The Lesson: The End by Diron Bates

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Jeremy reached the top of the ladder with tears still fresh in his eyes and fear still fresh in his heart; he hoisted himself back into the shed. Flipping onto his stomach he dangled both arms back into the hole.
"Mom!" he yelled looking down at her as she climbed; she had almost reached the top of the black ladder. For some unknown reason the top of the ladder meant freedom to Jeremy, escape. Jeremy saw the huge thing appear at the bottom of the stairs still trailing black smoke behind it. It screamed again, causing him to unintentionally grit his teeth and squeeze his eyes shut. His mother's hands touched his and he pulled with all of his might, grunting as he labored. He heard the flapping of wings and Jeremy knew that the beast would not give up easily. With one tremendous tug his mother was out of the hole with billowing black smoke creeping in behind her, she used her foot to kick the trap door closed. Something banged hard against the trapdoor rumbling the very foundation of the shed. The creature's screams were muffled as he beat time and time again against the trapdoor. The earth quivered with its uncontained fury causing many of the tools in the shed to shake from their hangers and rain upon the ground. Slowly, the yells began to fade away and the quaking earth settled. Huddled in the corner of the shed Jeremy and his mother clung to one another, their innermost prayers had been answered. They were alive and the beast had been barred from this world.



"What was that place?" Jeremy asked though deep in his heart he already knew. They both had climbed back onto their feet barely believing that they had escaped.
"Hell." His mother replied indifferently as she stretched several kinks from her back. Jeremy had thought as much but to hear it spoken made it seem less ludicrous then it sounded within his head.
"Hell?" He repeated almost breathlessly.
"Well, Hell has many layers. We were on the outermost layer; strong willed people can enter this layer and sometimes escape with their lives. Only one man traveled deeper then this layer of Hell and left unscathed, and he was not fully man."
"Jesus." Jeremy said and his mother nodded.
"Yes. He traveled into the very house of the beast that just pursued us and the beast cowered before him, willfully relinquishing his power over one who was sent to him."
"What were those things that were flying, were they demons?" his mother pondered the question as if searching for the best suitable answer.
"No, they weren't demons. They were evil, sin, temptation, all things bad. They are a distortion of goodness, a mockery of beauty. They are somewhat pretty on the outside, but empty on the inside, forever hungry, forever feeding but always empty just like their promises of happiness. But, Dantrel, he was a demon, and a very powerful one indeed, and you have slain him. Jeremy do not believe for a moment that you have seen the last of him, he will be back. Demons of his power do not give up easily, and they do not always stay in hell."
Jeremy trembled at the thought of meeting Dantrel again in the comfort of his home or on some secluded back road on his way home from school.

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