South Park fanfiction.
The four of us—Damien, Lizzy, Pip, and I—make our way inward, deep into the ninth circle of Hell. That was at least one thing Dante got right; Hell is divided into nine concentric circles, and Satan lives at the very center. It's also much colder here; it was practically an ice castle, which would have probably been funny if it weren't so serious.
That's where Damien says Kyle is. In Satan's castle.
We stop at the moat, which is incidentally made of fire. Someone calls down, "Who goes there!" It looks like an ancient Roman soldier. I guess Satan has plenty of warriors to choose from as far as guards were concerned.
"It is I!" Damien calls out. The guard obediently lowers the drawbridge and lets us in. Lizzy and I look around in awe; we've never been here before, and the place really is magnificent. Beautiful sculptures, colorful lights, and…there's the torture chamber. I quickly steer the group away, not wanting to see what was going on in there. We end up in a large room filled with cubicles, like an office.
"Here he is," Damien announces, pointing us into one of the cubicles. I walk in, followed by Lizzy. Sitting at the desk, hard at work, is Kyle, looking well and healthy for someone whom I had last seen under a chandelier. He still has his ushanka, but he's wearing a dark business suit instead of his orange jacket, and he's yelling into the phone, having not yet noticed us.
"I don't care what Wormwood told you to expect! One million seats for Michael Jackson's new concert isn't going to be enough; we specifically ordered that there had to be at least one billion,"…"Well, I have people complaining about there not being enough seats, and here you tell me that you only have a million,"…"The issue isn't what I will do, it's what the boss will do when I tell him you haven't been following directions,"…"Glad to hear it,"…"Demon discounts? We already told you that we can't offer discounts to demons, only VIPs,"… "Well, you'll have to talk to Planning for the VIP list; we don't have it,"…"Well, SCREW YOU TOO!" He hangs up angrily.
"Having troubles?" I ask nonchalantly.
"I'll say! Michael Jackson's big concert is tomorrow, and everyone down here is too stupid to—" Then he finally notices that he's talking to me. "Oh, hey Kenny! Hi…Lizzy, right?"
"Yes," Lizzy confirms.
"Fancy seeing you guys here," he grins. Then his face falls as he realizes what he's just said. "Ohh, I'm so sorry to hear that you guys are dead. Especially you, Lizzy." Then he looks me right in the eye. "And Kenny…I know. And I'm sorry."
So just the fact that he had died has given him full awareness. Now all my friends know; in some ways, this is the moment I've been waiting for my whole life, and I've sacrificed a lot of things to get this far. Not caring if it looks gay or not, I give him a hug. "Thank you," I whisper. After I let go, I can see that he looks a little confused, but Lizzy just giggles.
"So, can I help you guys with anything?" he asks.
"We were just looking for you," I tell him.
"Okay," he says. "Well, I'm done for the day, so we can go talk."
The five of us stroll across Hell's fiery landscape; Lizzy and Kyle are both walking next to me, while Damien and Pip trail a little ways behind us. Kyle is telling us about when he first got here.
"So while Satan was giving the newcomers his whole "Welcome to Hell" speech, I was still in shock; hadn't I been a faithful person? Then he explained how only Mormons get to go to Heaven. At first I was frustrated at how unfair that was, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. I mean, Mormons are all really nice people, so maybe God values how good a person you are rather than what you specifically believe." He sighs. "But I tried so hard to be a nice person, too."
"Well," I add, "it's easy to think of yourself as good when you know people like Cartman."
Kyle laughs. "That's true. Well, after Satan made his speech, he approached me, and said he needed me for a special position; his Financial Secretary had just quit, and he needed someone to replace him."
"How come he chose you?" I ask. Out of curiosity.
"Probably because I'm Jewish. It seems you can't even avoid stereotypes in the afterlife." Kyle tries to just shrug it off, but his fists are tightly clenched, which means that he is actually mad about it and trying to hide it. He also hates it whenever Cartman is right, I guess. "The last guy was Jewish, and had been working here ever since he died in the Holocaust. I guess he got mad that we're punished here as much as the Nazis."
Well, all things considered, I can certainly see how that's unfair.
"So, how did you die this time, Kenny?" Not a hint of smugness in his voice, just natural curiosity.
"Cartman beat me to a pulp," I tell him.
His eyes go wide. "That son of a bitch!"
"No, no, I wanted him to," I quickly add. He looks confused, so I explain. "I was trying to die and get to Hell, so I could rescue you and Lizzy."
Kyle simply gapes in shock, "You mean, bring us back to life?"
"But that's impossible!" Kyle says. He's even got Damien and Pip listening now.
"Actually, it's not," I tell him. "There's actually an easy way to leave Hell."
"Really?" Kyle asks.
"Yep. Just walk outside the gate." No I'm not kidding; it really is that simple. There's a huge fence that surrounds the outer circle of Hell, and if you climb the fence or go through the gate, and walk far enough, eventually you can get back to Earth.
You see, in Hell, I actually have the option of doing staying until my visit is up, or just leaving on my own. If I stay the entire time, which I usually do, they take me away from Hell while I'm asleep, and then I wake up in my own bed (as I've recently found out, after being born again inside my mom). I've left on my own a few times, if I have to get back to Earth in a hurry for some reason. Once I'm back on Earth, I sort of fade back to life; I start off as a ghost, but then slowly regain form until I'm a regular person again. This can be pretty useful sometimes; for instance, it's probably a lot easier on my mom.
In theory, this can done with anybody; the only problem is that Satan usually lets me leave since I can't stay long anyway. He probably won't be so accommodating to anyone else. I explain all this to Kyle and Lizzy.
Kyle looks skeptical, to say the least. "Sounds pretty risky. What makes you think Satan will agree to it?"
"HE WON'T." A voice booms from everywhere and nowhere. Then a cloud of smoke appears in front of us, and Satan, the Prince of Darkness, emerges. "Bwahahaha! No one leaves Hell! Not nobody, not no how!"
"Except Kenny," Pip pipes up.
"Well, yes, except Kenny," Satan agrees, no doubt irritated that Pip just stole his thunder.
I know I have to plead with Satan. "Mighty Lucifer, couldn't you just make an exception this one time? Can't you let my friends go back to their lives?"
Satan shakes his head. "You know I can't do that. The minute I let one person out of Hell, everyone else would start bargaining for me to let them out, and it would all be a headache, not to mention a big mess. Besides it's not really up to me. If it were, then even you would stay here forever."
"But why do I have to stay here?" I ask.
Satan shrugs. "It's part of the agreement."
More clues? "What agreement?"
"This contract." Satan holds up a piece of paper. "I made the agreement with this guy that I could only keep you, Kenny McCormick, here in Hell for a finite amount of time, instead of the usual 'for all eternity' deal. And so I had to make all these special arrangements."
I snatch the contract and look at the bottom. There's Satan's signature, all right, very loopy and flowery. The other signature is very short, but completely illegible. That person was who was responsible for everything. "Who was this guy?"
"I don't know. In fact, I can't even remember what he looked like."
"What did he promise you in return?" I ask.
"Saddam Hussien. Somehow he knew that I had a crush on the guy, and said he could make sure that I got him, in return for keeping up my end of the deal."
I blink in surprise. "So let me get this straight; you made some deal with a guy you don't know, to keep me from being able to rest in peace here, all so you could get Saddam Hussien, whom you ended up breaking up with anyway?"
"Well, yes. But even though it didn't work out, he did keep up his end of the bargain, so I have to keep mine," Satan responded.
I curse in frustration. "Can't you let Kyle and Lizzy go instead? I'll be more than willing to take their place." Kyle tries to stop me, but I silence him with a gesture. Lizzy just looks on in shock.
Satan looks at me with sorrow in his demon eyes. His expression almost convinces me ("almost," because he is pretty good at lying) that he genuinely wishes he could help, and that I have to stay not because he wants me to, but because he doesn't have a choice. "I'm sorry."
And with that, he disappears.
Kyle thought the least he could do was invite me to dinner after all that. He took us all to Hell's best buffet style restaurant, and the server happens to be yet another familiar face. And he looks happy to see us.
"Hello there, children!" booms Jerome "Chef" McElroy. His voice sounds just as reassuring now as it did when we were in elementary school.
"Hey, Chef," Kyle and I say in unison.
"How's it going?"
Chef looks at us. "Why bad?"
I sigh. "Chef, I tried to come back so I could save Kyle and Lizzy. But I don't think I'll be able to do it. Satan won't let them leave."
Chef sighs. "Oh, that's too bad. It's hard living in Hell, but we all get used to it. Why, Kyle's already got a job, doesn't he?"
"Yeah, I do, Chef," Kyle replies.
"But they shouldn't be here in the first place," I insist. "If I had been where I was supposed to be, then they wouldn't have died."
"You can't go blaming yourself for that," Kyle says. "Let's face it; everyone has to die sooner or later."
"Not when you're 14," I say.
This goes back and forth for a while, until Damien finally leaves, apparently growing tired of the conversation. Finally.
"Look, let's just drop it," Kyle says. "We can't go back, so let's just leave it at that."
"Not quite," I reply. I had actually been waiting for Damien to leave. When I had told him earlier that I didn't have a real plan, well, I was lying. It wasn't that I didn't want to trust him, but since he was Satan's son, I couldn't be sure whose side he would be on. "Just because Satan made a promise to someone doesn't mean that I have to.
"We're busting out of here. Tonight."