Hell and Styx #8: Echo-Echo-Echo…

And Hell and Styx #8 shows up to the party fashionably late. The actual conclusion to the first Wainscott plot line, seen in H+S numbers 4, 5, 6, and 7. I decided this part of the story needed one more quick scene to tie it up.

As always, the full chronological list of stories can be found at the Hell and Styx page (also in the upper right hand corner) as well as an explanation was to what this series of stories is.

Hell and Styx #8: Echo-Echo-Echo…

Styx flashed into existence in Hell’s room, his hand clamped around Hell’s wrist, forcing her to materialize with him. Hell did, jerking away from him, barley containing her reflex to slap him.

Styx tried to find the words to describe the idea of thinking you know where everything in your world is and then finding part of it gone. “What the hell was that?”

“Nothing!” Hell sputtered. “Maybe—something.”

“Definitely something! I hit a—thing!” Styx, in the midst of his anger, realized he didn’t remember what he slammed his hand into.

“This guy—”

“Was a priest.”

“Yeah, I figured that out.”

“And he could see us.”

Hell stomped away from him, proving her corporality by tripping over every piece of clothing littering her floor. “Gosh, really, is that what was happening? I couldn’t tell. Thanks for enlightening me, jackass.”

Styx gaped at Hell, even after fifteen years with her still amazed by her capacity for not getting it. “How?”

“I don’t know!”

“No, not how could he see us. That’s…just weird.”

“Then what?”

“How are angry at me?”

“I’m Hell. You’re Styx. I’m angry. At you.”

“You were just at your dad’s funeral, then you were gone. Across the country, actually. With a really old guy who can see us.”

“You’re back to the seeing us thing,” Hell said, refusing to entertain the possibility that Styx was talking about anything else.

“Maybe I am. You have an explanation for it?”

“Nope.”

“Me neither.”

“You spend more time on Earth than I do. Is this a priest thing?”

“Definitely not.”

Hell didn’t delve into how definitely he knew that. “Have you ever been seen?”

“No. I’d have told you.”

(Styx didn’t know that he had already spawned twelve ghost stories in five different languages over the course of his travels. But eventually Hell and Styx would have a competition based around it.)

Styx paused.

“Wait—were you going to tell me about this?”

Hell didn’t pause; she ran right past the question. “How did you find me?”

“It was like finding purgatory—that pull.”

Hell remembered she already knew the answer but she wasn’t about to tell him about the out-of-her-body learn-what-it’s-like-to-be-Styx experience she had earlier.

“Thanks. I’ve always wanted to be compared to a place where dead people go to rot.”

“Your name is Hell!”

“And you’re talking, Styx?”

“Back to the seeing us thing!”

“What is there to say? We’re both clueless. Good for us.”

“Are you going to see him again?”

“Maybe.”

“Maybe?”

“I don’t know!”

“You don’t know?”

“Would you stop that?”

“Stop what?”

“The fucking echoing.”

“The what echoing?” Styx asked, a smirk on his face.

Hell tried to glare.

She really did.

But then she was laughing and Styx hugged her again just to make sure she was back.

A thought occurred to Styx. “You know who we could ask—”

“Don’t say his name,” Hell said, not willing to let go of her good mood.

“Yeah, him,” Styx said, glad they were on the same page. “Heaven.”

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