Group: $outh $ide Hoodz
Joined: Sep 11, 2007
They walked for a while, their path illuminated only by the sharp wall of purple rocks on either side of them. The two did not converse, the Devil looking ahead with firm eyes and a twitching excitement but the God of Justice staring at the ground, certain this was all a joke.
Surely it was some kind of elaborate practical joke. What enemies did he have? The Gods were mostly a corrupt, overly serious bunch. His wife, for instance, was certainly a great beauty but absolutely obsessed with those filthy creatures who fluttered around the Earth.
"The Libido Killer" he privately called her, but he knew there was nothing malicious about his wife.
No one sprung to mind, save for perhaps the God of Tobacco and Herbs, that smelly old pisshead might have gone on a bender and arranged this whole thing.
Or maybe one of the older Gods, the fringe Gods who lived in the darker corners of the afterlife.
Cannibalism, who consisted only of severed wings and claws, shuffling through the shadows in a misshapen huddle. Or perhaps the God of Excrement? The thing that took the shape of a pigeon but upon further inspection was a rancid heap of crusted droppings?
He suspected them most, purely because he had never talked to them. They were barely worshipped at all these days, maybe they were bitter, maybe that was why they did this to him.
He was so busy imagining how someone had tricked like this that he failed to notice the Devil stop in his tracks. He bumped into his guide and fell clattering to the ground, his bare bones rattling and scraping on the hard stones beneath.
When he had pulled himself up he gasped, they were no longer wandering aimlessly in the darkness, before them both stood a gigantic wooden gate, framed by an endless green wall .
Behind them he could see the monoliths again, but now it was clear that they were home to thousands of pigeons, he saw them fly out in droves, or stick their heads out and shout at their neighbours beneath them.
More troubling was the rusted tower he could just spot behind them, its entire perimeter was a mass of twisted metal spikes and barbs, the air around it was not black but rather a sickly shade of yellow that plumed around it like a noxious gas.
He felt a light tap on his arm and saw the Devil grinning at him.
"Quite a sight, isn't it?"
"Yes," he agreed, "yes it is. What is that tower?"
At this question, his eyes narrowed.
"Rented space, you'll visit it soon enough. But first we have other sights to see."
He took a step forward and the gates opened silently for him, revealing a bustling courtyard. Justice saw that the floor was tiled with black and white squares and though crowds of skeletal pigeons sauntered here and there, the ground was as flawless and clean as if he had been built that same day.
Before them both was something more imposing, a stone foutain which pumped out a constant stream of shining water. In the centre of the fountain was a statue of the Devil himself, looking over his city, arms folded and a benevolent curve of his beak.
Whilst none of the inhabitants had need of food or drink, Justice saw them huddle around the fountain, greedily filling their beaks and then strutting away looking perfectly quenched.
"This is my city," the Devil declared proudly, "Corpsestantinople. Though some of our more pessimistic citizens refer to it as 'Hell'." He shook his head, Justice thought he looked a little sad. "Don't ask me why. Good or bad, when you die down there, you end up here. It's a generally fair place, there's no reward for the good and no punishment for the bad." He paused for a moment and chuckled darkly. "Well, not always."
The two walked through the courtyard and Justice saw the citizens gawping at their master, some bowing their heads in deference, others waving friendlily and a few exchanging hurried whispered before slinking away.
"Where are we going?" Justice asked, peeking another nervous glance at the hideous tower jutting out over the hills which ran through the city.
The Devil gave an indifferent shrug.
"I feel hungry, are you hungry?"
Strangely enough, he was, or about as hungry as a walking skeleton could reasonably expect to be.
"I know this delightful family who live just a few streets from here. Why don't we pop in for some dinner? I'm sure they'd all love to meet you."
There was a sarcasm in his voice that he didn't care for, not just sarcasm but scorn, even hatred. Just what had he done that was so wrong? Who had he offended?
He considered apologising but his last vestiges of pride stopped him. From a God to a sobbing wreck, he could never live with that.
On and on they went, weaving through intricate streets of nests and food stalls, the air rife with the stench of seeds and rotten food. The vendors cried out over the masses, advertising half-eaten sausages and cold chips.
"You feed them mouldy chips?" Justice asked, a little incredulously.
"No, I sell them mouldy chips."
He snorted at this and shook his head.
"You mean they have to pay for this sh*t?"
The Devil gave a satisfied nod and even had an extra spring in his step.
"They ate it whilst they were alive and were happy enough." He reasoned. "And yes, I charge them for it. Do you have any idea how boring eternity is? I realised quickly that I needed to create an economy and social class to stop this lot from going crazy. So I let them keep their hunger, I let them keep their lust, I let them keep all the things that drive and destroy the lives of the living. That is the key to the afterlife, you see. Constant struggle. Laziness and over-indulgence doesn't get you anything besides diabetes."
"Some of us can afford to indulge ourselves." Justice retorted casually.
The streets of the city were labyrinthine mazes, skeletal figures happily popping in and out of their low, wooden homes. How they found their way around this place Justice would never know, he supposed that they had learned all the alleyways and shortcuts off by heart, there probably wasn't much else to do with their time.
Eventually his eyes were drawn to a chick idling by a doorway, how young was she when she died? Justice didn't know, but something about the sight of this stunted little bird rankled him.
"Hey, sweetheart." The Devil said pleasantly, patting her skull with his wing. "Your parents in?"
She gave him a quick hug and nodded her head, looking up with the childish over-excitement life didn't have the chance to rob her of.
"They're right inside Mr. Alasdair, we're all going to visit my grandparents."
"Well, me and my friend here have to chat with them for a moment. Just wait out here, we won't be long."
She nodded again, but Justice saw her give him a sidelong glance, only a fleeting look, but he sensed some unease in her, some distrust. You don't belong here, her eyes said, you're not one of us.
But whether he belonged or not, he still followed the Devil into the small wooden nest.