There was dead silence as the gurney was wheeled into the room with the small windows. It was light and clean, like an operating room, and in a sense, the procedure to be performed was medical.
The needle had already been placed in his arm, and the doctor who did it was surprisingly gentle, not as he might have expected.
A clear tube was attached to the shunt and, at the appointed hour, the man in the suit gave a nod to the ones in uniforms. All three pushed their buttons, not knowing which one was actually causing the clear liquid to run down the tube.
It was surprisingly painless for him. A little numbness, a little cold, and then an all-enveloping darknessbut it was not the end.
A blindingly bright light was shining directly in his face. He was disoriented and groggy. Had he received a last-minute reprieve?
"DAVID," a horrendously loud voice boomed out calling to him. "DAVID WESTERFIELD," the voice called.
"Yes," he answered tentatively. His eyes were beginning to focus on his unfamiliar surroundings. An anteroom at the head of an impossibly long corridor with doors to the side spaced at ten-foot intervals as far as the eye could see.
"Look at me," the voice commanded, and he turned to face a large and tall podium. Atop the podium sat an open book, but it was the visage behind the book that sent a chill down his spine.
A large, red-skinned, horned, tailed, cloven-hoofed demon glared down at him. It was every Evangelical Christian's vision of the Devil rolled into one.
"David Westerfield," he roared again, his hot breath carrying with it the stench of death. "You have been sentenced to serve an eternity of punishment with me. You will suffer greatly."
But Westerfield had a different idea. With a cocky arrogance he smirked at the Devil and spoke up. "Punished? Punished?" he questioned the Prince of Darkness. "I served you on Earth. I did your bidding. Who else but a minion of Satan would brutally rape an innocent, a child?" he questioned. "I don't deserve punishment I deserve a place at your right hand."
"My bidding? My Bidding?" the demon roared back. "I may be a fallen angel, but the things you did were not in my name, and they sicken even me."
Westerfield was taken aback. "What do you mean? I did evil. Perhaps the ultimate evil. I thought all evil roamed the Earth in your name."
"Did I ask you to do this unspeakable act? Did you hear my voice commanding you?" the Devil questioned with his forked tongue.
"Nobut I did it for you," answered Westerfield, a little less sure of himself.
"You did nothing of the sort. You did it for your own pleasure, not the furtherance of my cause. Shooting up a high-school, crashing a hijacked jet into an office tower, now those are acts I accept as done in my name. But what you did was unspeakable and beyond even my realm," the Devil remarked.
"But..but," stammered the suddenly worried man.
"Silence," roared the Evil One. "The time has come for your punishment to begin." And he reared back his arm and threw forth a bolt of lightening at the mortal.
As the lightening struck, the man found himself enveloped in a glowing bubble. But just as before, he felt no pain.
He began to change. He could feel the sensation of transformation in every cell in his body. His body shortened, lightened. Hair grew back on his head but this time light instead of dark.
As the pace of the changes increased the sensation was almost too much to take. His body continued to decrease in mass as he felt his internal organs re-arrange.
No less spectacular were the changes to his clothing, inner and outer. While his shirt and pants were melding together to form a one-piece garment, his briefs began to soften. The waist and leg bands turned to lace and the extra material of the fly slid down to line the crotch. As his tee shirt shortened and the sleeves disappeared, both undergarments turned a bright pink and images of Barbies appeared on them.
When the bubble burst, signifying the end of the changes, the portly, balding, middle-aged man was now nothing but a small, blonde, seven-year old girl. An innocent like the one he took from the world.
"Now run, Danielle," commanded Satan, and she began to run down the endless hallway. "But be terrified of what might come from behind any door, because every one of them contains a duplicate of your former self. That smug and cocky man who thought he was doing my work."
"And don't worry about what will become of you. I'll tell you. After each visage visits unspeakable horror and pain upon your new body, you will be reborn to run the hallway again."
The Devil laughed heartily and disappeared in a puff of smoke.
But in his booming voice he could be heard to say: "Now I
have to prepare a parallel hallway for Alejandro Avila. His new
name will be Samantha."
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