OH MY GOD!

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IS THIS HELL?

“Okay, I’m burning in the real fire and brimstone of purgatory?” I finalized in a small talk to myself.

“you feel like your burning?" It seemed a new sensation to her.

"Um, no... Just making a statement.."

"You'd about freaked me out there, and that's hard to do..." She seemed relieved.

"So... I'm dead?" I began to accept it

"Well maybe... Okay, you’re half-right on that. Actually, if you want my point of view, I'd say you’re playing a dead man’s part, in purgatory.” Sam stated.

“What! Oh crap. I 'so' want this be a weird dream.” I stated, feeling myself starting to freak out.

“Okay. Again, not a dream...” Sam said seeing him starting to wig out. “Let’s just say, that you’ve taken the place of a dead man that I am supposed to save 'him', the body your in, from hell for saving me in that bar... And 'somehow', I got you instead." Sam was being honest, just trying to formulate something I could understand. I think her saying that, my mind shut down.

Suddenly all I could hear was a resident buzzing sound in my head. Though she went on speaking, her voice, the words, they seemed to cut out... Like a phone with a bad connection.

Checking the windows, still seeming clear, as she realized her 'client' wasn’t even aware of her questions to him...

“Aw crap... Fred? Hey, you in there? Fred?” Sam called to him waving her hand over his blank face. “Great, now I’ve gone ahead and done it. Crap, think, think, think.” She’d have to go off the beaten path to reintegrate him into this reality. By his blank stare, he was gone... She had to do something, or they’d have ‘no chance’ at this.

“Okay, Fred,” She lightly patted at his cheeks with her open palms. And out of nowhere, his eyes cleared up,

“Still not Fred.” I seemed to say in disdain.

“Okay ‘not Fred’... Need you to listen... Just imagine this is a fully integrated 3D game your caught up in. Now snap out of it, or we’re going to lose the game...” Sam said, hoping he could relate to this. Somehow it had worked. He blinked a few times and the paleness left his face. She would have to slow way down with him. But why a science fiction writer?

“A game?”

“That’s it... Just pretend this is just a game. Like I invited you over to play this ultimate 3D game and your just trying to adjust to it."

"A game... pretend it's a game... I can do that. ...Are you my girlfriend too?"

"You wish...” She cooed to him.

“A game. Yeah. Okay. This is not real. But why are you still calling me Fred?” He asked.

“Um, that'll be your gamer tag,” Sam said, making up the ruse. He was smart. She’d have to be careful...

“I’m a gamer. Okay, yes. I’ve played computer games before.” I stated, distracted by a fuzzy feeling in the back of my head. In this I figured the feeling must be 'some part' of the gaming helmet I had to wear... But... wait, Am I dead? Did I die?

“You are taking part in a game called,” She had to think of something quick, “One step from hell...” She smiled about the name of it. I suddenly snapped out of it,

“Oh sweet Jesus, we’re back to that.” I realized that I'm still with this crazy bitch. “Lord, what the hell is going on... Aw shit, now you got me saying it...!” I stated, really just wanting to wake up.

“Would you lower your freaking voice, Please don’t flip out on me... Okay then, just pretend your in a 3d game with me, like you’re actually here... Now, I need you to stay with me on this, we got things to do... ‘a quest’ to do.” Sam required him to focus.

“Quest... to get out of here, we got to do a quest?” I almost squeaked, not liking this at all. Who was she kidding here?

“Um, kind of... Just, take it easy. Please don’t freak out on me anymore. Seriously, we don’t have the time for that.” Sam said, hoping she hadn’t just pushed him over the edge again. If he went blank again, they both surely die here.

In Sam’s own mind, she had no plan for something like this to have ever have happened. What would be the results of all this? WHY?

Though it seemed immoral for her to openly lie. It seemed the only way she could get past his blanking out altogether. In saving his life, she suddenly realized that her ‘charge’ was in a much worse position then she’d ever realized he could be. If she didn’t do something to take control of this. It seemed he was going to self-destruct on the spot!

“Okay ...Fred. Let’s just go with that you’re gaming,” Sam said.

“First off, you know my names not Fred, right?” I stated, finding my own reality in all this.. Inside, I was trying to keep from freaking out altogether and her calling me ‘that name’ wasn’t helping.

“Okay then, give me a name to call you?” Sam asked sweetly as too calm him down.

“You can call me ‘Jack’.” I told her, that sounded real enough.

“Fine, Jack it is. So now then, Jack. The goal of this game is to keep you untouched by ALL demons till you reach the church... Think you can do that for me?” She kind of smiled.

“Oh goody, we have demons and a church now.” I almost said cynically. “But, actually... that makes sense, being as we’re in ‘purgatory’... Wait, what did you mean by untouched?”

“I’ll get to that in a moment. I want you to think of this as a scariest gaming adventure you’ve ever been on. You’ve never been in a 3d game, right?” Sam questioned him over that again.

“Um, I don’t think so.” Jack admitted. “But, this... All this, it’s really isn’t game, is it?”

“Just concentrate on the object of this game, which is to outsmart the demons and not let them catch you.” Sam stated simply.

“You’re serious. There really are going to be demons out there, hunting us down?” I stated, feeling the reality hit home.

“Yes, but keep reminding yourself to just think of this as a game. Think of the opponents as... very bad and also very real demons, and that there’s 'no reset button', so if you get tagged, well, games over.” Sam instructed.

“And I'll wake up?” I asked.

“No... You'll actually find your soul in hell." Sam stated.

"So, I don't wake up?" I asked.

“Well, you do... dying as your body is ripped apart, then coming awake again to your body being ripped apart, over and over... for the rest of time of the fight between God and Lucifer." Sam stated the grim truth.

"So a constant loop... of that... being ripped apart..." I swallowed hard.

“The game loops forever on that scene...” She stated almost ‘too’ bluntly.

“Okay then. So, don’t get tagged, I stay away from the demons, got it. And, you will explain the rules, as we go?” Jack questioned.

“Rule one.. Stay close, and follow my lead.” Sam said.

Whether or not this was a game or whether or not she was nut’s kept weighing out different every time she spoke. He was sure she was, and yet, there were some freaky things going on here, and if this wasn’t an actual gaming experience, he’d better listen to her ‘all the more’. Nuts or not... she was his best avenue to get out of this safely.

“Stick to you like glue.” Jack said.

“Good. Here’s the basic’s... One: Demons eat souls. ” Sam stuck up one finger as a point of it.

“Okay, demon’s wanting my soul, makes sense. Soul eating demons... I'll deal with it.” I almost smirked, kind of seeing that one coming.

“Two: There is no reset button here. If you die here, I’m guessing you’ll die, in real life too.” Sam pointed out.

“What? Wait...” I stated, realizing ‘too many’ thing this strange woman was saying kept coming back to that one point. Death.

“I’m just joking... Because, you’re ‘completely integrated’ into the suits environment, have to make it real, you understand?” Sam almost spewed out the lie.

“No...So, Am I dead, alive or a spirit? Really, no game talk any more.” I stated flat out.

“Okay... What's real.. This. All this,” Sam pointed to his physical body, “is the essence of your soul. Nothing more,”

“And ‘my soul’ is in someone’s body?” I asked flatly, starting add everything up.

“I guess the gaming thing was a too weird, huh?” Sam no longer believed her own lie. She had blown it. How would he react now?

“You 'almost' had me till ‘integrated suit’,” I said, starting to understand that this woman wasn’t crazy, she was just trying to protect me.

“I suck at lies... God made me this way.” Sam admitted.

“So, how does it work down here... Really?” Jack stated

“Can you handle the truth?” Sam cringed as she asked it. He did sound stronger.

“Well, I know your not my girlfriend.” Jack stated, realizing she was ‘way’ out of his league.

“Um, Okay then...” Sam sighed.

“You said I might be dead. Care to explain that?” Jack gave her a starting point.

“Well, honestly. I don’t know if you’re alive or dead. See, up there...”

“What do you mean up there?” I frowned.

“The place you’re flesh and blood body is,” Sam said, testing the waters.

“Knew this wasn’t my own body...” Jack stated.

“Actually,” Sam didn’t know if he could handle it. “You’re not really in a body at all... it represents a 'soul', that all...”

“This isn’t a real body?” I looked at her as if she was nut’s to say something like that.

"Remember the 'slap', the bite you took out of your arm? Feel anything?

"Ah.. okay, starting to get the picture here... this is a soul." I pointed to my body.

“No. It’s a soul’s ‘shell’. But, 'your' soul is in 'this' shell, least that’s the best I can figure to explain it...,” Sam said knowing that didn’t sound right.

“You’re saying my soul jumped into someone’s soul shell? And there ‘shell’ is in purgatory? But I’m in their soul shell” I questioned, trying to keep up with her thinking...

“No, wait, yes... your soul is ‘in here’... You got it. Wow." She tapped on the physical body I wore.

“So, I’m a soul, in another souls shell...” I tried to get straight.

“In essence, yes. See, your soul is actually fighting for the man who owns this body.” Sam confessed to me.

“Fighting?”

“Oh yes, it’s a fight... A fight of the likes of which you’ve never could imagine, even writing science fiction...” Sam told me.

“I realize this isn’t a game? But fighting? I just want to get out of here,” I almost whined..

“I wish it were a game... But look, before you go flipping out. Honestly, I rightly don’t know how or why you’d got in all this, in the first place...” Sam stated, “I’m still trying to figure that out. But until I can, the main goal here is to get you safely to the church...”

“Okay, Where is this ‘church’ exactly?” I quipped.

“By my guess, it’s located almost two and a half miles from here. Give or take a few blocks.” Sam stated.

“Okay. Wait, so we have to ‘find’ this church, to save this soul... who I ‘somehow’ traded places with… Plus, there are various types of demons trying to catch and devour us between here and there?” I said trying to repeat what I knew.

“No. All’s they need to do is touch you and it's game over... Or, as I like to call it a spirit death.” Sam didn't want to remember all the times she'd seen this happen.

"And spirit death is..."

"They... eat you, as if you were a live meal."

"and you what... feel the pain?" I said, now scared.

"...Yes... It's horrible to watch." Sam knew she shouldn't explain this to him.

“I see... So um, Sam. What is this part you are supposed to be playing in all this? Just for the record.” Jack wondered.

“Protector slash Guardian, I’d guess. See, from my point, I’m here to save a lost soul. Um, yours for all general purposes. You could call it my angelic part. I call it my penance,” Sam stated.

“That would make you an angel?” I tried to pin her down on this.

“Trust me, I’m no angel... Or I wouldn't be here.” Sam instantly corrected me.

Suddenly, she felt a wave... A feeling so strange, like something had just rushed through her body... ‘what was that?’ It took a moment to pass Did she actually just get dizzy? Jack hadn’t noticed it, but she sure felt it.

“Okay then, so Sam. Do you have any, like, powers?” I questioned hopefully.

“Um... oh, no... no powers. Just my knowledge and my wits.” Sam spoke, in a solemn voice, still trying to deal with that ‘rush’.

“Weapons? Or anything that will help us whip ass on these demons?” I tried another route.

“Okay, wait... Now, you’re getting a little overboard with this. I have no special powers, no special weapons, and no super human strength. I’m as weak and fragile as you are, also, I can die here too.” Sam pointed out.

“Oh great. So then, just how are we supposed to defeat all those demons?” I asked confused.

Were not here to defeat shit Jack! All those demons... We're here to out run them and out think them. And most importantly, never too let them touch us!” Sam pointed a finger directly at me.

“Okay, they can’t touch us again, why?” I asked.

“See Jack, if they touch us or as you think… catches us, either of us. That soul spends the rest of gods rein in Hell.” Sam said honestly.

“You called it the Devils playground, Purgatory or is it Hell..” I asserted.

“Trust me, THIS is not Hell.” Sam pointed out. ′was that anger?′

“Okay easy there... Now, what happens if we make it to the church?” I inquired, starting to deal with the reality of this.

“Well, for you, hopefully, you’ll wake up from this nightmare.” Sam said as the truth, but her ears almost burned as she heard herself say the words.

“And you?” I asked her.

“Me. I’m not sure... I think I’m sent after another soul.” Sam stated, still trying to understand that outburst of emotion.

“And that’s the whole of this thing? Just get a soul to the church untouched? Or you try again?” I questioned.

“Yes... ‘why was she getting frustrated?’ Okay, you got the basic rules.” Sam stated, “You think you can deal with it? You got everything straight in your mind?”

"sounds like your the one in a gaming loop." I stated.

"It called a penance..." Sam recalled now hating that single word.

“Well, at least it’s the truth to you. Yeah, I think I got this down.” I confirmed, getting a little cocky with her. I could help but smile, thinking 'she wouldn’t make a bad girlfriend'.

“What’s rule number one?” Sam quizzed him.

“Oh, bible study quiz time...” I rose to the test. “Okay. You’re my only chance to make it to the church, stick with you, because you know where it’s located.”

“And rule two?” Sam asked.

“No reset button. If the demon tags you, your dead. If you get killed, you’re dead. Don’t get into the church, your dead…Um, does that about cover it?” I concluded, starting to really starting to think about that girlfriend 'you wish' thing she’d said back there.

“Good... Rule three?”

“Um...?”

“You are to follow directly behind me, never go off on your own and do whatever I tell you, when I tell you and how I tell you to do it.” Sam stated, as if he’d better listen if he want’s to stay alive.

“Okay. So, Rule three. Stay close enough to you and do whatever you say to do.... Maybe I should just crawl up your ass..” I stated, noting she did have a nice butt.

“Oh, being a smart ass? (‘Why did her cheeks feel so warm?’ ) ...Look, this isn’t a joke.” Sam walked past him and after peering out the closed window curtain, opened it to show him exactly where he was... “Have you ever seen the sky's like this?”

It was a scene of what hell would look like if you were trapped there. I stared out it... This place wasn't even close to normal. In this my jaw dropped open, Now, I was speechless, just understanding how real this got.

Oh, it may not have been fire and brimstone with horned devils everywhere, but actually, it looked scarier. It was an earthly type playing field with major exceptions. The sky was like reddish mist that swirled a little here and a little over there. The hue was the color of red haze you sometimes saw when you closed your eyes quickly. Jack couldn’t tell if it was, a dawn or dusk light that shone, but it made all the shadows more ominous. I began to wonder in my own mind, 'if there is no direct light source what was creating all the shadows?'

“Why are there such distinct shadows when there’s no light source present?” I spoke my thought, and I wouldn't like her answer.

“Satan used the exact moment in time he was cast from heaven as the lay lines of this place.” Sam introduced.

“So, you’re saying, time here is frozen at the exact moment Satan fell from heaven.”

“Exactly...” Sam said, making an observation. “Wow, you’re actually smarter than I first gave you credit for.”

Sam slowly closed the window curtain, but once again walking throughout the trailer checking the other windows.

“Okay, you win, I concede... we’re in purgatory.” I agreed. Then, somehow, asking nonchalantly. “So, these are some pretty bad ass demons that are going to be out after us?”

“You’ll see soon enough, trust me. I’ll explain the parameters of all this along the way, but for right now, we really need to get out of here. Um, and I mean like 'right now'.” Sam said her hand ready to twist the handle and bail. “Just follow directly behind me and do what whatever I do.”

Something wasn’t right here, I felt it.

“Hold up, even if you’re telling me the truth... which I hope your not... What chance do we have?” I asked, wanting to stop and get a real understanding of just what was going on here. My thoughts had rang a bell (Normally I wouldn’t have control like this in a dream, but was this actually NOT a dream?

“Crap. We don’t have time for this,” Sam stated, seeming to get frustrated.

"Just stop and explain what brought this guy's soul here. I'm a big boy, I can take it...” I stated.

Not having the time to do this, and weirdly, not having the soul that should be here, it was only right to come clean. She wasn’t ready for this... confrontation,

"Okay, short version," Sam seemed to take an extra large breath for this.

"Short works fine," I added a smile for her effort.

"About two hours ago, I was told of my target. I had to slip into a bar and touch this man, who is supposed to be standing here, after he got shot... This body... was playing pool and drinking a beer in that bar. I think, I touched him before he got shot... Then, suddenly, I’m here and he's... I don’t know... you just showed up in his place... in his soul shell."

“Okay...” I stated as she cut in to continue,

“On the way in, I had barely laid my hand on him when somehow this guy, was shot in the back of the head. In that second, I was instantly transported here, I thought to save him, and get him to safety... And somehow, which right now I don’t think god himself could explain it to me, you are now in control of that mans soul shell.” Sam spoke quickly as possible.

So, I have his soul shell?” I interrupted.

“It’s like a meat suit your wearing.” She shrugged her shoulders as to how this could be. ’what a way to say that.. What? Wait...

I could see that ‘something’ was conflicted inside her, her face... a frown? No, a smile. No confused... Her face was a wreck, like she did know how to show emotions properly.

“And you know this to be true, how?” I questioned, watching her face slip in and out of expressions.

“Only souls can enter this realm we’re both currently in.” Sam concluded, realizing he was deeply studying her face. “What?”

Your expressions... They keep changing.” I told her. Somehow she realized I was right, it took a mental effort to still her face. I realized that staring at her wouldn’t help, and instead tried to focus on the problem at hand,

“So, where’s his soul?” I pondered.

“No idea... I’m assuming back with your real body, probably dreaming.” She offered trying not to think mental thoughts, as this was causing the facial changes.

“So that’s why I got this knot on the back of my head,” I assessed, noting the understanding of misplacement.

“That didn’t start out as a knot, it started out as a hole.” Sam admitted.

“Huh?” I asked, not understanding what she meant.

“He was shot directly in the back of the head. I told you, remember?” She stated.

I just stared at her in disbelief. I was stunned. This was completely the scariest thing I’d ever gone through. And as a sci-fiction writer, I haven’t even dreamed worse stuff than this. All my thoughts piled up on how to get out of this nightmare as Sam pulled out a cross from her blouse that seemed to almost glow as she showed it to me.

That cross, it was so soothing to look at. Somehow I felt the whole room change its demeanor. It was totally calm inside this trailer, peaceful. I felt whole again. Sane. No fear anywhere. There was peace and total tranquility surrounding us. Sam continued as I sudden realized all these words she had spoken were true. She wasn’t a nut case, she was an angel.

“I touched him and somehow, I got you.” Sam said.

“So, this guy, Fred... He really did die?” I asked.

“I would emagine... But something happened and somehow, I guess, you took his place. And I think I’ve about figured it out...”

“Figured it out? Figured out what?” I asked her.

“You’ve got to be a...” Sam stated looking at me weirdly.

“I got to be, a ‘what’?” I asked almost dying to know

“a profit of God...” Sam stated, smiling and tilting her head as she looked at me.

“Profit of God? No… I’m no profit of God.” I stated in almost a laugh, I was pretty certain about that point.

“You said in life, you are a writer, right?” Sam asked me.

“Writer yes, profit no...” I concurred.

“Here there are only two types of souls, ones that will never be saved, and one’s that are destined to be saved.” Sam concluded.

“So, which one am I?” I asked.

“That’s just it, neither. And that’s how I figured it all out… I seem to have a 'guardianship' responsibility to a profit... I just don’t know what that, in itself means... but, sound right.” She smiled for the first time.

“I’m not a profit, trust me. I have god issues my own self...” I told her flatly.

“Well, whoever you are, to save you’re soul is going to be my honor.” Sam almost bowed to him.

“Please, just get me out of here in one piece.... And when I say out of here, I mean out of this whole place. Okay?” I hoped she understood. She seemed to be smiling, then, not smiling at him, it looked like she was glitching.

“Then, if you want ‘out’, Then it is most important that I get you to the Church.” Sam stated emphatically, understanding now that there was something special about her charge. And suddenly, she felt empowered by it.

“And if you don’t get me there?” I asked.

“Again, I’m not really sure, what going to happen past this point, but you need to trust me fully when I say, there’s a reason for all this...” Sam said.

“What would happen if I got tagged by a demon?” I questioned.

“Once tagged by a demon, well, you die. Slipping past this plane, directly into hell... to be tortured to death over and over again. ” Sam said adding, "...But I'm not going to let that happen."

“That’s not good. And these 'hell hounds' they rip you to shreds.” I tried to recall what she had said.

“No, not like that, not at first... well, depends which hell hound tags you first...”

“There’s different types? They teach us that these hell hounds are wild crazy dog beasts that rip you apart!” I recalled.

“Some teachings above have minimized the actual facts.” Sam informed me.

“Minimized?”

“There are three types of hell hounds on this plane.” Sam began.

“Oh shit, three?”

“The mist, semi-solid and full solid.” Sam said.

“Great. Is one worse than the other?”

“Nope, any of them touch you, your dead. It's just 'how' you die is at their discretion.. ” Sam shook her head.

“So, how are they different?” I asked. As she began to go from window to window again.

“strange...” Sam stated, looking out another window.

“What’s strange?”

“They haven’t even taken notice of us yet...” Sam had again switched windows.

“So, how are they different?” I asked again.

“Well, there are three types..”

“Know that already,” I cut her off.

She stopped in mid switch to look at me, her look my way was almost violent.

“You want to learn this or not...?” Sam said going back to the window search.

“Um.. easy there. Looked like you were about to attack me!” I told her.

“Somethings going on with me... I’m starting to get living emotions. I'm starting to sense and feel things... Things I've long since forgotten... Living emotions. I don't know how or why this is happening to me.." Sam said with worry.

“Living emotions?” I asked, “yeah, that’s what’s different about you... When I first got here, you were like.. stone. Now, it like your emotions are all over the board.”

“Emotions? That's stupid... We lose that, the minute we accept this position.. Emotions get you killed here. They have no use here.” Sam said in an angry tone. ‘why though, why?’

"What as a guardian?" I questioned.

"Yes. that's my position. We lack human emotion here... It's why and how we safely get souls to the church... It all black and white to us... no colors." Sam admitted.

It was a bad thing. These emotions, they would do things that would get them killed ten times faster. She would second guess herself. Lead them in the wrong direction, make bad choices, tell him thing’s in the wrong order. The longer she waited, the worse it was going to get...

“Like I said, it was that man at the bar’s selfishness that got me sent here. I knew he was to die.. And, I 'think' I touched him before he died. Maybe that's why, not sure... I found you coveting his soul here. But even understanding everything now, my mind still ponders to understand how ‘this’ could have happened to me.” Sam said.

“Maybe it’s a test?” I offered.

“Jack, they’re ALL tests...” Sam seethed the words.

“So, you 'have to' save this mans soul?”

“That’s how it normally works, but now, I’m not really sure. I just know I have to try and do what I normally do, but it’s all changed up now with these freaking emotions...” Sam stated, looking hard at him again.

“What are we going to doing now?” I said, almost wanting to back away from her.

“I’m trying to read you... But it’s strange that I can’t anymore... Oh, this is bad.” Sam stated. It was true, she wasn’t able to read him.

“Seriously, read me?” I pondered.

“I’m suppose to be able to sense the pattern of a soul, its inward decisions of thinking. But you, there’s nothing anymore.. Could fit the profit theory... Though, I've never heard it actually have happening.” Sam admitted.

“Huh?”

“Only God’s profit can write out god’s design. No one anywhere can understand a profit’s mind. Not angels, not people, not demons, not even Satan himself. But, what you choose to write down… That will become the true history in the book of God.” Sam told me.

“To me, honestly, this is seems like a dream. But yet, I’m totally in a different world aren’t I?” I questioned.

“Yes, you are... So, I suggest you stick really close to me. And honestly, you are right. This is a totally different world. And remember, outside that door are the true ‘hounds of hell’. They all will be striving to catch us.” Sam pointed out, again looking out another window of the small trailer.

“Yeah, about those three ‘types’..” I questioned again.

“Yes. Guess I should explain those to you," Sam admitted. The mist type is like a slowly floating cloud or fog. To you it would be almost invisible to spot. It’s the slowest of the three. It targets movement, going to the last place it sensed it. Say it senses you, and you stand still ‘seeing’ it. It will come to that spot. If it touches you, your frozen in place and the other types 'now know' where you are. That I know of, there’s no unfreezing you... However, if you are hidden and still, they will pass you, without knowledge your there... If you move out of sight, they will quickly lose interest of following.”

“Wow... so your your telling me, that the entire body just stays frozen till the others come around to pick the meat off your bones.” I said.

“They eat everything. Nothing is left. The second type is semi-solid... These pick up on both movement and sounds. They move a little quicker, but if your fast enough, you can still out run them. There touch is physical though, where they touch you, your arm, leg, becomes useless... like dead weight. Slowly they touch over your whole body, rendering you totally paralyzed. As with the first, there is no escape... That’s when the third type usually shows up.” Sam continued.

“The solid ones...” I was beginning to understand how many ways this place could kill a soul.

“Those are the one’s that your tales are built upon. They are the quickest, you can’t out run them on foot. They are also keen on sound and movement, more so than the first two. The first two will eventually lose interest in you, the solid ones, don’t! If it has you pinned down, you can be stuck, forever. Any dash usually means your soul will belong to hell. It’s touch is eating you physically...” Sam described.

“Oh crap... So, there’s no winning?” I stated.

“Like I explained, not if they touch you.” Sam stated.

“This all can’t be true...” I said.

“True?” Sam said, staring him dead in the eye again, “There are how many people dying each day up on the living plain? Fred’s soul, the one you replaced... just loose ends in the big game. Like placing a handful of sand from one hand into the other, how many grains of sand are clearly lost in the transfer. You however! Are a prize much sought down here... ’Your dream’, is much bigger and realer than anything you could ever imagine. As a Profit, who sits at the left hand of god, you have NO idea what that soul would be worth to hell...”

“Oh crap...” I said, deflated.

“You must allow me to get you to the church safely. It’s your only chance to get back... IF that's suppose to happen.” Sam informed me.

“Sure, then let’s go into the shade.” I stated, ready to get this over with.

“Oh, a good point... I almost forgot to tell you, it's something that will help us immensely... ” Sam brightened up.

“I’ll take anything good...” I spoke up.

“Here, the darkness is our friend. The darker, the safer!” Sam explained.

“Even against the solid’s?”

“Yes. The 'darkness' hides you from them... And as well, they, it hurts them... burns them...” Sam smiled, this time not controlling it.

“So.. all the dark shadows are a like a safe haven?”

“Within them, your safe... Just make sure they are in an escapable zone, a building with a doorway that has a back door, buildings with doorway’s and long shadow paths around it. Look for those, I’ll point to where I want you to land if I ever send you first...”

“so...a solid can’t enter a darken shadow?” I said, liking this point. It was a game changer. ...She could have led with this.

“No, but they can trap you in one... and they can wait there forever... They are smart, so be careful.” Sam pointed out.

“Well... That’s good to know,” I stated in a low tone.

“Remember the three rules I’ve explained to you. Now, enough time has been wasted, we got to go!” She had reached her time limit and turned the handle on the door.

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