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The alien face looked at me speculatively. It was male—that much was clear. Strong features and gold eyes with vertical pupils like a cat’s stared back at me. He had cheekbones sharp enough to cut yourself on and a nose that looked like it had been broken at least once. A neatly clipped mustache and goatee framed sensual lips that looked cruelly amused. He had dark red skin—almost maroon—I could see a lot of that because he appeared to be wearing a black, wife-beater type t-shirt that left his muscular arms bare.
Actually, except for the cat eyes and red skin, he looked strangely human. Well, except for the horns.
Did I mention he had freaking horns?
Because he did—little short, sharp pointed ones, growing out either side of his forehead—right at his temples.
I stared at them, dumbfounded, unable to speak for a moment. And that’s unusual for me because I’m almost always shooting off my mouth.
All I could think was, the Devil. Oh my God, the freaking Devil was staring at me from the mirror of the handicapped bathroom at Lauder, Lauder and Associates and I had no idea what to do.
My mind started going over all the things I’d done wrong recently. Okay, I might have fudged a little on my taxes. Using my laptop to check reports while I lay on the couch watching Sherlock reruns on Netflix counts as having a home office—right? And then there was the time I accidentally shoplifted a pair of socks. I forgot I had them in my hand and walked right out of the store with them. And then I was too embarrassed to bring them back so I guess I basically stole them but I didn’t mean to so--
Suddenly, the Devil spoke, ending my train of thought as thoroughly as though it had run into the side of a mountain.
“Yes,” he said in a deep, growling voice. “She is the one.”
The one for what? The one to drag straight down to Hell and poke in the ass with a fiery pitchfork? Oh my God, was cheating on my taxes and shoplifting socks that bad?
“I…I’m sorry,” I stuttered but just then another voice—a piping, high voice like a Disney animal—answered him.
“If you are certain this female is the one Your Eminence requires, than I shall begin the transport at once.”
Transport? What Transport? Instinctively, I began backing away from the haunted mirror to Hell but then the swirling started again. And this time there was a wind that went with it.
A sucking, howling wind that dragged at me, pulling me towards the mirror.
“Help!” I screamed, or tried to scream, anyway. My voice was lost in the vortex as I was pulled closer and closer to the mirror.
My feet left the floor and I put out my hands, trying to stop my forward momentum. My phone clattered into the sink and I could hear Leah and Charlotte shouting on the other end of it but their voices seemed tiny and distant.
My hand connected to the mirror…and sank into it. I gasped in fear as I saw first my hand and then my whole arm swallowed up in the swirling psychedelic colors. My other hand and arm followed and suddenly the mirror was right in front of my face.
And then I felt myself getting sucked in completely. Lauder, Lauder and Associates disappeared and the last thing I heard was my two best friends frantically screaming my name.
Who knew the gateway to Hell was located in the employees’ bathroom?
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