Published December 26, 2016 by

Memories of a Soul in the Underworld Chapter 15

Summary: Ethan is a soul doomed to spend eternity as a slave in Hell for reasons he can't remember. After centuries of torment he finally snaps and goes on the run from those who enslaved him. Can he escape and become more than a regular soul, or is he doomed to spend an eternity in The Underworld? 

Click here for earlier chapters 

Anya was gone by the time Fredrick drunkenly stumbled back to his room. As soon as the souls released their grip, I dashed straight to where she was, but there was no sign of my friend. I could only hope that she found a safe place to hide.

I finally saw Anya when we resumed work the following morning. She was lifelessly slumped in her chair and threaded like someone centuries older. She flinched and leaned away whenever someone walked past, and I wondered if her jitterish behavior was caused by what happened the previous night.

I desperately wanted to rush to her side, but that bastard of a Foreman made it impossible to leave our seats once work began.

"Cotton?" asked one soul circling the factory with a straw basket full of rolls. I took one out of habit, but then saw an opportunity to escape my work station.

"Here, let me help you!" I jumped to my feet and snatched the basket from his arms. I then dashed down the isle of looms before he could grab it back. "Cotton, cotton, cotton." I virtually flung the rolls at the souls between Anya and myself. I stopped before my friend and handed her a roll as slowly as possible. "Anya, about last ni-"

"Forget it," she said without taking her eyes off the loom. "I don't want to talk about it."

"I tried to-"

"I know," she snapped and pulled on a thread so hard that it broke. Anya then slumped in defeat and wearily tied the two ends back together. "Just let it go. Please. Let's just pretend that it never happened."

I stood there frozen. Caught between pressing the issue more or letting her be. Perhaps I was idle for a little too long, which was never a good idea.

"Hey! Girly Boy!" cried Tomboy from across the room. She virtually glided towards me like a magnet attracted to anything that wasn't moving. "That was some show you put on yesterday." She shoved one hand against my chest. "Not many bright souls have the guts to take on our dear Master Freddy."

"Yeah!" said Spots as he jumped down from the second floor balcony to torment me as well. "Anyone would think that you actually want to be punished. You should thank your lucky stars that Master Frederick doesn't remember, and Foreman thought it was funny, otherwise you'd be begging for mercy right now."

"The last dumbass who upset Master Freddy got glued to the rafters," said Tomboy.

"It took days for him to fall down," said Spots.

"Then Foreman chained him to the bottom of the dye vat."

"And now he lives in there scraping down the sides."

"Ain't that right, Mr. Dye Vat Man!" she called out. There was a bang from a large metal tank in the corner, like someone did indeed live there.

I opened my mouth to try and explain myself, but Tomboy began violently shoving me backwards.

"I never said that I wanted your opinion, Girly Bits!" she snapped.

"Obviously your see through brain doesn't understand who's boss around here," said Spots.

"You should be threading, threading, threading, not chatting, chatting, chatting!"

"Now get back to work before Foreman sends you to join Dye Vat Man!"

I knew those weren't empty threats, so I cowardly backed away and resumed handing out cotton. Tomboy triumphantly grinned, but then she caught sight of Anya threading before her.

"Well, well." She casually leaned against Anya's loom. "If it isn't Toilet Brush Face? We saw you get lucky last night. Freddy doesn't just wave his junk at anyone, ya know."

"Some of us think that he may have taken a liking to you." Spots playfully shoved her. "Looks like you're well on your way to being his new favorite toy."

"Why the sad face, Toiley," laughed Tomboy in response to Anya's mortification. "He might even make you his girlfriend if you're lucky."

The two of them broke into laughter like it was supposed to be funny. Their words shocked me, but half the souls in the factory soon joined in like they were hilarious.

"You guys have all the best ideas." Smiled one girl who would always flatter Foreman's henchmen. She finally worked her way into their inner circle, and was especially good at thinking up cruel nicknames.

Anya's face contorted in horror and she shook like she was going to cry. I was ready to drop my basket and rush to her side, but then she began laughing. It was strained at first, like she was forcing it through her misery, but it soon became loud and confident enough to impress those bastards.

All three of them laughed together like old friends, and I was amazed at how Anya could do that despite their cruel bullying.

"What's so funny?" said a frosty voice from across the room. I glanced over to see Foreman leaning back against the wall. His face was stone cold, and I could tell from his eyes that he was in one of his darker moods.

"N..n..nothing Foreman," stuttered Tomboy like even she knew that it was time to feel afraid. "Toilet Brush Hair was just working too slowly, that's all." She weakly whacked Anya over the head.

"I see," he said. "Just make sure that they do everything to the book. We may be a few days behind, but it'll be even longer if they screw up."

"Yes, Sir!" Tomboy replied with a dramatic salute, but her hand was trembling.

Foreman then circled the factory floor and soon found a flaw in one girl's cloth. He kicked over her loom in rage, and then screamed profanities at her until she began to cry.

"What's with him today?" hissed Spots.

"Must be Malcolm," whispered Tomboy. "He's not pleased about the complaints some customers made. He must have started laying the pressure on Foreman."

I nervously watched as Foreman kicked the girl in the ribs like it could relieve some of his stress. I nervously returned to my loom and made sure to thread especially well. I remembered Anya's advice about blending in and decided to trust my friend. I was certain that as long as I stayed quiet and worked, then Foreman would never trouble me again.

But it was impossible to escape him forever.

One thing I dreaded most was when the cotton ran out. Until we received a new shipment we couldn't make cloth, which meant that we had to find other work. At first we'd scrub floors and clean whatever we could, but we'd eventually run out of things to do. You might think that we'd be overjoyed to get a break from our hellish work schedule, but Foreman and his friends were far more unpredictable when they were bored.

"Spots," said Foreman as he sat before an open window staring off into the distance. "Tell me one of your stories about life on Earth."

"Certainly, Foreman," Spots said with far more respect than he ever showed us. "Did I ever tell you about how it rains chickens?"


"The talking trees and rocks?"

"Heard it."

"How people use magic to fly?"

"Heard it."

"How about the story of how I was a rich prince who was tragically forced to sell my soul to save my dying baby sister who was kidnapped by magical talking frogs?"

Foreman growled in irritation. "Crappy teeth," he said to a nearby soul. "Go punch Horse Face!"

Crappy Teeth pulled himself to his feet and slowly began walking towards Horse Face.

"Come on Foreman! Please man," begged Horse Face as he slowly backed away. "I've been good to you, right? I don't deserve this."

"Then fight back," grinned Foreman.

"No way! Crappy Teeth here ain't done nothin to me."

"Then I suppose the loser can tell it to the pit."

"No way! Anything but the pit, man."

Horse Face blocked Crappy Teeth's punch and then kicked him in the legs. The two of them started slapping each other like children, which amused Foreman for another ten minutes before he became bored.

"You guys!" he ordered to a group of souls in one corner. "Go jump off the third floor and impale yourselves on that pole over there!"

I thought it was a ridiculous request and they would all refuse, but all of them got up and did it without question.

"What's wrong, Flabby?" Foreman said to one soul who turned away like he couldn't watch. "Don't you want to see the show that I kindly arranged for you? Would you rather get up there and join them?"

Flabby nervously shook his head, then stared at the souls with so much concentration that I thought his eyes may pop out of their sockets. I was also forced to sit and watch in horror as all the souls jumped and landed on top of each other. One guy unfortunately missed the pole, so Foreman made several jabs at his appearance before making him get up there and do it again. It was just one of the sick games that Foreman would play for kicks. He would order us to get into ridiculous positions, or do terrible things to each other, just to see how far we'd go.

"Girly Boy," he snapped when it was finally my turn. "Go make out with Skanky Legs."

It took me a moment to process his words, and by that time Skanky Legs had already pulled herself to her feet and was walking towards me.

I looked around, searching for help, only to see most of the souls eagerly watching, like it wasn't just Foreman who wanted to see it happen. My eyes fell on Anya, but she quickly turned away like she couldn't look.

"No," I muttered and scrunched my hands into fists. "I won't do it."

"You shitty little bastard!" yelled Big Guy. " How dare you ignore a direct order from the Foreman!"

"Ha, ha! Somebody's gonna-" laughed Tomboy before Foreman raised one hand to silence her.

"Girly Boy." His eyes narrowed dangerously in both anger and excitement. "Do it!"

Everyone was watching. Even Skanky Legs stood there frozen and confused. A small part of myself considered following his orders, just to get him off my back, but when I imagined forcing myself to kiss that girl while everyone laughed, my body began to shake in rage.

Suddenly, I no longer cared about being punished. They could hit and insult me all they wanted, if it meant that I didn't have to be part of their sick entertainment.

"No, screw you Foreman!" I snapped, and there were gasps of horror from around the room. I knew I was done for, but instead of shutting up and accepting my punishment, I decided to keep going. "Making people do stuff like this is sick. We might be dead, but you can't just order us around for fun. It's cruel, and mean, and I'm sure that everyone else wants you to stop it too. Right guys?"

I looked around and expected at least one soul to back me up (like my words alone could have started a revolution) but everyone fell silent and backed away. I looked straight at Anya, in the hope that she'd do something, but she shook her head and slowly hid herself amongst the crowd. Twitchy also avoided my gaze, and turned away like he didn't want anyone to know we were friends.

"Poor, poor, Girly Boy," sang Tomboy, voice dripping with fake sympathy. "All alone in Hell with no one to help him."

"Cruel am I?" said Foreman as he walked over. My terror grew with his every step, but I refused to show fear or back down. "That's not a nice thing to say. Considering how soft I've been on you until now. Perhaps I've made a mistake?"

"You're anything but soft!" I snapped back. "You're a crazy, power obsessed maniac who treats everyone terribly. Maybe they've all been too afraid to do anything, but that won't last forever. day," I stuttered like he finally got to me. "Those brothers will find out what you're really like, and... and get rid of you!"

"Oh, is that so, Girly Boy!" he laughed, and grinned like he knew that his presence alone was enough to make most souls break. "And who's gonna tell them. You?"

"If I have to," I said through clenched teeth.

I couldn't have been more serious, but Foreman and his friends began to laugh harder.

"You're hilarious, Girly Boy," he said between chuckles. "It's been so long since someone thought that they could fuck with me."

And with one firm shove to my chest, he sent me flying backwards through an open window.

01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 5051 ,52,53