All Melissa wanted was one day. One day to live for herself. She was tired, exhausted in fact, of trying to be everything. She tried to be the genius for her parents, the punk for her school friends, the friend for her teachers, the bible-thumper for her old friends. She knew that one day she would be famous. Not for a book, a song, or a cure for some horrible disease. No, she was to shine as the brightest star Hollywood had every seen, the greatest actress of all time, something she knew she always had been. That was about the only thing she knew about herself. So much had been an act, and a good one, that even she didn't know who she was anymore.
Tuesday night she flicked on the lights in her room and plopped onto her bed. Reaching over to her radio she inserted one of her favorite CD's and listened to Gackt's ultra sexy voice create the song Emu for my Dear. All of a sudden the music stopped. She glanced over at her radio as it told her the disk was stubbornly affixed at 3 minutes, 2 seconds. Halfway through. So, as any number one fan would do, she smacked the radio until she could hear the pieces start rattling inside it. Nothing. She got up and walked over to her dresser, and tried to work her way around all the junk in the top drawer so she could find her set of tiny screw drivers. Finding it, she ran and hopped back onto her bed, crossing her legs into a worktable to take her radio apart and figure out what had gone wrong. Just as the first tiny screw bounced off her pink comforter, she was jolted out of her annoyed thoughts by a knock at the door.
"Come in." She looked didn't bother looking up , eager to get her radio fixed.
"It was fine until you started hitting it." She looked up now, aware that it would have taken a bit longer than two seconds to guess what had happened between her and her rebelling radio.
"Oh my g -. You have to be Sa -, Lu -, Me -," she stuttered at a loss for words.
"Yup, the devil. Prince of darkness blah blah blah, here's my card." He handed her a little red card covered in black writing. "It unfolds so you can see my credentials. Just flip it over and pull the little flap. Nifty, isn't it?" He smirked at her bulging eyes as the card expanded till it seemed it would never stop. She didn't even bother reading past the fall, just unfolding paper until she saw the final line.

To be continued...

She looked up, her mouth hanging open so wide she was sure it could hold the gates of Hell. The devil was ducking to see himself in her mirror so he could adjust his hat. Seeing her stare at his reflection, he turned.

"Oh. This is my new hat. Isn't it spiffy? Custom made. I give the tailor days without pain in exchange for the work he does, and he always seems to do a good job, don't you think?" He spread his arms and gave an elegant turn, modeling his red velvet.
"You look, very, red-deathy."
"Well," he frowned, insulted, " was going for something a bit more creative and original than that. It has been so over done."
"Very overdone."
"That's what I just said."
"No, I mean your grammar's wrong."
He stood to his full height, a tad over seven feet, and maybe a bit on his toes. "Are you impertinent mortal correcting me?"
She wasn't intimidated. She had seen too many horror movies in her time to be frightened. But that experience had also taught her that being rude to the wrong people could cost a hand, or a head, or a soul... ""No?"
"Nice answer. Anyway, enough wasting my time, I'm a busy man, and I have a date planned later tonight with a very nice vampire girl I met. Getting to business, I came because I figured you needed some help sorting out your life."
"Just great, everyone is becoming a Dr. Phil. Life advice from the guy that got kicked out of heaven. Next thing you know, the Son of Sam will be selling me Valentines. I can see them now: "Roses are red, blood is red too, I hate your guts, so I will kill you!" Besides, what would be in it for you if you helped me? You're not exactly known for your good deeds."
"Whaaat? Can't a guy do something nice, completely different from his reputation, every few centuries?"
"Okay, okay! Truth is," he laughed slightly, his embarrassment coloring his cheeks like a slab of raw meat, "I've always tried hard to corrupt the mind of the youth. But his generation has managed to find a, certain sanctuary away from me, and I figured a teenager could help me enter into that sanctuary and capture more souls for me."
"I'm not taking you to church." She didn't flinch. In fact, she didn't care about what was going on, who she was talking to. None of it mattered, so long as she could gain something.
"Oh, I don't need any help getting in there. I hate how everyone thinks that. It's one of the easiest places for me to get, opportunities for sins of all kinds lurk in there. After all, whenever you get groups of large people, I mean, large groups of people... bad things always happen." You're not going to believe this but, I needed help getting into... well, um, this is kind of embarrassing, but..."
She was getting frustrated. Wasting his time! The man was talking non-stop, the energizer bunny of words. "Just spill it already! I can't help you if you don't tell me your problem." She looked away, frightened. "My God, I sound like my parents."
"Hey, no talking to him while you're with me. He is strictly on the silent treatment."
"Wow, you really hold a grudge don't you? I mean, how many millennia has it been since you were stupid and ..."
"No references to that either!" He yelled at her in rather girly style. That style was so heightened by his long fingernails that Melissa couldn't hold back a giggle. He frowned but decided to let it pass. Sticking his pointy chin up high he continued, "besides, even if I had wanted to take it all back, the Big Man," he rolled his eyes up at the blue- beaded lighting fixture on the ceiling of Melissa's room, "decided that angels aren't as special as people, man was made in his image, blah, blah, BS, you've heard the story. So anyway, we can't take back what we say or do. We don't have, how does he put it? 'The GIFT of Repentance.' So I can't go back. Ever. I might as well hurt him as much as I can. He is my dad after all, I'm like a bad kid he threw out, and I can't go back."
"So the goal is to be as much of a disappointment as possible and get as many of your, (shall we call them brothers and sisters?), to fall in the ditch with you."
"Pretty much, yeah."
"Sure, whatever. Common, we're going to the library, since I'm grounded from the home computer."
"In that case, shouldn't you use it?"
"Oh, right. Well in that case, common downstairs with me. It's in the den. Computers one-oh-one starts now. We don't exactly have forever."
"Um, pardon me, 'mon proffeseur' but we kinda do."
She rolled her eyes and led the way down the stairs. Great. Just perfect. She was always the one that had to be perfect at everything, and now she was even telling Hades himself how to do his job!