Hell is worse than you think, trust me. I know this sounds odd, I mean, the idea of an eternal hell being ripped apart over and over by demons sounds horrific, but that image is just stereotypical. Believe me, it can be a lot worse than simply dealing with a whole load of pain. Don’t get me wrong, that version of hell is horrific… but I’d gladly swap that eternity with mine. You see, hell is personalised to you, hell delves into your thoughts and unlocks your deepest and darkest fears, your flaws, and your nightmares. It turns these into reality, the most horrific and twisted kind of reality you could imagine. You relive this reality over and over and over. I’m going to describe my own version of hell to you, seen as though I cannot know for sure what others have experienced.
Throughout my life I was a criminal, I have robbed many banks in my time. I have even murdered a few people in the process, not that I wanted to – they simply got in the way. There was something about stealing that gave me a burst of adrenaline, this adrenaline felt good, it made me feel alive, unstoppable almost. Even as a child I have vague memories of stealing sweets from my local convenience store, pocketing them and quietly sneaking out, smiling to myself. Back then I was never detected, in my adulthood as well I managed to slip away from the police many times.
My luck ran out at the age of 45. I was caught and arrested, imprisoned for 20 years, not only for robbing banks, but for the murders as well. I was just glad it wasn’t a life sentence, 20 years is bad but… at this point I had known something was going to catch me eventually. The stealing was an addiction, even with the knowledge that I would be caught sooner or later, I simply couldn’t bring myself to stop. It was as if I had already accepted the fact that I had used up my life in this way, there was nothing I could do now to change it.
Prison was a horrible experience, I aged into an old man. My outlook on the world seemed to change as I watched the sun set every day through those dull grey bars. Stealing slowly became pointless to me, the idea of robbing now didn’t appeal to me at all. Even though I had now, in a way, changed as a person – the damage had already been done. A lifetime of stealing and killing could not go unnoticed, somewhere down south a special someone had made a note of my name, had smiled an evil smile and doomed me to an eternity of torture.
Back in real life however the thought of ‘hell’ was never on my mind. The principle reason for this of course would be that I was an atheist, why would I have been afraid of something I didn’t believe in? That was ludicrous. Anyway, the story continues when I was finally released from prison. I had never attained a wife during my life, I had had a couple of girlfriends as a young man but… I suppose a criminal lifestyle didn’t appeal to many women. I died as an old man in a rocking chair, alone by the fire.
So that was my life, my quick, pointless life. After being here for an eternity any life becomes meaningless eventually, I’ve been here so long I’m surprised I can still remember it, perhaps I am being forced to recall it every day, an extra little torment on top of the torture, knowing that I am now powerless to change my mistakes. Now however my life has become almost non-existent, a brief flash in my memories. I’ll always feel the regret through, the overwhelming feeling of regret that consumes my mind, wishing, wishing with all my being that I could have been a better man… but there’s no going back now…
Something I haven’t mentioned yet is I am a vegetarian. A vegetarian, it sounds odd, doesn’t it? When you think about it. This hard, murdering back robber disliked eating meat, disliked hurting animals. This is what my personalised hell endorsed, this is the weakness that it plucked out of my head when I entered hell. It used my vegetarian nature as my personal torture device, something to torment me with for an eternity. So… I will now describe exactly what happened when I closed my eyes for that final time, exactly what happened when I lay back in my rocking chair by the fire and as a used up old man closed my eyes forever…
I awoke. Opened my eyes, breathed in the air. The first thing I noticed was that I felt healthier than I had been in years. I felt like a young man again, with new vigour and energy. Sure enough, as I had looked down and examined my hands I noticed that my wrinkles, arthritis, everything… had simply gone. At first I had been overjoyed, yelping with happiness, punching the air. I believed that I was in heaven, I’d felt better than I had in years, overwhelmed with a feeling of happiness.
This temporary feeling subsided slightly when I realised where I was standing. I was in a room, a dark room with bluish walls. The floor and ceiling bore the same characteristics, dark cracked brick which lacked windows, doors, anything. There weren’t any lights either, which caught me as odd seen as though I could see quite easily, despite being confined in such a sheltered room.
‘Hello?’ I asked out loud. It was then that I noticed the deafening silence, a concrete quiet that made my ears ring. After a while I began to feel ill, started contemplating all the possible places I could be. Was this heaven? Was this a temporary holding place? Was this… hell? I tried to keep myself occupied by feeling along the walls, looking for any sign of a way out, doing nothing in an empty room would have soon driven to me to insanity.
‘Meal one.’ A voice rang out, making me jump. It was a low, monotonous voice of a man, it echoed around the empty room.
‘Hello?’ I said in response, hoping that perhaps someone had come to collect me. Hoping that someone had perhaps arrived to take me away from this claustrophobic place. I was wrong however, for no one appeared, a door didn’t open, no angel came in with a smile to greet me. Instead, a metal platter appeared in the middle of the room – on it, a piece of cooked meat.
A sickness settled in my stomach as I crept over to the plate, it looked like lamb. It was at this point that I hoped I was dreaming, I hoped that I was still an old man in my rocking chair. That I had perhaps simply drifted off to sleep by the fire and was having some sort of vivid nightmare. A very, very vivid nightmare…
‘I don’t eat meat.’ I whimpered. I was a vegetarian, after all. The idea of eating meat was disgusting. Not only the fact that it came from an animal, but… also the taste. There was something about it that had just never appealed to me. Something about the idea that an animal was killed to provide me with the meal, that I was chewing on its insides, its muscle. Muscle that was perhaps used by the animal several weeks earlier to potter around a field chewing on grass.
Without warning I suddenly fell to my hands and knees in front of the plate, this shocked me, it felt like I had lost all control of my body, as if something was driving me. So, unable to stop, my hands reached forwards and plucked the lamb off the plate. I tried desperately to resist but my hands stuffed the meat into my mouth, my mouth then started chewing as if by itself. I choked several times, reeling from the taste I had always been disgusted by. My throat swallowed the dry lamb and I coughed several times, choking on its dry texture. After it was one my body was released from control and I fell backwards onto the cold ground. The platter that had held the meat seemed to melt away into the deep cracks of the floor, trickling away like water.
‘What is this?’ I shouted. My protest was met with two words from the deep voiced man.
I watched the ground in front of me with hushed trepidation… what would appear there? More meat? No, it was worse. After several moments a small bird appeared, a small Robin with closer inspection. It flapped it wings but remained standing, looking at me with its black beady eyes.
‘No!’ I screamed. I stood up and ran to one wall, pressing my back against it, ‘no!… Read the rest