I decided to say screw it and edit and post a reader version along with my OC version if this is more of your jam. Not too many differences. If there are, I'll be sure to say but so far, nothing has changed.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
You shuffled, head down, into the dilapidated building, it’s bright sign buzzing stories above you. You’d seen posters for this place around. Vandalized, yes, but you got the idea. A hotel where sinners can stay and try and gain redemption and ascend to Heaven. And you were desperate.
Slowly you creaked open the door (which looked like it was recently and haphazardly reattached) and poked your head in half-expecting for nobody to be there, for the building to be abandoned. “H-hello?”
“Oh! A visitor!” said a cheery female voice. Before you could contemplate that there was actually someone here, your view was blocked by a smiling blonde. “Hello! Welcome to the Happy Hotel!”
Your eyes hurt from crying so much but you were pretty certain the sign on the hotel said “Hazbin.” “Um, correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t the sign outside say ‘Hazbin Hotel’, not ‘Happy?’”
“Oh, right. That was just recently changed,” the blonde said, waving away the question. She grabbed a hold of your hands and pulled you further into the building. “Come in, come in! What brings you here?”
“Uh…” you were in shock. Yes, the interior was in as much disrepair as the outside but it looked like it was being worked on. Sitting at what looked like a reception desk but with a bar built in was a cat looking thing with wings and a scowl. Sitting on a couch and staring at you like you were some kind of freak was a white, fluffy being with four arms. On the far end of the couch was a female looking being, with long hair and far muted colors than her surroundings. And zooming around and… cleaning (?) was a short, little thing in what looked like a pink poodle skirt. You couldn’t get a good look with all the zooming. Next thing you knew, you were being seated in a chair with a table. Across from you sat the smiling woman that greeted you at the door. Getting a good look at her, you saw that she was more human looking than any other being you saw in your short stay in Hell.
“Well? What brings you here? Oh, no, start with your name. I’m Charlie. How long have you been down here? How-“ the woman, Charlie, was rambling until the muted woman approached the table and placed a hand on her shoulder.
“Hun, slow down. I think you’re scaring her,” she said calmly. She looked up at you across the table. “I’m Vaggie. And you are?”
In a soft, quiet tone, you spoke up. “M-my name is [y/n]. This is the hotel where you supposedly can redeem yourself and get to Heaven, right?”
“That’s right!” Charlie grinned. “If you decide to stay, you will be our first, oop sorry Angel Dust, second client!”
“G-good…” you said, staring down at your hands in your lap, tears starting to well up in your eyes. “...I don’t belong here…”
Vaggie and Charlie looked at each other. It was obvious you weren’t in a good state and have been through, well, hell. You looked roughed up and dirty and scared. Charlie stood and approached your side. “Come on, we’ll introduce you to everybody real quick and get you up to a room, ok?” She smiled softly at you. “You look like you could use a nice meal, a hot shower, clean clothes, and lots of rest.”
You sighed and looked up at Charlie. “Thank you… Do I owe you anything? Like payment? I have nothing…”
“No, no! Don’t worry about it! Come on, let’s show you the rest of the crew.”
She led you to the couch where the white demon was now standing, two of the arms crossed. “This is Angel Dust. He was our first resident and kind of the spearhead of this whole operation.”
The tall white demon grinned, showing his pointy teeth, while waving slightly with one of his hands. “How you doin’?”
“Been better,” you replied.
“Haven’t we all?” He seemed nice enough and was the first demon, besides the two ladies, to not attack you once you got too close.
Charlie then lead you over to the reception/bar area. “And this is Husk. He’s our uh, clerk? Bartender? What are you, Husk?”
The cat demon was busy taking a swig from a bottle of alcohol. He looked at Charlie and placed the bottle down, sighing. “Honestly, I have no idea. She’s our first real client if you don’t count spider boy over there so I have no idea what to do.” He pointed with one of his claws(?) at you while rolling his eyes in the direction of Angel Dust. “Anyway, nice to meet you and all that shit.”
Before you could open your mouth to reply, the cat was chugging down the bottle once more. Charlie scooted around the desk and him and grabbed a key to a room. “The little one rushing around is our maid, Niffty. Maybe if she decides to slow down eventually, you’ll meet her. Vaggie here is the hotel manager. And I’m the owner!” Charlie stepped back around the desk and placed the key into your hand. “Oh! And we have one more member of our team but he’s away on ‘business’ as he called it. He’s our uh, benefactor? Hey Vaggie, what would you call him?”
The air around Vaggie suddenly turned cold and tense. “I would rather not call him anything. He doesn’t belong here with us.”
“Aw, he’s just trying to help in his own weird way. Anyway, this is the key to your new room. Come, I’ll show you where it is.”
Politely, you waved to the others as Charlie led you up the stairs. Your room was practically right there. You didn’t even have to take an elevator unless you really wanted to, which was great considering while you lived you had a fear of them. You were just a hard stone’s throw away from the lobby and anybody else. Charlie seemed to be so sweet so you trusted that you could count on her to be your support and maybe even a friend through all this. Vaggie too. Angel Dust was up in the air but he seemed nice enough. Husk was even more in the air. And Niffty? You had no clue, along with this one mysterious benefactor person. Hopefully, you wouldn’t have to stay here long enough to become super close to anybody. The sooner you were out of this hellhole, the better.
“And this,” Charlie motioned dramatically to the door. “Is your room! You can use the phone in there to call the front desk but you’re so close you can just come on down if you want. Go on and get yourself clean, I’ll have food and fresh clothes sent to your room shortly if I can get a hold of Niffty for long enough. Rest up and we’ll talk more tomorrow ok?”
You nodded, using the key to open up the door. Before you could fully open it up however, Charlie pulled you into a surprising hug. This was the first affectionate contact you’ve had with another being since you…
“I hope you enjoy your stay. You’ll do fine.”
Slowly, you brought your hands up and hugged back. “Thank you...so much…” Charlie let go of you and before anything else could be said, you ducked into the room, your room.
Leaning back against the door, you heard Charlie’s footsteps eventually fade away and took in the interior of the room. It was...nice. Like a basic suite back in the living world. A nice four poster bed took up the center of the room and a bathroom complete with a tub and shower was off to the side. Your stay here will be a bit more bearable with these creature comforts. There even seemed to be a small balcony for you.
You pushed off the door and shuffled your way into the bathroom. Might as well get clean while you wait for your food and new clothes. You must have looked like a mess, having not been able to take care of yourself since she arrived. You didn’t bother looking in the mirror though as you prepped and got into the shower.
Eventually, you stepped out, having scrubbed yourself almost raw. Surprisingly, that shower was...really good. You weren't expecting to find such a nice, simple thing down in Hell. Wrapping yourself in a towel, you poked her head out the door to the bathroom, finding fresh sets of clothes and food with steam still coming off it resting on a tray on your new bed. Stepping over to the clothes, you saw that there was a little note on top of the pile: a simple heart, signed with a C. From Charlie. She was so sweet. What on earth is she doing in Hell? What on earth am I doing in Hell…?
You sorted through the clothes and found a set that looked like pajamas and threw them on, after which you settled down and ate. The food was good too… For the first time since you arrived in Hell, you felt...normal. You were full and clean on a soft bed in a nice room. And you were safe. Safe… the very word relaxed you and you felt the weight of everything you’ve been through come down on you.
You finished your meal, and silently placed the tray outside of your room for cleanup before trudging back to the bed. Even while living you’ve never been able to sleep on such a large, comfy bed. You pulled back the covers and crawled under them, almost passing out right then. You situated yourself against the even softer pillows and leaned to turn off the lamp that had been on. The soft, red glow from the sky(?) outside filtered through the curtains, making things seem a bit more relaxing. You closed your eyes and began to drift off. Tomorrow is a new day in a new place and hopefully the start of your journey for redemption.
Thanks for reading! If you want to, you can check out my OC version that I wrote originally.
You woke with a start, panting and frantically looking around the room. Where were you? A red sky outside….you were still in Hell. But a large comfy bed, a nicely furnished room, clothes that weren’t yours...the Hotel. That’s right, you made it to the Hotel yesterday. You were given a room and clothes by that sweet girl Charlie. Breathing deeply, everything started to come back to you. You slumped in the bed and placed your face in your hands, the tears starting to fall. This really was Hell.
Eventually, you sighed and stood, wiping away whatever was left on your face. This was your first full day at the Hotel and you weren’t going to spend it crying in your room. I mean, you could. You were safe now. But what good would that do? You shuffled over to the pile of clothes and picked out something decent enough to wear downstairs. Maybe Charlie will take you clothes shopping for your own stuff one day and you’ll find a way to pay her back. But for now, this was good enough. You prepped for the day, still avoiding the mirror, exited your room, and made your way to the lobby.
There, you found Charlie and Vaggie sitting at a table and each enjoying a hot beverage. Charlie was the first one to notice you, as she smiled in your direction. You didn’t even have to approach the table, as Charlie had already placed her drink down and made her way over to you.
“Hey,” she said softly. “How are you feeling? Better? You look better.”
You nodded and looked her in the eyes. “Yeah, I feel better.”
“Good. Do you want some breakfast? Coffee? Tea? Then maybe we can start talking about why you’re here.”
The promise of more food and even coffee perked you up a bit. “Y-yeah, I could go for some breakfast and coffee. I’m not picky.”
“Alright, go settle somewhere and I’ll be right back.” You nodded and Charlie turned to walk away into another room, Vaggie following behind her. You looked around the now empty lobby and found a table at the other end of the room. You walked over and sat down, making yourself comfortable. Now you were finally able to take in the lobby. It had an odd playing card and theater aesthetic. Various posters of what you could only assume were performances or musicals. They even had those down here? Multiple posters had the name “Lilith'' on them and some even had the same figure of a very attractive woman with long blonde hair. She must be famous down here. Gazing around more, you saw what looked like a family portrait. Charlie was in it, standing in the middle of two figures. They must be her parents. On the left side of the painting was the same woman you saw in the performance posters. Was she really Charlie’s mom? To the right however was a man. Was he a man? He seemed very uncanny, having that same pointy smile you saw on a lot of beings down here. Decked out in white with an apple and snake decorating his hat and a staff with another apple, he just looked unsettling. The white just didn't seem to fit the feeling you were getting off just looking at him. There was just something about him. He was Charlie’s dad…?
You heard footsteps coming down the stairs and jumped, quickly looking up to find Angel Dust walking down, yawning. Once he finished and closed his mouth, he made eye contact with you, smiled, and waved.
“Mornin’” he said. Short and sweet.
“G-good morning,” you squeaked back. He was still a bit intimidating despite your knowledge of him being here for the same reason as you. He made his way over to the couch he was at last night on the other end of the room and lounged on it. Guess that was it for conversation.
Minutes later you looked over to the reception desk and jumped. Husk as there. When did he get there? How did he get there so silently? Guess he really is like a cat.
Eventually, Charlie and Vaggie walked back over to you, Charlie carrying a plate of food and Vaggie a mug. “Here you are,” Charlie said as they placed the items in front of you. “It’s not much but-“
“No, no. This is great. Thank you,” you attempted a smile at them but judging by their pitiful looks you failed.
“Once you’re done, we’ll talk, okay?” Said Charlie placing a gentle hand on your shoulder. “No rush though. Take your time. We’ll be around.”
You nodded and they walked back to their own spot, greeting Angel Dust and Husk as they noticed them. Looking down at your food, you began to dig in. The quality of the food still surprised you. This was supposed to be Hell, right?
You spaced out into your own little world, mindlessly listening to whatever Angel Dust, Charlie, and Vaggie were talking about. It was just background noise to you. You had finished the food and had grabbed the mug of coffee, staring down at it and blowing the steam off. Going out to local cafes was one of your favorite things to do while you were alive. And you would have still been alive if it wasn’t for…
“Oh great, here come the waterworks again,” Angel Dust said. He was right. Tears had started to fall from your eyes once more.
“What? I was just say-OW! Vaggie! What’s your deal?”
Charlie had stood and had taken a couple steps over to you, leaving those two to settle things. She didn’t make it too far though, as after a few steps the front door slammed open. You jumped but didn’t bother looking, instead choosing to stare at your coffee.
“Good morning, gang! And what a wonderful morning it is! I had just shooed away some intruders on my territory. Haha! You would think these poor souls would have learned by now!”
This voice. It sounded like it had a filter over it. Like this person was speaking from a radio. Can’t be. You were sure there was an actual person standing at the door and now slowly making its way in. It had an accent too. Nothing you’ve heard in person or genuinely. An accent you would hear when someone was trying to make a joke about the early 1900’s. What was it called again? It started with a T…
“Al…” Charlie said gently. “We have a new guest!” She motioned towards you, still looking down at your coffee. “This is-“
She was interrupted as this new figure attempted to approach you, shoes clicking on the floor. “Wait!” Charlie exclaimed, rushing to stand in front of the newcomer. “She’s still a bit...fragile and we haven’t really gotten any information out of her yet so if you could please-“
“I know what I’m doing!” The newcomer exclaimed, now fully approaching you. Out of the corner of your eye you saw a pair of black shoes come into view connected to a person wearing dark red dress pants. “Pleased to meet you, dear! My name is Alastor, and you are?”
A hand the same color as the pants shot into your view, palm up. The tips of it’s fingers, (if you can really call them that. They looked more like claws than anything) a brighter red. Were you supposed to shake this hand?
You followed the hand up to a red pinstriped arm, and the arm up to a face that made you jump back in your seat a bit. You stared into a pair of bright red eyes, both the sclera and irises were different shades of red and his right was slightly covered by a red-tinted monocle. And you swore his eyes were glowing a little. His skin was an ashy grey color, nothing much to note there. You’ve already seen worse and weirder. His hair was red with black tips and on the top of his head were two tufts shaped like ears. Between the tufts was a pair of small, black antlers. Anywhere else, the tufts and antlers would have looked cute. But the biggest and most obvious thing on his face was his smile. Large, pointed, yellow teeth were on display in yet another unsettling grin but his was almost too big and unnatural. It almost looked like it was glowing too.
You had no idea how long you were staring at this...man(?) but eventually you heard what sounded like crickets. And it sounded like it was coming from...him?
“Hello? Anybody in there?” He said in that weird, filtered voice. The smile never left his face.
“O-oh! S-sorry… I’m [y/n],” you placed your coffee down and hesitantly took his hand. He shook almost too hard.
“There we go, ladies and gentlemen. We made a breakthrough!” The crickets stopped and you heard what sounded like a faint, disembodied applause. Who was this guy? “[Y/n], yes? What a lovely name. Welcome to our hotel! I do hope you enjoy your stay.”
He released your hand and stood up to this full height. Wow, he was tall. There was something unsettling about him but the way he carried himself seemed a bit charming and charismatic. “See, Charlie? I told you I knew what I was doing. I even managed to get her to stop crying into her coffee. Salty coffee must not taste that good.”
Charlie was beside the two of you with what seemed like a forced smile while Vaggie was at your side in an instant. She was tense, maybe even angry as she inspected your hand. “He didn’t hurt you, did he?” She whispered to you. You shook your head. “Good…”
“So, [y/n], this is Alastor. Our benefactor type person I told you about yesterday,” Charlie said through her smile. Meanwhile, Alastor’s never left his face. Did he have any other expression?
“That’s right! I’m investing both my time and services to help Charlie in her little goal here. In fact, I even hired on Husk and Niffty for her. Isn’t that right, Husk?” Alastor said, smiling at the cat demon. Said cat demon simply flipped him off and Alastor just laughed. In an instant, a smaller demon zoomed to join Alastor’s side and smiled up at him. This was Niffty, the demon with the poodle skirt you saw in passing. Alastor looked down at her. “Ah, Niffty. There you are. Have you met our new guest yet?”
“New guest?” The smaller demon said in a girlish voice. She turned to look at you with her one eye and waved. “Oh! Yes! You’re the girl I was told to bring food and clothes to last night. I’m Niffty!”
“H-hi, Niffty. I’m-“ Before you could get your name out, she interrupted you.
“I know your name! You’re [y/n], right? Charlie told me last night. Your clothes were such a mess I almost didn’t know what to do with them but don’t worry!”
“So!” Charlie said, diffusing the somewhat awkward situation. She turned towards you and smiled. “You’ve met everybody here. I hope you enjoy and get along with everyone. But now, we have to talk.” She pulled out and sat down on the chair opposite of you. Her cheerful disposition was now slightly more serious as she looked you in the eyes.
“How long have you been down here? And how did you...how did you end up here?"
You've finally met the man of the hour. And multiple hours after that. It's not much but he'll make a much bigger impact soon!
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You sit and tell the residents of the Hotel your story.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
You were dreading this moment. You didn’t really tell anybody how you died. Granted, you didn’t exactly talk to anybody more than you talked to the hotel staff since you came here. Charlie was sitting down across from you, with Vaggie by her side. Angel Dust seemed to have gotten curious and made his way over from his spot on the couch to stand a little bit always. Husk didn’t seem to be paying attention and neither did Niffty. Alastor on the other hand stood with his back to the table, arms folded behind him. Even though he seemed to be looking away, you could tell from where you were that he was looking at you from the corner of his eye.
You sighed, placing your hands in your lap. “Well, I…I um ‘arrived’ down here I want to say a few days ago. I don’t know how time works here, could have been longer or shorter, I don’t know. I-I knew I was dead… I...saw it happen. But when I saw all the demonic like creatures I knew something was wrong. I never did anything bad in my life, you have to understand!” You looked around you at the confused faces everybody was giving you. Alastor still hadn’t turned around but he was still watching and listening. You couldn’t really tell with his smile, but he looked amused.
Something wet touched your cheek and you noticed you were crying again. Before you could reach up to wipe your face though, Vaggie appeared at your side with a tissue. She handed it to you and nodded, as if saying that it’s okay and that you could continue. You took in a deep breath, wiped your face with the tissue, and continued.
“I remember almost everything. I was...walking. Alone. I was grabbed and I passed out or I was knocked out or something. The next thing I remember I was locked up somewhere dark, in like a cage. I remember hearing weird chanting and seeing figures in robes. It was so dark. The only thing I could see was this table or alter illuminated by candles. There were splotches on it of something dark, I could only assume blood. I don’t know how much time passed but eventually I was dragged out of that cage and tied down to the altar. I was...so scared… Words were said, I think in some other language and I couldn’t tell what...then a dagger came down on my chest...and that was it. I either died then or I passed out until I did die but…
“When I came to, I was here.”
Silence overtook the lobby. Charlie and Vaggie were looking at you sadly. You really have been through a lot. Angel Dust was looking at you confused and Alastor had completely turned his back on you. Charlie opened up her mouth to say something but she was beaten to the punch by Angel Dust.
“Let me get this straight,” he said. “You were killed in some type of Satanic ritual thing and you got sent down here? How does that even work? Did anything even happen?” Charlie gave him a look and he just shrugged. “I’m just askin’. It’s weird is all.”
“I don’t know what happened, I was dead by then,” you snapped. “And I don’t know why I ended up down here. I don’t know how that ritual thing worked. But I do know that now I’m stuck in this literal hell shit hole with the scum of the scum of the Earth when I’ve never done anything to get me sent down here.”
“We’ve all done something to get us sent down here, toots. Some more than others, but I’m pretty sure that’s how it works.”
“Not. Me.” You stared at him, pissed. How dare he assume you were a bad person like everybody else down here. Angel Dust saw the look in your eyes and softened up. You sighed and closed your eyes, trying to collect yourself. Now you felt bad. When you opened your eyes, you looked at Charlie. “That’s why I’m here. I...I may be dead but I can at least get to where I’m supposed to be. I don’t know how this whole thing works. If I’ve never done anything bad, where do I start?”
Charlie gave you a nervous smile and for some reason you felt your heart sink. “That’s a tiny problem we’re still trying to figure out. This whole idea is practically brand new and you and Angel are the first two residents.”
“...what?” your voice was small. What was she saying?
“We’re not sure how this will work and how long it will take right now. And hearing this, your case might be a bit different than we were expecting.”
“....so you’re saying it might not work…?”
“No! I’m just saying it might take longer and it might be a bit harder for you since you never did anything bad for us to correct. But that doesn’t mean we’ll give up!”
That was not what you wanted to hear. You wanted to get out of here. You didn’t belong here. Things were so different and you weren’t used to that. Not to mention that every creature you saw outside of this hotel looked like it wanted to eat you or was partaking in something horrible or wanted to eat you while doing something horrible. You didn’t want to stay. This really was Hell.
You slumped in your chair, staring at your coffee that still had a little bit of steam coming off it. You felt almost everyone’s eyes on you. You couldn’t take it. You wanted to be alone right now. Sniffling, you pushed away from the table, away from everybody else and began to shuffle your way towards the stairs to your room. You heard Charlie begin to call out your name but you just held up your hand. “I’ll be okay. I just...want to be alone right now...”
As you began your trip up the stairs, Vaggie turned and glared at Angel. “Apologize,” she said to Angel. He stammered and looked panicked as Charlie just looked disheartened. Alastor however kept his glowing eyes on you. He waited a beat after you disappeared from view, then proceeded to follow you.
This chapter just felt weird and boring to me but it needed to be done so I'm uploading the next one too. I like the next chapter a lot better. More Alastor to come.
Wallowing in your room, you're visited.
Next chapter coming right at ya! I like this one. You'll see why.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
You laid on your bed, face buried in a pillow. You couldn’t tell if you were crying or not. You just felt numb. And stuck. Suddenly, you heard a knock at the door. It sounded distinctly like that “shave-and-a-haircut” beat.
“Go away,” you shouted at the door then immediately went back face first into the pillow. Didn’t you tell them you just wanted to be alone right now? Yes, you felt bad. But you didn’t want to face them right now. After a few more seconds of silence, the same knock sounded. This time you didn’t bother lifting your head off your pillow. “I said go away!”
It finally sounded like whoever was knocking had given up. After a few moments of silence, you sighed and lifted up your head again to stare at the headboard of the bed. Maybe a few minutes out on the balcony could calm you down? You turned to get up, and screamed. You were met with a pair of glowing red eyes and an equally glowing smile.
“Now my dear, what kind of gentlemen would I be if I did that?” Alastor. He looked so amused by your scream, your panicked look, and stammering.
“H-how… H…” you looked around. Your door was still closed and nothing was disturbed. You looked back at him and pointed, everything coming out. “Y-you wendigo, Slenderman, Alucard from Hellsing looking freak! How’d you get into my room?!”
“I have no idea who you’re talking about first of all,” he held up one of his fingers, continuing to grin at you. “And second of all, I have my ways.” God, he looked so amused.
“W-why are you here?” Taking a look at him, he was rather close to your face. You scooted back in the bed a little but to give yourself room. “I said I wanted to be alone.”
“And I said ‘what kind of gentleman would I be if I did that?’” He waved his hand around as if to emphasize that he’s already been through that, then something appeared in his hand in a poof. A hankerchief. Softening his grin to a regular smile, he handed it to you. “Now dry those tears. There’s no reason to cry.” You grabbed it and began to wipe your face. It was...soft…
“Yes there is… I’m dead, I just made the nicest people I met since I got here upset, and I’m stuck here with little to no chance of getting out,” you looked out the window and sighed.
“This is all true,” he said bluntly. You looked back at him to see that he too was gazing out the window with that smile.
“You might never get out of here. The whole idea is ridiculous. Granted, you were put here through some unorthodox way that I’m not familiar with in my experience, but you are here.” In his experience? Who was this guy? “But for whatever reason, Charlie believes in you and she believes she can help so who are you to try, even if it doesn’t work?”
That made you feel...a little better? Was that supposed to make you feel better? “How do you know Charlie? She mentioned you were like a benefactor to this whole operation. You close?”
“Heaven’s no! I barely know her outside of this hotel. Father’s a swell chap, though. Kind of ironic that his daughter wants to try this whole redemption thing.” He turned back to you and rolled his eyes.
“And why’s that?”
“Why, her father is old Lucifer himself! And she’s our Princess of Hell!”
Princess?! Of Hell?! Lucifer?! Maybe that’s why you got such an unsettling feeling from just looking at the family portrait in the lobby. You could only assume you were slack jawed in disbelief since the next thing you knew, you felt one of Alastor’s clawed hands at your chin closing your mouth and heard another faint laugh track. “Why so shocked? Does it really surprise you?”
“Yes!” You stood up. Even standing while he was sitting on your bed didn’t make you taller than him. “She’s so...normal looking! And nice! Why is she trying this whole hotel for redemption thing?”
“Beats me,” he shrugged. “She said something about wanting to help her people and the overpopulation problem and what have you.”
So Hell was facing an overpopulation problem. Somehow, that didn’t surprise you. But wasn’t Hell supposed to be like this infinite thing? More questions for another time. You sat back down next to him. Funny, you didn’t feel as unsettled with him like you did at first. He seemed nice. Creepy, but nice.
“You know Hell isn’t as bad as you think. As you saw, it’s not all fire and brimstone,” he stood and faced you, bending himself at the waist to look at you directly. “In fact, I’ll personally show you around the area! You can’t stay locked up in this room all the time, you’ll only make yourself even more depressed, and I can’t have that. I don’t think you even cracked a smile once here!”
You shrunk under his gaze. There was that one time...no. You were sure that smile came out pitiful. “I...well...no, I haven-”
“That settles it! Not only will I show you some of the sights, but now it’s my personal mission to make you smile. And I’m not one to give up easily. But first!” With another motion of his hand, a mug appeared. Was that your coffee? He handed it to you. “We can’t let this go to waste, can we?”
You looked at him oddly then down at your coffee. It was at the perfect temperature now. After a few gulps while being looked at, you leaned over and placed the mug on the nightstand. It was good. Looking back up at him, he offered you his arm like some kind of old fashioned gentleman. “Now let’s go. The day’s still young!”
Taking a deep breath in and letting it out, you reached up and took his arm and he promptly whisked you up and out of your room.
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Alastor takes you out on the town and tries to help you see that Hell might not be as bad as you thought it would be.
I'm back! My little break took longer than I would have liked. And now with all that's going on in the world I thought I would have more time. Turns out I was wrong!
But I finally got this chapter out! The next and last chapter of Our Meal will be coming out very soon as well!
“That poor girl…” Charlie said, sitting down. “She really doesn’t belong here. I know it. I just...feel it, you know?” Vaggie was at her side and nodded solemnly. Angel was standing off the side with a guilty look on his face. He actually felt bad about making you feel bad.
“We’ll try our hardest to get her out and where she belongs,” Vaggie said, reassuring her girlfriend. “But right now I think we have to cheer her up. I don’t think she’ll make much progress miserable. We’ll give her some time today and tomorrow we’ll talk to her again.”
Charlie smiled and nodded before she heard a pair of footsteps at the staircase. Looking up, she saw Alastor walking you down the stairs and keeping a tight hold on your arm. Once you two reached the bottom of the stairs and started to make your way across the lobby to the door, you looked over to the girls and Angel and gave them a quick shrug as you struggled to keep up with Alastor’s long legs.
“Uuuuh, Al?” Charlie questioned. “Where are you guys going?”
“I’m just gonna give her a quick tour of the city,” he grinned. “Can’t keep her cooped up in this place all the time!”
Saying that, the two of you exited. After a couple of beats, Angel spoke up. “Well, she’s a goner…”
“Alrighty! Where to begin?”
You looked around the area surrounding the hotel. It was an open area, much like a drop-off area at a normal Earth hotel. Outside of that was the city. You never really looked around the city, taking to hiding in alleyways away from the demons. You remember the various neon signs saying things like “Welcome to Hell” and “Hell” with an arrow pointing down and other variations. You thought they were a joke when you first arrived. “Let’s just wander around and see where the wind takes us!” Soon after saying that, Alastor dragged you out of your spot and began walking.
Instinctually you stayed close to him, clutching his arm tighter than you liked. “This lovely place is called Pentagram City!” Alastor said, sweeping his hand out dramatically. Looking up and around you saw various buildings and skyscrapers and honestly it reminded you of New York City back on Earth except more red and neon. Not to mention more sketchy activities. Taking a closer look at the signs you noticed that most of them, when not stores, were strip clubs and actual drug stores.
“‘City?’ You mean this entire place isn’t Hell?” you looked up at him but he kept his gaze ahead of him.
“Of course not! Hell has many places, but Pentagram City is one of its biggest. This is where most sinners reside. Maybe because it’s one of the most inhabitable,” he shrugged, causing you to slightly lose your grip on his arm only to quickly correct that. “It has certainly evolved in the last few decades.”
“Maybe because Earth has evolved a lot in the last few decades,” you piped up. “Technology has exploded like crazy recently and since people die and end up here, perhaps they bring their knowledge down here.”
Alastor shrugged again. “I don’t really care much for things like that. It’s just fascinating how fast things change.”
As you walked, you noticed a sign for a “Red Room” and visibly stopped and backed up. Alastor followed your eyes and saw what you were looking at. “Ah, the Red Room. You know about that?”
“Y-yeah… There’s legends on the internet about a red room… It’s not good…”
A beat of silence filled the air before Alastor spoke up. “Internet?”
You realized you probably mentioned something before his time, on account of his old timey appearance and way of speaking. You shook your head and dismissed it. “Nevermind…”
Looking around as you walked, with Alastor commenting on certain spots here and there, you noticed that the demons were looking at you as if they wanted to eat you or perform some other horrible act. Subconsciously, you got closer to Alastor. “Why does everybody here look at me the same way? Is it because I’m so new?”
“Perhaps it’s because of how you look. To be honest, you’re just about the most human-looking demon I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot!”
“What?” Come to think of it, you still haven't taken a good look at yourself in the mirror since you arrived here. You were honestly scared of what you’d see. But you were very human-looking? You looked up at Alastor. “Is that because I’m not supposed to be here? Because I’m innocent.”
“Darling, I’ve been here a while and I still don’t know how this appearance thing works. But maybe.”
You continued to walk, walking past a store with the name Radio Hack. Was this like a Radio Shack but in Hell? It certainly seemed like it with the TVs lining the windows and various other technology featured inside. Maybe you can get a TV or radio or something for your room later to keep you entertained while you tried to figure out how to leave? As you passed it however, a poster caught your eye. There was an eerie figure with long antlers looming over a screaming crowd that seemed to be trying to escape a fiery circus tent. Spikes with heads lined the bottom along with what looked like little doll things attacking the escaping demons. The figure above them had a blank stare but a huge and creepy smile. Black letters were written on the top of the poster saying “Beware!!!!! Him!!” along with white letters on the bottom saying “The Radio Demon.” There were multiple of these posters on this wall, some overlapping the others and some askew. Red letters that seemed to be handwritten were on one of the front most posters, half on the poster and half on the wall read “Radio sounds=stay away” and “Do not fuck with him.” (And of course there was your classic “for a good time” graffiti below that on the wall. Typical for Hell, you thought.) The longer you looked at the figure in the poster however, the more you thought it looked a lot like Alastor, just more twisted. It felt like forever walking past and taking it all in. After you completely passed them, you looked up at Alastor who was looking ahead and humming some kind of tune that sounded more like it was coming from a radio than from him.
Who was this guy?
You two walked a bit more, not really listening to Alastor’s rambling about certain places. He seemed he liked to talk. You looked across the street at some point and noticed a small group of demons looking at you oddly and laughing. You instinctively shrunk back against Alastor, afraid of them and their intentions. Not long after you did that, the demons stopped their laughing and quickly left. They seemed to look scared as they did. That was weird. Next to you, you could have sworn you heard distorted static. When you looked back at Alastor however, he was flashing you a smile as if everything was normal. Huh.
Little did you know, as Alastor felt you tense up and lean against him, he looked up at the laughing demons. As he stared at them, he flashed them his true demon face. Realizing they were making a mistake, they quickly stopped and skedaddled. He wasn’t going to stand for that right now. He was on a mission to make you smile at least once and having you terrified was no way to accomplish this.
After smiling down at you, he looked back up. “Oh! We’ve made it to one of my favorite places!” You looked where he was looking and your eyes widened.
“A theater…” There was no mistaking it. Yes, it looked very old fashioned, but you recognized a theater when you saw one.
Alastor must have noticed your reaction as his eyes widened as well as you stared at the building. “Why yes. I can see that you seem to be a fan as well,” he watched you closely as you nodded. He brought you two to the door and you watched as he placed his hand near the doorknob. Some kind of red light was glowing from his hand and the doorknob shortly before he grabbed a hold of it and turned it, opening the door. “I’m sure they won’t mind if we take a quick little tour. After you, my dear.”
You stepped in and looked around but it was pitch black, that is until Alastor stepped in behind you and waved his hand, causing the lights to turn on. The layout was your typical lobby layout with a wall of ticket booths, a snack bar, and a counter to sell various things. Nothing too exciting. What you really wanted to see was what was behind the large doors.
You opened up the doors leading to the seating area to see that it too was dark until Alastor walked in behind you. You looked around the seating area, seeing rows upon rows, balcony seats along the sides, and even a mezzanine seating area above you. Alastor was watching you like a hawk as you slowly passed your hands along the seats, walking up to the stage. You paid no mind though. Finally you made it to the side of the stage and climbed the small set of stairs. You walked to center stage and looked around, facing away from Alastor.
He couldn’t take the silence anymore and quickly appeared by your side. “Well, what’s going on in that little head of yours?” he asked, leaning over your shoulder.
“I had no idea there were stages and theaters in Hell…” you said looking around.
“Of course! This may be Hell but that doesn’t mean we’re completely devoid of civilization and the arts!”
“Amazing… You know I’m...I was an actress back on Earth. Guess you could say it was the one thing I was good at and recognized for,” you looked down at the floor of the stage, still facing away from him. “Ever since I was little, I loved it. Dramas, comedies, and my favorite: musicals. I had dreams to be on Broadway…”
After a few moments of silence, you saw him leaning over you. He was wearing a smug smile while he looked you in the face. “Gotcha.”
“W-what?” you jumped back, not comfortable with his sudden closeness.
“I got you. I got you to smile.”
You jumped back even more and covered your mouth. You were smiling. You guessed that by talking about what you loved, your passion, finally got it out of you. Part of you didn’t want to smile. This was Hell, the worst place ever. But another was glad you managed to get out of your little funk. That Alastor managed to get you out of your funk.
You removed your hand but kept a smirk on your face. “I guess you did. Congratulations.”
Alastor’s smile grew as you said this.
He escorted you off the stage and the two of you exited the theater. You didn’t hang off of him like you did before you arrived. You walked for a bit before coming to a bridge and stopping midway across it, gazing over the railing and talking a bit. You talked about what shows you were a part of and how things were in modern times while he talked about how things were in his time. Despite the era difference, turns out you had a lot in common. You were still weary of him. He was mysterious and judging by that poster you saw, possibly dangerous. He seemed nice enough though. He even managed to get a few laughs out of you.
As you talked, you looked around and leaned on the railing of the bridge. You looked down at the water and saw that it was a deep red. Was that..blood? You should be freaked out but you dismissed it as it was probably normal. A lot of weird things here were just probably normal. You looked up in front of you and saw a massive clock tower. On it were the words “Days til Extermination” complete with what looked like a countdown of days. You pointed to it, bringing Alastor out of his tangent of whatever he was talking about.
“What’s the deal with that?” you asked as Alastor followed your finger.
“Oh, that? I’m sure you noticed that Hell has a bit of an overpopulation problem.” he started. You shrugged and nodded. Not surprising. “Once a year, a group of a kind of angel that we call the Exterminators come down from Heaven. They, well, exterminate the poor population of demons that manage to get in their way. This is the only way that we demons can really be killed down here. Once that day is over, they go back up Heaven only to come back down in another year to cleanse Hell once more.”
“Like The Purge…” you muttered to yourself. Alastor must have heard you as he turned toward you and tilted his head.
“It’s a movie where…” you noticed his head tilting even more and even though his smile stayed, you could he was just getting more confused. “Know what? I’ll explain to you later. It’s not important.”
You quickly thought back to what Alastor said about your appearance. To be honest, you still haven’t looked yourself in the mirror yet. You were afraid of what you would see. You were feeling better now though and was ready to take that chance. Taking a deep breath, you looked down to the blood river, hoping you would catch a reflection. You did and what you saw made you gasp. You were...you. Nothing really changed from what you could see. While you were looking at your reflection, Alastor appeared behind you.
“Don’t tell me you haven’t looked at yourself since you got here,” he said. “How do you get ready in the morning?”
“I just...do. I was in such a funk before,” you sighed. “I guess I just gotta enjoy the little things that I can until I get out of here.”
“That’s right!” Alastor grinned. “Enjoy what you can! Hell may be punishment for most but that doesn’t mean you have to be miserable all the time! Besides, even down here, you’re never fully dressed without a smile!”
You furrowed your brows before looking up at him and smiling a little. “...Isn’t that a song from Annie?”
His eyes widened a bit as his grin stayed. Nobody has ever called him out on his reference before. “Why yes. Yes it is.” You let out a small giggle before looking before you once more. Alastor found that his grin was slowly turning into a soft smile.
This...you were going to be interesting.