Excerpt from 'Damned,' by Chuck Palahniuk

  • Updated: November 5, 2011 - 5:33 PM

"Damned," by Chuck Palahniuk.

And yes, I've vanquished demons. I've deposed tyrants and taken command of their conquering armies. I'm thirteen years old, and I've shepherded thousands of dying people into the next life with relatively little upset. I never finished junior high school, but I'm overhauling the entire nature of Hell, on schedule and under budget. I deftly toss off words such as absentia and multivalent and convey, but I'm caught completely off guard by the sound of my parents' tears. For help lying, I finger the dried scrap of the Hitler mustache. For coldness, to quell the tears already building in my burning eyes, I consult the de Médicis crown. Over the telephone I tell my weeping mother and father to hush. It's true, I assure them: I am dead. In the icy voice of child killer Gilles de Rais, I tell my family I have passed out of fragile mortal life and now dwell in the eternal.

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