Read Part One here
Read Part Two here
Greetings readers. Thank you for joining me for the third part of my hellish odyssey. If you’ve stuck with me this far, you’ll realise it isn’t going to get any easier. When I last left you, I was curled up in a ball and crying into my hands, having reached breaking point. It was only my ever-present and dedicated guide and protector who’d brought me to this point, saving my ass and physically dragging me into the elevator after my emotional breakdown on the streets of Dis. That was Level 5, Anger…and I still had four left to go.
By this stage in my journey, several things had become apparent to me. Firstly, I was trapped in this Hell and the only way out was to progress through all nine levels or circles, just as Dante had done so many centuries before. The attendant had been very clear on this – there were no shortcuts or easy escapes, only pain and suffering. The deeper we descended, the worse the levels became, and the greater the risk to both my physical body and my immortal soul.
My second revelation was that this Hell was very personal to me. On each and every level I’d encountered a deceased family member or friend, all trapped in their own torturous cycles of pain and fear. Each ghost I encountered brought painful memories with them – reminders of my often tragic family history, not to mention the many failures I’d made during my long life. I feared who I would run into next…let’s just say, there were a lot more skeletons in my closet.
But this wasn’t what frightened me the most. Call him what you will – Satan, the Devil, Lucifer. He was real and very much aware of my presence in his twisted kingdom. True, he hadn’t struck me down…yet. This was thanks to the attendant – my guide and hopefully my saviour. I still didn’t know who he was or why he’d been assigned the task of guiding me through Hell. He’d implied on several occasions that he served the Almighty and was granted some degree of divine protection, but it seemed this shielding was waning the lower we descended.
I had little doubt that the Devil was merely biding his time, toying with us like a cat would play with a mouse, just waiting for his opportunity to strike the killer blow. I barely had time to compose myself before the elevator hit the next level and I heard the dreaded ping. But I know that cowering in the corner wasn’t an option – the attendant wouldn’t allow it. And, despite the hell I’d been through, I wasn’t ready to give in.
So, I took a deep breath, wiped the tears from my face and stood up, facing the lift door as it automatically slid open. Now, what can I say about this new level? Well, when one imagines Hell the first thing you think of is extreme heat. This hadn’t been my experience to date, but when the door opened on level 6, it hit me hard – a stifling, almost unbearable heat that took my breath away. Once I recovered from my initial shock I looked out on what appeared to be a subterranean tunnel, dark and restricting, illuminated by burning torches affixed to the rocky walls.
“Level 6, Heresy.” the attendant patiently explained, “This hellscape is located within a labyrinth of tunnels and subterranean chambers underneath the unholy city of Dis. This is where the unrighteous burn for all eternity as punishment for their mortal sins.”
“I see.” was my response, as I wiped the sweat off my forehead and tried to regulate my breathing, and we walked out into the tunnel. The intense wave of heat only grew worse as we muddled through the dark passageways, and I struggled to keep up as my guide led the way. Thankfully we didn’t walk for long until we reached the tunnel’s end, but any small relief I felt disappeared when I observed the hellish underground chamber before us.
The cave was huge and looked like a subterranean cathedral, adorned with fiery torches and burning embers. The cave’s walls were easily a hundred feet high, but those walls were not bare. Far from it. When I looked up, I was horrified by what I witnessed – thousands of open tombs encased within the rocks, each containing a body, all strapped into their coffins to prevent them from falling. So many damned souls, all imprisoned in this twisted cathedral, awaiting a fate so horrific I couldn’t imagine.
I forgot about the stifling heat for a moment as I walked deeper into the chamber, mesmerised as I looked upon a thousand different faces. At first I thought they were already dead – their eyes were all closed and none of them were moving. But suddenly they all came to life, awaking to find themselves trapped in this hell, each one encased in their own personal coffin.
They screamed as one, struggling in vain against the restraints and pleading for help from no-one in particular. Their pained cries were deafening, forcing me down on my knees as I curled up in a ball and covered my ears. But I couldn’t drown out the horrific din. The screams were so intense that I thought my head would explode, but then thankfully it came to an end, as a thousand damned souls all fell silent. I wondered what hellish force had subdued them but feared I would find out soon enough.
I cautiously looked up to survey the scene and picked out a familiar face from the coffins – a holy man who’d dramatically fallen from grace and had certainly earned his place in Hell.
I’m sure you’ll not be surprised to learn that I was never particularly religious. But there was a brief period during my childhood when I attended a Catholic Reform School. I know what you’re thinking and yes…this was a desperate attempt to put me on the straight and narrow. My stint occurred in my early teens and during a period when my mother was briefly sober enough to take some parental responsibility.
Needless to say, I didn’t want to go and was determined to raise hell, planning to get myself kicked out so I could get back to running the streets. So, in all likelihood, I wouldn’t have lasted long anyway, but I couldn’t have anticipated Father Connolly and the impact he would have on my life. I wasn’t surprised to find the old priest here however, nor did I feel any sympathy for the bastard.
Quite the opposite in fact. He was one of the bad ones you see, and Hell was where he belonged. I’ll admit to feeling a grim satisfaction as I walked over to the entombed prisoner, confronting him face-to-face after all these years.
“Well, well Father Connolly,” I sneered, “How the mighty have fallen. This is quite the place you’ve retired to!”
The old priest struggled in pain against his binds, his eyes bulging and face red with rage as he looked me over with total contempt.
“And who the hell are you?” he spat angrily.
His abrupt reply took the wind out of my sails somewhat, but I was determined to make him face up to his crimes.
“So, you don’t remember me father? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. You had so many boys back in the day after all. But let me give you a reminder. You still have that scar on your thigh?”
There followed a sudden spark of recognition, an anger in his eyes as a painful memory came to mind.
“You little shit!” he swore, again fighting against his restraints in a futile attempt to get at me.
As you’ve probably already guessed, Father Connolly exploited his position in the school to abuse young boys. I don’t know how many kids he hurt, but when he tried to touch me the old bastard got what was coming to him. I knew exactly what he was up to and so stabbed the pervert in the leg with a letter opener. Not bad, except I was aiming for his groin.
The police were called and you can guess whose story they believed. Connolly claimed I’d attacked him without provocation and I got sent to a juvenile detention centre for the next two years. Any chance I had at going straight went out the window after that incident.
As for Father Connolly, he continued to work at the school and abuse boys for many years before the cops finally caught up with him. I heard he was facing dozens of charges, but I guess the pervert couldn’t stomach going to jail, because he hung himself before the trial. Connolly thought he was escaping justice but instead he’d ended up here – a hell of his own making. I couldn’t help but smile when I considered the irony.
But this irony seemed lost on Father Connolly as he continued his furious tirade against me.
“You were a vicious little bastard back in the day and look how you’ve turned out! It’s no surprise. I can always tell the bad ones!”
I almost choked upon hearing his hate-filled words. Was he fucking serious?
“You think you can judge me?” I screamed, “After all the evil shit you’ve done!”
“I am a servant of God!” Connolly replied firmly.
“You do not serve our Lord, and you never did!”
That was the attendant, who’d remained silent up to this point, merely observing our exchange from a distance. His tough rebuttal seemed to knock the stuffing out of the former priest. I watched with some satisfaction as his eyes widened and his head dropped. When Connolly spoke again his voice was meek and resigned.
“Perhaps so.” he muttered, “I guess I am where I belong.”
I suppose this was the closest I would get to an admission of guilt, but it wasn’t enough. I wanted to challenge Connolly further, but the attendant stopped me, grabbing my arm and pulling me back.
“We should leave. You don’t want to be present for the next part.”
I did want to see this pervert suffer but knew better than to go against my guide’s instructions, and so I backed away, following the attendant across the burning coals of the fiery chamber. We’d reached the far side of the cave when I heard the God-awful shriek, shortly followed by the heavy clamber of a huge creature tearing its way down the adjacent tunnel and into the hellish cathedral.
The creature’s body was illuminated by the fires and I was truly horrified by what I saw. The beast took the form of a giant red serpent, easily 40 to 50 feet in length, its green predatory eyes focussed as its dagger-like fangs extended out of its vast jaws. The beast thankfully ignored us as it slid across the chamber, making its way towards the entombed prisoners who were helpless to resist or escape.
The screams started afresh in that moment, even worse than before. I swore I could hear Connolly’s voice amongst the hellish chorus as he screamed – “Dear God! Please save me!”
Predictably, his prayers went unanswered.
I thought the giant serpent would devour its victims in its mighty jaws, but the reality was far worse. When it opened its mouth, the beast spat out a wall of flames – a napalm-like stream which burnt the heretics alive, consuming their flesh and souls in an unholy fire. The beast worked quickly and efficiently, and soon Connolly and the other sinners were engulfed in a fiery inferno.
The smell was horrific and the heat unbearable. I feared we would burn as the chamber was consumed by fire, but of course an elevator door had miraculously appeared in the rocks, permitting our ‘escape’ to the next level.
I coughed and spluttered as I dived inside the lift alongside the attendant, casting one last look at the fiery hell as the doors closed and we descended once again to an uncertain fate.
I was still choking on the excess smoke when we reached level 7 and were faced with yet another fiery and barely survivable environment. We walked out under a red sky and into a landscape scarred by jagged rocks. The attendant pointed me towards a distant river which flowed through the dead land and indicated that we should walk towards it.
I sighed deeply, struggling with every step due to the intense heat as the sweat poured off me. Not only were the levels getting more dangerous but the physical conditions were becoming intolerable. Honestly, I didn’t know how much more of this I could take.
When we reached the riverside I saw there was something very wrong. The river which flowed through the hellscape was not one of water but of blood – a boiling, crimson tide that was sickening to witness.
I saw figures appearing on both sides of the blood river, dozens of men gathering and forming up into tight formations. The zombie-like damned souls were soldiers – trained and experienced killers in life, now trapped in this hellish state.
“Level 7 is Violence.” the attendant explained, “These spirits will not harm us as long as we do not interfere.”
When I looked upon the rival armies I recognised their uniforms and weapons. On the right side of the river stood a company of SS stormtroopers, clad in black uniforms and steel helmets, the lightning bolt symbol displayed prominently. All were armed with submachineguns or rifles with bayonets affixed. Facing off against them on the left side were Mongolian warriors from the time of the Khans, clad in traditional armour and armed with bows and arrows. It seemed like a gross mismatch, but I wasn’t sure whether the normal rules of war applied here in Hell.
The two sides screamed at each other, emitting piercing, inhuman war cries that drowned out every other sound. And then they opened fire at each other, with bullets and flaming arrows flying across the bloody river. Men screamed as they were cut down, reeling in agony on the hot rocks.
About a third had fallen on both sides before they charged each other, wading into the river of blood. Their uniforms burned off and their skins began to melt, but this didn’t stop the manic warriors from advancing. I watched on in shock and horror as the survivors tore into one another, fighting viciously hand-to-hand and slicing chunks out of their enemies with bayonets and swords.
What struck me about the battle – other than its brutal savagery – was the sheer futility of it all. Neither side could win this skirmish as their bodies literally dissolved in the boiling blood. We continued to observe until the last warrior disintegrated and the battle cries faded away to nothing.
“And so, we may proceed.” said the attendant.
Once again, he used his mysterious powers, clicking his fingers to magically summon an arched bridge into existence, allowing us to cross the river of boiling blood. I was cautious as we walked the bridge, looking down at the crimson tide below and fearing what would become of me if I fell. But we got to the far bank in one piece and proceeded across the hot rocks.
We hadn’t made it far before running into another ruckus. When descending down a hillside we observed a trio of creatures – half man and half horse, circling around a helpless victim, laughing and mocking as they stomped on him with their hooves.
The attendant wasn’t having this however, as he advanced upon the group with determination, shouting at the centaurs as he went.
“Begone you foul vermin! Leave him be!”
The centaurs appeared to be typical bullies as they retreated in fear when confronted, quickly galloping away while leaving their wounded victim in their wake. We went to assist the stricken man and predictably it was someone I knew. He looked up at me through his swollen eyes, struggling to speak through his split lips.
“Well, well…look what the cat dragged in! You finally ready to apologise to me asshole?”
I lowered my head and was consumed with guilt. The man bleeding on the ground in front of me was called Jason. He was another member of our old street gang and, at one time, was my best friend. We stuck together after the other gang members went their own ways and graduated to more serious crimes, such as armed robbery. We were a real kamikaze unit back then, taking crazy risks as we took on more dangerous jobs.
One night we planned to hit a 24-hour liquor store, but I had a bad felling about the job and pulled out at the last minute. I tried to call Jason and tell him to abort the robbery, but I guess he didn’t get the message, because the crazy bastard went in solo. The results were tragically predictable. Without having me to cover his back, Jason lost his cool and opened fire, shooting dead a cashier and security guard.
The cops caught him red-handed the same night, and Jason was convicted of two counts of capital murder, receiving the death penalty. They kept Jason on death row for five years before he finally got the lethal injection. I didn’t visit him, not even once. So, he’d every right to be pissed with me.
“Hey man,” I finally whimpered after an awkward pause, “are you okay?”
Jason sneered in disgust. “You mean the beating? That’s nothing man. They kick the shit out of me every day, breaking my bones and cracking my skull. And, the next morning I’m fully healed, ready for the next beating…Still, I got off easy today, so I guess I should thank you and your friend for that.”
I shook my head and wasn’t able to meet my deceased friend’s eyes.
“I’m sorry Jason. You don’t deserve this.”
Jason tried to shrug his shoulders but was in too much pain to do so.
“Well, I did kill two people. There’s no getting away from that. But, if you’d been there to cover my back, the job could have gone down differently. But what really pisses me off is those years I spent on death row. You didn’t visit, didn’t even write! What the fuck man? We used to be tight, and you fucking abandoned me!”
I felt an immense shame because I knew he was right. There were no excuses I could make for abandoning my friend, no matter what he’d done.
“I’m so sorry man…I guess I felt guilty and couldn’t face up to it. I should’ve come to see you, to set things right.”
Jason smiled through his bleeding lips.
“It wouldn’t have done much good. They’d have given me the needle anyway. Still, I appreciate getting an apology…at last. Hey man, can you help me up?”
I reached out instinctively to take his hand, forgetting that there was nothing I could do to help him. As soon as our hands touched, his body burnt up and vanished in front of my eyes. I sighed in despair but was too exhausted to shed a tear.
We stood in quiet contemplation for a time before the air was filled with a familiar sadistic laughter. I looked up into the red sky and saw a hideous face emerging from the clouds – the gruesome horned head of the demon, eyes red and full of malice and hatred. The Devil.
I’d almost forgotten about Satan but should have realised he was still watching, enjoying our suffering and growing ever stronger as we grew weaker. He opened his gaping maw to reveal rows of shark-like teeth and called out in a booming voice which carried across the void.
“WELCOME TO VIOLENCE MY FRIENDS! NOW, LET’S HAVE SOME FUN!”
I turned around to look upon my guide, noting the fear in his bulging eyes. A moment later and the ground beneath our feet began to shake, throwing both of us off our feet. The powerful earthquake only increased in intensity, as the rocky surface cracked open, exposing us to the dark void below. I screamed in terror and looked to my guide for help, but I saw him falling into the gap like a helpless ragdoll.
I tried to get back on my feet but couldn’t stand as the ground collapsed around me, and I fell into the void, crying out as the darkness took me.
I awoke lying in the dirt, looking up to find myself in the middle of a dark forest. My limbs ached as I adjusted my eyes and pulled myself up, surveying my new environment. The sinister woods reminded me of the first level, Limbo. It seemed like an eternity since I’d visited there. For a brief moment I dared to hope that we were near the end, but my optimism was misplaced.
I searched in the darkness for my guide, discovering him lying face down in the dirt. This was disconcerting to say the least, as I sensed his strength was waning. I shook the old man awake and helped him to his feet, noticing how frail and exhausted he now appeared.
“Thank you.” he responded.
“Where are we?” I enquired, my hope now fading.
“We are still on Level 7.” answered the attendant, “Regrettably, Violence contains three sub-levels. This is the second.” He paused briefly, cautiously surveying the treeline as if expecting an attack at any moment. “We must proceed with extreme caution from here on in. Lucifer’s power is growing, and he now has the ability to physically harm us.”
His words chilled me but were no surprise. I sensed that I would need to take more responsibility as we went forward. My guide couldn’t always be there to save me.
We advanced slowly under the darkened canopies and, as always, I had the uncomfortable feeling that we were being watched. I could hear the agonising cries of the damned from all around us – a hellish chorus of pain, fear and misery. And there was another sound too, one of distant shrieking creatures, cackling and snarling whilst circling somewhere above the trees. I dreaded to think what monstrosities were emitting these hideous cries.
The screaming of the damned grew ever louder the deeper we walked into the forest. At first, I thought the cries came from disembodied spirits, but then I made a horrifying discovery. The trees and bushes were alive, with twisted human faces embedded within the barks and foliage, their ‘mouths’ emitting the blood-curdling screams.
“My God!” I exclaimed in horror.
“Yes.” the attendant confirmed, “We bear witness to the punishment of this sub-level. Souls transformed into trees and plants, unable to move or escape their tormenters.”
I felt ill as we continued our hellish march and the awful din filled my ears. I couldn’t bear to look upon the tormented faces…Their pain was too much.
I lowered my head and tried to plough through, but then a familiar voice called out to me, stopping me dead in my tracks. I hesitantly turned my head to face the small tree opposite me and saw the face embedded within the bark, tears rolling from its eyes and its mouth opening and closing as the tormented soul called out my name. My stomach turned as the bad memories flooded back. The trapped soul was that of my ex-girlfriend Raquel, a troubled young lady who’d met a tragic end.
I met Raquel in my early twenties, and we began a passionate but chaotic relationship soon after. I was a career criminal by this point in my life – a hard man and unholy terror on the streets. Raquel’s upbringing was similar to my own – unstable and frequently violent. She was beautiful, sexy and – on the surface at least – as tough-as-nails. But there was also a vulnerability to her. In truth, Raquel was emotionally unstable and prone to violent outbursts.
She also had substance abuse problems and, looking back, I guess Raquel had a lot in common with my late mother. A psychologist could probably have a field day with that information, but I didn’t see it at the time. Our relationship was volatile to say the least. If we weren’t fucking each other’s brains out, we ended up tearing chunks out of each other. I couldn’t give her the stability that she needed, and in truth my behaviour probably hastened her mental deterioration. Therefore, I can’t help but feel guilt over what happened.
Raquel had a son from a previous relationship. Tommy was his name, and I guess he was about 5 or 6. I never had much of an interest in him to be honest. My lifestyle wasn’t exactly compatible with being a committed stepfather. Meanwhile, Raquel’s went to shit very fast. We’d split up after a massive fight and she hadn’t taken it well, hitting the booze hard.
Around the same time social services began investigating and were threatening to take Tommy into care. I guess this pushed Raquel to breaking point because what she did next was beyond horrific. One night she poured a bath for her son and held his head under the water until he stopped breathing. Next, she downed a lethal combination of vodka and sleeping pills before calling 911. By the time the cops and paramedics arrived they were both dead.
The deaths were ruled as a murder-suicide of the worst kind – a mother who killed her own child before ending her life. I guess Raquel thought that would be the end of it, but she hadn’t anticipated an eternal damnation in this hellscape.
I reluctantly walked closer to the tree containing Raquel’s soul, putting my ear next to her mouth in an attempt to hear her words, but it was no good. I reckon the torment she’d suffered must have driven Raquel insane, as her cries were nothing but incoherent nonsense.
I still felt some sympathy for my ex-girlfriend in spite of the terrible crime she’d committed, and so I reached out to touch the bark, hoping that her physical presence would disintegrate into ash. But it didn’t.
I stepped back upon hearing the awful shrieks from above, as winged creatures dived through the canopy and tore at the tree’s leaves, branches and bark with sharp fangs and claws. When I looked closer at the winged monsters, I saw they were the same red scaled harpies I’d observed on the walls of Dis – flying demons which took pleasure in inflicting misery and terror.
And Raquel felt the pain as the harpies tore into the tree which had replaced her physical body, as if every branch that was broken off was like losing a limb. Her screams were horrific and I couldn’t bear to watch.
The attendant touched me gently on the shoulder, whispering in my ear.
“There is nothing we can do. We must move on. Every moment we spend here places us in greater danger.”
I turned around to see a new elevator sitting and waiting in the middle of the woods, the door already open. I cast one last glance back at the terrible scene, seeing the ravenous harpies ripping the tree to shreds – the demons cackling cruelly as Raquel screamed in terror and agony. I shed a tear for her before following my guide into the lift, feeling relief as the doors slammed shut and the hellish din thankfully ended.
The third sub-level of Violence was undoubtably the worst yet. When the doors slid open we were faced with a seemingly endless desert of red sands, and from the dark clouds above poured what looked like a rain of fire, with spitting flames falling against the hot sands.
I took one look at this latest hellscape and turned to my long-suffering guide in disgust, practically shouting in his ear.
“We can’t cross that! We’ll never make it!”
The attendant shook his head in resignation, the light from his eyes fading as he sighed.
“Alas, we must. The environment will be difficult and we will experience pain, but our time here is only temporary. Think of the damned souls trapped here for all eternity. A terrible punishment, regardless of the sins they committed in the mortal world.”
The attendant stepped out first and I reluctantly followed. But as soon as I exited the lift, my feet burnt under the hot sands and the fiery raindrops hit my head and face, burning my head and skin. Somehow I found the strength to go on, taking the attendant’s hand and helping him across the inhospitable desert.
As we walked I saw other figures around us, all semi-naked and struggling to differing degrees. Some were still standing, although I could tell their bare feet were burning with every step. Others had given up altogether, falling face down into the sand. But there was no respite for the damned as they continued to scream in agony, their flesh burning fiercely and their minds driven to madness.
The attendant was right – our pain and misery was nothing compared to what the damned were suffering. But when I looked down I saw a man I recognised, and any sympathy I might have felt disappeared.
“Danny, you motherfucker!” I swore, resisting the urge to laugh out loud.
When I saw the man’s peeling red skin and blackened feet I experienced a grim satisfaction…because, in my opinion, this bastard deserved everything he got.
Danny was my mother’s on-and-off boyfriend over several years, and he was a cancer who’d hastened my family’s demise. He first came onto the scene after my father left and soon enabled my mum’s substance abuse problems. I hated the guy and spent as much time out on the streets as I could, in part to avoid him.
The situation grew worse after Sarah died. It was Danny who got Mum hooked on heroin, and before long he was pimping her out for profit. Eventually I put an end to this sick arrangement, kicking the shit out of Danny and throwing him out of the house. But he had other girls on the hook and continued to operate as a low-life pimp and dealer, until ultimately he got taken out by a rival, cut down in a drive-by shooting. And now here he was, burning for all eternity.
He glanced up at me with desperate eyes, opening his bone-dry lips and mouthing the words – ‘Help me’.
I experienced a twinge of doubt in that moment. As vile as Danny was, I wondered whether he really deserved this. But then I got my answer.
She appeared out of the sands, rising to the surface and almost giving me a heart attack. My little sister Sarah, except it wasn’t actually her. Sure, this entity took my sister’s physical form, but when I looked into her once innocent eyes, I saw something evil.
She moved towards Danny but kept her eyes focussed on me, and I couldn’t look away, no matter how much I wanted to. Danny turned his head, his eyes filling with terror when he saw her approach.
“Oh God!” he cried, falling to his knees in submission.
I was horrified to witness the entity masquerading as Sarah physically grow as it approached, transforming from a little girl into a monster, easily 12 foot tall. Her eyes were pure black, like those of a shark, and her jaw opened wide, revealing a gaping dark hole. And when she spoke, her voice was inhuman and terrifying.
“You were my big brother,” she screeched, “I trusted you!”
She was talking to me of course, and her words were like a dagger through my heart.
“You know what he did to me.” she added, pointing her huge finger towards the wretched Danny. “In your heart, you’ve always known. All those nights you were out on the streets and Mum was strung out on drugs. That’s when he came to me. When I was alone in my bed, scared and helpless.”
I shook my head and angry tears ran down my cheeks.
“No, I don’t believe it! This is a trick!”
But deep down, I knew she was telling the truth. I’d let my sister down, leaving her alone with this monster.
I glared with fury at Danny – now snivelling pathetically as he pleaded for mercy. The rage inside of me was overwhelming. I stepped forward, determined to rip the fucker limb from limb. But ‘Sarah’ – or whatever the hell she really was – acted first.
I watched on in horror as her jaw dislocated and opened up to an enormous size. The creature that emerged no longer bore any resemblance to my sister and instead reminded me of a giant snake, such as an anaconda. Danny screamed as the monster attacked, her jaws so wide that she could swallow his head whole.
Danny’s now muffled screams continued, and he squirmed as the beast slowly but surely devoured him until there was nothing left. And suddenly the bloated snake transformed once again, its shape and body changing into that of a man…except it wasn’t a man, not really.
The figure that now stood on the sands was Lucifer himself…the Lord of Hell, here to taunt us again, or perhaps he planned to end me once and for all. At this point I hardly even cared. This latest revelation about my sister’s suffering had nearly broken me.
The Devil smiled cruelly as he mocked us openly.
“Well my friends, hasn’t this been fun? I think we’ve learnt a thing or two about our so-called hero, haven’t we?”
In that moment my anger overcame my fear as I screamed at Satan with pure rage.
“Fuck you!” I swore.
The Devil simply laughed, his hateful eyes filled up with a malicious glee.
“Don’t let him provoke you.” whispered the attendant, who’d snuck up behind me.
I noted how this harsh environment had resulted in a further deterioration in his physical state. He was now so frail he could hardly stand.
“He can’t protect you any longer,” the Devil mocked, “Look at him…You really trust this weak old man? What do you really know about him? He hasn’t told you his story, has he?”
I looked to my guide and saw he couldn’t meet my eye.
The Devil laughed again, louder this time.
“I could destroy you both right now with a click of my fingers, but why stop the fun? Two more levels to go gentlemen. Let’s get to it!”
In a matter of seconds, the desert around us transformed into a whirlpool of red sand, sucking up everything and pulling us down. I screamed in terror as I fell, the attendant tumbling alongside me, our helpless bodies swallowed up by the dark abyss.
I soon lost consciousness in the chaos and turmoil, knowing that I would awake to face the horrors of level 8.
Credit: Hell Tourist
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