Published December 31, 2016 by

Memories of a Soul in the Underworld Chapter 16

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 

I watched the world fly past as I plummeted backwards towards the ground. The open window moved further and further beyond my outstretched hands, then I smashed against the hard gravel. My ghostly body slid and rolled twice, before I came to a complete stop in the field outside the factory.

I remained there on my back. Blankly staring up at the opaque orange sky, as my mind tried to understand what happened. One moment I was telling Foreman to go screw himself, and then I was staring up at the sun.

But I didn't have long to appreciate the scenery before Foreman made his next move.

"Look everyone!" Foreman yelled in fake surprise while leaning out the window. "Looks like someone's trying to do a runner!"

Of course it was a lie, but I didn't hear a single soul raise their voice to oppose him.

"Oh no, Foreman!" Big Guy joined in despite his shitty acting. "You better go do something about that before he gets away."

"By Hades, you're right my friend! I better go grab him before it's too late!" And with those words, Foreman jumped from the window and gracefully landed on the ground before me.

I didn't know what they were up to, but I knew that it couldn't be good. I quickly pulled myself to my feet and cautiously backed away, until I bumped into something blocking my escape. I glanced over my shoulder to discover the reason behind their ridiculous acting.

Behind me stood Master Malcolm.

He was accompanied by his younger brother David and several souls dragging large crates of cotton. Malcolm blinked in surprise, and looked down at me like he couldn't understand why I was there instead of making him money.

I was shocked at first, but then I suddenly saw my only opportunity to get rid of Foreman and his terrible friends. Out of those three brothers, Malcolm seemed to be the most reasonable and sane. I thought that he'd listen and take my side just like my old master Alistair had.

"Please!" I begged. I fell to my knees and desperately clung to his jacket like a small child. "There's no way that I'd ever run away! He pushed me! Foreman pushed me! He's a terrible terrible person who takes breaks, insults you, and messes with us for fun. You have to help us! You have to get rid of him!"

I don't know what I thought would happen. Maybe I naively believed that he'd actually listen and send Foreman away. Perhaps I even had delusions of Malcolm caring enough to find a new Foreman who'd treat us kindly.

But such foolish thinking just made reality even harder to accept.

"Foreman," said Malcolm like he hadn't listened to a word. "What's this soul doing outside the factory?"

Those words were like a slap in the face.

"My humble apologies, Master Malcolm," said Foreman with a bow. "It seems like this disrespectful guy has trouble following rules. I guess he just doesn't appreciate the good deal you provide for him here."

"No! It's not true!" I cried and tugged on Malcolm's jacket. "He's trying to trick you! Don't listen to him, Master!"

"A real corrupt little sinner, isn't he?" said Foreman over my screams. "Guys like him only know how to cheat and steal. Unfortunately this one will say almost anything to manipulate you over to his side."

"I see," said Malcolm with a nod like he believed Foreman completely.

"No! He's lying! Don't listen to him!" I screamed, but I could tell that Malcolm didn't even view me as human. "Please! Please help-" were the last words I managed to get out before Foreman pried my fingers from Malcolm's jacket and clamped his hand over my mouth.

"I'm sorry that this one got out and troubled you today, Master" said Foreman. "I'll try and make sure it never happens again."

"Perhaps buying this one was a mistake," said Malcolm thoughtfully. "Maybe I should have him sent back."

"There's no need to worry about that, Master," said Foreman with a smile so pleasant that he could have fooled anyone. "I'll soon have him straightened out. He'll be one of your best workers before you know it."

"See to it then, I don't know how we'd ever control these disobedient souls without you, Foreman."

"Oh. I'm just pleased that I can be of service to you, Master. Now if you'd kindly excuse me," he said with one last bow. "I have a lot of work to do."

The shadows flickered on the dark stone walls as we descended into the depths of the factory. I never knew that the basement level even existed, until Foreman shoved me at Big Guy and ordered him to take me You Know Where.

Together, Big Guy and I traveled down a long spiral staircase with him leading the way. I was certain that the ancient rusty stairs would collapse beneath his large feet, but unfortunately for me they held for the whole journey down.

"Where are you taking me?" I asked.

"Shut up!" he growled, and I regretted saying anything.

We walked down a narrow passage with only the torch in his hand to light the way. Several steel doors existed on either side, and there were multiple corridors and turns like a maze. I obediently followed behind Big Guy like a good soul, and somehow deluded myself into thinking that whatever he planned couldn't be that bad.

BANG! Thundered a metal door on my right like something suddenly threw it's full weight against it. I jumped back in shock and fell against the opposite wall.

BANG! BANG! BANG! It continued like someone was desperately trying to get out.

"I always forget that sucker's here," Big Guy laughed as I scrambled to my feet. "Foreman forgot to take him out for a year, and now he's so far gone that there's no going back. They've been meaning to call the Soul Market to come collect him for years, but I guess those lazy arse brothers still haven't done it."

I tried my best to regain my composure, but I couldn't hide my fear.

"What's wrong, Girly Boy?" he said. "Did you just see your future?"

I almost answered, but then realized that he didn't care.

Big Guy smirked and continued walking forward. I nervously stood there, too afraid to move, but as soon as he turned a corner (and the darkness began creeping in) I rushed to keep up.

We soon emerged into a large open room full of broken looms and trash. I didn't take my eyes off the doorway, paranoid that he'd slam it shut behind me, but I should have paid more attention to the floor instead.

"In you go," Big Guy said, then shoved me into a dark narrow pit. Indistinguishable from the other shadows in the room.

I hit my head against one wall before crashing against the dark stone bottom. Unidentifiable garbage crunched under my weight. It was pitch black down there, and the only thing I could see was Big Guy leering at me from the top of the hole.

"Welcome to your new home, Girly Boy," that bastard laughed. "Foreman wants you to make yourself comfortable. He won't be coming back to get you in a hurry, and that's if he even remembers at all."

There was the sound of steel sliding against stone, and Big Guy began pushing a large metal plate across the top of the pit.

"Hey! Wait!" I called out and attempted to scramble up the walls to escape, but the hole was too deep, and the walls too slippery for me to get a decent grip.

He soon covered the entrance completely, blocking out any trace of light and hope of escape.

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