// two suicides occur in the description below
Audience: New Adult
Successful cardiac surgeon Marcus is visited by the devil/personified sin, Ira, years after trading his heart to cure his severe anxiety. Ira asks Marcus to make good on his trade, but Marcus refuses. Ira returns Marcus’ heart and with it, his severe anxiety. As a result, Marcus is unable to function and eventually goes back to Ira to make good on the promise.
Ira requires Marcus’ heart to be pure, meaning all of Marcus’ actions must be motivated by anxiety alone. As a test of his heart’s purity, Ira takes Marcus home to his abusive parents. The abuse quickly leads to a panic attack and Marcus begs Ira for an escape. Ira gives Marcus the choice of leaving—through the means of murdering his parents. Marcus refuses to kill his parents, but does so out of fear when his father attacks him and Ira assists him in killing his mother.
Ira’s brother Avaritia visits Marcus, wanting him to betray Ira by giving his heart to Avaritia instead. Out of both cowardice and love for Ira, despite knowing Ira will sacrifice him, Marcus refuses and Avaritia lets him be. Ira returns and talks Marcus into suicide in order for him to reach Heaven. Marcus ends up in Purgatory, where he’s guided by Gabriel in order to become absolutely pure of heart. Gabriel takes his heart and erases his personality. Once he’s allowed into heaven, Ira follows him to rescue him shortly before the battle heaven and hell begins.
On Earth, Marcus’ fianceé is made to deal with an overload of patients as abnormal natural disaster begin to strike. She returns to broken, untidy home where nothing has been the same since Marcus left and he died alongside his parents. She overdoses, and Marcus possesses her body to return to Earth. Marcus focuses on getting to Ira, the cause of the natural disasters. Avaritia appears once more to have his heart in exchange for allowing him reach Ira. Marcus gives Avaritia his heart and gains the ability to seek out Ira.
Marcus, using his fianceé’s corpse, finds Ira in the midst of an earthquake, battling the final angel. Marcus uses his new mortal body as a shield against the angel and Ira is able to defeat the angel, gaining its power. Ira attempts to stop Marcus from dying by taking his heart once again, but Marcus already gave it to Avaritia. Marcus dies in Ira’s arms and Avaritia kills Ira, gaining the strength of all the angels Ira has defeated and Ira himself. The story ends when Avaritia leaves to challenge God.