Sample of: Scraping By (Prologue + Chapter 1)
Prologue – Unfair in Almost Every Sense
There is a man named Job (Joe-ub) who has everything. A family, a prosperous farming business, more money than he can handle, everything and he thanks God every day for it.
Satan sees this and says to God, “He blesses your name for all he has. I bet you he won’t if he has everything taken away from him.”
God responds, “Do what you must, but you cannot hurt him directly.”
“Oh I won’t.”
Satan then starts a chain of events that takes everything away from Job. He unleashes disease that kills his crops and farm animals. He tempts men to rape and kill his family. The money Job has kept safe is stolen from him by bandits. Diseases from his crops enter his body and mutate him to make him look ugly. With nothing left, he goes to town to hopefully get the help of others he knows there. He goes in bandages and rags to not attract attention to his deformities.
Job meets up with people he knows at church and says, “Hello friends. Can you spare some medicine, food, or money by any chance? It seems that fate has taken a wrong turn for me.”
One of them says, “Oh Job, of course,” as they get whatever medicines they have and another gets food and another searches their wallet for spare change.
A woman gets the medicine and asks Job, “Remove your rags so that I can help. So tell me what happened to you.”
He removes his rags to reveal his deformed appearance as he tells his story much to the shock of his friends.
“Oh my, you must’ve done something wrong to deserve this.”
“I haven’t! I go to church every Sunday like you know and do no wrong. You trust me enough to know this, right?”
“I-I don’t know.”
They try to heal Job, but his illness won’t go away. The medicine doesn’t even soothe his pain. This convinces his friends that he must’ve done something wrong and ridicule Job and force him out the church and town by throwing sharp objects at him. Job then walks back to his death ridden house, injured and with nothing left in this world. Feeling that his victory is ensured, Satan disguises himself as a human to walk alongside Job to talk to him.
He says to Job, “You must’ve had a terrible day.”
“I’ve had a really busy week. Lots of things have been happening to me.”
“Awful things I can see.”
“You could say that, but this disease I have has become a blessing from God.”
Satan has to look at Job twice before asking, “What?”
“I’m going to be in Heaven with my family by the end of the afternoon at this rate.”
“You really think this is a blessing? It looks like you have been cursed my friend.”
“Not at all. It has just been a series of unfortunate events to me. You know the people I know at town thought the same thing you do.”
“And they seemed to have really ruffed you up.”
“They know not what they do, so I forgive them. If I deserve the things that have been dealt to me without any sign of relief then so be it. Maybe God thinks I’m stronger than I can think or maybe He wants me with Him in Heaven, I cannot say for certain. The only thing I can say is that I am blessed either way.”
Satan cannot believe the unyielding joy and faith that radiates from Job that it’s almost too much to bear. He can neither tell whether Job is an idiot or completely enlightened so he goes to God to lay down one last request.
“Send him to Hell and see if he can escape. If he can, my demons and I will leave humanity alone for three generations, however, if he cannot, you must do the same with your angels. It’s an easy victory don’t you think? Hell rejects “bright” souls like his so he should get out in no tim-”
“Go ahead, but he must take this with him.”
God holds out a broken straight sword that has an odd opening at the bottom to put circular objects in.
“Alright then. The gamble is alive again.”
“It isn’t a bet.”
“Whatever you say.”
Satan couldn’t help but feel that God has more faith in Job than the man has for Him. Once Job dies at sunset, his soul is dragged down to Hell and he awakens at the outside the Gates of Hell with his illness gone and the broken straight sword in his hands.
Job looks around then says, “If God wills that I carve my way out of here with a broken weapon,” he tightens his grip around the weapon, “Then so be it.”
Chapter 1 – An Unintended Partner
Job gazes upon the Gates of Hell. He sees the damned souls of Hell walking in line with Cerberus and a group of demons guarding the gates. These souls look uglier than they did in life whereas Job looks the same as he did in life except he is just wearing bandages in places he still had them in.
Once he approaches the gates, a demon eyes him up and says to him, “Let him pass here. Souls like his aren’t welcome here.”
The guards and Cerberus let him pass through a special door in the gates. The souls that are damned here start to get frantic because of this and start become unrested. Demon guards and Cerberus have to fight them off to calm them down. Job looks back at them as the door closes behind him.
Hell somewhat looks to be as described in stories that Job has heard with different punishments for different souls. There seems to be a theme of sexual violence and torture being inflicted here upon the damned here with succubi and incubi flying around and delivering pain and suffering here.
One succubus with thin clothes and pinkish red hair flies to Job and says to him, “Hello Job. We’ve heard of your story here. You’re quite popular here.”
Job readies himself for battle then says, “So what do you want demon? I am not easily seduced by your looks.”
The succubus smiles with her shark like teeth.
“I do not want a fight. I merely want to be a fly on the wall for your journey.”
“Why is that?”
“A lot is riding on you getting out of here so I want to see what happens.”
“Fine, but do not bother me or else I will slice your throat.”
“With that broken thing? You have a better chance killing me with your member down there, which I must say is looking pretty good compared to the other human men down here.”
He brushes her off as he walks down into Hell. She hovers close to him as she follows him down. Other demons of seduction look at the two and smile, laugh, and gossip among themselves.
“Do those demons have nothing else to do?”
“They do, but I think they’re just jealous of the two of us walking together.”
The succubus holds Job’s arm while putting her breasts on it, but then Job pulls away.
“I’d rather not be touched by a creature such as you.”
“Oh? Am I so disgusting to you humans? Demons think the same of humans don’t you know? You might as well be insects for all we care.”
“Do not compare a blessed being of God to a lesser lifeform.”
“All demons were angels once so does that not make us blessed?”
“You were once blessed, but then you took that away from yourselves. You made that choice yourself.”
“Such is the burden of free choice.”
“Such is also the blessing of it, knowing that you can make your own decisions.”
“You’re one little stuck up human you know that right?”
“And you’re one annoying succubus.”
“My name is Cherri. Nice to meet you.”
“Cherri, like the fruit?”
“The sweetest kind.”
“I think I’ve lost the appetite to ever eat one again.”
A trio of demons led by one head mistress looking one flies to Job.
“Is this a trap?!” Job says as he readies himself.
“Be calm Job,” Cherri says, “Greetings my superiors! On what occasion do you grace us with your presence?”
“We heard about this man coming here and want him.”
“Want him for what exactly?”
Job understands the succubus mistress with his broken sword at the ready. Her two assistances pull out knives and slowly approach him with grins as they know they have him out numbered. Not wanting them to take advantage of this, Job quickly slashes his sword at one of them which defeats it instantly then goes for the next that goes down as easily. Taking advantage of his streak, Job goes for the mistress, but she blocks his attack with her knife.
“I really want him now.”
“I belong to no one but God.”
Cherri can’t help but be speechless that a broken sword like his could defeat two demons so easily. She watches the two struggle in gridlock then notices something odd. The mistress’s knife is cracking and breaking and she nor him seem to notice it. She just seems to be entranced by the fight in Job’s eyes and Job is focused on the fight. As soon as the knife breaks, Job takes advantage of the mistress’s surprise and strikes her down.
Cherri claps then says, “Good show Job. You had me surprised during the entire short fight.”
“Don’t underestimate a man with a purpose. Are these demons dead or…”
“No one “dies” here. They are just stricken down for now until the next day where they recover from their injuries.”
“Good for them.”
Job begins to walk away from the defeated demons, but a loud ting sound is made near him. He looks around and finds a small pink orb that fits perfectly into the sword. The sword doesn’t seem to have been affected though Cherri notices that it might have gotten slightly bigger and fixed though she thinks it’s her imagination.
“This is yet another blessing from God. So defeating demons like these give power to my sword?”
“I don’t know. You’d have to try it out on someone who isn’t me.”
“That’s the only temptation that might work on me however I must continue down.”
Job continues on and sees that Cherri is still following him.
“You’re still following me?”
“Of course. I told you I’d follow you and follow you I will. Plus you’re starting to grow on me.”
“Hopefully like a disease.”
“Exactly like a disease except a joy to have to see how the infection mutates and grows.”
Some seduction demons circle the two as they go down further into Hell.
“So Job, how did a farmer like you learn how to fight?”
“I practiced while using a greatsword. I was mainly exercising with it then I decided to teach myself with it, using the knowledge of sword fighters and champions to craft my own skill and technique.”
“You might as well have been a child then.”
“I admit I did childish glee and wonder while using it.”
Job then stares at the seduction demons flying above them like crows circling their prey.
“They look like they’re going to attack us.”
“Maybe they won’t maybe they will. You defeated one of the most power mistresses here so they’re unsure of attacking us.”
“They better decide soon.”
The gate to the next circle of Hell is close by and the seduction demons notice this and some choose to dive down to attack while others retreat back to their duties. Job readies himself but Cherri grabs his hand.
“Whoa there soldier, there’s too many for you,” she says.
“I can take them. You said to try to sword to see if it gained power didn’t you? This is a good opportunity is it not?”
“Fine. Get sliced to bits if you wish.”
Cherri lets go of his hand and Job readies himself again. He can feel the new power that is awoken in the broken weapon however small it is. As five demons fly at him in rows of two, he slices at them quicker than he anticipated and defeats them all.
“This sword is truly one of the greatest gifts God has given me.”
Cherri hugs him.
“You’re really something Job. I might just keep you as mine.”
“Take your hands off me!”
Before Job pushes her off, Cherri puts her hand on Job’s chest for a second.
“I’m sorry. I should’ve remembered how loyal you are to God. Forgive my slow mind.”
Job’s chest feels oddly warm.
He touches it then says, “What did you-”
A large group of seduction demons fly in seeking revenge for their fallen brethren. Job and Cherri run behind the gates to escape them all. The gates instantly closes as Cherri gets through, which denies the other demons entrance.
“That was a close one. Don’t you think so Job?”
“What did you do to me succubus?”
“You see, demons from one circle of Hell cannot enter another unless given access by a higher-ranking demon or unless they are attached to a human.”
Job can now see a pinkish red hand print on his chest.
“Deceiver! Is this what you planned this entire time?!”
“Yes. I was waiting for my opportunity so now you have to take me with you wherever you go.”
“What about my destination of either Heaven or back to the Earth? Will you be there as well?”
“Maybe. I’d love to see either place since this place can be boring though you shouldn’t worry Job,” Cherri embraces him, “We’re going to have so much fun together!”