- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Darla was and always has been average, bland, boring. Her grades were not extraordinary. She barely participated in school activities - when she did, she was never really noticed. Even her pleated skirts and penny loafers made her dull. There were only two traits about her that were interesting. One was her undying loathing for her self, for the way she was. The other was her desperate desire to change.
“This is the day!” Darla said to her parents as they ate dinner. “Today I'll change! Maybe I'll dye my hair green and get a tattoo!”
“That's nice, dear.”
The only things more boring and dull than Darla were her parents. She scowled at them, their indifference, and their bland personalities. She was determined not to become like them. After dinner, she ran out of the house, getting into her equally average car and driving off to the mall.
Unfortunately, the fear of change caused her to stand in the mall parking lot until it became dark, nearing the closing time of the mall. Darla stared up at the mall. Tears formed in her eyes and her fists tightly clenched.
“Why?” she whispered. “Why can't I beat this fear? I want to change, I want to!”
The girl let out a sob and got back in her car. She cried more and grew very frustrated on the way home. By the time she pulled into her driveway, she felt like screaming. She leaned back, putting a hand over her eyes.
“Failed again, huh?”
Her eyes snapped open and her head slowly turned to the passenger seat. There sat a young man, skin a shade of dark green, hair black and shaggy, and teeth that looked as if they could cut you just by staring at them. Darla only blinked dumbly as the green man smiled. A tail with a spear-like end reached up and caressed her face.
“I see so much potential. Too bad you're spineless,” he said.
Her brain finally switched on and she let out a scream. The man quickly pounded the lock button with his finger and locked her door. He grabbed her wrist.
“Shut up! I hate it when people scream,” he said.
“Who are you!? What are you?! Let go!” Darla screamed.
The man quickly covered her mouth and frowned at her.
“Quiet! You're making my ears hurt.”
Darla breathed rapidly, staring at him in fear. She forced herself to calm down, in doing so the man removed his hand.
“Alright, now that you're calm, listen up,” he said. “I have an offer for you.”
“I don't do deals with weird green men,” she said.
He sent an exasperated look her way then continued his speech.
“You want to break routine, right? Well, I can make that happen. I can make you whatever you want. I can let you change your appearance, be wild, be anything but boring.”
“What? You can? How?”
The man smirked and his tail gently stroked her under her chin.
“I'm a demon, sweetheart. I can let you do anything.”
“For the price of my soul, probably.”
“No, I don't use that old form of currency. All I want and need is... your time.”
“Time?” she asked.
“Only around three hours a day, give or take a few minutes. That's all. In that time, however, you are mine and you can't disobey me.”
Darla bit her lip and looked away. The demon's eyes narrowed and began glowing. He fed her self-hatred, her lust for the temptation of being wild, and her urge to do something extraordinary. It took eight or nine minutes but by that time, the demon had her in his clutches. She turned back, face serious.
“I'll do it,” she said.
The demon smiled and grabbed her chin. The tail wrapped around her neck, a dark light shining from underneath. When the tail was removed, a collar was hooked around her throat tightly.
“Let's start those three hours, my precious hell hound.”
That was the last thing she heard him say. The demon released her and disappeared, reappearing outside the car. The collar pulled and Darla found herself getting out of the car. She stood in front of him, watching his eyes glow and his hand wave over her.
She suddenly felt pain and she gripped her head. She keeled over, falling to her knees. Her mouth opened to scream but instead, her high-pitched voice was replaced by the howl of a dog. The demon smiled as he watched her body jerk. Her hands planted themselves on the ground to keep her steady, fingernails turning black and long. She let out another howl, her nose and jaws extending outward. Her hands and feet became paws as they twisted and reformed. Her clothes and skin were melted off, a shell of magma and rock replacing them on her transforming body.
Darla let out a pained groan, the last strand of her auburn hair burning away in a small flame. She let out a low growl as her transformation was complete. Her black eyes glared up at the demon. He laughed and reached out to pet her. She snapped at his fingers.
“Beautiful! Absolutely beautiful!” he cried happily. “Even better than I thought you would be.”
She barked in response, her enlarged jaws snapping their new sharp teeth at the air. The demon smiled evilly and pointed to the house next door.
“There. A family of five, plus some mutt,” he said. “Go, my pet, and feast. You will need to regain your energy and strength.”
Darla growled and lumbered over to the house, hardly putting any effort as she broke the door down. As she trotted inside, the demon smiled in glee. He began laughing as soon as he heard the screaming. He turned into Darla's human form, putting on an act as people began running out of their homes. They were just in time to see the blood splash upon the windows – just in time to hear the howling of a hell hound.