Hell and Styx #12! It’s a dozen. (It’s the dozenth?)
School is finally ending (hello, finals) so my posts have been a bit sporadic. Apologies.
I think you’ll like this post. It’s insight into Hell and Heaven’s dynamic, and foreshadows some of the next posts I have planned.
As always, an explanation of what the heck this series of short stories is can be found on the Hell and Styx page in the upper right hand corner.
Hope you enjoy! Likes and comments are always open. 🙂
Hell and Styx #12: Easy to Hate
Pretty much every conversation Hell and Heaven had over the next two weeks went like this:
“Why are you so [blank]?”
“Why are you so [opposite of blank]?”
And then it spiraled into an argument, which ended with Hell calling Heaven a perv.
When Heaven saw that Hell’s closet only contained variations on black pants and a unisex black or grey t-shirt:
“Why are you so opposed to dressing like a girl?”
Hell glared at his white shirt on freshly ironed dress pants look. “Why are you so obsessed with looking like a preppy jackass?”
“Just because you deal with death doesn’t mean you actually have to dress like the grim reaper.”
“At least then I’d be wearing a dress, right?”
“Not the kind of dress I want to see you in, Hell.”
“Do you want me to sock you in the nuts again?”
When Heaven kept walking into objects because he was so accustomed to being incorporeal in the human world.
“Why do you spend so much time over there?”
“Why do you never spend any time there?”
“There’s nothing there for me.”
“How would you know? Have you ever been back?”
“Nope. And I’m proud of it. I don’t pine away for what can’t see me.”
“Don’t you?” Heaven asked, one eyebrow raised.
“Nope, but I’m not a perv.”
When the powers that be in purgatory decided to create a room for Heaven:
“Why do you have to be so…human?” Hell sneered, looking at his walls, covered in posters for movies and bands.
“Why do you have to hate everything from that world?”
“It’s done nothing but abandon me.”
“You left it! And you’ve never been back. How is that it’s fault?”
“I’m not human. You’re not either. What is it about you that makes you try to fit in with them? They can’t even see you!”
“You don’t know why I go back. You don’t know who I am.”
“Oh, the chickflick dialogue? We’re gonna fight like that? Can I play the my-father-never-loved me card?”
“How do you know mine did? How do you know I love anything about that place?”
“You loved something enough. Even though purgatory apparently thinks you’ll be moving in, you’re never here. I’m downstairs sorting souls and you just poof out of here to hang out where you’re invisible. Which is pretty pervy, if you ask me.”
“What about me makes you insist that I’m a perv?”
Hell gave him a cynical once-over. “You need me to answer that question?”
When Heaven walked in on Styx and Hell in Hell’s room, sharing a pizza.
“I know I’m new but could you put a sock on the door?”
Hell’s jaw dropped, pizza frozen halfway to her mouth. “We’re eating pizza.”
“Yeah, you are.” Heaven bro-nodded to Styx. Styx just stared.
“Why are you so pervy?”
“Why are you so determined to call me that?”
“We are eating a pizza. Special divine delivery service from above. I know it’s not human but it’s enough for us.”
“Can I have a slice?”
“Then you two are on a date.”
“Actually, it just means that you’re a jerk, and I don’t share the holy gift of pizza with people I hate.”
“Everything in this world is a divine gift. Don’t suddenly act like this is a big deal.”
“And ‘ungrateful’ goes on the list of adjectives to describe our newest roomie.”
“Hell, they invented the word ‘cynic’ to describe you.”
“Not even close to the worst insult we’ve come up with for you,” Styx said casually, speaking for the first time.
Heaven waved him off. “I’m fighting your girl.”
“I’d work on your pronoun use if you value the ability to eat pizza,” Hell threatened.
“Or really anything,” Styx added.
The two shared a grin, smug in their rebuttal of Heaven’s entirety. Heaven gaped at the couple and left the room.
“Why do you hate me?” Heaven asked Hell.
“You’re really easy to hate.”
“Because you get an easy life. You get to sort awesome, pure, euphoric souls. And chill out in the human world. Which is weird, but whatever. You get to stroll in here ten years late and act like we should love you for no apparent reason. I can’t do that.”
“My life isn’t as easy as you think it is.” But for once, his tone wasn’t defensive or hostile.
“Well, duh. We’re death deities, even if you get to play God. You’ve clearly got issues I don’t even want to get into. The perviness, for one.” Heaven started to interject but Hell held up a finger. “And other, realer issues. I’m sure you’ve got your fair share of abandonment issues and random dependencies.”
“Thank you,” Heaven said, nodding his head, accepting Hell’s understanding without a fight.
“However,” Hell said, and Heaven regretted his decision to be civil. “Your issues—they’re your fault. I’m trying to heal, okay? I’m living my life in purgatory and trying to forget what I’ve lost. You’re torturing yourself. You’re throwing yourself day-in and day-out into a world that just wants to rip out your soul and spit you back into this hellhole. Don’t endure Prometheus’s punishment when you haven’t done anything heroic. Why would you put yourself through that?”
“It’s not like that—”
“Oh, no, I’m sure you’ve got real issues, too. But you’re hiding the PTSD and the hurt and whatever the else I could relate to under this obsession with the human world. You’re avoiding the truth by torturing yourself.
“I have enough pain, without intentionally hurting myself. It is despicable that you would do this to yourself. Either ask for help, or leave. Say what you want about me, but I don’t hide. And while you childishly refuse to face anything actually existing in our world, I can’t be around you.”
Heaven’s spine was painfully straight. He forced himself to adjust his cuffs, calmly, preparing to say the words he never wanted to have to say.