As of Nov 10:
Total Word Count: 8,031
Target Word Count: 16,667
So, yeah, I got way behind. I blame the hyperactive, teething kitten who’s been depriving me of my sleep. I shall strive to get caught up today.
Disclaimer: The following excerpt is unedited. You will find spelling errors, grammatical errors, and inconsistencies. There is more telling than showing. I am well aware of the poor quality of the writing; however, fixing it is not the point of the exercise. The point is to get as much written as possible, and editing as I go will only slow me down. Know that I will take a month (or longer) to revise.
As one might expect, Hell was hot. The spell Val used did protect her from the extreme heat, but she was not very comfortable. She had appeared in what was most likely Lucifer’s office. It actually seemed to mirror her own office at her shop. There was a decorative rug in the middle of the floor, though the floor was some sort of volcanic rock rather than concrete. The bookshelves lining the walls of Lucifer’s office, Val knew from previous trips to her father’s domain, contained the lost scrolls of the burned library of Alexandria (he had been able to send a few of his lesser demons to rescue them before the fire got to them).
“Light of Morning,” Lucifer greeted her. Val’s father was apparently in a good mood; he appeared as a well-to-do business man, dressed in an Italian suit with his black hair slicked back. He did not smile at her, but the fact that he used his pet name for her was generally a good sign. “It is good to see you, Valerie.”
“It is good to see you too, Father,” Val answered with a small smile. She wasn’t completely lying. Most children craved affection and approval from their parents, and though Val was twenty-five years old, compared to her ancient father, she was just an infant. However, she was not so naive as to think that Lucifer didn’t have a reason for summoning her beyond wanting to see his only living daughter. “Do you have a new mission for the Antichrists?”
“Not, quite, my daughter,” Lucifer answered. “I do have something I would like to show you.”
That was something unexpected. “What would you like to show me?” Val asked.
Lucifer gestured that she follow him. “Come with me.”
He led her through the door and out into a corridor that looked as though it had been plucked straight from a Gothic medieval castle. The walls and floor were both cobbled stone, put together by a glowing red mortar, like magma. A blast of heat blew Val’s hair back, her dress swishing around her knees. If not for the spell she’d cast, it might have incinerated her. As it was, she felt like she was standing in front of an open cremation oven. She bunched her thick hair at the top of her head. It was too long and thick for her to get it in a proper bun, but a high ponytail would keep at least some of it off her neck. It took all five of the hair ties wrapped around her wrist to secure her dark locks to the top of her head, only to receive just a little relief.
“I apologize for the heat,” Lucifer said, noticing her discomfort, though Val knew the apology was more a courtesy. Lucifer very rarely felt he had anything to be sorry about. “Unfortunately, Hell is hot.”
Val smirked at Lucifer’s attempt at humor. He was really in a good mood if he was trying to be funny. Perhaps he’d managed to convince another of the old pagan gods to join him in his fight against Yahweh.
Lucifer’s dwelling was built just like an office building; each story was a maze of hallways and offices, where many minor gods, which had been reduced to a more demonic form by Christian belief, lived and worked. Everything went toward the war effort. Lucifer led her to the middle of the floor, where a pillar hosting an elevator stood. “We’re going down to the dungeons today,” he told her, pressing the relevant button. “Someone arrived that I think you will be interested in.”
“Oh?” Val raised her eyebrows, racking her brain. She couldn’t think of anybody she particularly wanted to see in Hell, or anybody she knew who had died recently. That she knew of. She briefly worried that Nicolo, the thirteen year old boy who frequented her shop, might have come to an unfortunate end. She hoped not. Niccolo, or Nic as she usually called him, was raised Roman Catholic, but was going through what she assumed was a bit of a phase. He wore all black, dyed his hair black, and got his nipples and bellybutton pierced. He’d shown her, much to her chagrin, after he got them done. He wanted tattoos, but Val refused to pretend to be the boy’s mother to avoid underage laws. She didn’t know how Nic came to see her as a role model, but stranger things had happened in her life. “Who is it?”
Lucifer gave her a humorless grin. “You’ll just have to find out.”
The elevator dinged, a strangely human sound in such a nonhuman world, and the father-daughter duo came out in the dungeons. Lucifer’s dungeons were meant for only the truly evil men. Many of Hitler’s Nazis (and a handful of Neo-Nazis) found their afterlife there, not to mention Adolf Hitler himself. The Roman emperors Nero and Caligula were other infamous names who’d ended up in Lucifer’s dungeons, Attila the Hun, and Val’s personal favorite, Vlad the Impaler. Val couldn’t think of anybody near enough to death to start preparing a cell for them, nor could she think of any reason for the Antichrists to be involved.
Lucifer did not take her far into the dungeon. The cell that was apparently their destination was two cells down to the left from the elevator, and it was a small one. Val glanced at her father curiously. “Who is this?” she asked.