Class with the Devil — My Final Project

Disclaimer: I am attempting to mimic the writing style of Cormac McCarthy in this short story. This is my Final Exam/Project for my Science Fiction class. The goal was to imitate McCarthy’s style while staying in the Sci-Fi genre. For those who haven’t read anything from him, his writing style consists of run-on sentences, lack of punctuation, and 3-4 worded sentences.

Class with the Devil

by: Natalia Gonzalez
When she walked into the dull and frigid and lifeless room the only movement that was felt was the pounding of her heart attempting to escape her chest. The opaque windows she faced when she walked in gave out a blueish gray aura as if it were cloudy everyday. She watched the condensed steam of her held in breath release as she sat in the uneven desk. You wouldn’t think Hell would be this cold. The room was anemic and deceased. Sitting against the wall she watched human shaped shadows begin to surround and circle her like vultures awaiting the fall of their prey. They were just lost souls. Was she the only one still alive? She realized the windows were just a facade. There was no outside. It was all an endless loop. Once you leave you just walk right back in. A falling crash of thunder hit the floor so heavy the Earth could have felt it above. A jolt of anxiety rushed through the girls veins. The gate was now closed and standing afront was the last component needed to start. The Devil herself. Her dry grip tightened around one of the bars of the gate as she glowered at her disciples waiting for them to remember their roles. Immediately the vultures attention was no longer on the girl with life but on the demon that took theirs. Silence. Silence and nothing but it. Even from the girl’s heart who had calmed and settled.
I shouldnt have to wait, was the first thing it spoke. It had pasty gray skin that looked like it once held a purplish tone. Death. She looked like death. Faster than the girl could remember the shadows had already fallen to their seats awaiting instruction. Pitiful. Their master walked boldly away from the gate towards the center-front to scold the class once more. She must have decided to save her breath because she didnt stop at the center and she didnt scold the class. Instead she passed to grab the list of the condemned on the table. One by one she mouthed their names in a whisper and glanced and marked their presence. The only name she called aloud was the girl who lives.
Present, said the girl.
Her body was stiff and heart was pounding. The Devil paused as if she had a heart that dropped and shivered at the sound of the being like she despised the thought of life itself. She continued through the list while the girl regained her breath. A part of this endless loop was a memory that she replayed in her mind any chance she could get.
She sat in an office surrounded by those who acclaimed authority over her. Her mother. Her father. The Principal. And the Devil. They were all gazing at the girl in confusion and mildly in disgust. The father spoke first.
So, said the girl.
You know why were here.
I dont.
Well then we would be glad to tell you.
The Devil cleared her throat and spoke in a stern but childish tone.
Why is that you come into my classroom everyday and do nothing?
The girl looked around in awe as if she would to a room of clowns. She shifted her eyes back to the voice.
Because your the Devil.
And only demons work for the devil.
The only memory in which the girl ever felt victorious was interrupted as always. The class was beginning. It was the end of the semester which meant it was time for student evaluations. This is when a stage is drawn from thin air and each student individually is to step up and be stripped down of their morale and esteem. Thank you, thought the girl. Thank you that my name is last. The rest of the audience was to sit and watch their colleagues be chastised until naked and ailing. She tried to refocus her thoughts back on her Fool’s Paradise but couldnt. There was fly was trying to force it’s way into her ear. With aching pain and great attempt not to scream she delicately tried to flick it out with her pen. Scraping around she marked up her ears for no good reason. There wasnt a fly anymore and there wasnt any buzzing. But there was a clock. And Hell doesnt give any breaks.
Ms. Gonzalez, the Devil called aloud.
The girls eyes shifted up from the bloody pen and hands at the sound of her name. Her eyes undilated and her heart stopped. It was her turn. What ever color remained in her skin was now flushed out leaving her a ceramic doll. Her mind scattered through files searching for the knowledge to start her heart. These were the longest seconds of her existence. At the first beat of regained blood flow she stood up in the slowest fashion possible and remained standing with no movement to follow.
Do you have anything for me? asked the Devil.
The girl picked up a short stack of papers that were on her desk and lugged each of her legs towards the front of the room. A burning sensation of stares came from all around her. Blistering, tedious, Hell. Why was it taking so long for her to get there? Her legs became heavy and the girl used every bit of her strength to lift them from the floor. Almost there, she thought. Almost there. Once she reached the front of the desks she was released from the weights. It was time. She walked towards the steps of the stage and the room was quiet and her steps were loud and she said nothing. A whisper or soft chuckle cracked through the silence forming goosebumps all over the girls arms forcing her nearly invisible hairs to stand up. She stood before the steps of torment wishing for the end of infinite. Here we go, she said in low voice to herself. Trembling she took steps across the stage and stood before her audience. This is it, she thought . The girl closed her eyes. A draft of the brisk air passed through her arms and legs making notice of its presence. Not that she’d forgotten. Already stripped down from head to toe she stood in embarrassment under the dull spotlight of the windows. A light trail of smoke escaped from her mouth as she opened it to begin counting her mistakes aloud.
Number 1, began the girl.
The girl awoke wildly looking around. Her heart beating to escape and her hair covering her eyes. She pushed all that she could away from her eyes before it attempted to return back to the front. It was just another nightmare, the girl attempted to convince herself. The girls head fell back on her satin pillow with hair spread across wildly. Her heart calmed and her mind was at ease and the room fell silent and her ear dripped of blood and the girl said nothing.

Published by Natalia Lee

Natalia Lee is a spiritual mentor, writer, and artist. She embodies many types of spiritual practice, one importantly being the Taoist principle of living in harmony with the flow of nature. Another is her expression of devotion toward Source through Bhakti Yoga. At 19 years old, Natalia moved from her hometown in New York City to Los Angeles to begin her pilgrimage of world travel and spiritual inquisition. Since then, she has tackled many personal achievements including the publishing of multiple poetry collections, e-books, physical art pieces, a podcast, and a personal blog & brand.

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