[WP] You are offered a deal by satan - worldpeace and the end of all suffering for mankind, in exchange for your eternal damnation.

“Do we have a deal?” asked Satan. His voice was sweet, sublime, beckoning the man standing in front of him to his terrible will. They stood in the middle of a great hall with ceilings so high they faded into darkness. Torches, though burning fiercely, shed little light on the walls in which they were mounted. The hall seemed to stretch on forever. Other than the two lamps which stood on either side them illuminating the immediate space, the hall was bare.

Neal forced himself to look upon that shining, radiant face. He was so…beautiful, so…blindingly brilliant to his eyes, yet that brilliance did not illuminate the stone ground on which he stood. Almost at once Neal felt his own will collapsing, sympathizing with a force so magnificent, so great that it threatened to sweep him away. Quickly he lowered his gaze.

Finally daring to speak, though not to look again upon that splendid face, Neal asked more than said. “World peace and an end to all of Mankind’s suffering?” Surprisingly, his voice was steady, belying the fear beneath.

“Yes.” Was the reply. The voice seemed to come from everywhere. The figure before him smiled. “Our contract.” Said Satan.

Between them now stood a beautiful pedestal of marble trimmed with gold. It was as if had been there the whole time and simply had not been noticed. On it was piece of fine parchment, an empty ink bottle and a quill.

Satan stepped forward gracefully, his robes flowing behind him. “Give me your hand.” His voice was silk.

Neal stepped forward and did so without hesitation. Satan took his hand in his. The touch of his fine, supple hands was as exhilarating as it was terrifying. With one long exquisite fingernail rounded almost to a point, Satan pierced Neal’s wrist and held it over the inkwell, letting the blood flow in a steady, unbroken stream. Once it was half full, Satan released him. The flow of blood stopped immediately.

Neal reflexively jerked his hand away and held his wrist. When he looked at the place where he had been pierced he bore only a scar. Then a dark, elegant script appeared on the parchment as if being written by unseen hands. It read:

In exchange for Neal Simmons soul, there will be an end to humanities suffering and peace on earth for all of eternity.

It was already signed in one spot with an ancient rune that was at once both familiar and foreign. It glowed with a golden red light and seemed to writhe with a life of its own.

Neal took the quill, dipped it into his blood and signed. If he had looked up at that moment he would have seen a greed, a lust so great upon the face of that angelic figure before him that it would have broken the illusion instantly and allowed him to see true. As soon as his signature was complete, a darkness so great, so magnanimous as to drain the life from his soul enveloped the great hall. Booming laughter from all sides filled the chamber and reverberated to his soul. Louder, louder it got until that terrible laughter was all that he knew, all that he was. Now he was being dragged backwards, out, past enormous mounds of countless skulls, backwards, backwards, backwards...

Neal awoke with a start and sat up in bed. He was drenched from head to toe, shivering and shaking. Confused, slowly he came to realize it was only a dream. He let out a breath he did not know he was holding and laughed at himself.

Light was starting so show through the windows. “Might as well get up.” he thought. Still feeling apprehensive, he threw back the sheets, placed his bare feet on the floor and got out of bed. After the slow, hot shower, the terror of that night, of that nightmare, was all but gone. He dressed and then walked to the kitchen. The first rays of sunshine, golden and warm fell upon his face as he opened the blinds. He smiled and finally relaxed.

After breakfast Neal got into his car, an ageing old Izuzu that was…needy, and started his morning commute. The first thing he noticed was that everyone was driving slowly. No one was in a hurry. Cars entered and exited the freeway with no urgency. No one was rushing, no one was speeding. They just drove from point A to point B, staring straight ahead, emotionless. Every person Neal saw bore the same expression, or lack thereof.

“Ok.” Neal thought and turned on the radio. It was as if children had received basic instruction in piano, drums and other instruments and were playing them, a few chords at a time in a rambling, aimless manner that went nowhere and carried no tune. It was as expressionless as all of the driver’s faces. He changed stations. It was a different style of nothing, this time with a guitar, bass and drums.

Slowly, the terror from the night before began to creep back in and he began to tense. This wasn’t right. This was way off. What was happening? Although his mind kept trying to return to last night’s dream, he flat out refused to consider it. It just wasn’t possible.

He made it to work. Brad, a programmer a few cubes down, pulled into a parallel parking spot at almost the same time as he. Feeling a bit of relief at a familiar face, Neal walked up and greeted him.

“Hi Brad.” He said cheerfully, hoping that his anxiety was not apparent.

“Hello Neal.” Came the reply, flat and lifeless. Brad did not make eye contact, did not even look in his direction.

Neal stopped where he was, a thin bead of sweat appearing on his brow despite the chilly autumn air.

“Ooooh k.” Neal said and backed up. “I think I forgot something at home.”

He jumped into his car and actually managed a small squeal of the tires as he shifted from reverse to drive. On the freeway it was more of the same. Car after car, driver after driver were simply going through the motions. Frantic he sped up, weaving from lane to lane, passing through the uniform stagger of vehicles until, pushing his limits too far, he skidded and crashed into a maroon SUV, sending it careening into several other vehicles.

The front of his car was smashed and billowed steam. A half dozen other cars were also involved. For a few moments Neal just sat there, not knowing if he was dazed, confused, hurt or insane. The other drivers got out of their vehicles. Nobody was mad. No one showed any emotion whatsoever. They just exchanged information and said a few words to each other such as.

“I hit you. Here is my insurance.” To which someone would respond.

“Ok, here is mine.” And so forth.

Neal got out. The driver of the red SUV he hit walked near.

“I hit you. Here is my insurance.” The overweight greying man said.

“No you didn’t!” He exclaimed. “I hit you. I ran into you.”

“Here is my insurance.” The man said.

“I hit you!” Neal said, now yelling. “I hit you!”

“Here is my insurance.” The man said again.

Without thought, and completely unlike anything he had done since high school, Neal slugged the man in the face.

Nothing. No anger, no expression, no anything. The only sign that Neal had hit him was the shiner that was starting to appear on his left eye.

“Here is my insurance.” The man repeated.

“Fuck this.” Neal said to no one. He ran to the first intact car which had stopped behind them and opened the door. The driver looked at him blankly.

“Hello.” She said.

Not bothering to answer he unbuckled the seatbelt and pulled her out. She did not resist. Now frantic, he stepped on the gas. Faster, faster he went, leaning forward in his seat, sweat dripping from his forehead and staining his armpits, not noticing the discordant series of notes being played on the radio. He crashed again. This time a seatbelt, which he was not wearing, did not save him.

Once again he was in the hall of the dead, pedestal in front of him. Now Satan was in his true form. A dark figure stood silhouetted, surrounded by an undulating mass of chaotic energy from which tormented faces would briefly form and then disappear. The contract was in his hands.

Satan leapt forward, a glowing dagger in his hands, and impaled it through the contract and into Neal’s heart. As the blade pierced his heart a cold so bitter, so total, that any memory of light, warmth, happiness, or love faded into impossibility. Torches on the walls briefly flared revealing billions of skulls in the hall’s endless depths. And he fell, forever down into the cold darkness, alone.

/r/WritingPrompts Thread