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My So Called Hell

Okay, first of all, there was nothing, absolutely nothing, about her that I liked. Not my type at all. Seriously. This is what I wrote about her in my Fuck You, I’m Evil journal: “New girl came into Hatter’s today. Tall, blonde, athletic, huge tits, nonexistent waist (I hate her!). Everybody stared at her, including the graveyard poets, who never show interest in anything that isn’t dead. I watched her discreetly from behind my annotated edition of the Necronomicon (pop quiz tomorrow, I just know it!!!). She wasn’t very friendly. Didn’t talk to anyone. Kind of stand-offish. A real snob. When she ordered (an unleaded skinny demitasse latte, of course), she had a little bit of an accent. Gross. An exchange student.”


So, who knew the bitch would end up in my Transdimensional Languages class? And what are the chances that she’d be stupid enough to sit in one of the empty seats that usually surround me? Talk about clueless! But there she was, all blonde and fresh looking, smelling of meadows and morning rain, easing her shapely ass into the seat RIGHT NEXT TO ME. She smiled all shy-like, piercing me with eyes the color of a cloudless sky, and said, “Do you mind?”


Do I mind? Do I mind that you don’t seem to have the sense any of the gods gave a turnip? Do I mind that you’ve invaded my space with your beauty and intoxicating smell? Do I mind that, out of all the empty seats in the lecture hall you HAD to choose the one to my immediate left? Do I mind that now everybody in the classroom is staring at not only you, but ME as well? Do I mind? DO I MIND!?!


“Whatever,” I said, feigning disinterest. Then I wrote this in my journal. “I’m under attack. This class is going to suck more than usual.”




So, her name is Agnetha. I only know that because she told me at Hatters later that day. “Hi, my name is Agnetha,” she said, with that weird foreign accent that spoke of colder climates and big men with horned helmets pillaging coastal towns. “I am new here and have no friends. You are beautiful. May I call you my friend?”


It was weird. “I’m not beautiful,” I said. “I’m mysterious.”


She just stared at me with those wide, blue eyes.


“Well, sit down then,” I said, gesturing to the chair across the table from me. “Everybody is staring.”


“I do not wish to disturb your solitude.”


“You already have. Sit down.”


She did. I glared at her, but she just smiled all relieved like.


“My name is Zoe,” I said. I’m still not sure why I told her my name. She just brought it out in me. I told you it was weird.


“Zoe is a beautiful name.”


I scowled my best scowl. “I hate it. Makes me sound like an airhead.”


“It is better than Agnetha, I think.”


I couldn’t help myself. I smiled. She was right. Zoe was better than Agnetha. “I’ll just call you Aggie,” I said.


“I would like that. And I will call you Zoe, which is not an airhead, but a beautiful woman with dark eyes and a mysterious soul.”


I didn’t know what to say. This is what I wrote in my journal: “Maybe I was wrong about the bitch. She kind of lightens my mood, which is annoying, but I’ll get over it with practice. She might make a good henchwoman.”




Turns out Aggie is a Valkyrie. A real honest-to-Odin shield maiden. Too bad she was born into the wrong time. Not much call for Valkyries these days. It’s been a while since any Viking warriors had to fight their way into Valhalla. I think it’s kind of like corporate downsizing. Now she has to go to school like the rest of us poor suckers, so she can get a real job. Sucks, but what about this life doesn’t?


Since she told me her secret, I told her who my father is. She wasn’t all freaked out like most people are. Not even when I told her that if she ever tells anyone, I’ll have to kill her and roast her soul on a slow spit in the eternal flames of Hell. Instead, she just smiled and asked me what color lipstick I was wearing (inferno red, natch) and if I wore it so dark so that people would want to kiss me. As if!


I told her to fuck off and changed the subject, but all during Psychics class I kept thinking about what it would be like if she kissed me. It was really embarrassing, especially when my lab partner Seth looked at me all sly-like and put his book in his lap, like he was trying to hide something nasty. I thought real hard about sharp pointy things with jagged edges and he got all panicked and stopped looking at me.  He should be scared, the little troll dropping.


This is what I wrote in my journal: “Fucking perverts everywhere. Like it’s some kind of fad or something. I hate fads, but I’d rather let a girl touch me down there than a guy. Men are hairy and disgusting and only think about one thing. At least women are smooth and soft and aren’t always in a hurry. If I could lick myself, I would. I don’t think that’s so perverted. I’ve heard of stranger things.”




Tonight I showed Aggie my nipple piercings. We were behind the bleachers in the gym, killing time after class. She looked concerned when she saw them. Sad even. I told her that I liked them, but she just stared at them like they were some sort of mutation. It made me feel self-conscious and I started to pull my shirt down. She must have thought I was embarrassed, because she unbuttoned her shirt and took it off, letting her luscious breasts fall free. They made my mouth water.


I looked at her, then pulled my own shirt off, so that we were both topless. She asked if she could touch my jewelry, then did it real carefully, like she was afraid of hurting me. When her fingertips grazed my nipples I almost had an orgasm. It was that intense. Seriously.


I wanted her to suck them. I wanted to touch her beautiful perfect breasts, but couldn’t make my arms move, so I just stood there, watching her face as she examined my tiny breasts. When she was finished, she stood up straight and asked just one question. “Why?”


“For the hell of it,” I said.


She nodded with a real serious look on her face, like I had just given her the secret of turning iron into gold. I wondered what she would have thought if I’d told her that I wanted to pierce my clit. Instead, I turned and let her get an eyeful of the batwing tattoos on my back.


I don’t know what she thought of those, because I couldn’t see her face and she didn’t make any sound. I stood there for a while, then turned back around. She was gone. And I hadn’t even made the tattoos come to life, yet.


It bothered me that she left without saying anything. I tried to be pissed off, but couldn’t get the feeling right. So, I put my shirt back on and loaded my cd player with old school Bauhaus and Flesh For Lulu. I sat down with my journal, but couldn’t think of anything to write. I think it rained.




I hate that little know-it-all Harry Pitts. He’s the kind of ass-kissing teacher’s pet that everybody loves to hate, which makes it all the easier for me to hate him even more. He had just finished stinking up the classroom with yet another boring extra credit report on the rights of newts, and earned yet another gold star from Professor Hoggzpizzle, when the bell thankfully rang, waking up half the class.


I was gathering up my books when he stopped next to my desk and asked, with a nasal whine, “Where’s your friend, Titszilla?”


I looked up into his thick round glasses, menacingly. “None of your business, Pitts. And her name’s Aggie.”


He honked out a laugh. “What the hell’s she doing here, anyway? She’s not one of us.”


“Us?” I spat. “There is no US, Pitts. You’re a piss stain and everybody hates you.”


“Not everybody,” the egghead sneered. “I’m the best student at this school and that’s all that matters. I don’t really care what the rest of you plebes think…”


“Then why did you ask!” I shouted.


He winced, then his thin lips parted and his buck teeth jutted out in what I could only assume was supposed to be some sort of hideous smile. “The only thing your friend Snow White is good for is greasing my wand.”


I stood up and grabbed him by that annoying striped scarf he always wears, pulling him in close. Immediately I realized what a mistake that was, as the smell of garlic and feet blasted my nostrils. His eyes widened comically behind those thick glasses. I could feel shadows building around us and knew that the tattoos on my back had unfurled.


“If you so much as LOOK at her with lust in your eyes, you smarmy little gutter toad,” I growled. “I will drag you so far down into the depths of Hell that nobody, not even the grandmaster Merlin himself, will be able to save you. You’ll just be one insignificant lost soul among many. No more gold stars. No more stupid reports. No more promising future for you at all. Do I make myself perfectly clear?”


Sweat stood out on Pitts’s scarred forehead and the zitfield of his upper lip. “Do… do you know… who I AM?” He asked. “I’m the chosen one! I have a destiny!”


I smiled, feeling my teeth lengthen and sharpen. “Fuck your destiny. Do you know who I am?”


“I… I’ve heard rumors about who your father is…”


“Then you know what that makes me and that I’m NOT FUCKING AROUND!”


Suddenly tears rolled from behind Pitts’s glasses and a new smell assaulted my delicate nostrils. Urine. I pushed him back and released my hold on the greasy scarf. Off balance, the nerd toppled backwards, taking out a desk and landing with a satisfying crunch on the stone floor. I picked up my books and walked away, the sounds of his sobbing following like a symphony of cinematic victory.






I stopped and tried to bring my mind back to the present. “Yes, headmistress?”


“Is there something wrong, dear?”


I turned to look at the old witch. She was a head shorter than me, but still one of the most intimidating people I knew. Next to my father, that is. I averted my eyes. That little turd Pitts had ratted on me!




“No, what?”


“No, Madam Mim.” The sound of cracking bones and Harry Pitts’s agonizing screams filled my head.


Mim cackled like a loon. “Really? Then why are you leaving a trail of destruction in your wake?”


“Am I?” I looked up. Over the hag’s frizzy mop of hair, shadows darted through shifting patterns of darkness, gibbering like goblins, while students cowered in groups using barely grasped arcane magiks to fend them off.


“Now you know I’m a fan of chaos, dear,” Mim said sweetly. “But this disruptive behavior is bad for business. Make them stop, now. You don’t want to make me angry.” She said it so pleasantly, it was hard to believe she meant it. I knew better.


“No Madam Mim!”  With a snap of my fingers and a short incantation under my breath, the shadows evaporated and unnatural light once again filled the hallway.


Mim looked around, then nodded with satisfaction. “All right, students,” she barked. “This is no excuse to be late for class. Any who miss the final bell will spend the rest of the week as toads. Which, incidentally, is also what is on the lunch menu tomorrow, so…”


Nobody needed to be told more than once. Especially me. Unfortunately, Mim wasn’t quite finished with me. I found that out when she was waiting around the next corner, a crazy half smile playing on her shriveled lips.


“Want to tell me what that was all about?”


“I… I must have been daydreaming…” I stammered.


“Daydreaming, huh?” she creaked, pulling at one of the longer hairs on her chin.  “More like a full-fledged daymare, if you ask me. Want to tell me what’s on your mind?”


My heart jumped into my throat and suddenly I couldn’t breathe. With effort I swallowed it down again and tried to appear calmer than I was. “Just… just troubles at home, that’s all,” I said, not sounding at all convincing.


Mim narrowed her eyes. “Troubles, eh? What kind of troubles?”


“Oh, you know,” I said, sounding flustered. “My dad. He can be a real pain in the… uh… a real pain, you know?”


Mim cocked her head. “Hmmm…” she hmmmd, her lazy eye rolling around like a pixie in a blender. “Well… alright. Family secrets should remain family secrets. But let this be a warning to you. If it happens again, there will be hell to pay. Your father isn’t the only being adept at inflicting… punishments…”


“Yes, headmistress. I’ll pay attention.”


“You do that. And give the old devil a peck on the cheek for me, would you? The right one, I think. Closest to the tail.” Then, with a blast of sulfurous smoke and a theatrical screeching laugh, the old bat was gone. I breathed a sigh of relief, instantly regretting the cliché and its aromatic undertones and flew to my next class. Literally.


Later, while I was sitting and sweating like a hog on a spit, I wrote this in my journal: “What the hell was THAT all about? That was like the most uncool thing that has EVER happened to me. I have GOT to keep it together. Can’t let little snotrags like Pitts cause me to lose it. Now people are going to be staring at me. I HATE THAT! And where the hell is Aggie? I haven’t seen her all day long. The bitch is probably playing hooky without me. Hateful cunt. I don’t need her anyway. Good riddance. Maybe now I can get some quality brooding in. I hope she’s okay…”




The next morning, I looked up to see Aggie towering over me as I sat at the corner table at Hatter’s. I had to fight to keep my smile from making me look like the village idiot. “Where have you been?” I asked, trying to sound angry, but only succeeding in sounding relieved.


Aggie’s arms were crossed across her chest, like she was cold, or frightened. She looked paler than usual, but a tired smile made its way onto her face. “I did not expect there to be so much pain involved,” she said, simply.


“Would you sit down!” I hissed, reaching up and pulled her down into her chair. “People are staring!”


She sat heavily, wincing, but did not uncross her arms.


“What pain?” I asked. “What’s wrong? Did somebody hurt you?” Anger crawled up my throat with the acrid taste of bile.


“Not on purpose, I think.” Aggie said. “It was I who gave him permission.”


“Permission for what?” I asked, getting more and more frustrated with the conversation as time passed.


“For this,” Aggie said, lifting up her blouse to let her plump breasts bounce free. Piercing each nipple was a bar with balls on each end. I gawked, looking even more like an idiot. Only the sound of whistles and shouts from others in the room snapped me out of it.


“For fuck’s sake, Aggie!” I hissed. “Not here!” I grabbed her by the wrist and, snatching up my journal in the other hand, dragged her from Hatters, hoots and howls following in our wake like sirens.




“I will never be able to show my face in that shop again!” I said furiously.


Aggie hunkered down on the curb, miserably. “I am sorry, Zoe. I did not mean to offend you. I had hoped to make you happy with my piercings.”


I stopped pacing and stared at her. A fat tear was rolling down her downy cheek and her eyes were like deep pools after a storm. My anger evaporated. “I’m not offended…” I sighed. “Just a little humiliated.” I looked at her and felt that weird feeling I only felt when I was with her. An unexpected smile cracked my face. “I guess I should probably get used to it, huh?”


Aggie dropped her eyes and my heart sank.  “No, no, no…” I stammered. “I’m not being mean. Just sarcastic. I love your piercings, Aggie, you just took me by surprise, that’s all…”


She looked up, hopefully. “You do?”


I nodded, spastically. “Yes, I do! I think they’re great.”


Clouds parted and Aggie’s inner radiance broke through as she smiled gratefully at me. “This is good! I did it for you.”


“For me?” I must have blinked like one of those stupid cartoon characters I used to watch when I was a kid. “Why, for me?”


“Because I want to be beautiful, like you.”


I think I cried then. I can’t be positive and I sure as hell wouldn’t tell you if I had. I do know that I hugged her really hard, to make her feel better, and later showed her how to use ice and a special herbal salve I had discovered to bring the swelling down and decrease the pain. Much later, when I was home in bed, I wrote this in my journal: “I’ve never touched another girl’s breasts before. They’re softer than I thought they would be. So are her lips.” I wrote some other stuff, too, but it’s private, so don’t ask.




I know what people are thinking. I know because I can see it in their eyes. I can see it in the way that they smile secret smiles and whisper behind my back. Normally that kind of thing would really piss me off. For some reason I don’t care. It’s weird. Really weird. They should all be stains by now.


This past week has been the most amazing week ever. And Aggie is the most amazing creature I’ve ever known. We can talk about anything. She never judges me. Even when I tell her my deepest, most fucked up thoughts. She just smiles and says, “You are very creative. Mysterious and beautiful and creative. I am glad you are my friend.” It makes me go all gooey inside.


I know that it kind of freaks people out to see me smiling so much, but I don’t care. They probably think I’m up to something. Good. Let ‘em. A person doesn’t have to be broody all the time to be mysterious. I wonder if this is what it’s like to be really happy. If it is, it isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It’s kind of nice, actually. I don’t think anything can make me unhappy, right now. Not even that little fucktard, Harry Pitts. Anyway, he’s been avoiding me like the plague and that suits me just fine. Psychics class still sucks. Oh well, can’t have everything, right?




“What do you mean you can’t go to the concert with me? I already bought the tickets!”


“I am sorry, my friend,” Aggie said, sheepishly. “But I must study for the Chthuluian Geometry test.”


“That’s not for three days, Aggie!” I said, getting all spastic and waving my arms around like a dork. “And this isn’t just any concert. It’s Venus DeMars! Venus De-FUCKING-Mars! We have third row seats!”


Aggie dropped her eyes to the floor, looking dejected and anxious. “I am sorry…”


I growled and started to pace, fishing in my bag for a cigarette. “This is the third time you’ve blown me off this week. It didn’t bother me so much when it was just a movie or a seance, but we’ve been looking forward to this concert for months…”


“I have not known you for months, Zoe,” Aggie said matter-of-factly. “I have only been here for a month.”


“Fine!” I said, snapping up a flame and lighting my cig. “I’ve been looking forward to it for months, but when I invited you, you said you wanted to go. Do you know what I had to go through to get two tickets in the third row?”


“I have said I am sorry. I do not know what else to say.”


I blew out a column of blue smoke like a pro and tried to look unfazed. “Whatever. Don’t say anything, then.”


Aggie turned and started to walk away. I stopped her. “Wait,” I said. “Can you at least tell me who you’re going to be studying with, since it obviously won’t be with me?”


Her shoulders bunched up, but she didn’t turn around. “I would rather not.”


“Why,” I asked suspiciously.


“Because I know you are not fond of… my tutor.”


“I’m not fond of most people, Aggie. Who are you going to be studying with?”


She hesitated a while longer, then whispered two words that sent ice shards into my heart. “Harry Pitts.”


“Pitts!” I screamed. “Are you fucking serious?! That fuck stain? Why?”


“Because he is… the smartest student in our school and I… I like him.” That last part was said so quietly I almost missed it. Almost, but not quite.


“You… like… him?” I said, my voice dropping into the danger zone. “Since when do you like him?”


She shook her head miserably. “I do not know, Zoe. He just seems to be in my thoughts a lot. Perhaps it is because he is so smart and I am so stupid.”


“Stop saying that, you’re not stupid, Aggie. You just transferred here, for fuck’s sake. It takes a while to get used to things. And why didn’t you ask me to help you?”


She hesitated. “I did not wish to burden you.”


“So you go to Pitts, instead?”


“No, it was he who came to me. He said he knew I was struggling with my studies and offered to help me. I found the gesture to be very chivalrous.”


“Chivalrous?” Was I hearing this right? She had to be fucking kidding! “Aggie, all he wants is to get into your skirt!”


Aggie turned then, her eyes flashing like lightening before a storm. “It is not like that, Zoe! He is a gentleman…”


I admit it. I completely lost my shit. “A gentleman doesn’t stare at your tits when he’s talking to you, Aggie!”


She breathed in, real slow like, and pulled herself up to her full height and for a moment, I saw the Valkyrie she was born to be. “I will do what I wish with my TITS, Zoe! They are there, I can do nothing about them. If he finds them pleasing, so be it.” Then she said the thing that made my frozen heart shatter. “It did not seem to bother anyone when it was YOU staring at my tits.”


“I…” Nothing came. I couldn’t think of a thing to say. My mind just went blank. Aggie must have taken that as an admission of truth. Angrily, she turned and stormed away, leaving me standing alone like a loser, glass filling my lungs and razor blades in my throat.


That night I missed the most kick ass concert ever. I didn’t even write anything in my journal. For some reason I was so tired all I wanted to do was sleep. Once my head hit the pillow, though, all I could do was replay that hateful conversation, over and over again. What had happened? Everything had been going so well. I was confused and hurt and angry. When I finally did drift off, my sleep was filled with unfamiliar nightmares.


I awoke sometime in the wee hours of the morning in a cold sweat. Burned into my mind’s eye was a frightening image. Harry Pitts towering over me, laughing like a hyena and holding a specimen jar in his hands. Inside the jar was my Aggie, naked, tears streaming down her face, beating her hands against the glass and mouthing the words, “Help me, Zoe! Please help me!”


What did it mean? I didn’t really need to ask the question. I knew. Deep down in my dark and damned heart, I knew; and the knowledge filled me with the soothing familiarity of hot, burning hatred.




“You’re broodier than usual, kitten, anything daddy can help you with?”


I rolled my eyes, just like he expected me to. “Daddy, please, I can take care of myself.”


“I know you can, pet, but…”


“But nothing, daddy,” I said, totally exasperated. “Everything is FINE!”  I bit into my toast and started chewing, giving him my best “just drop it” brush off. Predictably, he didn’t drop it.


“Hm. Is that why every piece of glassware we own has been reduced to molten slag?”


I swallowed hard, looking sideways at the blackened globs of crystalized pitch where the coffee pot once stood. Shrugging, I took another bite of toast. I tried to ignore the sound of my daddy slurping his coffee from a wooden bowl.


I came to a decision. “Daddy, can I ask you a question without you getting all Lord of Darkness on me?”


He set the bowl down and looked at me. “Of course you can, pet. That’s what daddy’s are for.”


I gave him my best I-mean-business look and said, “Promise me.”


“Promise you what, pet?”


“Promise me that you won’t do anything. This is my problem and I want to take care of it myself.”


He chuckled to himself, then sat back, straightened his tie and gave me a fatherly smile. “I don’t make it a habit to become involved in schoolyard politics, kitten, you know that.”


I nodded, but wouldn’t let him off the hook. “So, promise me, then.”


He looked annoyed. “Alright, I promise. What’s troubling you?”


I leaned toward him, like we were conspiring. “Has anyone ever stolen something from you? Something you…” Not love. Never say love. “…can’t live without?”


He looked more annoyed than ever. “Of course not, pet. Your daddy is a professional. Where would I be if I let others steal that which is mine?”


“I know, but…” I bit my lip and tried to think of the best way to say what I needed to say. “I think one of the boys at school… is using magic to deprive me of something I cherish.” Whew! I silently patted myself on the back for that one. I looked up to see that he had one eyebrow raised and a little smile on his face. I had halfway expected that look. He didn’t take what I was saying seriously.


“No, it’s not like that, daddy… this is serious!” I said, trying not to sound like a total dweeb. “I really think he’s doing it as a challenge.”


“A challenge?” Daddy waved it away like it was some kind of troublesome fly. “Really, pet. Why should you care whether or not one mortal likes or dislikes you? Such challenges are for rank amateurs and you, my dear, are no amateur. You are the daughter of princes. You could crush him with a mere thought. If, that is, you have been studying your lessons properly…”


“Oh, never mind!” I said, standing up and getting ready to huff away. “I don’t know why I ever expected you to understand!”


“Oh, come now, pet. It isn’t as bad as all that.”




“Kitten…” he said, all condescending.




“Sit down, pet.”


I turned and tried to storm out of the kitchen. The door slammed before I could get there, barely missing my nose as it swung shut.


“Sit. Down. Pet.” His voice dripped venom.


I turned around, ready to scorch him with my eyeballs, then thought better of it when I saw that his perfect businessman façade has slipped to reveal his horns. His eyes, too, had gone completely black in that way I couldn’t quite yet master. Way to go, Zoe. You weren’t supposed to completely piss him off. You’ll never get anywhere that way. I crossed my arms and dropped my gaze to the floor.


“There is, I think, more to this story than a simple challenge,” my daddy, the prince, said. “You can’t lie to the Lord of Lies. What is this object you cherish so very much? Tell me what really happened.”


I looked up. “That IS what really happened. At least I think so. All I know is one day Aggie is my best friend, the next she doesn’t want to have anything to do with me.”


“Aggie? What, pray tell, is an Aggie?”


Oh shit! Don’t overplay it Zoe! I did my best teenage girl brush off. “She’s just a friend okay!”


“A… friend…” His eyes narrowed. He didn’t believe me. “Then find another friend, pet.”


“Daddy,” I said, completely exasperated. “This isn’t about losing a friend. The kid that did it isn’t just some schoolyard bully. He’s using Aggie to get to me.  Don’t you understand? He’s… dangerous…”


My daddy cocked his head. “Dangerous? To whom?”


I let my lower lip quiver a bit, just for show. “To me… maybe… but I think I can handle it…”


Daddy’s lip curled up onto snarl. “How dangerous?”


“I don’t know,” I said miserably. “The talk around school is that he’s some sort of chosen one, though I really don’t know what he’s been chosen to do except to annoy the rest of us.”


“And the name of this dangerous chosen one?”


I hesitated. “Daddy, you promised…”


He glared at me, his eyes glowing in undulating waves, like banked embers. “The name, pet.”


“Harry Pitts.”


His eyebrows rose to touch his horns. “Pitts? The Pitts brat is attending your school?”


Score! It was all I could do not to smile. I nodded, but never took my eyes off of his face.


Daddy sat back in his chair, an evil smile playing at his lips. “Well, well, well…” he said ominously. “The scion emerges. How delicious…” Then, suddenly, he leaned forward, his eyes normal again. “Kitten, I think I may have just the thing to help you with your little problem. If, that is, you’ll allow me..?”


I sighed. “Oh, daddy… thank you.”


Later in my journal, this is what I wrote. “Pitts should have known better than to fuck with me. He’s not nearly as special as he thinks he is. I really hate to admit it sometimes, but being the daughter of Belial, one of the six princes of Hell, has its privileges. Mental note to self: practice that eerie cool eye thing that my daddy does. It could come in handy.”




I almost completely lost it when I finally found that fucktard, Pitts. He was in the library, sitting in one of those high, wingback chairs, with a book in his lap. Sitting at his feet, looking up adoringly at him, was my Aggie. At his FUCKING FEET! The scream wanted to come out so bad, but I swallowed it like shards of glass and forced myself to be dangerously still.


“Pitts, you and I have something to discuss,” I said evenly.


He barely looked up, then went back to his book. “Not now. Can’t you see we’re studying?”


“You’re going to be studying knuckle-shaped bruises if you don’t put that book down and look at me.”


Aggie blinked, then tore her eyes away from Pitts. “Zoe,” she said. “You are making a fool of yourself. Go away and let us study.”


The girlish giggle from Pitts is what really set me off. “Oh, I’ve got something for you to study, alright. A little something that Harry has been looking for his whole life.” Forcing myself to look bored, I turned away. “But, if he’s too busy, I can always take it somewhere else.”


Pitts looked annoyed, but a little bit intrigued. “What could you have that I want?”


“Oh, nothing important,” I said, sounding as bored as I could. “Just the weapon belonging to He That Will Not Be Named… the one that killed your father and sucked his soul into the nether pits of Hell for all eternity.”


I thought the little shit’s eyes were going to pop out of his head. Magnified by his thick glasses, he kind of looked like a cartoon character. I almost laughed.


Slamming the book closed, tossing it aside and pushing Aggie out of his way, Pitts all but jumped from the chair, looking like some sort of retarded bird. “That’s not possible!” he squawked. “I’ve been told that the Amulet of Perdition no longer exists on the material plane! How could you possibly have it?”


I gave him my best your-such-a-dumbass look. “You keep forgetting who my father is.”


“What does your father have to do with any of this?” He sneered, spit flecking his lips.


“Who do you think ordered your father’s execution?” For emphasis, I pointed to the blood red teardrop gem, hanging from a silver chain, between my breasts.


If the first look he gave me was priceless, this one was a deal breaker. I thought he was going to faint dead away on the spot. Or, at least, cry. Instead he clutched at his chest melodramatically and turned away, his face all clenched up like a troll’s ass. Weirdly enough, the scar on his forehead started to glow a little, but that only made him look even more retarded. He started mumbling under his breath, but I was ready for him.


Wind whipped around him like a bad movie effect and he threw his right hand out toward me, screeching out a simple binding spell like it was some sort of curse from the lips of Lucifer himself. I deflected it with an even simpler mirror spell that knocked him backwards into the chair. He sat there, frozen by his own magic and the wind stopped abruptly. “Give it to me, bitch!” he said, his voice quavering.


“You wish,” I said.


Aggie rose to her feet to tower over me; a shield maiden moving to protect. I was ready for that, too. Locking eyes with her, I said the words that would make her sleep, then watched as she crumpled to the floor. Turning back to Pitts, I snarled. “You fucked with the wrong hellspawn, asshole.”


The room darkened and shadows began darting back and forth. I wish I had thought to bring a mirror with me, because I’m not sure, but I think I actually pulled off the whole eye thing. He wanted special effects? He was going to get special effects! My wings unfurled and fell across my shoulders like a living cloak. “Now, are you ready to make a deal, or do I have to take you apart to get back what belongs to me?”


The smell of urine permeated the room with a satisfying bouquet.




It’s weird, things have been a whole lot quieter, lately. It’s like, people just leave me alone when I want to be left alone and I don’t even have to turn on the ice bitch routine. I just look at them with one eyebrow raised and they go away. Even the headmistress herself gives me a knowing smile every time I see her, like I really did her a favor. I know! How cool is that?


I guess taking out the “chosen one” will do that for a girl. He just shouldn’t have messed with me, or what belongs to me. Although, to be honest, I probably would have done it anyway. He was such a squid and that whole “I’m special, I’m the chosen one, look at me” routine was getting real old, REAL fast. You know what I mean?


And my daddy couldn’t be happier with me. It’s like, that one act made him so proud, he didn’t even care that I flunked my Psychics class. Seriously, I dodged a bullet on that one. But the best part is that Aggie is back and we’re closer than ever. Closer actually. Shut up! I’m not going to give you any details, are you serious? Get out.


I have to admit, though, she still squicks me every once in a while. I mean, I know she’s foreign and all, but fuck! Some of the dumbest things come out of her mouth sometimes. And always at the worst possible moment. Sometimes she embarrasses me so much I just want to scream. But then I look at her and… well… it just doesn’t matter. I can’t help it, I really love that bitch. Okay, shut up. No, really, c’mon, shut up!


Okay, yes, I said it. And I said it here first. Don’t make such a big fucking deal about it. Because, as I said in my journal, “Being the daughter of a Prince of Hell may be cool and all, but being the girlfriend of a shield maiden of Odin? That’s better than Bauhaus, Voltaire and Venus DeMars combined.” Seriously.


One of several Tales of Otherwhen, a work in progress exploring life after a shift brings the worlds of myths and legends into conflict with our own.


© David Salcido, 2006. Registered with the Library of Congress and the Writers Guild of America, 2013. All rights reserved.

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