A Story by sawreese


My vision; it was hazed, or perhaps it was the room. The walls, they were shifting. They could have been stone, but somehow I knew they had to be wood. I was in a cellar, or maybe an attic. The air was musty, yet refreshing all the same. To my left and my right were two wooden chairs.

“Sorry we're so late.”

Two men sat before me, both identical; black suits, black pants, peppered hair, white skin.

“But in my defense I had no idea you'd be here, so early.”

The man to my right smiled, he was rather dashing. Silent, his twin did likewise. They were lopsided, no, crooked.

“Who are you?” I asked.

“Isn't it only polite to introduce yourself first?”

I couldn't remember. Silence.

“I'm a demon, and he's an angel.”

I looked at the man to the left. He hadn't said a word.

“Why are you here?” I asked.

My father sent me, in response to your cry.

“I cried?”

“Many times in the past.”

He smiled lightly, evenly. To my right it was the same. They looked to be at peace.

“How do I know both of you aren't demons?”

I think I was afraid.

“Maybe we are.”

“I'm not.”

“Maybe we're both angels.”

“He's not.”

“Either way, what we are makes no difference. This isn't about us.”

I looked at the floor.

“Am I dead?”

“No, but close enough.”

The man to the right snapped his fingers, twice.

“Let's get started.”

Two more crooked smiles. A curtain lifted from somewhere, by some force, and before us stood a television. An older model, but rather large. The screen lit up, on its surface a woman.

“Who is she?” I asked.

“Oh, that's right.”

Two more snaps. I remembered my wife.

“How do I know these are really my memories?”

“How do you know they aren't? Just be grateful you have some.”


“They are.”


“There'd be no fun if they weren't. The deal wouldn't work.”

“What deal?”

“The one you made with me.”

“I didn't.”

Two snaps.

“What about now?”

“I still think you're lying.”

“Flattery will get you nowhere.”

Silence. I looked to the man on the left.

“Did I?”


“Now, let the challenge commence. Rules, rules, where are those rules again?”

Papers fell to his feet.

“Ah, here we are. As it stands, your wife will soon burn in hell.”

“You already told me that.”

“So now you remember?”

“You told me I could change things.”

“I was getting there. Like I said before you're not dead yet. You still have time.”

“How much?”

“Thirty seconds, after the production of course.”

“Of what?”

“The beautifully vile life of your high school sweetheart. Every single second of it.”

“So, I assume when this is all over I'll be whisked back to my death bed or something?”

“Attic floor. Such a mess down there if I do recall.”

“And my wife will be there?”


“What if I can't change anything?”

“Nothing will change.”

“I don't see what you're getting out of this.”

“Nothing. At this point I only stand to lose. That's how it's always been.”

“Lose what?”

“That depends on you.”

“One last question.”


“Where am I?”

“Purgatory, I suppose.”

Time passed, or more appropriately it didn't, while I watched my love come into the world, eat her first meal, take her first step.

“Sorry, one more question.”


“Can we fast forward a year or two?”


“I think you're lying.”

“I'm not.”

“Yes he is.”

“Please do.”


Thirty seconds wouldn't be enough time to do what took most priests years. I assumed I'd just have to set her on the right track. The rest would be in her hands.

“What? Another man? Doesn't that make three in one night?”


“She gets around pretty well for a high school girl.”


“Well, my friend, technically I guess your son was the third, but at least he was the first to come out, alive. Personally, I could never do something like that though. Not a big fan of needles, then again childbirth...”

“Do you remember? This is where she asked you your opinion on abortion, and you replied it was her body.”

I remembered. I hadn't thought she'd done it, or ever would. I just wanted to avoid conflict.

“Oh dear, spreading lies about the neighbors, and such vulgar ones at that. Maybe that's why they moved so suddenly. What a shame.”

“You knew of this, yes?”

“Yes, but I never knew it had gone so far.”

The movie kept playing. Words and phrases kept popping into my head, about how I would tell her off with my last dying breath; crumble her useless pride. The more I watched, the more my anger turned to pity, and from pity to compassion. I was here to save her. I was the only one who knew how truly wicked she was, and was willing to do something about it. The movie was drawing to a close. The woman turned upon hearing a loud crash in the attic.

“Looks like you're about to go on. Remember, thirty seconds.”

My vision was almost entirely white. The woman was quickly climbing what seemed to be a ladder.

“Break a leg out there. Oh, wait you already have. Couldn't resist.”

Pain. It was mind-numbing. I could tell my body was broken. I felt cold.

“Oh my God! Terry!”

If only she knew. Thirty seconds.

“Baby, listen to me. I saw an angel, and a demon. Hell is real.”

“Ok, ok, just hold on. I'll call an ambulance!”

She turned to leave, I grabbed her hand. Twenty seconds.

“Listen to me. I saw it all. The sex, the lies, the abortions.”

She stopped panicking.

“You saw it, all?”


Ten seconds.

“Just promise me you'll try. You can still change.”


Time was up. Darkness invaded my final view of her tear-filled eyes. Everything was quiet for a while.

“I think you made a pretty lasting impression.”

“Did, I change her?”

“Perhaps, but by now you must know she was irrelevant.”

“So, I've lost after all. In the end you managed to keep everything?”

“Ah, Purgatory. Those angels, never want to get their hands dirty for anything. Deception, greed, not to mention pride; I'll use anything and everything. Now, come sit with me a while."

© 2010 sawreese

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This is amazing. Wow. I am stunned by the beauty and power of this piece. This is....wow. I love it. 100/100 & favorites, for sure.

Posted 13 Years Ago

very powerful write. i love the change of emotion while he watches his wive's life
"my anger turned to pity, and from pity to compassion"
makes you wonder what you would say in that position,
having only 30 seconds.

Posted 13 Years Ago

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Added on July 11, 2010
Last Updated on July 11, 2010



Alpharetta, GA

I like writing... I generally sleep, eat, and sleep when I get tired of the other two. more..

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