It was the Devil who took her.
Erin was sure of it.
It was the Devil who had come in the dead of night, entering the bedroom of her loft apartment like black mist to take her as she slept.
And he wasn’t red all over or had hooves and horns like in movies or fables.
He was immense, with skin as black as coal, eyes that shone red like car brake lights and the wings of a dragon curling from his back.
He had brought her here to a fiery, broken and inhospitable land where perpetual tormented screams chased every shred of calm and peace from her soul and the air was so thick with the stomach-turning stench of sulphur that she couldn’t breathe.
It was Hell.
At first, Erin had thought the whole event was a vivid and disturbing nightmare, worse than any she had experienced before, but she had hurt herself on one of the shards of black rock that formed the floor and the three walls of her cell and she hadn’t woken.
And then they had hurt her too.
The Devil had come alone at first, entering her cell to glare at her in silence and ignore her pleas to tell him what he wanted with her. Not a word had left his wide black lips. The only time she had gained a response from him was the one instance she had felt brave enough to stand up to him and had tried to force him to speak. Then, he had bared sharp crimson teeth at her and hissed. She had fallen on her backside trying to escape him, afraid that he would attack her, and had cut her palms and scraped the soles of her bare feet as she had crab-crawled away from him.