how do I know she has that long? How do you know what authority I have down here, if any? I don’t have any money, any real way to pay you. I don’t even really know who you are. And now you want to put me to sleep to do some wacky procedure on me. I am feeling very uncomfortable and nervous.” Antels heart was pounding. His mind was racing. He either needed to fight or run. Running was feeling like a good option.

“Antel!”said Serrot as he began to glow like a little lightening bug. But the glow got brighter and brighter and brighter. BANG! An explosion of light that blew the candles and the fireplace out. Antel was surrounded in a bright white light. Serrot appeared. Tattooed with a rainbow of colors. He stood about 2 feet taller than Antel. He was majestic and his presence maid Antel so afraid all he could do was stand still.

“I am Serrot Susej, Master of Ink and Needle! I was at the beginning of creation with the Most High God! Created and commissioned to use my gift to protect His Kingdom! I have seen the hands of God Tattoo my soul, I have tattooed His hands! I am no demon even tho out-posted on the edge of there realm! I have nothing but good in mind for you! To hurt you would be to hurt the one who sent you! To hurt the one who sent you would destroy my soul! Antel Zipay, you will stand, you will trust, for I am a friend.”

With that the light went out. It was pitch black. Antel didn’t want to speak, he didn’t want to move, he just stood still.

“Ehh Emmm… There are matches on the table. Do you think you can light a couple of candles.” Said Serrot through his Britney Spears headset.

Antel did what he was told. Very slow. One by one. He even took his time and lit the fireplace. It was Antel who decided to break the silence.

“I trust what you say is true Serrot. But how are you and Roosafee friends? I mean aren’t you too on opposite sides? Him being with the devil and you being with God?”

‘Antel, The beginning is clouded in much mystery. Many dark things happened. Everything is not what it seems. But things are slowly being discovered for what they are. The sun is rising. Even down here. It is not as black and white as you would want it too be. But know this. God is good. He is just. He understands. And his presence is still felt down here, no matter how far or how dark your road becomes.”

Antel still didn’t understand but felt he shouldn’t press the issue. ” How do we get started?”

“Take one of the coals from the fire and place it in your mug. Then pour some of the water from the kettle into it. When your ready, sit down in the chair. Take one long sip and put your mug back on the table. I will do the rest.”

Antel followed his directions and took a coal from the fire. He took a small one cause he wasn’t sure how it would taste. He poured the water. He sat. He sipped. He was fascinated. It was a sweet he never tasted before. Kind of like a warm vanilla milk shake. He placed the mug back on the table. ZZZZ. ZZZZ. ZZZZ.

Serrot slung a pack around his shoulder, clicked a light on that was wired to his hat and jumped straight from the mantle to Antels chest. He climbed up to his top lip and stood before Antels left nostril. He took a long breath. He looked up to the ceiling and said, “Here we go Dad!”

With that he entered Antels nose.

Chapter 13

“Brooklyn”

“Tickets!, Tickets!”, Brooklyn woke up to the sound of very strange conductor yelling “Tickets!”

“What the hell is going on?” She thought to herself as she looked around the train. The conductors shiny bald head glared in the trains dim lighting. His whimsical mustache looked greasy, and His 3 piece suit made him look like a mobster. His bow tie was most peculiar because of its constant change in color. He was frustrating to look at. His glasses were also frustrating to look at. A clock who’s hands were always spinning. The constant turning made Brooklyn want to grab hold of the tiny hands and make them stop.

“Tickets!” The conductor shouted.
“Tickets, They will be in your left pocket. Tickets!”

Brooklyn reached into her left pocket and pulled out a thick monopoly card that read.

Chance, Go directly to jail. Do not pass go, Do not collect 200 dollars. It was ridiculous and made absolutely no sense.

The conductor snatched the card out of her hand. “Click click, Click click, Click click. Thank you, my dear. Said the conductor as he placed the punched ticket back onto Brooklyn’s lap.

Being the type of woman she was, Brooklyn wanted answers. She reached out and grabbed a hold of the conductors jacket and said,

“Sir where am I? Where is this train going?”

The Conductor grabbed her hand, peeled one finger at a time off of his jacket. He gave the fabric a jerk as if to fix its wrinkles and said. “Hell my dear.” He gave a quick sigh and said, “This train destination is Hell.”

Brooklyn’s mind began to flash back to New York City, The Broadway play, her husband Antel, the subway, the drunk bum, the struggle, the shot fired, the…. oh my god… “I’m dead.”, she whispered to herself. Immediately she began to check for a gun shot wound. Looking all over her stomach area he found nothing.

She stood to her feet and started shouting at the Conductor. “This can’t be. Hell is not real. Who do you think you are, playing games with peoples heads! Tell me where is this train going? I am not playing around any more. As a matter of fact, get out of my way! I am getting off!” Shoving a passenger aside, Brooklyn began to make her way to the trains sliding doors.

Thrushhhhhh. Booooom. Latch. The trains doors shut as the train began moving forward. The shifting made Brooklyn fall on her rear end. As she grabbed onto the seats she let another scream out of the depths of her soul, “Let me the hell out of here! Antel! Antel!

The Conductor grabbed her from behind. He placed boa constrictor like grips under her armpits and said, “Let you out of Hell? I cannot do my dear.”

Brooklyn struggled with all of her might to break free from the Conductors strong hands.

“Let me go you freak!” Wiggling like a worm on a hook she was helpless in the grip the the Conductor. Whack! The Conductor punched her directly in the jaw knocking her unconscious. He laid her in a seat next to a very obese man who cared more about the snickers bar he was eating than the drama of the pretty woman.

Breathing heavy Antel woke to the voice of his wife screaming his name. “Brooklyn!” He shouted looking at his surroundings. But he was not on a train. He was still seated on the blue couch he fell asleep in. The fire was going. A cup of tea was beside him. And a voice was immediatley heard.

“Good morning sunshine.” said Serrot. “It is finished. And before 3 months I might add. Did you have a bad dream?”

Antel did not aswere right away because he still felt caught between the dream world and the real world.

“Yes, I dreamt of my wife. I dreamt she was on the train to Hell. She was confused and frightened. It was the exact train I got thrown off of.”

“Then time is not lost Antel. You see, dreams are not figments of your imagination. It is a way of communication. Your wifes heart is calling out to you. The more dreams you have of her the closer you are to rescue. Be leery when the dreams begin to fade.”

“Serrot I hope you understand but I must leave now. I thank you so much for your help and your work.”

With that Antel pulled his shirt away from his chest and looked down. “Oh my…”

It was very colorful it was very weird. He saw a picture of a skeleton hanging on a cross that had wings.

“I don’t understand the picture.”

Serrot laughed and said, “The only authority you have down here is basic but powerful. No greater love does a man have than to lay his life down for his friends. You are the skeleton, and the only way you will be able to rescue your wife is if you lay your life down. I tattooed this piece once before. Let it guide you. Let it lead you.”

Boooosh, Creeeeek. The fireplace spun around and revealed a hole in the floor. “Climb down the ladder and crawl through the tunnel. It is long and dark but keep moving forward till you hit another ladder. Climb up and you will be at the beginning of the Bridge of Hikikomori. This is the safest way I can get you to the Bridge. From then on out you are on your own. But before you go, may I pray for you?”

“Sure.” Antel said

“Then come forward and lean your chin on the grass before my little house.” Said Serrot.

Antel did.

Serrot placed his tiny hand on Antels chin and said, ” May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again may God hold you in the palm of his hand.”

“Thank you Serrot.”

“Your welcome Antel. Now get out of here! You have no time to loose”

Antel bent over and began his decent into the black hole in the floor.

Chapter 14
“Burnt wood times a billion”

The floor was warm and muddy and Antel thought that this was probably the hottest place so far in Hell. ( He would later wish for the temperature of this tunnel) Placing one hand on the wall he crawled forward for what seemed like a half of an hour until he came to a ladder that led to the surface. Right over left. Right over left. Going up about fifty feet he reached a dirt roof.

“That’s strange.”

Scratching at it a bit, it started to come apart pretty easy. Dirt was falling all over the place. In his eyes, in his mouth, in his ears, in his hair. But Antel did not care and kept digging up until he broke through.

“This is what a baby must feel like being born.”

He lifted his body out of the hole and immediately felt the relief of a cooler temperature. What he saw next was astonishing.

“Hikikomori.”

A huge black steel bridge. It was bigger than the Golden Gate Bridge and Antel was mesmerized by the green flamed torches that lit its path. He heard the noise of a strange kind of waterfall. Walking over to the steel railing before the cliff, Antel gripped the bars and looked over. It was a waterfall of lava. It sounded dreadful as it oozed, bubbled and sloshed its way under the bridge. It smelled like burnt wood times a billion.

“What the hell did I get myself into?”

“Meow!”

Antel looked to his left and saw a little cat in a cage. It was very skinny multicolored tabby cat. The moment it knew it caught Antels attention it meowed even more.

“Meow, …. Meow,…..Meow……….

It started rubbing its butt all over the cage. Back and forth. Back and forth. Antels heart broke for the little thing.

” O.K. little buddy, lets see what you got yourself into. He was about 3 feet away from his new found friend when.

Whooooshh, Kacrack, Bang! Antel fell in some kind of hole. about 15 feet down. Immediately he felt a sharp pain in his side. He could of swore he broke a rib or something. He managed to roll over and slowly stand to his feet. Looking around the dark hole that smelled like decaying animals he noticed a shadow looking down on him against the green light of the bridge.

“Holy….” Gasp…..

The shadow scared the crap out of Antel.

“Who’s there!” he shouted and crouched against the wall of the hole as low as he could.

All of a sudden something was dropped in the hole. It was the size of a softball.

“Pop! Spfffffffffffffff!” It popped like a firecracker and began to fill the hole with smoke. Antel started to cough like a smoker when they wake up in the morning, and his head started to spin like a pinwheel until he blacked out.

Bang Bang Chapter 15

“Elvis and the octagon chamber”

Antel woke up in a room shaped like an octagon. Little torches lit in every corner and the walls were covered with shelves of books. Hanging from the cieling were corked bottles with colored liquids in them. The room smelled like the burned wood of the lavafall.

He felt constraned. He was, because there were belts latching his arms and leggs to the massive wooden table he was on. Antel took his focuse off of the dangling bottles and looked to see what was holding him down when…

What the….

Looking over his entire body he was shocked, confused, and overcome with dread. “Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump.” He could see his heart beeting. He could see nothing but bones in front of it. He did not, however, see the skin that covered his body. The skin he grew to reckognize as himself. The skin that mad him look alive and human.

“Am I still dreaming?” Antel thought to himself.

“Am I a skeleton? If so how am I still alive? This can’t be. What is going on?”

Whith that a giant latch was undone and the massive wooden door that led into the octagon room was opened. A man that looked like Elvis Presley walked into the chamber. White bellbottomed suit with a big collar.

“Enjoying the new you?” said Elvis.

“Who are you, and what is happening to me?”

“I’m Elvis Presley, and I am deconstructing you for the black market.” He laughed to himself and walked over to a table that had knives and empty bottles on it. Antel also noticed the little cat he went to rescue. It was still in its cage, it was still looking miserable, and it was placed on the table of bottles and knives. Elvis picked up a knive and rattled it between the bars of the cats cage. “Thanks again you little weasle! Ahh Huh.” He girated his hips and turned around bee bopping to the table Antel was on.

“Ting, Ting, Ting.” Elvis tapped a bottle and was now standing next to Antels head. “Do you notice this guy?” Elvis brought the bottle right before Antels eyes and Antel watched the liquid suddenly transform to a smaller version of him in the flesh.

“Thats me.” Antel said confused.

“Your damn right thats you. Your skin will fetch me top dollar. White male, black hair, blue eyes. Demons love parading around earth in the skin of men. The feeling of pain and pleasure is wonderfull. Just as wonderfull as inflicting it on humans. What?… You look confused skeleton man. Do you really think I am Elvis Presley? I have a date tonight in Las Vegas that I am getting dressed up for. Women get freaked out at the sight of me in my gloriouse hellish form. So I dress up for them. I take advantage of them and leave them violated, broken, and confused. My name is Venice. I am a snatcher. I snatch wonderers in this realm and harvest there body parts for demons. I already have your skin and after my date tonight I plan on removing your heart with all of its emotion and passion. Then your brain with all of its wisdom and intellect. It’s amazing the price my coleagues will pay for these simple pleasures. I have no choice but send your spirit to the Master. It is not my authority to take that, for all are his in this realm.”

Antel didn’t want to look Elvis, or Venice, or whoever the hell he was, because he was so scared. He concentrated up at the bottles that hung across the cieling. This did not comfort him either. For now all of the liquid was taking form. He saw hearts beating, brains with electricle current running through them and all sorts of people. He thought to himself, maybe people who say they really saw Elvis, really saw Elvis. If this bird is parading around earth all the time, how many other stories are true about people who say the dead came back to visit them.

Elvis rattled Antels rib cage like with the knife in hand like he did the cats cage. “Ting, ting, ting.”

“You sleep tight skeleton man. I will be back soon enough.” Whith that Elvis put the knife and bottle back on the table and walked out of the chamber. The door shut, the latch locked and Antel was alone again.

Chapter 16
A rapping at the door.

As soon as the door latched, Antel pulled with all of his might at the strapps holding him down. It was no use, it was obviouse he was not going anywhere. The thought of his body parts being harvested began to torture his brain. “I need to get out of this place.” He thought to himself.

“God… Please help…”

No sooner did the prayer leave his lips when the octogan room he was in began to shake. It was a deep rumble. The table was dancing, bottles began to fall from the ceiling, and it looked as if the whole structure would collapse on top of him at any moment. The louder the rumble became the more the room began to fall apart. Then it was utter silence. Saw dust and smoke from broken bottles filled the room with a light haze.

“Knock, Knock, Knock.” came a rapping at the door.

Not knowing what monsterouse hell was waiting on the other side, Antel thought to himself that playing dead and praying was the best option.

“Crack! Reeep! Cachunk! Bang!

The massive wooden door burst open. Antel quickly shut his eyes and held his breath. Damn it! His heart was practically beating out of his chest. “Lord.”

He could hear footsteps walking toward the table. The creatures hands were placed on Antels shoulders as he bent over him. He could feel the hot breath. Breath that smelled like. . .Like a couple pints of Hartleys lager.

“You still alive Kiddo?”

“Roosafee!” Antels eyes opened with a burst of excitment.

Laughter filled the room and pushed out the dread and heaviness that once saturated it. Roosafee began to whisper a strange language. Very soft, intent, and concentrated. The straps that tied down his body began to unravel and untie. As soon as Antel was free he sat up.

Roosafee helped Antel to his feet and said, “I know you have plenty of questions, but we have to get out of hear before Venice returns. Not that I am afraid in any way, but his black market connections in this world can make life pretty difficult for two chaps on a mission”.

“But my skin, its in one of these bottles.” Antel then looked at the rooms floor covered with bottles. There was no way of knowing wich bottle held his apperence. It would be like trying to find someone you love in the middle of time square on new years eve.

“There is no time Antel. We will manage.”

As they began to leave they heard, “meow.” “Roosafee!, one second.” Antel pulled a couple of bottles and planks away from a corner and saw the cage with the cat still inside. At once antel opened its door and let the little bugger out. The cat wasted no time and climbed Antels bones. It perched itself on his shoulder and rubbed its whiskers on his cheek.

“Ok pal.” He meet Roosafee at the door. Roosafee didn’t say anything, he just smirked and walked behind the two until they got outside.

Chapter 17
Dead ends and Forests

Roosafee led Antel outside to a dark blood red Harley looking motorcycle.

“You stole it back”, Antel said with a laugh.

Roosefee looking intently pleased smirked, “My homie didn’t even see it coming.”

He sat on the bike and started the massive motor of the machine. There was a deep thunderstorm type of rumble that shook the ground. He opened the saddle bag and said. “Give me umm. whats her name?”

“The cat?” Antel said.

“Yeah whats the cats name?”

Antel thought for a moment. “How about Goobalini”

Roosafee looked at him, “Goobalini?”

“Yeah,” Antel said. “We can call her Goobster for short.” With that Antel handed over Goobalini into Roosafees rugged tattooed hands. It was interesting watching Roosafee handle the cat. You would of thought him to be the kind of guy that was rough on things, but he wasn’t. He handled the cat like she was a precious treasure.

“In the saddle bag you go buddy. O.K. blue eyes, lets get out of here before your friend returns and robs something else from you.”

Antel sat right behind Roosafee. As soon as he turned the headlight on he noticed the rodes in Hell lighting up.

“You have a router rider wired in the head light of your bike?”

“Sure do.” said Roosafee. He released the brake, kicked the bike into gear and rode toward the torches of the Hikikomori bridge. They road straight over the bridges boardwalked platform and into utter darkness. It was like driving into a bucket of black ink. Blazing through hell for what seemed like an hour they came upon a forest. A deep full forest where unfortunatley their road ended.

Roosafee brought the bike to a stop, shut it down and dismounted. “This is strange, I don’t remember this place.” He then reached into his saddle bag and pulled out what looked like a glass softball. Giving it a couple of Rubics Cube twist and turns he threw it in the air.

“Ca, Crak! Boom!”

The little glass ball was about fifty feet in the air glowing like a star. It lit up the whole area. It was like a glow stick, but a million times more dope.

“Now thats much better.” Roosafee held the handle bars of the bike, smooshed his lips together and said, “We have to go through the forest. I am not sure what is going on down here, but things are shifting. I am not sure what we will encounter, but I will protect you. Do you still have your magic box?”

“of course.” said Antel a little curious why Roosafee was asking.

“Well, do you think you can put my bike in it? I would hate to lose it a second time.”

” I got you bud. Don’t worry about a thing. Tinkerbell!” Antel was sure to Stretch his hands high and wide enough to fit the bike through. But before he let Roosafee roll the bike in he grabbed he took the locket and hung it around the neck of his skeleton body. He also grabbed the harmonica. “It’s all yours

.”

Roosafee unlatched the saddle bag with the Goobalini in it and slung it over his shoulder. He then rolled the bike in and set it on its kick stand. “Thanks pal.”

“Tinkerbell!” Antel proceeded to neatly close up the box until it was gone. “What do we do now?”

“We can start by following this trail.” Roosafee sucked in his gut, tightened his belt and looked at Antel. ” We really got to get you some clothes.”

With that the three of them ventured into the forest.

Chapter 18

Waterfalls and Fireflies

The crackling of branches and leaves beneath their feet seemed extremely loud as they followed the trail ahead of them. Up and down it wound. They traveled over and under huge fallen tree’s covered with slippery moss. The glass ball of light followed without dimming or slacking behind. Suddenly they came upon a series of the most beautiful waterfalls Antel had ever seen in his life. What made the scene even more breathtaking were the little fireflies flying all over the place. They were every color imaginable. Even colors Antel has never seen before, and wouldn’t be able to describe to you if you asked. It was like multicolored christmas tree lights flying all over the place. The mist of the waterfalls smelled like peppermint and sounded like waves crashing into a shore.

“What is this place.” Roosafee whispered to himself.

No sooner did the whisper pass lips did he notice the tattoos on his arms glowing brilliantly bright. He at once looked at Antel and noticed the tattoo on his chest glowing as well.

“Antel don’t move!” Antel froze.

” I am Roosafee! The Seven Star General in this realm! You will state your business in these parts or you will face judgment!”

With that the black like boa constrictors slash vines came up from the ground and created a biological armor on Roosafee. Like a mid evil night the only spot left uncovered was his eyes which glowed red. The effect made him look twice the size, twice as thick, and twice as crazy.

The little fireflies then began to come together in the shape of a multi colored Angel. The being that stood before them was brilliant, and beautiful. It’s presence was now felt by Roosafee and Antel as it moved toward the two of them.

Antel wanted to scream but couldn’t. Roosafee wanted to move but couldn’t. The closer the being came the more Roosafee’s armor began to peel back until he was totally naked. Silent and still the two stood looking into each others eyes.

“Roosafee….” The being whispered.

Roosafee suddenly dropped to the forest floor and it was as if someone dropped an atomic bomb in that place. “BANG!” Antel’s mind-body and spirit collapsed under the heaviness of the moment. Crying uncontrollably Antel went deaf. He could see the two talking through a screen of water but could not make out a word they were saying. He watched them speak for a couple of minutes then the two of them crossed their arms and embraced each others forearms. So that each right hand held the others and each left hand held the others. The two of them slowly approached Antel. The light being put one arm on Antel and in an instant his whole life flashed before his eyes.  Antel sensed that it wasn’t to remind him of his life, but to let him know that this being knew everything about him. Antel thought, “God?” The being smiled and nodded as a tattoo on his chest began to emerge. It was the same one tattooed on Antel.

God then cupped his hands and uncovered the top one to show a small plant in a handful of dirt. He then placed the handful of dirt gently into Antels hands. As soon as God let go He whispered, “Antel Zipay. Come forth.”

The plant began to wrap itself around Antel like a crazy out of control vine until it wrapped every bone of his body. Antel stood completely covered. Then all of a sudden flowers began to blossom and bloom all over his body. The same colors of God. Then at their peak they shriveled up and died along with the vines that wrapped Antel tight. God blew a gentle breath over Antel and the foliage that  covered him turned to dust and fell to the ground. Antel looked at God then looked down at his hands to show, His Hands! God had given him his image back.

Grabbing Antel by the hand God lead him to a pool of water under the crashing peppermint falls and motioned for him to wash up. As he splashed the warm water on his face the reflection in the pool of water took his breath away.

Chapter 19

Snowflakes in Hell

His hair was snow-white. His eyes were emerald green and his skin seemed to have a deep lit candle glow to it.  He felt like a super version of himself. A self he always dreamed about.

“God, this is..”

God put his fingers to Antels lips to stop him from talking. He then handed him and Roosafee one wrapped gift each. It was the prettiest paper he had ever seen. The sight of the gift was a gift in itself with the rainbow colors and the way it crinkled in his hands. There is something about a unoppened gift that stirs excitement and wonder. He felt like he was a little kid at christmas all over again.

The tag read, “To Antel, Love The Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and the scores of Angels rooting for you.”

Roosafee and Antel looked at each other, smiled, then looked at God with tears in their eyes. It was a magical moment. So magical it actually began to snow. No sooner did the first flake hit the ground did God let out a great big belly of a laugh.  It was indescribable. Tree’s sprung up and bloomed, fish jumped out of the waterfalls and did flips, rainbows crisscrossed, and the sound of instruments played in a way he has never heard instruments play before. It was as if God’s laughter dared life to live, and Life dared God to laugh again. It was an organic dance that flooded Antel and Roosafee’s soul with peace and body with warm chills.

And with that, God disappeared. Completly gone. The funny thing about it was the weight of his presence remained.  Nothing could argue that God was indeed in that place. They both looked around in wonder until their eyes fixed on a table prepared under a cherry blossom tree. There were all sorts of warms breads still steaming, fruit freshly picked, sliced and displayed. There were nuts, and vegetables, arranged into hearty salads. There were all types of dressings in tiny crystal bottles and two frosty pitchers of Hartley’s Lager. They put their gifts on the table sat down, gave thanks and began to eat. There was not talking for the first fifteen minutes. Just a bunch of ,

“ohh man.. Hmmm..This is so good….Ahhhh….now thats what I’m talking about….”

There was no silverware. The two of them ate with there hands. Antel thought about how nice it was not to hear the clanking and tinking of forks, knives and dishes. Finally when they had their fill Roosafee leaned back completely naked. “You want to open our gifts kiddo?”

Antel laughed and said, “okay, I sure do hope its clothes.” He felt bad ripping the nice paper, but that faded very fast. He slowly opened the box and took out a pair of sox, superman tighty whities, a white t-shirt, a completely black jogging suit, the coolest pair of nike airs he had ever seen and a dog collar looking thing with a ruby in the center.

Roosafee smiled and said, “I like your underwear.”

Antel shoved his arm and replied, ” Open your box, I cant wait to see yours.”

Roosafee did. He took out a pair of Levi blue jeans, a tight black shirt, socks, fancy looking cowboy boots, and a belt with the most interesting buckle he had ever seen.

Antel looked at him and said, “you didn’t get any underwear?”

Roosafee replied, “I go commando, (He then did a funny provocative shuffle gyrating his hips),always have. The good Lord knows that.” With that they  the two of them fell to the ground with laughter. So hard they were brought to tears and their stomachs hurt.

The two of them wasted no time getting dressed. Antel remembers feeling completely refreshed and renewed. Its funny what a change in socks and underwear will do to a man.

“Roosafee what is this?” Antel handed over the dog collar looking thing. Roosafee looked with joy and said,

“The master has given you a good gift, a very good gift.” With that he actually put it around Antels neck like a dog collar and had the ruby part in the front.

“Is it too tight?”

“No, it’s actually really comfortable, what is it?”

Roosafee stepped back and said, “Press the ruby in when you are ready.”

“Ready for what?” Antel replied.

“Just press the button.”

Antel looked at him with a crazy look in his eye and said, “ok.”

“Click, click”

As soon as the ruby was pushed, it glowed a bright red. Black vines came out of it and covered his body from head to toe creating an armor on him. It didn’t look ugly, it looked majestic as it complimented the tatoo that was glowing brightly on his chest. It was outfitted with wolverine blades and a set of wings that flapped on his command. He felt like a superhero and looked like one to. Without thinking he jumped and actually soared into the sky, higher, and higher, and higher until he did a barrel roll and nose-dived to the ground until he was about ten feet away. He let his wings out like a parachute and gently floated the rest of the way.

“That is captains war armor Antel. Now press the button again.”

Antel did and the armor crept away and went back into the ruby. “Now thats what I am talking about.”

“God gave you the armor for a reason. We face much darkness ahead of us. You will definitely use it.”

Antel smiled, real happy and confident in his new gift. “Whats up with that shiny belt buckle?”

Roosafee’s eyes lit up, “This is my new armor.”

“Click, click”

Chapter 20

“Leslies Hooka Bar”

Red and Black vines suddenly crept out of the belt buckle and covered Roosafee in his new armor. Outfitted with a pair of wings for himself he wasted no time in launching himself into the sky. Antel watched until he couldn’t see him any longer.

“Whack!” Antel was tackled in the arms of Roosafee as the two of them soared back into the heavens. The old demon held on tight to Antel and turned like a pinwheel towards the ground. They turned so fast it looked like a wheel of fire.

“PFFff!” Roosafee let out his massive wings and placed his boots softly on the forest floor. Antels skin turned yellow and he immediatly started to dry heave. Roosafee dropped him to the floor to prevent himself from being thrown up on.

“Thud. caugh, caugh, caugh, hack, choooohoooo. Are you trying to kill me?” Antel said on his hands and knees trying to regain his composure.

Roosafee laughed and put his Popeye like forearms under Antels armpits and lifted him to his feet. “Go splash some water on your face kiddo.” Splashing the warm peppermint water on his face made him want to jump in and relax like it was a natural jacuzzi but he decided to sit down by its banks, take off his nike’s  and put his feet in the water.

“Plop, Splash!” Roosafee sat right next to him and put his feet in the water. He put his arm around Antel and gave him a shiny red apple to eat. “Your buddy found a freind.”

Antel looked over his shoulder and found Goobalini playing with a black cat about he same size. They were both stalking each other and rolling around the grass together.

Antel said, “There is something to be said about watching animals be animals in their enviorment, you know. Watching a cat hunt, watching a dog run full speed in the forest. They can’t smile but something about them fills the air with joy. You can’t help but laugh. I wonder if we charge heaven with the same joy when God watches us live out what he designed us to do?”

“Crunch, Crunch, Kacrunch.”

Antel took two bites of his apple , wiggled his toes in the water and said, “You never told me how you got your bike back… “crunch.”  How did you manage to get through heaven, and how did you know I was trapped by Elvis,  and… why did you come for me?”

“Kacrunch. crunch. crunch. crunch.”

“Those are good questions and I guess we have some time to talk about it.”

Roosafee moved his feet back and forth slowly in the water as he spoke.

“As soon as I left the bar I waited for my train. The conductor didn’t give me any issures because alls they really care about are tickets. If you have the right ticket, on the right train, your alright with them. I sat alone in my seat, closed my eyes and tried to come up with a plan. I needed a plan because disquising yourself  in Heaven is not as easy as you think. Saints are truly the image of God. It’s like bumping into God everywhere you go. Even with my deep magic, transforming into an Angel of light it doesn’t get me far in that city because the very air they breath is truth, their vision is saturated with discernment and clarity, and the tiniest of brush would reveal who I was and what I had intended. There is nothing more powerful than a Saint who has come into the fullness of who they are in the intimacy of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit…. But anyways I am on the train.

chooga chooga chooga chooga. chooga chooga chooga chooga.

I somehow fall asleep. I don’t know how, but I did. “Antel”,  it has been ages since I slept. There is much you don’t know about me. In the beginning, when I was a wee lad,

“snicker”

I served the almighty with all of my heart soul and strength. He spoke to me in dreams. I used to love to fall asleep because it meant another possible encounter with him. But after the great fall I never really slept again. I am not sure if sleep was a gift that he took away, or my soul was too afraid to actually let me do it in fear of encountering Him. So,… when I say I fell asleep, this meant something. I dreamt of you Antel. I saw you in Veneses’ chamber. I saw the skeleton you were and what his devilish heart intended. I saw his address and immediately woke up with my heart pounding inside of my chest. You see, many angels in Heaven are guardians of Humans on earth. Whenever they are in trouble, or need help,or strength or a message from the Almighty, He communicates to these angels in dreams. The dreams are very vivid, detailed, and clear. The angel knows exactly what their friends need and are dispatched with the full authority of Heaven to serve. So to receive this kind of dream about you I knew I was faced with a choice. I was faced with a second chance from the Almighty Himself. I could continue to Heaven City, search for Michael, get my bike, and dive deeper into my restless, chaotic, fallen existence or surrender my life, get off at the trains next stop and search for you. I chose the later. The train made its next stop at The City of David. I got off not knowing how I would navigate the underworld without the router rider I gave you, but I decided to trust God. Off I went. There was an old spot on the Via Della Rosa called “Leslies Hooka Bar”. I have freinds in the city who love to hang there so I made my way over to maybe have a smoke and figure out my plan of action. The closer I got, the more I thought I was still dreaming because parked right outside of the bar was my bike. No. This couldn’t be. I got butterflies in my stomach and ran cautiously up to the bike. It was mine! I thought, Boy is the Almighty smiling on me today! Like a ninja I peaked into the bars windows to find Michael, my very own older brother sitting around the pipe with a couple chaps smoking away.

I thought to myself,

I have to make this quick. Once he hears the engine roar he will be out in no time,and to be honest I didn’t really want to tango with him. I sealed the bar shut with the deepest magic I knew. I  figured it would hold them just long enough for me to get on the white road. Without Hell’s router rider Angels from the upper city get lost fast down here. Here goes, I says to myself.

“Click, Click, Vrooooom! Eeeeeerrrhhhhh.” I peeled out like a bat out of Hell.

Looking in my rearview mirrors I saw Leslies bar shake, rattle, and explode into a ball of green flame. At least twenty high-ranking Angels b-lined it towards me. As soon as I hit the white road, I turned my head lights off and rode my cherry furnace of a bike nice and easy. I am sure they heard the rumble of the bike as it faded into the darkness. There was just no way to follow me.

I made it!

I yelled at the top of my lungs a yell that hasn’t been heard in ages. I knew where you were and I wasted no time in finding you. ”

Antel, who was listening intently througout the whole story put his hand on Roosafee’s shoulder and said, “Thank you.”

“No”, said Roosafee, “Thank you!.

Antel laughed, “So Michael is your older brother? Does this meen you are on Gods side? I don’ t understand.”

Roosafee took off his boots, undressed and dove into the falls but naked. “Splash!” As soon as he popped his head up he pushed his dreads back with his hands, and wiped the water from his eyes.

“In due time kiddo. You will know all you need to know in due time. Things are not always what they seem. You need to get some rest while I figure out our next move. The city of Hell is just as complicated as Heaven.”

With that Roosafee swam a little ways and dove down again. Antel layed on the shaggy green grass, put his hands behind his head and closed his eyes.

Advertisements
  1. Click Rock, Click Rock, Click Rock. The sound of latches being opened. The red door swung open.
    -Chp 10

    This made my day lol i laughed so hard “click rock”

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: