One Hell Of A Time
By Scott Wilson
Toby opened his eyes, squinting from the bright yellow and red flames surrounding the cave in which he found himself. His skin stung, burning like a pig on a spit, blistering and swelling painfully. He quickly became aware of the sorrowful sound of a million moans, echoing in the vast, cavernous surroundings. Each bellowed seemed to ricochet off rough, red earthen stalactites and stalagmites like a stray bullet.
“Get up you scum!”
Toby felt a harsh sting run down his naked back. He turned and faced a towering red humanoid figure with the legs of a goat, the torso of a man and the tormented face that was the combination of a human and ram. Hanging from the creature’s tightly clenched fist was a long whip made of blood stained barbed wire and bolts.
“Get moving,” It bellowed, lifting the menacing whip high above its shoulder.
Toby scrambled to his feet, searing his palms on the hot, rocky floor of the cavern. A naked woman knocked him back to the ground as she rushed past. He felt the tearing flesh pull away from his back as the whip hit his blistered skin again. Quickly, he hoped up and joined the crowd of naked men and women of all ages, races and creeds shuffling along the sharp, rocky floor, towards the centre of the cavern.
“Hell-o, it's nice to see you all here,” A creature similar to the one that whipped Toby said, in a deep and thunderous voice. “Now, as the more perceptive of you probably realized by now, this is Hell and I am the Devil.”
“Now, you all are here for eternity. Which I hardly need to tell you is a heck of a long time. So you're all get to know each other pretty well by the end. No sorry, forgot, there is no end. Anyway, I'm going to have to split you up into groups.”
A young woman ran to the front of the group, screaming.
“Will you stop screaming, please? There will be plenty of time for that entire later, but for now, QUIET!” The Devil raised a finger and the woman’s mouth sealed shut in a fleshy gag.
The Devil opened a large parchment and looked down the list of souls for the day.
“Now, murderers, murderers... over here please... thank you. Looters and pillagers over here, thieves if you could join them and lawyers, yes you can join them to.”
Fornicators if you could step forward... Oh, bugger there are lot of you these days, isn’t there? Can I split you up into adulterers and the rest to make things a bit easy for my boys please? Male adulterers if you could just form a line in front of that small guillotine in the corner there. We can split the whisker, as you say.”
Toby looked around at the steady stream of naked men, walking against their will towards the punishment they would receive, over and over.
“Atheists... atheists? Over here please. You must be feeling a right bunch of tools about now. Oh, don’t worry; it won’t take long for the boys to make you change your mind about a few things.”
Toby tried to run. He could not move his legs and noticed that he defecated himself; the stench rose to his nose and made him vomit.
“Oh bugger it, I don’t feel up to sorting the rest of you out at the moment. What’s say we just start with a round on the rack for each of you, followed by a nice little disembowelment. Okay. Right...well...are there any questions? Yes?”
An elderly looking gentleman with a noose around his flabby neck yelled something out. Toby could not hear it and was pretty sure it wasn’t about anything like the answer it received.
“No, I'm afraid we don't have any toilets. If you'd read your Bible, you might have seen that is was damnation without relief. So, if you didn't go before you came then I’m afraid you're not going to enjoy yourself very much. But then I believe that's the idea.”
“And I'll catch you all later at the great barbeque, Bye.”
One Hell Of A Time
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