Sara took a deep breath and walked through the middle door, finding herself in a large room completely covered in glistening black tiles. A fire blazed in the pit at the center of the floor, flames all in hues of light, ocean blue. She neared it cautiously, surprised to find that it gave off no warmth, but that the air around it was much colder than the rest of the odd room. An armchair suddenly appeared on the other side of the threshold and, sitting comfortably inside it, a well-dressed elderly man.
“Ah, Sara, you have finally come.”
His voice was welcoming, but hollow and chilling at the same time. Sara contemplated leaving the room but, turning towards the door, found the space replaced with black tile.
“Please, do sit.” the man’s voice called from behind her, sounding amused.
Another chair appeared at the flick of his wrist, sliding towards Sara as if with invisible hands. She sat, feeling trapped and constricted. The chair moved with her inside it, so that she was sitting directly across from the man. His hair was a pristine white, face wrinkled with the years. It was clear that he had been rather handsome in youth, with his well-set jaw and bright blue eyes, but now looked the part of a sharp-eyed hawk. Sara flinched under his evaluating gaze, fiddling with her fingers to avoid it.
“Who are you anyways?” she managed, trying her best to look more confident than afraid.
The man chuckled, waving his hand and making a table appear beside his chair, taking a sip from the glass on it before returning the beverage to its place.
“I’m the Devil, Sara.”
His words were spoken in all seriousness and, despite how she wanted to, Sara could find no way to doubt them.
“Well, what do you want from me?”
The Devil conjured a large bunch of papers, handing them to her.
“That’s the contract. Your parents sold me your soul. You’ve died now and, if you want to pass on, you have to earn it back from me.”
Sara felt numb at his words but, looking the papers over, she could see her parents’ telltale signatures in numerous places.
“Why would they do this?”she half-whispered, more to herself than to the man before her.
The Devil waved the contract away, sighing.
“You were born premature. Your parents came to me, and I granted you a chance to live your life. In return for your spirit, of course.”
Sara stopped fiddling with her fingers, feeling realization wash over her. Her parents had always been extravagant with her, hugging her and telling her they loved her. They always got her whatever she wanted, pulling out all the stops. The family wasn’t even that rich.
“What do I have to do, then,” she started, “To get my soul back?”
The Devil smiled and opened one of his hands, revealing three pills on his open palm. One was red, the second blue, and the last clear.
“Now,” he began, putting them on the table that suddenly appeared between them, “This isn’t like that movie, May’s Tricks or something of the like, but three very distinct options. The red tablet will allow you to venture into hell, and ensure that none of the demons in my employ are up to something good. The blue one will let you return to Earth, and inspire evil in humanity. The clear pill will let you travel to heaven, and taint the minds of the angels.”
Sara reached out a hand, but the Devil shook his head.
“Before you choose, there are some rules to this arrangement. One, you cannot tell any being living or otherwise what you are doing, or you will be automatically dispatched. Second, do not attempt to escape from this, or the same will happen. Do not commit any good deeds if it can be helped. If you do choose to go to hell, I will personally ensure your safety. Heaven and Earth do not carry the same guarantee. Do not reveal your name to anyone, for I will arrange an alternate identity. And, most of all, remember that this is only temporary. As soon as I am satisfied with your progress, you will be allowed to pass on. And now, Sara Parks, you may choose your destiny.”