It was already three minutes after the bell had rung, and I rushed to science with darkness in my heart. The other people in my art class had shamelessly abandoned me while I frenziedly rushed to clean up all of the art supplies, even the ones I wasn't using. I had already nearly had a nervous breakdown because Stupid Art Teacher messed up my precious, precious paining which I had worked hours on, and they dare just leave me there? That's when I saw him. He stood at the end of the hall, permeating shadow, hands clasped and lips curling into a dark smile. I slowed my frantic pace. Could it be?
Other students did not seem to see him there; they strolled right past, blind to the darkness in their midst. I knew he was there for me. My wish for vengeance, the darkness in my own heart, had called to him. I knew I should've ignored his presence, but the pull was too strong. I was so angry at the world, so hurt and alone, that right at that moment I would sell my soul to the devil.
As I approached him, time seemed to slow. He smiled at me cruelly, maliciously; I knew I couldn't trust him but I thought it didn't matter. He spoke. "Strawberry," he said, "I have watched you day by day. I see your every want and fear, every frustration, every bitter resentment--and I offer you salvation."
I spoke before I could stop myself. "Why should I believe you?"
He held out his hands and all but shrugged, as if acknowledging his own deceit. "I believe we can help each other."
A pause. The hallway was dead silent; outside the sun beckoned, but its light did not seem to reach us. Finally I spoke. "What do you offer?"
He did not hesitate. "I will take away all of your troubles. I will make you a star student, a star athlete; I will make you beautiful beyond measure. Your secret dreams of political prominence will all come true." He laughed. "Any politician in the world will listen to you after they know you're on my side. Strawberry, the life you've always wanted can be yours--if you but do one small favor for me."
He waited for me to ask what it was, as I waited for him to tell me. I refused to speak first. I could not seem to eager; I kept my hands steady and my face impassive. After a long pause he became tired of the silence, and told me his condition. "All of this can be yours, if you but buy more fish to put in your fish tank."
I stared at him, disbelieving. "You want me to...buy fish?"
He nodded solmenly. "You've killed six so far. As everyone knows, I own the souls of fish, and your terrible ownership has practically kept me in business. But you have not bought new fish for many weeks, and I fear you never will again. Think of it, my dear--the perfect life, if you but continue to massacre every fish that passes the threshold of your house."
I turned away. I could not bear the thought--to murder innocent fish just for my own gain? Besides, he was the devil. What would he do when he found out I already sold my soul to the makers of Mountain Dew? I could not go through with it. He must have sensed my resolve, for it suddenly became very hot.
"Everything you've ever wanted! I do not ask much; no, I ask a trifle. Will you still not comply?" Flames rose up from his feet, but I was sure he could not hurt me, for I had not been tempted into evil. "This mistake will cost you. Rest assured, I will not forgive this insult--the impudence! The impenitence! You will suffer endlessly for your transgression!"
I simply looked away, and he rose in anger and threats until with a burst of fire he vanished into smoke. I was left alone in an empty hallway, with nothing but a charred circle on the floor as a reminder of what just happened.
Numbly, I made my way to my science class. I had been tempted by the devil, but overcame. And just to spite him, I thought, as I sat in my seat amongst the innocent hum of my fellow classmates, I thought I would buy more fish, except keep them alive this time. And to add insult to injury, I would name the orange two Saruman and Scar, some of the most evil and badass villians ever to grace a screen, and the striped one Hades. Because I'm cool like that.