Chapter 1: Mack The Knife

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Mack began to cough as he woke up. He was in a subway station. But there was a thick black smoke emitting from the ceiling. Mack saw hundreds if not thousands in line heading towards the smoke. "Everybody out! Fire! Fire!" He shouted. A soldier in front of him looks at him like he is crazy.

Then that same soldier walked towards the ticket booth and began to talk to the figure inside. A loud scratchy voice came from inside, yelling and shouting which echoed across from wall to wall. The man opened the door to the ticket booth and then walked over to Mack. He was a hunchbacked man in a black suit with a symbol of a snake being what is represented on his cuff links. The man had no eyes, he was covered in boils, and he had only strands of hair on the top of his head. Each hair was cut in odd proportions so that half of his hair was long the other short.

"You dere," he shouted with a lisp, "de boss dont like yur outburs'. Yur in de bigust of trable sire." The man grabbed Mack by the wrist with his greasy fingers. Mack attempted to resist only to realize the man had unmatchable strength. He shouted in pain as the short man began to strangle his arm. Mack was dragged into the ticket booth into the back of the room. The hunchback releases him and moves a file cabinet. Revealing an office door labeled,"Department of Hell. Lucifer and Sons".

As the door opened, a screech sounded as the door rubbed across the floor. Mack shielded his ears. By the time the door was open, all that Mack could see was the outline of a man sitting at a desk. His legs crossed acrossed his desk. Papers were all over the floor. A record player sat to the right of the door on a table of scorched wood. There was a window in the office with shutters that only emitted a dim light. Mack's skin began to burn suddenly. His blood covered garbs changed to a fine pinstripe suit. Tailor made to fit him like a glove. Mack smelled burnt flesh as he gathered enough composure to walk towards the man.

"Ah Mr. Avery. It seems your recent suicide has gotten you stuck in my domain" The man began to cough wildly immediately after making that statement. "You had so much to live for and you threw it away. Now it seems God has no reason to allow you into heaven. Now your stuck with me in He... this fine establishment." Mack swallowed as he realized he was face to face with the devil himself. This can't be happening, he thought. Even though he was fearful he had heard of stories of men who had made a deal with the devil. Perhaps this was the answer to getting back to Madeline.

"Lucifer I would like to make an..." Mack got cut off by Lucifer. "Listen Macky, can I call you Macky? You can just call me Lucky. It sounds less, formal." Mack continued,"Lucky, I would like to make a de..." Lucky sat up, lighting a cigarette. He thrusted his hand forward to hush Mack. He offered Mack a cigarette. Mack accepted the cigarette and Lucky lighted it. Mack took a long drag of it and then coughed out of disgust. The taste of ash, flourished in his mouth.

Lucky then began to curl his mustache. He sat forward so that Mack could see his face. The face of a man only comparable to a salesman. With a curled mustache and a checkered jacket, he had the look of a man who meant business. His hair was combed in a way that made him seem cool and collected but still wild in ways. Mack could see that Lucky meant business.
  
   "I know that you want something of me Mr Avery. And you want to make a 'deal' with me, and I accept..." Mack's eyes widened. That simple. Wow, Mack thought to himself. "BUT..." Lucky jumped forward out of his chair scaring the hell out of Mack, "You have to help me first. I want you to be my vessel. Do my bidding on Earth as I do yours. You must become... My demon. And then, and only then will you get your revenge and see your dear Maggie? No, Matilda. No, Margie. Definitely not, Meira? Ah, forget it. Your girl." Mack looked at him and sternly asked,"How do I know this ain't a trick?" Lucky's grin spread wider than an eagle's full wingspan. "Trust goes both ways Macky. If you wanted those things so bad I would have heard you accept my offer before I even messed up your girl's name." He replied with a crooked smile. Lucky stretched his hand out to seal the deal with handshake. Mack threw the cigarette on the ground and stomped it with his left shoe then he scratched his head.

   "If working for you is all it takes to get back to Madeline, then fine. Besides, I have worked for worse crooks." Mack said as he shook Mack's hand.

    Lucky began to chuckle in a victorious matter. He then shouted,"Grim! Get me the paperwork! Move faster you wretched maggot!" The old hunchback walked in and Lucky smacked him over the cheek as he attempted to give over the paperwork. "That'll be all Mr. Reaper." Lucky ordered as Grim walked back outside, rubbing his cheek.

   "The Grim Reaper is him? And he works for you?" Mack asked.
  
   Lucky smiled,"Of course! You work and I will tell you the story," Mack began to write, "Years ago I worked for God himself. I attempted to overthrow him with one third of his own angels as you may also know. I failed excruciatingly. My boys and I were sent to this God forsaken place. We worked under the Reaper's command until one day we rebelled against him as we did God. As I stood ready to decapitate his weakened body he begged to work for me. He gave we access to the strings that decide who lives and who dies. So I gave him the job as my weak, worthless secretary. I have kept him in check ever since."

   Mack nodded as he finished signing his final signature. Then he was transported to his neighbor's nursery for their daughter. Madeline was obsessed with the child being only a few months old. He looked around only to see the baby, Lucille, in her cradle. Mack looked down at his hands and noticed he was completely transparent. "What the He..." He shouted as his skin began to burn. Lucky appeared right beside him and chuckled,"You can't swear when you are working with me. One of Gods's many curses. Alrighty, first task. Kill her." Mack looked at him, then looked back at Lucille. Mack turned his head and shouted," What the he... Heck, is the matter with you?" Mack then realized the parents would come running any second.

   "Stupid man," Lucky muttered, "You are ethereal. Nothing stands in your way. Kill the stupid child already."

   Mack crossed his arm and sternly told Lucky, " I won't do it." Lucky bit his lip and angrily shouted,  "You signed the contract, you do as I say or the deal is off!"
   
   Mack began to cry holding the baby in his arms. He couldn't do it. He just can't. He held the baby close even while in an ethereal state and whispered,"I am so sorry Lucille." He closed his eyes and put a hand on the back of her head the other on her forehead. CRACK! He opened his eyes to see the baby lifeless in his arms. He fell upon his knees and began to cry once more. He gently laid her small body on the floor, positioning her in a way that made her lifeless body look as if she fell out of her cradle as the parents were asleep.

   "Good, good." Lucky began to clap, "you've done well my boy. Let the child rest in peace. You are free to return to Earth in your physical form. Except the people you know and love cannot see or hear you until I have said so. You may also use the ethereal form to get yourself anywhere here in New York as you wish. Oh lookie, It's the parents. Enjoy watching as the moment unfolds. Ta ta. And happy hunting my boy."

    Mack stood there in ethereal form, realizing he has been tricked. The lights turn on and the neighbors came in to see their child dead. The wife screamed in horror and began to wail while the husband began to cry. He took his hat off in respect of their newly deceased daughter. He walked out of the house and lit a cigarette making his way to Parker Drive to get back to his office. Mack will find his killer. He will not have done this for nothing he thought to himself.

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