Each Our Own Devil

by Joel Bain

Abandoned. Adopted. Bullied. Orphaned. Disowned. Terminated. Rejected. Heinrich Juarez is Lucifer’s worst nightmare. Only, not for the reasons that one might expect. Heinrich is the saddest man in Hell, and tales of the miserable life he led in Cuba are spreading among his friends. Suddenly, Lucifer’s greatest fear is realized when the damned souls begin to believe their torment is not severe compared to the torment Heinrich endured on Earth.

Lucifer attempts to extradite Heinrich, but as he arrived in Hell by his own request, Lucifer cannot unilaterally expel the sad man. Heinrich doesn’t want to leave, because for the first time in his existence, he has made friends. After a lengthy negotiation, Lucifer convinces Heinrich to abandon his infernal friends for a second chance at life in New York City, providing he swears his soul to return to Hell. In return, Lucifer grants Heinrich the role of Dante Condonnato: an agent of the devil, a broker of power, and a harbinger of wealth. To sweeten the deal, his new life will give him a chance at revenge against his adopted brother, Jose, who ruined his life by bullying and disowning Heinrich after their parents’ death in a freak accident.