The young sixteen year old girl sat in her apartment, waiting.
Waiting for what? She would often ask herself. She felt so tranquil after yesterday’s night of sleep.
She couldn’t remember anything.
Living a life was just procrastinating whilst waiting for death. He had come to her in her yesterday in her sleep. She was absolutely sure the Devil had told her – she would be next in line.
Whilst other people would die in numerous ways and turn into nothingness for eternity, she would live on.
The Devil had promised her that.
Once she paid him the ultimate sacrifice, she would go on living in peace forever, undisturbed, at free will. The Devil had promised her that…in a dream. Her death could be painful, but she would go where no other humans could ever dream of – she would become eternity. And the day was coming soon. How wonderful, thought Amanda. She would live forever under his watchful gaze.
“Darling, your dinner is ready,” came a voice from the kitchen.
“Coming mom,” she replied. Her face spread into a large grin.
Soon she would be out of this boring, pointless life. She could be whatever she wanted to be.
“What are you smiling about, Amanda?” asked her mother, “You seem awfully quiet today.”
“Mom, the Devil is going to give me a great life after I die.” Amanda’s mother paused. Her daughter’s words clearly disturbed her.
Amanda seemed like a different person – she was almost daydreaming.
“What are you talking about, sweetie?” she asked, “We don’t say nonsense things like that in this household, okay? Now please, eat your food.” Sitting down to eat, Amanda heard the doorbell ring. It was her boyfriend, Joe. Standing up to greet him, she excitedly offered him some food.
“No thanks, no appetite today,” he groaned, “I’ve just come to tell you that the English Essay is due tomorrow. If we don’t finish the project, Miss Rayner will kill us. I couldn’t get to you ‘cause you phone was off.”
Amanda had no idea what he was talking about.
“Don’t worry Chris. It’ll be fine.”
Who had to worry about some English essay when you were granted immortality from the Devil?
“Yeah…right okay. I’m going now. So I suggest you’d better work on paragraph seven.”
“Love you Joe.”
“Yeah…uhh…love you too.” Joe slammed the door behind him, clearly agitated.
Love. What a strange thing.
Connecting a group of people, like friends and family, husbands and wives.
When one of the group is hurt, the others always seem to be hurt as well. A thought crossed Amanda’s mind: when she was gone, she would be living a good life in eternity. But what of her family, and her friends? They would be mournful for her. They would experience pain. Then they would just die in agony, not knowing the great life their beloved Amanda would have.
There was no way of preventing this. Unless, she could sever their pain once and for all. What better than to die not knowing of your daughter’s death? It would certainly be less painful than growing old and dying, thinking of your daughter as nothingness, when she actually became an eternal being.
Parents are not supposed to outlive their children anyway.
It was her responsibility to ensure this was the case. There was no need to inflict unnecessary pain on her loved ones. It would be over soon.
“Hey Amanda…” said her brother, “Are you alright? You’ve been staring into space for a long time. Is it cause of Joe?”
“Oh…um…yeah. Of course,” she replied.
It was two in the morning.
Amanda’s family were all asleep.
What better to let it go now? They would be in peace forever. Amanda lit a match. She proceeded to light up her own bed, wardrobe and carpet, staring intently at the blazing fire.
Wasn’t death by burning one of the most painful methods of execution? She’d learnt that somewhere.
She couldn’t remember where.
Anyhow, she could never bring herself to do it, so it was the only option left. The crackle of the blaze awoke her parents. Rapidly, her father jumped out of bed and put on his dressing gown.
“Amanda!” he yelled, “What happened? Are you okay?”
“I was trying an experiment, dad.” “You did this?”
“Yes, I did it.” The same large smile spread over Amanda’s face.
“Why? Why did you light your room on fire? You could’ve killed all of us!” “I was just…”
“No excuses, this is absolutely outrageous,” yelled her mother, “It would be funny in a movie, lighting your bed on fire, but it’s a serious matter here. Once we put this fire out, you’re grounded for a month. Do you understand?”
“Yes mother.” Amanda replied. Her voice was tense, like that of a soldier replying to a commander.
Her mother sensed something was very wrong. “Are you alright Amanda?” she asked.
“Yes, of course I’m alright mother,” she laughed, “What kind of question is that mom?”
The doctor examined Amanda carefully.
“Her general health seems alright, so if she’s acting strangely, it might be because of school problems or issues with social life. She seems fine, so just keep an eye on her.”
“Alright, thank you doctor,” replied Amanda’s mother, “Amanda, is school stressful? Are you being bullied?”
“I don’t know,” replied Amanda, “But the Devil is going to take me away anyway, so it won’t matter, will it?”
“What?” asked her mother.
The doctor frowned.
“The Devil. He promised me eternal life, mother. Didn’t I tell you that already?”
Amanda’s mother froze. “She’s been saying a lot of weird things lately,” she sighed.
“Amanda, tell me more about this,” said the doctor.
“Of course, I would be delighted to doctor. About two days ago, the Devil came to me in my sleep. He said I should smile because I would die soon. But then, he told me not to worry because I would live an eternal life with him forever! Don’t you think that’s wonderful? My mom doesn’t believe me, but you do doctor, don’t you?”
The doctor held a worried look on his face, but continued to keep his composure.
“So you say the Devil came to you in your sleep?”
“Yes, that’s correct doctor.”
“And how long have you had these dreams?”
“I can’t remember. Only once I think. I really want to share it with someone so they can be happy for me, but nobody seems to believe me. Can you help me tell my friends?”
“Y-yes, of course,” the doctor stuttered nervously. “I’ll be back in a minute.”
After a while, the doctor came back. He looked at Amanda’s mother with a worried expression and told her all about the danger of mental illnesses in children and other scientific nonsense which she didn’t seem to understand (but nodded along with anyway).
“Your daughter’s health is stable, but she is showing signs of having a mental illness. Be sure to keep an eye on her.
However, she doesn’t seem like the psychopathic or schizophrenic type, so I think she should be alright. Come back to visit in two days’ time for tests and a diagnosis.”
It was two in the morning. Her parents had been paying her extra attention, but they showed no signs of believing her story.
If she was a mother, it was unlikely believe her daughter either.
Amanda walked into her parents’ room.
They were sleeping peacefully in each other’s’ arms.
What a pity, she thought. She didn’t want to do it, but she knew that if she didn’t, the pain caused by her death would be much worse than what it would do to them now.
She lit a match and another, placing them onto the bed sheets. Walking out of the door, she closed it and proceeded to light the wood and carpet on fire.
Locking the door from the outside, she sat on the stairs waiting. A burning smell could be detected vividly from a distance. Soon, there was much screaming heard.
It was hard for Amanda to bear, and she held in some tears. But she knew their lives would be better after death.
She just wished they knew.
“Amanda, what are you doing just sitting there?!” yelled a voice. It was her brother. “Quick! Unlock the door and call the police!”
She’d forgotten him.
She’d forgotten he’d even existed, and now he knew.
“You did this, didn’t you Amanda?” Her brother’s eyes widened. “Why?”
“I…I can explain. You just have to believe me…”
“You tried to kill our parents!” He yelled. He tried to reach the door handle, however Amanda stood in his way.
“I’m sorry brother, but their lives will be much better soon.”
“WHAT DO YOU MEAN?!” he yelled.
“You need to die too, brother. Or you will suffer in pain unnecessarily.”
Amanda’s brother tried to get past her, however he was much younger than her and failed to reach the door handle.
He sprinted down the stairs and ran for his life.
“No! Don’t go!” cried Amanda.
Her will wouldn’t be complete unless all her family members were in peace before her death. Her brother had now run away. He would suffer in pain when she died, if he ever found out.
Amanda couldn’t let that happen.
She looked out of the door, but he was nowhere to be seen.
“Damn,” she yelled, “damn, damn DAMN!”
Closing the door, she decided it was hopeless to go after him. She would have to concentrate on more important matters instead.
What would happen if she died now? She could die at any minute, in fact. But she had to stay alive for him. For her loved one, her brother. She had protected him at a young age and would never let anything cause him pain. He always strived to protect him…even if it meant killing him, causing his death.
But feeling pain is a much worse punishment than death, right? Death itself is painful, but afterwards, it is a relief. Young or old, you are bound to die someday. It is why people commit suicide. To end the endless wait, of course. To experience true happiness and tranquility. She wanted nothing other than that for her loved ones.
Living with pain is hard to bear, but dying or living in eternity – surely that is what everyone wants?
Amanda felt her eyelids close. She slowly drifted…to sleep.
“Hello there eternity girl,” said a voice. Amanda looked up.
She was in the same dark, black nothingness she had been in a few dreams before.
“H-hello…” she stammered.
“Are you ready?” asked the voice.
Amanda recognized the voice – it belonged to the Devil.
“N-NO!” she cried, “My brother, he is still alive. I can’t die knowing he is still in such pain. Or at least, he will be in such pain.”
“So you want to reverse the deal?” the voice boomed angrily.
“No, I mean, could you ‘postpone’ the deal?”
“That…is possible. But there is one condition.”
“What is that?” “It will cost you an arm, a leg and an eye,” cackled the voice.
“Fine. I’m willing to do it.” “Good. When you wake up, you have ten hours to hand over the donation.”
“Agreed. And by the time my brother is in peace, I’ll be gone?”
“You surely will.”
Amanda looked up at the black void.
She knew what she had to do.
Suddenly, she felt a falling sensation. She opened her eyes – back in the real world. How long had she been asleep for?
The sky had a hint of blue swimming in it like liquid, so she figured it was morning. Standing up, she picked up a hatchet and bin bags from the garage and went upstairs. To her relief, the house hadn’t burned up. The fire was gone.
Unlocking the door to her parents’ room, she proceeded to examine their charred corpses.
They were no longer sleeping peacefully next to each other on the bed.
Instead, her father’s red-black corpse sat crouched in a corner, with an arm around the shoulders of her mother’s corpse, which was hugging her father’s arm tightly.
Charred pieces of clothing dangled from their raw flesh.
They had been there for each other, even in the end. But they were dead now.
They were in peace. Amanda felt a tear fall down her face as she picked up the hatchet and swung it down, again and again, dismembering their disfigured bodies.
Stuffing the pieces of the corpses into the bin bags, she tied them together and dropped her hatchet. She carried the bin bags out of the house. The morning was still relatively dark, though spots of light were beginning to show.
Amanda didn’t know what time it was, however she guessed it was around five or six A.M.
The bags were heavy and took lots of effort to drag. She decided that the area behind an abandoned factory was the safest place to rid the evidence – there; she would empty the bags and burn all traces of the bodies of her parents.
Joe was walking to the bus stop.
Why couldn’t he live so close to school like his girlfriend Amanda?
He didn’t know the answer to that question, but he knew that she was lucky she didn’t have to travel so far.
The English essay was due, and Amanda hadn’t emailed him or texted him, so he had to finish it all by himself.
How selfish, he thought. If she didn’t want to do it, she could’ve at least told me instead of leaving me for dead. He walked into the space behind the abandoned factory. At least there was a shortcut here, he thought.
Otherwise it would take forever to reach school.
Amanda froze too, looking even more terrified.
“What are you doing Amanda?” Joe looked down.
He screamed and fell back as he saw a human head fall out of the bin bag in Amanda’s hands.
“What is this?!”
It was too overwhelming.
Would she really have to go through this much in order to achieve eternal life? Was it worth the sacrifice?
“Joe…I killed them. I killed my own parents.”
“So they could be in peace of course! Joe help me!”
There was silence.
It took a few minutes for Joe to register what he had just seen.
“You-you killed your own parents?!” he yelled.
Joe started to cry.
“Amanda, if there was something bothering you, why didn’t you tell us? What did your parents ever do to deserve this? Why didn’t you tell us, are we not your friends?” Joe wiped his tears with the back of his sleeve as he spoke.
Amanda had nothing to say. She looked down and kept still.
“You’re a murderer.”
“Joe, I’m really sorry,” whispered Amanda, “But I had to do it…I – I”
“But Amanda, I’ll always be your friend. I can’t help you in any way, this is your own fault. But since … I won’t say a word.”
Amanda felt pangs of guilt stab her right through the heart.
She had just killed her own parents, yet Joe was still so… loyal.
Even if it meant he could be arrested.
“Okay Amanda. This is between us. We’ll always be friends, but you can’t do things like this anymore. Let’s turn your life around, okay?”
“Okay.” She reached into her pocket for her matchbox and opened it.
“Dang,” she sighed.
“Only we know what’s inside these bags. Let’s bury them here until we can fetch more matches," said Joe.
“Yeah, I think that’s safest.”
It was around eleven at night, and Amanda returned to the warehouse. She’d bought a new box of matches and she’d taken her hatchet for ease of digging.
Locating the area, she swung the hatchet down and pulled at the soft ground, again and again expecting to see traces of a black bin bag.
She kept on digging further. But nothing. She didn’t find anything. Slamming the sharp bladed object into the ground furiously, she felt her heart race as she dug aimlessly.
The truth hit her - the bags and the remains were gone.
But where to?
Who or what could’ve taken them away? T
he only people who knew what was in these bags or where they were hidden were herself and…Joe. Joe had betrayed her.
He’d told someone, and they must’ve taken the bags away. Soon, the police would be looking for her everywhere. Amanda was so furious she hadn’t even thought about why there was no police tape around the area. She tapped in Joe’s number on the phone and put on a calm, artificial voice.
“Hey Joe,” she said.
“Hey, what’s happening? It’s eleven at night, where are you?”
“I have something important to show you, come quickly to the place where we buried the bags.”
“Oh, oh, alright. I’ll try and sneak out of the house while I can.”
“Good. I’ll be waiting.”
Amanda hung up. Suddenly, a thought hit her as fast as lightning.
The "donation" she had promised the devil! She would die if it wasn’t fulfilled soon. She had ten hours, and her time was running out.
Grabbing the hatchet, she held out her left leg and with one mighty swing, severed it from her body.
It took a moment to get a grip with the searing pain all over her. She could see her leg in front of her, which she could no longer feel. Biting her tongue, she slowly stood up on one leg and leaned against the wall, gasping for breath. She could feel the stump of her left thigh dripping with blood.
The pain was more intense now, but she had to do it.
Amanda held out her right arm and used the hatchet to cut it off.
It fell to the floor with a splat as she groaned in agony.
The sacrifice was almost over. Using her remaining arm, she took the hatchet and slowly cut off her eyelid, then she reached and in one quick movement, pulled out her right eye. She tore off a strips of her shirt and wrapped up her bleeding stumps and her eye, groaning in agony.
Collapsing on the floor in pain, she turned and admired her handiwork.
One leg, one arm and one eye.
She’d done it.
Half an hour later, Amanda heard footsteps in her direction.
Hiding behind the walls of the warehouse, she heard Joe call out to her. As soon as he drew near, she ran at him and pushed him to the ground.
“Hello Joe,” she whispered.
“Wha-Amanda! What are you doing?” gasped Joe. “Amanda! What happened to your eye? And…”
“I went to check on the bags just now. They weren’t there.”
“Huh? How come?” “I don’t know.
Why don’t you tell me, you liar?”
“But…I don’t know what happened! I never told anyone! I swear! I really don’t know what happened Amanda.”
“But the bags, Joe. THEY’RE NOT THERE!” she yelled.
In a furious moment, she swung the hatchet down. A crunch was heard as Joe’s ribcage was split in half.
There was a moment of silence as Joe lay wide-eyed on the floor, blood seeping from his torso and slowly turning his shirt red.
“I didn’t tell Amanda,” croaked Joe. “You have to…believe…”
His head fell.
Joe was dead.
Of course Joe didn’t tell. That liar. Amanda had trusted him, but he betrayed his friend. He deserved his death.
The devil was coming for her, and so were the police. But she didn’t want to live eternally anymore. She wanted to die like everyone else.
Please, don’t do this anymore, she thought. Her whole body was in excruciating pain.
She didn’t mind if she died, she just wanted the pain, the confusion, the sadness and the misery to leave her alone.
She looked over at her severed body parts, lying on the floor beside her. He should’ve come to take them now. He should’ve come to take her gift, but he wasn’t there.
Had the Devil betrayed her?
Was this all just a dream?
A ridiculous hoax played on her by her own mind?
Her hand gripped something.
Something thin and smooth.
Startled, Amanda began to pull at the object. It wasn’t her hatchet as she’d expected, so she turned around to have a look.
Pulling a large object from the ground, she soon realized what it really was. It was the bin bag, full of her parents’ remains.
It was still there.
Joe had never betrayed her in the first place. He’d never told anyone anything, just like he said he wouldn’t.
Joe was innocent.
Joe was dead.
But Amanda’s heart was no longer.
She felt no pain, no remorse. Nothing.
How strange this feeling was.
Almost as pleasant as the feeling of death itself.
Wouldn’t every human want to experience the tranquility and peace of death? Why would anyone want to live? Amanda didn’t understand. Maybe she should just kill herself? End her miserable, painful life right there and then?
She had to stay alive. She had to help humanity realize they were wrong. Life is suffering. Death is peace. She had to live and suffer for her mistakes, to bring peace to other people. She had to find her brother, and bring him peace. Because all her wrongdoing, it was only fair she had to sacrifice her own happiness to bring true peace to others.
She heard footsteps, so she slowly pulled herself up to have a look.
A man was walking by.
An innocent man.
Amanda felt happy because she knew she would help him. She would end his misery.
He’d be resting in peace soon.