Hell is truly a good place. Take it from a person who has been there for twelve decades.
Hey again- this is Iris. Iris Jones- the werewolf. I am rather tamed now, actually. The devil who took me away was rather kind. What was his name again…? Ah, yes- James. We had to first go and meet his friend, the angel. Benjamin.
“Hey, Ben!” James called out as soon as we reached his doorstep on earth. A clearly sleepy and irritated person answered the door. “What is it this time, James? I swear, if it is another of your pranks, I’m gonna turn you into a toad or- OH.”
He had finally noticed me.
“So you brought a guest. Very well,” he said, turning around. His wings sprouted instantly from his back and he started walking (and floating) more comfortably. I was rather amused, you know. An angel and a devil- friends - who knew? They seemed to know each other since forever. James hugged his friend. “This is the guy I was talking about- Benjamin. Ben, this is Iris Jones, and she is a werewolf.”
Ben shrugged his friend away while serving me tea and looked directly into my eyes. “I see it,” he sighed, rubbing his temple. “You have been subject to excessively severe experimentation. No wonder you go crazy like that,” he remarked. I nodded sagely. “I wouldn’t exactly call my life perfect,” I added. “Being the daughter of a chief and all, people would think I was some spoiled princess.”
“You’re adopted,” James closed his eyes. I sat up straighter. “You know, I’d enjoy this conversation better if both of you stopped reading my mind and asked me direct questions,” I snapped. Even Ben had noticed my eyes slowly starting to change color.
“Alright, we get it,” he calmed me down. “But we want the whole truth.”
“You got it,” I replied determinedly.
It all felt awkward. It did not feel like an interview, as I was expecting it to be. I had told and retold my story in so many forms to so many people and creatures, but there never had been one satisfactory outcome. But with the two of these, everything felt fine. It was like I was home.
I watched on as minor earthquakes occurred between them, bets came and went within seconds, furniture flew across the house, and yet- they always laughed. No wonder it was so lively here.
After I finished my entire story, Ben fell deep into thought, staring at the ceiling. James threw an arm around my shoulder. “Let the old fossil do his bit of thinking,” he said, a warm, pleasant and hearty laugh rumbling from his throat. “I’ve got something more interesting to show you.”
I nodded and got up. The angel didn’t protest. We made a beeline for the kitchen, and James started rolling up his sleeves. “I expect you must have got minimal training in martial arts?” he inquired expectantly. I nodded, curious of what he was about to do.
“Well, I’m making pie for all of us, and I feel like the décor on it needs to be accomplished by a bit of skillful fisting and cutting,” he smirked. I looked nonplussed. He was talking in all seriousness. “You’re… not joking,” I said weakly, and burst out laughing. He smiled too, and he turned around to let his wings cover me. “There you go,” he said gently. “You were looking a bit shaken back there. I’m glad you smiled.”
I looked up. He had done all of this for me. “I… thanks, James,” I responded, nearly choking over my own words. How much had I mistaken about devils?
I turned towards the pie in preparation. “Let’s get this all beat and cut up. I really want to try it, now that you have mentioned it.”
He nodded and stepped back, and I quickly and quietly did my job.
“You finally found a candidate for the pie, huh?” Ben said, appearing from behind us. “I have reached a conclusion.”
Both of us twirled around. “What is it?” we asked in unison. Ben hung his head. “I’m afraid you’ll have to stay in stasis for a long time, Miss Jones. You’re not even pure werewolf.”
I was shocked to stillness. “Wh-what do you mean by that?” I asked, a nervous tinge to my voice. He called me closer. “You weren’t even human before. Your creation was purely artificial. Can’t you see that? You are composed purely of moonbeams of the full moon.”
I lost my composure. “WHY ON EARTH DO I HAVE TO GET NEWS LIKE THIS EVERY TIME I TRY TO STAY CALM?” I roared, clearly losing my head. James looked worried. “Ben- why did you-” he began, but I cut him off with a howl. However, it didn’t seem like Ben was going to stand any of this kind of nonsense. He snapped his fingers and my limbs were instantly immobile. I struggled and gasped within the firm, invisible hold.
“You better be happy I did not have your soul sucked out. According to Heaven and Hell, you are an abnormality in the system, and you ought to be eliminated immediately. Do you not see what we are trying to do?”
I closed my eyes again. “Okay, fine,” I exhaled, and the atmosphere in the room relaxed considerably. Ben started pacing around. “I know it will be difficult, but James will sneak you into Hell. I will have to freeze you, your functions and your mind. Hell has a convenient atmosphere to hold you for decades without being discovered.”
“I see,” I sighed, resigning myself to my fate. Ben smiled. “It’s fine, you idiot. It will be slightly painful, but then you won’t know it once you fall asleep. It will be like a good, long slumber. And James will be watching over you.”
I looked up. “Why am I being held like this, though? I mean, why don’t you kill me or… let me live a natural course of life in prison?”
James chuckled. “If you haven’t figured it out, we’re a bit different from our fellow angels and devils. We do things differently. We found out that you have a good heart, and it might help you become a true organism with the help of stasis for at least… let’s see… twelve decades.”
My eyes went round and wide. “Will you guys also live that long?” I asked. Both of them shared a look. I must have stumbled onto an inside joke. “We have to, otherwise the others will be short of workers,” James explained, reverting to straight-faced devil mode. “After you come out from stasis, it will be easier for us to turn you back into a human.”
I could not believe my ears. I was being offered a chance. “I’ll take it,” I gulped. “I will go into… whatever-that-word-is, if it means that I will be able to become angry without being afraid first.”
Both of them smiled warmly at me and James closed my eyes. “Sleep, and we will take care of the rest,” he murmured soothingly into my ear. I nodded trustingly.
They were the first real friends I had made.