CHAPTER ONE

Emma was sat in an antique armchair, she stretched her legs and leaned back. After nearly falling asleep in the chair, she decided she had stayed put long enough. She rose out her seat and began inspecting the foyer. Everything from the carpeting to the chandeliers was grand almost ostentatious yet still contemporary. She then spent sometime sorting herself out in front of a mirror taller than her. She was somewhat ashamed of her appearance, her reddish blonde hair was a wild and unkept bush. Her eyes were red from a lack of sleep and crying; the last several hours had been a somewhat emotional roller coaster. Her clothes were creased and probably a little bit too raunchy for a high society such as this one.
Emma decided she could wait no more and went outside to smoke. She chose to do so in the garden; where she marvelled at the flowers, sculptures and fountain. Someone here had green fingers or at least an appreciation for the like. At the base of a large bird bath was a young girl. She was sat cross legged on the grass reading a book, she was no older than sixteen. Emma bored and starved for attention approached her.

EMMA
You got a lighter?

The girl raised her head and squinted at Emma.

YOUNG GIRL
No, I don’t smoke.

Emma and Walt always used the “you got a lighter?” line as an ice breaker. And it had almost always proved effective; just less so on children.

EMMA
Whatcha reading?

YOUNG GIRL
The Divine Comedy.

Emma laughed to herself, the irony was too perfect.

YOUNG GIRL (CONT’D)
It’s not an actual comedy.

EMMA
I know that, it’s just… An inside joke.

YOUNG GIRL
Are you here cause of the wedding?

EMMA
Not exactly. We, well my cousin actually has business with Gregory Cornell.

YOUNG GIRL
My dad? What kind of business?

EMMA
Ermm, that’s hard to say. But don’t worry it’s nothing bad.

YOUNG GIRL
No offence but you don’t look like a business woman.

EMMA
I ain’t offended, I know I’m too hot to work with bar charts and numbers.

The young girl sniggered.

EMMA (CONT’D)
So Gregory Cornell is your dad. What’s that like?

The young girl screwed her face up, it was clear she was struggling to find a suitable word.

YOUNG GIRL
Efficient.

EMMA
Efficient?

YOUNG GIRL
Yeah, he’s crazy about time management. He taught me if you’re early you’re on time, and if you’re on time you’re late. Longest I’ve ever seen him idle is maybe about five minutes.

EMMA
So he’s a workaholic.

YOUNG GIRL
He’d take that as a compliment.

EMMA
What about you, does he pay enough attention to you?

YOUNG GIRL
Not as much as Vivian, she’s my older sister.

EMMA
The bridezilla?

YOUNG GIRL
Yeah, she acts like she doesn’t want him around; but she’s always doing this to get his attention.

EMMA
Like what?

YOUNG GIRL
Well, one time she drove dad’s Bentley into the pool.

Emma chuckled, she could she herself doing the same thing; especially if it made her the focus of a loved one. She to would have been a spoiled brat; had she the same luxuries and privileges as Vivian in life. But her life was quite the opposite, she never had a Bentley or any kind of car she could crash; let alone a pool. She did however have an absent and neglectful father. Despite how polite the young girl was being, Emma could read between all the lines and understood her grief all too well.

Emma sat herself next to the girl.

EMMA
What’s you’re name sweetie?

YOUNG GIRL
It’s Cecilia.

EMMA
Cecilia, that’s a pretty name. What do your friends call you for short?

YOUNG GIRL
Isn’t Cecilia short enough?

EMMA
A name can always be shorter.

YOUNG GIRL
What’s your name?

EMMA
Emma, my friends call me Em for short.

YOUNG GIRL
I guess you could just call me Ce.

EMMA
nah, it ain’t cute enough. Maybe Cece, no. Cilly. That’s it Cilly.

YOUNG GIRL
Cilly? As in nonsense and absurd?

EMMA
Yeah, that’s why it’s cute.

Cilly wriggled her nose, she pondered the thought of going by Cilly. She never gave Cecilia much thought, but at least Cilly would leave an impression.

CILLY
Okay, I guess you can call me Cilly.

Emma smiled.

CHAPTER TWO

Walt and Cornell continued their discussion along the lake headed towards the garden.

CORNELL
So you’re telling me the Devil is willing to forget my debt?

WALT
Basically. Yeah?

CORNELL
And why would you want to do that?

WALT
That’s my business, just be glad it benefits you.

CORNELL
So what now? Do you just tear up the contract and we go our separate ways?

Walt wished it was that simple, he furrowed his brow and gave Cornell a look of concern. Contracts from Hell were unlike any other known to man. They were more than simply a piece of paper, they were unholy chains that would make the most seasoned of BDSM aficionados weep. Actually they’d probably like that. Nevertheless, a contract from Hell could not be torn up, shredded and obviously burnt. They were neigh unbreakable except for one way. How do you break any contract? Find a loop hole.

WALT
Cornell, there’s one thing you gotta understand there is no way to break a contract with Hell. Not unless there’s a loop hole or an escape clause.

CORNELL
So what is it? How are you gonna get me out of this?

Walt adjusted his posture, and planted his feet. He needed to take a firm pose, for what he was about to suggest to Cornell would undoubtably see protest from him.

WALT
You’re deal, with Lucifer specifically stated that in return for your soul; you would get to live out the rest of your days as a wealthy man.

CORNELL
Yes.

WALT
Well, if you were to die a poor man that would mean his end of the bargain wasn’t fulfilled. And he would have no claim to your soul.

The hairs on the back of Cornell’s neck stood up. His fortune was everything, he sold his damn soul for it. He was offended that Walt would even suggest such a thing.

CORNELL
No. I can’t.

WALT
Why not Cornell? You got everything you wanted what else do you need?

CORNELL
This fortune isn’t for me it’s for my family!

WALT
You’re daughter is marrying a god damn millionaire!

CORNELL
She’s marring an Avery. This is supposed to be a dynasty for year’s to come. The Cornell name was meant to mean something!

Walt felt a switch flick in his head. He wasn’t fond of Cornell, in fact he was thinking of out right murdering him and moving on to the next name on the list. The only thing stopping him was the fear of facing Emma if he did.

WALT
You’re name isn’t Cornell. You don’t have a thing that belongs to you. Not the name, not the house, not the cars and certainly not the fortune.

CORNELL
It’s not-

WALT
Quite!

Walt placed his hand on Cornell’s chest. Walt hated that Cornell got he everything he wanted, everything Walt himself longed for. The acres of land, the overindulgent cars, the beautiful home. The normal family. Walt asked himself “what if I sold my soul? If we had all this, would Annie and I have stood a chance? Would it have saved her?”

“Annie… would it have made a difference? Why would Louie want a soul that was always bound for Hell.”

It started to happen again, Walt’s palm began steaming. His whole skin began to turn a red lobster hue. Cornell was sweating as if he had run a marathon in furs.

WALT (CONT’D)
You got everything you could ever have possibly wanted. While I lost everything. I suffered, while you celebrated. I poured while you drank. And now I’m giving you a way out while I’m still trapped. No, I changed my mind. I’m gonna make us both happy. I’m going to take to Hell myself!

CORNELL
IT’S NOT FOR ME! IT’S FOR MY FAMILY!

Family. Why his family over Walt’s? Why his spoiled daughter over Emma? Why his gold digging wife over Annie?

“Annie.”

Walt’s eyes burst into flames. His hair turned from ash grey to brittle white and the bass in his voice doubled. He could feel his soul clawing at the surface, desperately trying to erupt out of his meat sack of a vessel and attack Cornell.

CORNELL (CONT’D)
IT’S NOT JUST FOR MY WIFE, OR MY SON AND MY DAUGHTERS! IT’S FOR THEIR CHILDREN! THEIR FUTURE! PLEASE UNDERSTAND!

WALT
I don’t give a shit about your kids.

CORNELL
THEN JUST DO IT.

Cornell practically had to fight to make his voice heard. The roaring of the steam and flames reached Emma and Cilly’s ears, they raced towards it without a second thought. To their horror they witnessed Walt engulfed in steam and eyes aflame; stood before a weak and feeble Cornell. Cilly would have fainted at the sight, but her instinct to protect her father pushed past her shock and fear. She bounded for Cornell, but Emma’s own instinct to protect was strong. She pulled Cilly back, and threw herself over the young girl; protecting her from the intensity of the heat. All doubts Emma had about Hell were cast aside as she watched Walt burn, seeing him for what he really was; a demon from Hell.

EMMA
WALT! STOP IT!

Walt saw Emma out the corner of his eye. The sight of her screaming with desperation in her eyes brought him back to the jewelry heist. In an instant all the rage seeped away from his heart. It was replaced with shame and guilt. He had changed a great deal over the years in Hell. Although the scars he was left with in life cut deep; and would always stay with him. The flames from his eyes dwindled in to nothing more than a spark. He and Emma made eye contact, he was expecting to see a terrifying frown of disappointment. But instead she wore a smile of relief. Luckily for Cornell Walt’s performance was more spectacle than devastation. But who knows what would had happened if he really let himself go. If he lingered on the thought of Annie any longer, he probably would have exploded.

Cilly raised her head to take a better look at Walt. She was surprised to see just a man standing before her. She stood up and walked over to her father, never taking her eyes off Walt.

CILLY
Who are you?

Walt smiled.

WALT
This your kid?

Cornell catching his breath, wrapped his arms around Cilly.

CORNELL
Yes, she’s my youngest.

WALT
Cute kid.

Walt adjusted his attire and proceeded to help Emma off the ground.

WALT (CONT’D)
You have Angina. That’s why you’re so short of breath.

CORNELL
You’re a doctor now.

WALT
Doctors save people, I don’t.

Walt and Emma made their way towards the exit. Cilly continued to watch them until they were out of sight. She was scared, just as anybody else would be. But more than anything she was intrigued. Emma was so kind, she felt like she had a lot in common with her, more so than her sister Vivian. And the man that she was with; was what peeked her curiosity most. For her father’s sake she hoped they never returned, but as for herself; she quite welcomed it.

It was the dead of night, and it had been a long day for both Walt and Emma. The pair had gotten themselves a luxurious room in a five star hotel; not too far from the Cornell estate. They had not said much to each other since leaving the Cornell’s. It was mostly due to exhaustion, but the pair felt compelled to break their silence once they were inside. Emma immediately crashed onto the silky king sized bed.

EMMA
I think today just might be the longest day of my life… so far.

Walt removed his jacket. He watched Emma wriggling in comfort.

WALT
Emma, I’m sorry.

She looked over at him, she didn’t say anything. The two watched each other for several minutes. Emma played with her hair while Walt lit a cigarette.

EMMA
Were you gonna kill him?

Walt dragged on the cigarette.

WALT
I don’t know.

Emma chewed on her bottom lip.

EMMA
You wouldn’t have done it.

WALT
You sure?

EMMA
Yeah, I’m sure. No one knows you better than me.

She was right. There wasn’t a person living or in Hell that knew him better. That’s what he loved about her, she was always sure of him even if he wasn’t. It’s was a powerful feeling to have someone believe in him. But at times like this he felt like he didn’t deserve it.

EMMA (CONT’D)
What are you gonna do now?

WALT
I don’t know. How can you save someone that doesn’t want to be saved?

EMMA
He’s going to die soon isn’t he?

WALT
Yeah. I don’t know how, but when I had my hand on his chest I cloud just feel it. You know? Like his soul was picking up speed.

EMMA
I don’t want that girl’s dad to burn in Hell.

WALT
I do.

EMMA
You don’t mean that.

He didn’t, she never missed a beat. He was always afraid she’d one day start finishing his sentences. The idea sent shivers down his spine.

WALT
Is he worth saving though?

EMMA
He’s willing to go to Hell so that his family can live comfortably. It’s kinda noble.

WALT
Its egotistical. He wants a Cornell dynasty; same way rich idiots want a custom number plate. He hasn’t earned a damn thing and neither has his family.

EMMA
That’s why we have to save him. To balance this out. Plus I know you’d enjoy turning those rich assholes broke.

The thought of it brought a smile to Walt’s face.

EMMA (CONT’D)
It’ll be like old times. Stealing from the rich and giving to the poor.

WALT
We never gave to the poor.

EMMA
We were the poor.

The old memories came flooding back. The simplicity of it all. Walt’s old mantra “If you want it, take it.” The long cons were his preferred jobs. Mostly because Emma did most of the work, and he just watched. But nothing could beat the adrenaline rush from a heist. He and Emma always used to celebrate hard after a successful one, overindulging one another with gifts, booze and other acts.

He stubbed out his cigarette. Emma rubbed the space beside her, inviting him over. He made his way towards her. She raised her foot against his chest and halted him.

EMMA (CONT’D)
Help me take off my boots.

He ran his fingers along her calf and then proceeded to untie her boots. She gently lifted her foot out the boot and stroked it against his cheek. He tossed her boot over to the balcony.

EMMA (CONT’D)
Careful with that, these are my favorite pair.

WALT
Relax, tomorrow I’m taking you shopping.

He slowly peeled the socks off her feet. She then wrapped her legs around his waist. He began pressing his lips against her skin, climbing his way up from her belly button all the way to her collar bone. She moaned sensually as he rubbed against her. She felt a comfort with Walt, that she never had done with anyone else. Perhaps it was because they shared the sin. They were both just as guilty. Although They weren’t in their late teens or twenties any more. They had both matured considerably, they should have known better. Emma kept running the scenario of facing her mother or her aunt, the shame and humiliation weaved in and out of her train of thought; like a fly in the summer.

EMMA
Wait. Walt. Wait.

He persisted. Walt had the same thoughts and hang ups as Emma. Who wouldn’t. But he could preform mental gymnastics, he worked it to his advantage. The fact he was performing such a taboo actually turned him on, like he was getting one over society.

EMMA (CONT’D)
Walt. Please stop it.

She wrestled her neck free and pushed her free hand against him. He retreated, albeit reluctantly.

EMMA (CONT’D)
Walt. We can’t. We promised each other.

He sighed.

WALT
You’re right. We said we’d never do it again.

The two panted heavily. They couldn’t take their eyes off each other. He wiped the sweat off her face and ran his fingers through her hair.

EMMA
Walt.

WALT
What?

EMMA
Stop it.

WALT
I’m not doing anything.

EMMA
You’re like a dog with a bone.

She stroked his head.

WALT
You are such a hypocrite.

He pressed his head against hers. They chuckled at their unwillingness to separate.

EMMA
Well, you did die. So I guess technically we fulfilled our promise.

Walt leaned his head back and smirked. She was right. He did die, which meant that the pair had seen their oath through.

WALT
I love technicalities.

EMMA
I’ll bet.

They locked lips and a began to tussle furiously. It almost would have been romantic, if only they weren’t cousins.

CHAPTER THREE

Cilly was sat in the dining room, again reading The Divine Comedy. Her sister Vivian stormed in with a horde of stressed smart casual women and camp men. They were her wedding team; but she treated them more like lackeys.

VIVIAN
Where is the water fountain gonna go?

STRESSED WOMAN
But you already have a water fountain outside.

VIVIAN
Excuse me, are we outside?

The stressed woman shook her head and took a step back.

VIVIAN (CONT’D)
Now I want the doves to fly in here along with me as I enter.

Cilly’s concentration was broken by the… well, silly statement. It became harder and harder to focus as Vivian landed one unintentional punch line after another. Pretty soon she became a divine comedy herself. Her requests were so outlandish, that they had to be a parody. Her cohorts had to chew on their own face to stop themselves from laughing. Unfortunately for them Cilly knew all too well, her sister was always serious. Vivian eventually pointed to the space where Cilly was sat and just realized she had been there the whole time.

VIVIAN (CONT’D)
Cecilia! What are you doing there?!

CILLY
Trying to read.

VIVIAN
Well try and read else where! We’re trying to prepare a wedding here!

CILLY
I’m not disturbing you, I’m just reading.

VIVIAN
You are disturbing me! Now get out!

Cilly couldn’t be bothered to argue with Vivian. It wouldn’t be a battle of wits or a constructive debate. It would just be a match of who ever could scream the loudest, and Vivian was a natural born screechier. Cilly simply picked up her book and held her middle finger out for all to see.

Cilly returned to her usual spot by the fountain. There she sat for what only felt like twenty minuets, but in reality was over an hour. She was so deep in thought nothing could break her concentration; except for a familiar voice.

EMMA
Hey there.

Cilly jerked her head up, and she was pleased to find the voice matched the face she was hoping for. There stood Emma; this time a lot more put together. She was always easy on the eyes, a natural beauty; but when she had a good nights rest and a fresh wardrobe she could break any man’s heart. Stood beside her was the man from yesterday, or at least Cilly thought he was a man.

CILLY
Emma. What are you doing here?

EMMA
Actually we came here to see you.

CILLY
You did?

EMMA
I’m sure you have a lot of questions about yesterday, and I want to answer them.

Cilly nodded, she scanned Walt from head to toe. There was no sign of a fire anywhere. The only thing warm about him was his smile. Emma noted her curiosity and introduced them.

EMMA (CONT’D)
Cilly, this is my cousin Walt.

WALT
Hey. It’s nice to be properly introduced.

CILLY
You were the man trying to kill my father.

WALT
I wasn’t trying to kill him, I was…

He was fumbling, this was why he usually left the sweet talking to Emma.

WALT (CONT’D)
Trying to help him.

CILLY
You were on fire. How was that possible? Dad said you were magicians hired for the wedding, but I don’t believe it.

Walt felt a little bit easier, Emma was right. Cilly was smart; which meant he wouldn’t have to talk down to her.

WALT
Cilly, I’m guessing your father doesn’t tell you much.

CILLY
Nobody does. I didn’t even know this wedding was happening until two weeks ago.

WALT
Let me guess, you go to an all girls boarding school?

CILLY
Of course, but I’m sure Emma told you that.

WALT
No, it’s written all over you actually.

Cilly wasn’t sure to take that as a compliment or an offense; nevertheless Emma still punched his arm.

CILLY
Sounds like you spend a lot of time with underage girls.

Emma laughed in Walt’s face and raised her palm for a high five. Cilly hesitated, she wasn’t sure whether it was meant for her or Walt. She thought only boys high fived each other. What if she went for it and missed. The embarrassment would be too much. Emma would think she was a loser, a nerd who read books. But she couldn’t leave Emma hanging. She decided to go for it. To embrace this counter culture in front of her. She had just realized how desperately she wanted to fit in with Walt and Emma. Their styles were envious and their personality magnetic. She wanted to be like them. She flung her palm against Emma’s releasing a bellowing sharp sound.

WALT
Why is it every girl in run into has a mouth on them?

EMMA
It has nothing to do with what sex we are, and everything to do with how dumb you are.

WALT
See what I mean.

Cilly didn’t feel the need to guard herself against the two. She felt a sincerity from their words.

CILLY
I want to go somewhere we can talk.

WALT
Sure, I don’t know this place well so you’ll have to take us.

CILLY
No, not here. I can’t stand it here. I want to go somewhere else.

WALT
Little girl, you shouldn’t run off with strangers.

CILLY
You’re kind of a creep, but I think I’ll be safe with Emma.

Emma smirked and tilted her head at Walt; who gladly accepted his creepiness.

WALT
Alright, where do you want to go? Probably the mall, right?

This time Cilly took a slight offense; she saw herself as an exception to all the cookie cutter girls her age. She danced to the beat of her own drum; as they would say.

CILLY
No. I want to go somewhere, anywhere. Just not the mall. Crowds of people make me sick. Where do you guys go?

WALT
Bars, usually a good casino.

EMMA
Walt we are not taking her to a casino.

Walt shrugged his shoulders. He honestly didn’t see the problem with taking a child to gamble and drink.

EMMA (CONT’D)
How about the pier, they’re having a festival there tonight?

Cilly’s eyes lit up.

CILLY
Yes! Let’s go!

She had never been to anything of the sort, her mother disapproved of such places. She believed anywhere that sold meat on a stick was a cesspool for savages. Vivian and their mother’s idea of a special outing was flying to Paris or Dubai for a shopping spree. Cilly always felt like it was a waste of money, mostly because they never even bothered to wear half of what they bought. She was truly the black sheep of the family. She didn’t even know what she had in common with her father, other than their surname. But unbeknownst to her, Cornell wasn’t even his real name.

Walt and Emma took Cilly to the pier, where setup for the many food stalls and attractions had begun for the night. Their first stop was the bumper cars. Cilly took a seat on the passenger side next to Emma. Cilly couldn’t wipe away the grin from her face. The hairs on her neck began to stand up as she watched from the queue, the other boys and girls crashing into each other. She couldn’t recall the last time she felt this excited. When the car jolted she let out a scream so girly she surprised herself. She Immediately felt embarrassed and sank in to her seat. That was a mistake, because when the next jolt arrived she nearly popped out the car. They glanced back to see who hit them; and to their dismay was Walt sat alone in his bumper car, with a glass of liquor in one hand and steering wheel in the other.

CILLY (CONT’D)
It’s Walt!

EMMA
That fucking asshole!

Walt was relentless, he hammered them at every turn. All the other drivers were deliberately avoiding him, as he hurled both abuse and liquor their way.

WALT
You’re dead meat girls!

CILLY
Emma, he’s catching up!

Emma roared with laughter as Cilly screamed clutching on to her for dear life. Cilly’s arms wrapped around Emma’s made it difficult for her to maneuver. Walt caught them on a corner and began pounding them. They laughed harder and harder with every bash. By the time the power was cut off from the cars, Emma had tears in her eyes. Walt stumbled out and helped the pair climb out. Emma felt a great sense of relief to see Cilly smiling and bouncing all about the place. They then did the rounds, the Ferris wheel, shooting gallery, rigged game booths and more. They stopped to eat at the food court, picking out dishes from almost every stall. The girls scoffed down burgers, then candy floss, then fries, then candied apples and corn dogs. With a side of roasted peanuts, ice cream and fudge. Walt simply continued to drink like a fish, although he was alarmingly sober. What Emma didn’t know was that Walt was burning through his vessel at a rapid pace. The liquor believe it or not was a source of fuel for him. It kept the meat puppet operating, by burning up the alcohol. Meaning he now had a higher tolerance to drink than ever before.

WALT
Cilly, listen. We have something to tell you about your father. It might be a little hard to believe but… you know what you saw yesterday, so I’m hoping you can understand.

Cilly nodded while chewing on a churro. Walt glanced over at Emma, he wanted her approval before he broke the truth to her. Her eyes said “go for it.”

WALT (CONT’D)
So you’re dad wasn’t always Gregory Cornell. He used to be David Anderson, and he used to be a pretty bad gambler.

Cilly put down her churro, she looked at them stupefied.

CILLY
You guys are joking right?

WALT
Wait, it gets funnier. So your father hit rock bottom back in 1972, that’s when someone came to him and made him a deal. He took it. This deal was what gave him his fortune and his name.

CILLY
What did my dad have to do?

Walt rubbed his eyes.

WALT
He sold his soul.

Cilly didn’t say anything. The three sat there in silence. Emma wasn’t sure whether Cilly heard what Walt had said.

EMMA
You understand what your father did right?

CILLY
He sold his soul?

EMMA
Yes.

CILLY
My dad sold his own soul? Like a pair of shoes on eBay?

WALT
Look Cilly I know it’s hard to believe but ask yourself these questions. Do you know anything about your father’s past, or how he made his fortune? Does your mother? Does your sister?

He was right, she didn’t know a damn thing about her own father.

CILLY
I don’t know. I don’t know anything about my dad.

WALT
It’s not because he doesn’t love you. He does, trust me. But he’s been hiding all of this, and it’s gonna catch up with him.

CILLY
Who did he sell his soul to?

Walt hesitated telling her, but he knew she needed the whole story.

WALT
The Devil.

Cilly’s jaw dropped. Walt wondered if that meant she believed it or not.

CILLY
The Devil? Walt you’re the Devil! That’s why you were on fire you’re here for my father’s soul.

Cilly jumped out of her seat and backed away. Walt and Emma were quick to try and calm her down.

EMMA
No, Cilly. He isn’t the Devil.

WALT
I am from Hell though, but I’m not here for your dad’s soul.

CILLY
Then why are you here?

WALT
Because I’m trying to save it, and I need your help.

CHAPTER FOUR

Cornell was pacing around his estate grounds, rubbing his chest profusely. The stress of the wedding and Walt’s arrival had taken it’s toll on him. He didn’t want to believe it, but he knew it was true. He was dying. He just had to accept it. He didn’t see the point in seeing a doctor. If a representative from Hell comes knocking, what is a doctor gonna do? His time was up, he had a good run, and now it was time to leave his legacy in the hands of his children. Hell, be damned. What is enteral suffering compared to legacy?

Cornell wasn’t about to lose everything he ever wanted. He had been hungry. He knew all too well the pit inside; eating away at his pride and feeding his resentment. To have so little while other’s have so much. The memories and emotions returned like a bullet train, rolling off the tracks. Never again, he told himself “I will never be that man again, and my children will never have to starve like I did.” If that rush of emotion wasn’t enough to make his heart give out, the sight of Walt smirking would have surely been enough.

CORNELL
What the Hell are you doing here?

WALT
You know why I’m here.

CORNELL
I told you I don’t want out of the contract.

WALT
I know, but that’s cause you’re having trouble understanding. So just give it a couple of days it’ll sink in.

CORNELL
I can’t, I can’t do it.

Walt watched Cornell, rub his chest and catch his breath.

WALT
You know I’ve been doing my research on you. You’re quite the philanthropist, giving all that money away to all those charities. I wonder why? Could it be cause you’re trying to buy your way in to heaven?

CORNELL
I GIVE A DAMN, THAT’S WHY!

WALT
You are afraid. That much is clear as day, you’ve been looking over your shoulder all your life. You don’t want to spend an eternity in Hell, trust me. For a guy like you; you’ll regret every second of it.

CORNELL
You ever stop to ask yourself whether I deserve to be in Hell anyway?

Walt shook his head, it was Cornell’s ignorance that irked him the most. The man was an idiot, there was no way he would have become a millionaire without Louie’s help.

WALT
You’re nothing special, you’re not a great man but you’re not a terrible one either. People like you want to believe they’re something more than the rest; whether it be for the right reasons or the wrong ones. But the reality is you’re just like the others. Hell, is for the monsters; and you are just food to us.

Ever since receiving his fortune Cornell had not been spoken to in such a manner. Everyone in his life was either a sycophant or a narcissist. Walt’s words were a much needed cold bucket of water.

WALT (CONT’D)
I’ll see you tomorrow, Dave.

CORNELL
Wait, you can’t we’re having the wedding in a couple of days.

Walt didn’t know what it was about Cornell, but every time he opened his mouth; he felt a strong desire to slap him across it.

WALT
And what are you gonna do to stop me? I’m a spirit from Hell, Dave.

CHAPTER FIVE

It was Christmas this time in Walt’s memory, he was sat alone in his dingy little apartment. He was watching terrible T.V, where every advert and show mocked him for being alone on this day. It wasn’t entirely his choice, he longed for company. One person in particular, but she was in the building next to his; opening presents with someone other than him. He tried not to look, he fought the urge for several hours. After the third T.V Christmas special he glanced out to see them, he knew it would hurt but what could be more painful than Dr. Phil. He watched as Annie wrapped her arms around Phillip’s shoulders. Walt felt a blood vessel pop, he wanted to smash something but he had nothing left in his home to break. He simply watched like a gargoyle.

Annie was stressing out over in the kitchen; she was never much of a cook no matter how hard she tried. Phillip simply sat with his tablet like a tool wearing an appeased grin. Walt spent hours devising plans on how to kill the man without implicating himself. He had many viable options, the only thing that stopped him was Annie. She claimed she still loved him and Walt could never hurt Annie. No matter how selfish he was, he would break all his rules for that girl.

As he watched Annie he noticed whenever Phillip wasn’t around she wore a melancholy expression. Was she thinking of him? No, he thought to himself. Why would she trade what she had built with Phillip for Walt. She had her mind set on a particular future, Walt was just a diversion and not a viable choice.

Eventually he stopped glancing over, it wasn’t like it was gonna hurt less every time he did it. He sat on the floor with a bottle of Jack Daniels in his hand. He wondered whether he could drink all it’s contents in one go. He knew there’s was only one way to find out and made ago of it. He consumed a whole third of the whiskey before choking on his own pity. He was looking at the start of a new festive tradition. Hurling vomit into his sink. Screaming at the television as he calls in on a late night game show, and finally passing out drunk; where he’d hopefully drown on his own sick.

Knock, knock.

Walt hobbled over to the door and answered it. There stood Annie, her eyes red and cloudy.

WALT (CONT’D)
Annie?

ANNIE
Walt, you look terrible.

WALT
Come on, you can do better than that.

She came inside, as she stepped across the floor she unknowingly knocked several bottles of wine. He turned away from her, he didn’t want her to see how far he’d fallen.

ANNIE
I’m not joking Walt, you drank all this on your own?

WALT
I don’t have to, you could always join me?

ANNIE
Walt, I don’t have much time. Phillip thinks I’m smoking on the roof.

WALT
Then why are you here? He’s the one you want. I’m just a distraction.

ANNIE
That’s what I told myself… but it isn’t true.

Walt turned to face Annie, he felt a jolt shiver up his spine and instil a fire of sobriety.

ANNIE (CONT’D)
I wish it was. I wish I didn’t think of you everyday. I wish I cloud just look at Phillip and not see you… but I can’t.

WALT
Say it.

ANNIE
No. I can’t.

Annie rubbed her eyes into her sleeves.

WALT
Just say it. Just admit it.

He grabbed her by her arms.

WALT (CONT’D)
You can’t lie to yourself anymore Annie.

She began to sob.

ANNIE
I won’t say it Walt. I won’t.

He pushed her away and turned towards his window.

WALT
Then get out.

Annie was well and truly conflicted. She didn’t want to admit what she really felt. She played off her affair with Walt as nothing more than an amusement, but then again she never saw herself as someone to so frivolously betray trust like that. It had to be because of something more. She knew it, but to say it out loud meant it was true. She wanted to drop to the floor and accept defeat. Instead she stood her ground. She wasn’t gonna say it, but she could do something else. She pulled out a small box from her pocket.

ANNIE
I wanted to give you something.

Walt turned around.

ANNIE (CONT’D)
My mother gave me this when I was a child, a year later she died and it became the only memory I had of her. Since then I wore it everyday, for the past twenty one years. You have no idea what it means to me… just like how you, have no idea what you mean to me.

She placed the box on his desk and left. Walt wanted to call out to her, but he couldn’t even muster the strength. Simply facing Annie, knocked the wind out of him. He lifted the lid off the box, and inside it sat a purple crystal pendant.