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No one Escapes...Redemption?

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Evan was in awe of his suite. Countless years of slaving for the Entity had made him forget many of the simple amenities of life…like the wonderful, glorious, oh-so-soft bed that stood in his suite. The Entity’s knowledge of human life outside of the Fog was shockingly limited. The best it could do were small, filthy, and often bloodstained mattresses that were devoid of any sheets or pillows. Of course, sleep wasn’t necessary in the Fog. The Entity removed sensations of hunger and fatigue. Not that anyone would want to eat anything on hand…everything was as disgusting or disturbing as the inhabitants. The Hag—Lisa—would feast on the guts of her victims, and then there were the bowls of “survivor pudding”…he didn’t dwell on how those were made. He put down his cleaver and walked over to the window. He looked out over Pentagram city…it was an absolute mess of a place, and it was the opposite of the Fog in every way. The Fog had been cold, silent, and still. This place was hot, loud, and a complete clusterfuck of activity. He turned and sat down on the bed and opened his stitched bag. He was idle, and he’d pass time by cleaning and repairing his traps. He wasn’t sure why he was bothering with them…no more trials, no more need for traps.

“I guess old habits die hard.” He mused as he carefully calibrated the springs of a trap. A knock at the door startled him, and the trap snapped shut on air. He growled in annoyance and stormed over to the door, opening it. “What?!” He roared. Charlie was standing outside his door, and she flinched at his tone. She cleared her throat, and smiled up at him nervously.

“Mister Macmillan…may I call you Evan?” She asked sheepishly. God, she felt tiny compared to him. He was taller and far broader than Alastor. He nodded, and she continued. “Well Evan, I have a few questions about you, so that we can start working towards your redemption. As Princess of Hell, and proprietor of this hotel and this whole operation, I feel like I ought to work with my first few patients personally!” She said with conviction. She felt determined again. She had hope for her project once more. Evan, on the other hand, looked down at her, his mask betraying no emotion.

“You’re in charge here?” He said with disbelief. He was referring to both the Hotel and to Hell in general…he didn’t take her for the type to handle managing either task. She winced a bit, but quickly her hurt turned to confusion.

“You didn’t know? How long have you been down here?” She figured he must be newly fallen if he missed out on Katie Killjoy’s broadcast. That, or he had been living under a rock. Evan looked at the clock, then shrugged, since he didn’t know the time when he had fallen.

“A few hours, I suppose. Forgive me if I was ignorant of your title, Princess.” He said, and she could practically hear him sneering. Evan was all too familiar with spoiled girls. His Father had told him not to waste his time chasing skirts, and he had been correct. The girls who had approached Evan were all just trying to get a piece of the Macmillan estate. Charlie huffed in annoyance.

“Charlie will do, thank you. And there’s no need for that kind of attitude. I’m sorry if I’m interrupting something or distracting you, but you are here free of charge as long as you participate in my rehabilitation program.” She said firmly. Her father’s words of “not taking shit from other demons” echoed in her mind. Evan stood silently, before letting out a low growl and stepping aside, letting her enter his room. Immediately she spotted the stitched bag and the traps on his bed. She already had so many questions for him, so she made a note to ask about those later. She sat down in a chair, and took out a clipboard and pen. Evan sat down on his bed—the only furniture he bet that could support his weight—and began tinkering with his traps.

“Well? Don’t just sit there, ask your damn questions.” He said gruffly. Charlie grinned.

“Let’s start with the basics: why are you in Hell?” Evan barked out a laugh. He looked at her and chuckled.

“I trapped dying men as they tried to escape my father’s mines, and later I was trapping them so I could sacrifice them to the Entity. I beat a man half to death for a comment about my mother. I roughed up anyone in the mines who was slacking off. There’s probably more, but I can’t remember everything. It’s all so long ago.” He looked at Charlie, who was writing all this down. She asked her next question, though it wasn’t one she had pre-written.

“What’s ‘The Entity’?” Evan’s blood ran cold. How do you describe a nightmarish deity of pain, hate, bloodlust, and horror? He sighed. It wasn’t like he had anything better to do, and he figured he’d have to have this conversation at some point.

“The Entity is, or was, a sort of god. It was powerful, it could completely create or destroy realms, and it demanded sacrifices. It was very picky about how to get said sacrifices: the victims were to be placed on meat hooks, and if none of their fellows saved them, they’d be impaled by the Entity’s limbs and dragged up to be fed on. It fed off their hope, or their souls, or something. The sacrifices never stayed dead either. It was an endless loop of either escaping the trial, or being sacrificed.” He looked at Charlie, gauging her reaction. She looked horrified.

“That sounds awful! So…you were the one doing the sacrificing then?” She asked as she wrote everything down. Evan nodded.

“One of many. There were other killers as well. Each of us had different methods and tools available. Some of us were forced to do it, others took joy in it.” He remembered the Wraith being punished for refusing to hook a survivor…the Entity had taken his tongue for that. He remembered seeing the look of absolute DELIGHT on the fiendish Doctor’s face after his first trial, and how he gleefully described torturing the sacrifices with his electroshock powers. Charlie looked at him carefully.

“And did you? Did you enjoy it?” Evan was silent. This was something he had long wondered about, though had tried hard not to dwell on it, lest the Entity interpret it as rebellious thinking. He felt immense satisfaction when a survivor stepped in his traps, yes. He felt pride when the Entity rewarded him for his work…but that didn’t mean he enjoyed it, right? And yet, the memories of his time before the Fog came to his mind, of the feeling of power he got from trapping and beating the ‘maggots’ who tried to escape the mines.

“Does it matter if I did or did not? I went through with it anyway.” He responded after a long silence. Charlie wrote it down, though wasn’t content with the answer. She felt like he was dodging the question, but there were other things she wanted to ask.

“Did you ever try to stop? To just refuse and walk away?” Evan looked at her with cold fury.

“Take a look at me. See these scars and these hooks? This is what happens when the Entity is displeased. You may think the Sacrifices had it bad, but if the killer failed to dance to the Entity’s tune, then they’d get something far worse than anything this ‘Hell’ can offer. You think we didn’t try to fight back at first? Or to try to escape? It was either us or them, and they had the less severe punishment. At least they had each other.” Charlie flinched at his tone, but her curiosity was stronger than her fear.

“So, you DIDN’T do it because you wanted to. You did it out of fear! You were forced to do it!” This was not the right thing to say. Evan bellowed and got to his feet, and was looming over Charlie in an instant, fists clenched.

“ARE YOU CALLING ME A COWARD?!” He roared. Charlie let out a terrified squeak sat frozen in fear as the massive killer towered in front of her. Evan was enraged. Fear was weakness, and weakness was for maggots. Evan had stopped being afraid ever since his father found the sketch he drew so long ago…the one of his father drowning his mother in the river. That was the day he stopped hating his father and started admiring him, despite the vicious beatings he got from him. He snarled behind his mask. This little brat of a girl was calling him a maggot. Evan had never harmed a woman outside of a trial, but then again, no woman had ever insulted him in such a manner. It would be so easy, one punch would cave her skull in…a flick of his wrist could snap her delicate little neck. His brutal strength had broken the limbs and heads of miners and even a few cops, so it would absolutely destroy this little bitch who had the gall to call him a coward. But then again, he wasn’t in a trial...and she clearly regretted her choice of words...and if he killed her he'd have no where to go. He exhaled slowly, his muscles relaxed, and his fists unclenched. Charlie peered at him from behind her clipboard, which she had held up in a futile attempt to shield herself from a blow that didn’t come.

“I’m sorry…I didn’t mean to imply anything. I…I can leave now if you wish.” She said, feeling pathetic and a bit guilty for wanting to bail on the interview she had been longing to have. Evan shook his head.

“No. I’m sorry. It has been a long time since I’ve had a conversation that wasn’t ’work oriented’.” He said with a sigh. He tried to remember what his mother had taught him about being polite and socializing with the opposite sex. ‘Lower your voice, don’t shout or growl, and don’t posture aggressively.’ Well, he had really done the exact opposite, hadn’t he? He walked back over and sat down on his bed. “Ask me about something else.” Charlie blinked, and nodded.

“A-alright, you mentioned your father—” He stared at her sharply and she could see him tense up ever so slightly. “Never m-mind!” She squeaked. Evan held his masked head in his hands. What could he do to save this conversation from being the worst first impression he ever made on someone? Again, he recalled a bit of advice from his mother: ‘Ask about her! Let her do the talking…just make sure you aren’t just smiling and nodding and are actually listening!’

“Tell me about yourself.” He said awkwardly, as if the words had never been uttered by him before. Slowly, she smiled, and she cleared her throat and stood. Was she going to SING?! What in the name of the Entity had he just requested?!

“I have a dream, I’m here to tell~” She sang, and Evan’s fears were confirmed.