Deep Thoughts From the Depths Of Hell

inferno“I couldn’t help but notice that you’re reading Dan Brown’s new book,” The Devil said as he returned to the living room with two bottles of Snapple and set one down in front of me.  “What do you think of it?”

I looked up from my copy of Dan Brown’s Inferno to see what kind of look Lucifer had on his face, so I could get an idea of what I might be in for if I chose to dive headfirst into this conversation.

He wasn’t giving me much to work with, though.  Satan was sporting his unreadable poker face, which was one reason why I have NEVER played cards with my frequent house guest.

“I’m really enjoying it,” I dipped a toe into the shallow end of what could quickly become a very deep conversation.

He raised one eyebrow, and then took a long sip of his Snapple before returning to his usual seat on my couch.

I waited for him to say something, but he picked up the remote and flipped the channel to the Yankees game.  I’ve spent enough time with The Devil to know that silence is never a good thing, and an eyebrow raise…well, that spells disaster.

“I can totally picture it as a movie,” I volunteered, hoping that if I steered the conversation down a safe set of tracks, the train might not derail.

Satan mumbled something under his breath, and then turned his attention to the baseball game.  The pitching coach was visiting the mound, so it was obvious that he wasn’t riveted to the action.

We’d had many one-sided conversations since he’d started visiting The House on the Hill, but every one of those chats had been dominated by the Fallen Angel seated to my right.

I knew what he wanted me to say, but it had been an exhausting week, and I honestly wasn’t sure if I was up for that conversation.

Sensing my apprehension, the Prince of Darkness laid it on thick with a heavy sigh and then a slumping of his broad shoulders.  I couldn’t take the guilt.

“As much as I’m enjoying the book, I’m a little distracted by all the talk of Hell and Dante’s famous description of it.”  The words tumbled out of my mouth and the train picked up speed.  There was no way it was going to stay on the tracks now.  “Did Dante get it right?”

DanteThat was all it took.  “Dante is so far off base, but everyone acts like his description is the Official AAA Guidebook to Hell,” the Devil blurted out with so much hatred and malice that I thought the words were going to steal my soul.   “I hate Dante, this stupid little hat, his smug attitude, his poorly written poem, and his ugly face.  I just want to punch it so hard!”

Why don’t you tell us how you really feel, Lucifer?  Why hold anything back?

“There are times when I wish I had demanded Dante’s soul, and then created a version of Hell just like the one he unleashed on mankind,” Satan hissed as he rose to his feet.  “I’d toss his ass into the great abyss and tell him to enjoy spending eternity all alone exploring the nine rings of his warped, demented imagination.”

I was stunned.  “He’s really that far off?” I asked, knowing it was the wrong thing to say, but clearly not believing it could be true.  “I went to Catholic school and was raised on the idea of Hell being quite similar to the wretched place Dante depicted in his poem.  The Nuns were lying to me?”

Lucifer subtly adjusted his tie before sitting again.

hell“I know you’re not crazy enough to mess with me when I’m working through a fit of rage, so I am going to calmly answer your question,” he informed me and then took a long sip of Snapple.  “Hell is not at all like what Dante envisioned.  There isn’t one ring, let alone nine.  People aren’t writhing in pain, or face down in anything.  I was an Angel for goodness sake.  I could never do something so twisted and disgusting.  The Nuns want you to believe all that nonsense is true to that you’ll be a good boy, follow the commandments, and go to Church.  Not to toot the horn of my competition, but do you really think God and his Army of Angels would allow a wretched place like Dante’s Hell to exist?”

“I really don’t know what to think,” I admitted with a shrug as I put down the book and reached for my Snapple.  “My Evil Stepmother would never have stood for my questioning the Nuns or the teachings of the Church.”

“Well, there’s not much I can do to refute the theory when the world is raised to believe everything they hear from someone in a habit or a Roman collar,” he snarled.  “It doesn’t make it easy for me to deal for souls when people are afraid of what is waiting for them once they die.  One stupid poem gave God all He needed to make people fear me and what I had to offer as an alternative to Heaven.”

Devil“So what is Hell really like?” I asked.  Now I had to know.  And the Devil was going to tell me if he ever again expected to drink my Snapple or watch my TV.

“Hell is whatever makes you suffer the most,” he told me with a devilish smile.  “You might be in Hell right now, my friend.  You spend your days longing for the love of your life, who talks to you every day, but it just beyond your reach.  You get to read her emails, hear her voice, but you cannot kiss her, hold her hand, or feel her perfect, tanned body against yours.”

“And I have to spend a chunk of time with you,” I said sadly as I thought about The Girl Who Owns My Heart.  This really was Hell.  Or was it?  Was Lucifer just messing with me?  Why had I allowed him to pull me into this philosophical conversation when all I wanted to do was relax and enjoy a quiet Friday night?

“Well, I didn’t mean to distract you from your book,” the Devil lied as he turned his attention back to the Yankees game.  “I’m glad you’re enjoying it.”

I haven’t been able to pick up my book again.  Nor have I been able to think about anything other than whether or not I was in Hell.

Well played, Satan.  Well played…

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
This entry was posted in Humor, Philosophy, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Deep Thoughts From the Depths Of Hell

  1. Teela Hart says:

    Oh no……Am I in hell? :/

  2. When you begin a story the way you did here, I always have to stop and pay attention 🙂 Such great writing…

    In high school (which actually was Catholic, although I wasn’t) we debated the concept of hell. Most of us accepted the belief that hell really was the worst day of your life repeated ad infinitum. It was easier to imagine and accept than the usual fire-burning routine.

    • Austin says:

      I’m glad you liked it. I began to get too long for a blog post, so I had to rush the ending. Was getting very philosophical for a Friday night. 🙂

  3. floridaborne says:

    His arrival was enough to make you jump start your brain without any help. 🙂

  4. A very wise perception on hell, but then again, who would know better than the devil?

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