Well, some of it really was nice

It probably said something about him that he was actually enjoying hell.

“Wasn’t the temperature supposed to be way one side or the other?” he asked the devil who accompanied him. At the very least, he assumed she was some sort of devil. She looked like a blonde member of some governmental agency. He also assumed that would make sense of a worker of hell.

“What do you mean?” She lit a cigarette.

This was definitely hell, he supposed, but he didn’t mind that either. She looked rather sexy while doing so and he doubted it was going to adversely affect her health. “People think that hell is supposed to be fire, right? But I assumed it could also be freezing cold down here too.”

She could have rolled her eyes, but she didn’t. “That’s the first misconception. Down here? We aren’t down anywhere. This isn’t the physical plane of existence, so it isn’t higher or lower than where you were living. It’s not there.”

That wasn’t answering his question, but looking out at the beautiful, comfortable dusk before him, the unending green in front of him, he supposed it didn’t matter. Sure, there were all the bodies over there, but that happened with the living too.

Yep, it said something about him all right.

An ode to hard work

She felt the current of emotion stir, every time she lifted the horn to her mouth and blew. It was a good current. Quickly muddied when she heard the words.

“Oh, how gifted she is!”

Hours, every day. The hard work. Given up opportunities. All for the French Horn.

When she began to play, no one could have picked her out from any of the other students. It took months of her own rigorous training regiment, the schedule she had chosen when the music took her, before her abilities began to rise above those around her.

She had spent so much time on this.

Gifted? Gifted were the people who were immediately good. Good for them. For every gifted individual, for every genius, the hard workers fell a little harder. She fell a little faster. She had given up so much for this. She would do it again.

However, she didn’t have the words for this. She did, however, have the music. She played even better, if just to spite them.

The spite didn’t carry through the sound. She loved the music too much.