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turnaround0101 t1_j1roodk wrote

Death was a diminutive woman in an oversized band tee, a battered leather jacket over the plush arm of her chair. She had a cup of coffee in her hands, and the steam wreathed her pale face like the fog that coiled over the river. Death had piercings and gauged ears, fake freckles scattered across high cheekbones. She was smiling sadly and I thought, for a moment, that she might reach out and take my hand. Around us was a coffee shop half overrun with vines and flowers, faceless people living out the small contusions of their lives. I felt at ease, but somehow I knew I shouldn’t.

“Oh no, honey,” Death said. “This is just the worst part of the job, but hey, at least you’re already sitting down. I’ll say it: this isn’t heaven, this is hell.”

I nodded. A specter floated by and handed me a London Fog. The tea was excellent, just sweet enough. I nodded again, her words sinking in.

“I guess I wasn’t as good as I thought.”

“Most people aren’t,” she said. “But don’t worry, this isn’t forever. Just for a little while, until you figure out what you did and feel properly contrite. Though I must say, even down here this is a little…unusual.”

She sipped her coffee, I sipped my tea. A couple blustered in out of the cold and I saw the river framed behind them, that lazy flow. The couple were both wearing Christmas sweaters and big colorful socks, matching pairs, and they shivered against each other for a moment as they took in their surroundings. Their faces were completely blank, two beige discs moving this way and that, before settling on each other.

“Unusual how?” I asked.

Death considered me. “Well, you know that cliché about beauty being in the eye of the beholder? Pain is that way too. Most things are, but pain is singular. Hit me and I’ll cry, hit a boxer and they’ll blink. Get used to a specific brand of pain and it becomes an echo. And yet, everyone has, at their core, something that hurts them the most.”

She gestured to the door. “If you could go out there and walk down the river for a while, you’d find a billion variations of this cell. Oh, you have all the classical imagery, torturers and whatnot, others that are simple isolation, simulated drownings, a breakup frozen in time forever--or until the lesson starts to sink in. But regardless of their differences there's a person in each one, trapped in their own individual hell.”

Death sipped her coffee again. Giggled into the steam. “Yours is the only Hell I’ve ever seen with flowers.”

“Ah,” I said. I looked down into my teacup and found it empty. Cold. I told her that I understood.

“Then explain it to me,” Death said. “What could be so bad about a coffee shop?”

Another specter drifted forward, drifted back. I cradled fresh warmth in my hands and cleared my throat. In life, I had never been very used to speaking.

“It exists,” I said. “It’s normal. All these people with all these lives, taking so much pleasure in something so simple as a cup of coffee.”

“And then there’s you with your tea,” she said.

“Exactly. It’s all the things I never understood. I used to come here sometimes, just to remind myself of that. Sit in this chair and watch the world go by.”

There was Death’s sad smile again. No teeth, just a gesture of the lips and a painful warmth behind her eyes.

“And me?” she asked. “I look different to every person. Who’s this girl to you?”

“No one,” I said.

“Bullshit,” Death said.

I drank my tea. Watched the doors open and close. Shapes moved along the river, came up out of the fog. From time to time a scream cut through the cafe’s quiet murmur, but that was all, and that was all there ever would be.

“Who am I?” Death asked again.

And I shrugged. “One of the baristas. Just someone who was kind.”

When I looked back Death was gone, and in her place sat a faceless girl. The same band tee and leather jacket, the same vanilla latte steaming in her lap. Like a charcoal sketch brushed out.

I took her hand, and we passed a thousand years.




FoxSquall t1_j1rtw8t wrote

As someone who has struggled to connect with others and always felt apart from the world, I think I might understand just a little.


IML_42 t1_j1sfhng wrote

Great job! This take on the prompt reminded me of this Oscar Wilde quote. “We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.” Very much a “hell of our own making” feel to this response.


VonGoth t1_j1tysyv wrote

Excellent. But too close for comfort.


frenchpressfan t1_j1rq0o1 wrote

Very well written, thank you!

And I'm bloody unsure what kind of coincidence this is: but I was humming "we walked a million years, I must have died alone" right when I clicked to read this one..


anima173 t1_j1u31ag wrote

A long long time ago. Who knows? Not me. We never lost control.


MtnNerd t1_j1s8o0d wrote

That one hurt. It's the hell I already live in.


ShadowFang167 t1_j1te0d9 wrote

Whoever and wherever you are m8, I hope next year gets better for you 👋.


Cuteboi84 t1_j1vj8w5 wrote

It's the hell I strive to never be in. I cried twice for this. And a 3rd time I'm tearing up because I'm thinking of writing this comment.

It's a massive fear of being rejected when trying to be social. I'm typically the odd one out. Even though I seem to integrate, I just stand out.


UnpluggedMaestro t1_j1tc45p wrote

I don’t actually understand this… can someone explain pretty please?


ricecake t1_j1tex6u wrote

They didn't fit in in social settings. Their personal hell was being in a nice place where people are together and happy, and they're just not part of it. There, but separate. Lonely.

I'm guessing that their mistake that they needed to fix was that they never took a chance on trying to connect with the person who was kind to them.


Willsgb t1_j1uzce0 wrote

True loneliness. Surrounded by people, a world going on around you, yet the feeling of being profoundly disconnected and other.

This prompt, and that beautifully written chapter, have brought me half to tears. The way death just vanishes as soon as he admits the truth of his hell cut me as well.


disfreakinguy t1_j1vklzg wrote

Being in a wheelchair has introduced me to this, I haven't ever felt like this before.

Everyone's lives keep going. I'm surrounded by others living, working... moving. I don't. Even when I'm in the company of friends, I feel alone. The only interactions I have with strangers now are pitying glances and offers of help. My wife switches from angry to sad to frustrated. My kids are sad and frustrated. My friends have either disappeared or focus entirely on trying to help me, not just be my friend.

I hate this so much. I'm in hell right now.


newnotapi t1_j1w11lm wrote

I mean, I am sitting here in a wheelchair myself, and this is not how my life has gone. I have friends, some of whom are also disabled, and they do not do that to me. When I still worked in an office, my officemates would wheel me around really fast in the parking lot for fun, and we'd get in trouble for having races in the halls.

All this isn't to boast, it's to say that it's not the wheelchair that is doing this. This is a fixable problem. You may need new friends, you may need counseling with your wife, but there are people out there who will not treat you like that. Also, people may be responding more to how you feel about yourself than about the wheelchair.

I also had a period of time where I felt extremely depressed about my health and pain and the reasons for being in a wheelchair. I ended up in a psychiatric hospital, it was so bad. Therapy helps, forcing yourself to think differently about it and take different actions helps. Medications also can help. You owe it to yourself to try a different way.


disfreakinguy t1_j1w312h wrote

I'm fairly recently wheelchair bound. I'm also separating myself from a toxic group of friends quite successfully, I just thought a few of them would support me, I was wrong. I'm dealing with it, I'll get over it, it's just that the sting is very new still. I thought a few dudes still had my back. They did not. Oh well, the ones I've got left are doing their best. We'll get there, I'm not mad at them it's just tough when your buddies spend the whole time they're at

My wife and I talk a lot. It's getting better, she didn't even realize she was acting this way. We talk most nights about what we can do to fix it and it's getting better. She is just struggling, she's used to me being strong, healthy and active. Now I'm in pain all the time, cold all the time, and my body isn't working right. It's a big shift - we've been together 15 years so it's a change that will take getting used to. We'll get there, the kids... I can't blame them. We'll work on it.

My care team royally fucked up. This didn't have to happen, but it did. We are getting through it, but it's our first Xmas with me fucked up and it's HARD. Especially without my parents. Things are shit right now. They'll get better. I'm fueled by spite and I have plenty to be angry about, but I'm not giving up. Not for me. For my kids. I may not walk them down the the aisle, I may not stand up to dance, but I'm going to learn to dance in this fucking chair. I'm going to roll them down the aisle. I'm going to love them. Even if I hate what my personal situation is.

Thank you for being kind.


TheCaliforniaOp t1_j1w6uub wrote

u/disfreakinguy :

This may sound odd. But is there any chance volunteering at a parrot sanctuary or rescue might help? Because they are often lost between the life they knew and the next life they decide to choose and trust.

They saved me. It’s not easy with parrots. It’s patient, polite taming between two cautious species.

The wheelchair is the elephant in the room right now, and I apologize because I don’t mean that in a hurtful way. I mean it as “it’s apparently what everyone is getting caught up by.”

It won’t disappear. But it will shrink to its actual size.

I’ve not been in a wheelchair, but I’ve worn a fair amount of orthopedic leg gear.

The wheelchair will startle some of the parrots, if the chair comes up too close and fast to them. So the very thing that is the most agonizing is the thing one has to negotiate with the parrots about.

Once they get a chance to examine the chair and the human sitting in it, while feeling safe during this examination, this is what they’ll see:

“Finally a person who sits down and lets me come to them instead of just rushing over and jamming their hand under my toes, so suddenly I lose my balance! I could approach this person. Or they could approach me and just sit and talk, then listen to me.”

If a parrot is higher than you, don’t ever reach up unless you know for certain that bird wants to walk down your arm.

It’s better to let it come down and be at your level.

Or have it walk over and climb up to you.

But often there are caged parrots who can’t be let out because they’re too angry/traumatized, or they’ve been abused, or they’re disabled by broken body parts, and so they tend bite people, hard. Or they get bitten because they rush to another parrot for contact, so they have to be protected from themselves. They’re just so damn lonely.

And there’s not enough time for them. Too many parrots for too few people in the rescue/sanctuary.

For someone to sit even three feet away and then talk to them would be like a dream they never would dare expect to come true.

At the very least, it’s something different to do in a day. Just remember to keep your movements and voice calm, secure, not sudden, and it also helps not to stare at them.

Three-quarter face. Slow blinks. Humming. Whistling. Singing bits of song. Just holding a conversation about whatever comes to mind: “So, what do you think about the latest released information on UFOs?”

I didn’t mean to offend anyone. I hope this doesn’t come across as a r/thanksimcured toss-off. It’s truly and sincerely meant, and I hope very much that if not this, you find something else that gives you some ease and happiness.

Good luck and best wishes, always ♥️🍀🎶🌠


disfreakinguy t1_j1wa0va wrote

Unfortunately the parrot sanctuary near me closed this month. There's one the next state over, but that's too far. Thank you for being kind.


Willsgb t1_j23g97f wrote

I'm really sorry to hear that mate. My only suggestion is perhaps this might be everyone adjusting to this new situation. And even if not, things might change in future. But I hope that things and relationships with friends and family improve again for you.


MumblyBoiBand t1_j1v285z wrote

There’s no way that’s as bad as being skinned alive and covered with salt or something.


FlipskiZ t1_j1v5cco wrote

The point of the hell was for the person to learn something in order to move on. If there was nothing to be learned from being skinned alive, then it wouldn't happen to you. As far as I understood it.


justanotherguyhere16 t1_j1v5i8k wrote

To quote the movie ‘Love Actually’ “What could be worse than the agony of being in love?”

  • especially if that love is not returned.

wiqr t1_j1tf2rg wrote

The way I understand it, the man in the story is someone who'd consider himself a misfit. Someone socially awkward and poorly adapted. He's stuck in a situation he finds uncomfortable. This is compounded by presence of the girl that Death appeared as - possibly someone close to the protagonist, but the way it is worded suggests that the feeling wasn't mutual. Or that the man never really mustered the courage to put his feelings into words, and just put himself down, and eventually convinced himself that there were no feelings whatsoever.

Imagine yourself being stuck in a vague memory of the most awkward situation you have ever been.


nomadwannabe t1_j1td94z wrote

Me also. It’s beautifully written but I can’t quite grasp what’s happening.


tartufu t1_j1tfh87 wrote

I’m thinking the person was wired so differently that he could never understand or feel joy. But he likes to sit at the coffeeshop sometimes to see how people around him could do normal things and feel joy.

In his personal hell, he has to sit at the coffeeshop and be constantly reminded he’s not normal.

And this is a super dark thought, but he might have done something to the barista who was kind to him. And now he has to live with it


nomadwannabe t1_j1u6tbj wrote

Interesting add about the girl. Thank you for explaining!


Korthalion t1_j1thgv6 wrote

It's a kind of pain those of us that struggle to fit in can inflict upon ourselves. To sit somewhere 'normal' as a self-perceived outsider, and watch everybody else go about a life you can never have. I'd almost call it wistful, yet melancholy.

Enjoying coffee with a friend, perhaps going on a lunch date with someone you're getting to know, these things are very rare or simply don't happen for some people, for a variety of reasons.

I think that's what makes this story so well-written: it's open-ended as to why the protagonist feels this way, and so a greater variety of readers can connect and self-insert. For me it's Aspergers.


nomadwannabe t1_j1u6qmy wrote

Thank you for explaining that to me; that makes sense.


Starrion t1_j1uzt68 wrote

I get it. And that’s amazing. It took five read through msg to understand, they cannot connect. The nice atmosphere, people relaxing, open clean space, they are alone and in a personal trap of isolation that they cannot understand or overcome. And it’s hell for them. And the way it’s written the reader experiences the apartness and confusion. Well done


WhiskeredWolf t1_j1uxt4g wrote

I didn’t see anyone mention it yet, but the facelessness of all the people might point to the protagonist having a hard time reading faces. That’s what it feels like sometimes. Like that couple that came in together - you can see that they’re probably affectionate with each other, but not much else.


derps_with_ducks t1_j1ssild wrote

I know this hell, but it's not my worst hell.

Thanks for describing it with such grace.


mmmmpisghetti t1_j1t0ni9 wrote

Oh fuck it's YOU. I should have known. I've not really read much in a while. It's so nice to wander by and find you here, doing what you do so well. Just as I'm thinking how good this is, in that familiar way you have, I get to the end and see your name.

I have some catching up to do, I think.


GodofHIV t1_j1s5bgk wrote

Goddamn. This one hits different, well done.


Pinkbeans1 t1_j1shc69 wrote

That was good! I always love seeing you pop up in a prompt!


Zurrdroid t1_j1tah05 wrote

I'm struggling to understand this one...


mwngai827 t1_j1tj923 wrote

I’m personally leaning towards u/ricecake’s interpretation. But there are more if you look through this thread.


548662 t1_j1t7lxh wrote

Reminds me of Death from Sandman ... This wouldn't be out of place as a chapter from that series. Anyway I relate to this guy. Nice.


Willsgb t1_j1uzu7i wrote

Yes. She would be this interested in prying the truth from the soul she just took, she would emanate the same sad warmth, and she would also be as matter of fact and unwilling to swallow any bullshit.


Korthalion t1_j1tgu9w wrote

Ouch, this one hit me right in my autism. One of the better stories I've read for a while.


CarnegieMellons t1_j1syih0 wrote

As ever, absolutely beautiful. I can always tell it's one of your stories due to the haunting images. Again, beautiful.


G3tar t1_j1tmtxc wrote

Man sometimes I read these comments and think "huh that's neat" but this one really connected in a way that is difficult to describe, maybe because I feel like this almost every day.


saxguy9345 t1_j1uqe2n wrote

Absolutely fantastic. The visage of Death was chilling, especially the toothless smile, and keeping the nature of the narrator's hell unknown even to Death themselves was a nice touch. A real "prison of your own making", that Death wasn't omnipresent and didn't know the "barista", blind to the nature or circumstance of the narrator's companion with the very specific attire. Haunting.

The repliers having an issue deriving meaning from your prompt shouldn't feel bad, it's more "high" literature than a simple fiction, and is written specifically to be open to interpretation. When Death mentions "there are many other souls experiencing torture, drowning, bad break ups all up and down the river" most likely Styx (river in Greek mythological purgatory / hell), Death is saying this coffee shop situation is worse than all of those horrible things for this narrator character. Let your imagination go wild with that little tid bit.


PM451 t1_j21fbzd wrote

>that Death wasn't omnipresent and didn't know the "barista",

Omniscient? Omnipresent is all-places, omniscient is all-knowing.


Seedy__L t1_j1tnmg4 wrote

Not sure why, but this made me quite emotional.

Fantastic work.


Darksymphony52 t1_j1utbnl wrote

So badly want to read more of this, this world you've crafted wether it be following death through their own moral struggles with their job or following this lonely man through his redemption and healing.

This story is gonna stick with me for the rest of my life I feel and it'll be a cursed joy to have read it knowing it was only a response to a prompt and not a full written out work.

So thank you for this curse, it is wonderful


F84-5 t1_j1tnkl5 wrote

Ah, nice to run across something of yours again. It's been a while. I'm happy to say your writing is still as evocative as ever.


fozziwoo t1_j1txw61 wrote

just fantastic, not a single bump, really well written; more, do more…

omg there’s so much 🫣


MolhCD t1_j1u939r wrote

I feel there are depths to it that are just waiting to be plumbed


dragonfly_--8o t1_j1vjail wrote

Very nice. I always thought that myself. That pain is different for everyone and we are, each of us, in our own little he’ll. Good job, nice writing style as well.


MechisX t1_j1wexu9 wrote

This may of been hell for me at one time but after over 50 years of living on this planet I almost understand humans and even like a few of them.

Still not what you would call a "social" being though.


aroaceautistic t1_j21q2jz wrote

I like this one a lot. Makes me think of all the times I’ve sat in classrooms and family reunions, just silently watching people have conversations with each other.


IML_42 t1_j1rrm0j wrote

Hell is not flaming tombs and florentines. Hell is not brooks of blood or the gilded chains of the plutocratic. No. Hell is the monotonous and mundane. Hell is the every day suffering of survival.

“Hell is the absence of God,” said Baz the demon.

I was taken aback by how wrong human theology had been. Demons, for one, looked disconcertingly normal—fallen angels I supposed, all made in God’s image after all. Hell, most of all, was not as advertised.

“This doesn’t seem so bad to me,” I replied. “I was never much for songs of praise or prostration. This suits me.”

“The punishment for our life of darkness is an eternity apart from the light,” explained Baz further.

“Again, no complaints here. I can see you and everyone around just fine,” I said as I searched my surroundings.

Everything appeared in gradations of normalcy. The sun was still shining, albeit its luster dulled ever so slightly, like a haze hovered about my eyes. The grass, still green, no doubt was greener in the friendly confines of the heavenly illumination. The clothing of my fellow inmates reminded me of the clothes that walked by me every day; clothes that betrayed a sense of privilege and stature, not so refined as to suggest wealth, but sophisticated in the manner that only suburban comfort can be.

I remember the feel of the cotton on my skin. Clean, comfortable, well fitting. The smell of lavender caressed my nose as would a cartoon pie in the cartoons of my youth. For the first time since I was a child, I felt comfortable, as if I were on level footing with my fellow man. The word egalitarian balanced on my tongue. Perhaps Dante had missed the point. We were all finally equal in hell—as far as I could tell at least.

“What did I do to deserve this?” I asked with gratitude in my heart. Life for me was suffering. Life for me was hellacious—certainly not rivers of blood, that is hyperbole—every waking moment was struggle and strife. In death, I finally found rest.

“We have all earned our place,” said Baz. “Through means and methods private and peculiar, we have each turned our backs on God. We live out eternity in this place as punishment.”

I scoffed at this remark. It was not I who turned my back on God. He had turned his back on me.

My parents raised me to believe that if I performed acts of righteousness, if I was kind to the downtrodden, if I prayed every day and attended church every Sunday, I would be blessed. I was owed a blessing by virtue of being a messenger of the good word.

The prosperity gospel.

Hogwash. All of that. I wasn’t blessed a day in my life. I was given no quarter by life, no hand extended by my neighbor, no bootstrap ever strong enough to support my weight—and later in life, no boot ever dry enough to warm my feet. No. I was never extended the same kindness I had paid out early in life. I slowly faded into the background of the city, a fixture lacking focus, a set piece never illuminated by the spotlight of life. At best I was ignored, at worst I was beaten. Although, that beating led here. So maybe it wasn’t the worst thing to have happened to me.

I looked Baz up and down. He looked me directly in the eyes—I couldn’t remember the last time I had experienced a gaze intent and intentional.

“Can you show me to my living quarters?” I inquired.

“It’s not far from here. Follow me,” said Baz as he turned toward a large gray building.

I followed behind Baz and continued to breath in my surroundings. My stride was long, prideful for the first time. I eagerly anticipated a roof over my head. What luxury awaits. As I strode along, I noticed the furtive glances of neighbors and demons alike. Perhaps it had been some time since they had seen a face so content. In my view, there was nothing to fear, there was nothing to fret. I would have a place all my own, a bed to sleep in, nourishment and leisure time.

This was a veritable paradise.

“Here is your quarters,” said Baz as he pushed open a beige door with the number 1129 on it. We had climbed 11 flights of stairs—apparently elevators do not exist in hell—and yet I wasn’t breathing heavy in the slightest. My physical health was the best it had ever been.

I scanned the room with a grin wide on my face. To many, the space was nothing special. To me, it was palatial. A twin bed tucked in the corner, topped by one pillow. A small desk opposite the bed, a solitary lamp shown upon a note book and pen. The window had no dressing, but looked out upon the gray expanse of the cittern below—I could see into another building across the street from mine.

“Thank you, Baz. This will be just fine,” I said as I walked over to the bed and laid down. I stared at the ceiling and closed my eyes. The bed was firm but cradled my body in a matter that felt at once foreign and maternal.

“Before I leave, I should note,” said Baz, “there are many trials and tribulations which await you in this place. Each trial is an opportunity afforded to you to earn ascension into the eternal realm of heavenly light. You would do well to make the most of these trials and work over the millennium ahead to earn your place among the chorus of angels in the court of heaven.”

I sat up and gave Baz the toothiest grin I could and said, “I’m already here.”

If you enjoyed this, please check out r/InMyLife42Archive


UltimateMegaChungus t1_j1s5plx wrote

The irony that this version of Hell is better than anything the MC ever actually had


IML_42 t1_j1sf1hx wrote

Life is hard. There are many among us who suffer immensely and silently. Hopefully there are ways we can each lessen the suffering of one another on a daily basis, I’d at least like to hope we strive for that.


Ilikefame2020 t1_j1tbcj8 wrote

Not just the irony, but the whole idea. It’s a very interesting one, too. The idea that someone’s idea of hell is another person’s idea of heaven… perhaps that’s either a metaphor for being grateful, or one for being hopeful.


20_Sided_Death t1_j1s7amc wrote

I imagine this man never wanted much out of life other than to just be comfortable with a modest lifestyle and to be kind to others. Following his parents teachings and that of the church perhaps failed to properly prepare him for the troubles and cruelty he found later in life. Feeling betrayed he allowed himself to commit unsavory acts to survive, eventually falling into a life of petty crime just to survive. This lead to hell which was far better than the life he lived before ending in the streets beaten to death.

I like this story.


IML_42 t1_j1seri1 wrote

I’m glad you liked it. You’ve hit the nail on the head with your assessment.


PheonixCrystal t1_j1tiifl wrote

A place of one’s own? That we don’t have to worry about losing? That means I don’t have to get stuck living with an abuser until I find someone to let me escape and inevitably end up abused again? Healthy bodies? Like could I work a normal job and do my hobbies? Security? Stability? A place I could just be myself and heal? Could I make my art and decorate the place with it? I see a notebook and pen mentioned so I’d probably be able to write poetry and maybe even stories, could even practice my drawing skills. This is beautiful to me, I’m actually starting to cry now just thinking of it


thoughtsthoughtof t1_j1tkod4 wrote

Hope you get out of the abusive situation soon. Good wishes


PheonixCrystal t1_j1tt5n5 wrote

I’m no longer in an abusive situation for once but don’t have the security and stability. It’s still new not being abused


IML_42 t1_j1tm0es wrote

I hope you’re ok and have folks that you can reach out to for help!


PheonixCrystal t1_j1tt7ba wrote

For some things but not most and well the cycle started at home. Luckily I’m in my first relationship I’m not being abused


kevinsju t1_j1sadqw wrote

I’ve lurked here for quite a while and this is the first time I’ve been touched enough to respond: fantastic writing, my friend.


IML_42 t1_j1semro wrote

Thank you very much! I’m glad you enjoyed!


Neurprise t1_j1tiyby wrote

This is basically the same type of world as in Ted Chiang's Hell is the Absence of God story (PDF), right? Except with a protagonist that never fell into the light.


IML_42 t1_j1tludf wrote

I definitely had that in mind while writing this. The first words out of the demon’s mouth are the title of that story. I was definitely struck by how it didn’t seem all that bad in hell in that story. That is, except for the protagonist.


Neurprise t1_j1tmdr5 wrote

> The first words out of the demon’s mouth are the title of that story.

Yeah, that's what tipped me off haha. I was like, wait a minute I've heard this phrase before.


IML_42 t1_j1tnq2k wrote

Haha it is a really great story. I read it in the collection Stories of Your Life. The titular story and Hell is the Absence of God definitely stuck out to me.


Neurprise t1_j1tpb5p wrote

I should read them again. Arrival is a great adaptation of the titular story.


Enigma1984 t1_j1scsse wrote

I was surrounded by loving faces. My family, my kids, my wife of 49 years and even our dog on my lap when I died. I guess it might have looked peaceful for anyone watching, I was dazed and sleepy from the painkillers so I couldn't talk much and everything I did say felt muffled and slurry. Inside of course, I was in a state of utter panic. It's one thing to know in the abstract that death is near, quite another to have heard a doctor tell your family, in the nicest possible way, that you probably only had minutes of existence left. I could feel a wave of pain in the distance, kept at bay by the morphine but always just over the horizon, till the dam broke, the pain hit me all at once and then just like that I knew I was gone. The lights went out and I took what I thought would be my last breath.

That was, until I was suddenly and unexpectedly sitting on the side of a hill in what was unambiguously a wildflower meadow in the English countryside. A minute previously, I had fully expected to fade to nothing, for my existence to be extinguished and for the void to swallow me. Instead I was sitting on a nice tartan blanket, the warmth of the sun on my face, and looking below me at a nice hedgerow with elderflowers in full bloom, overtopped by a dignified old elm tree. I could smell a hint of salt in the air, I got up and took a few paces up the hill and sure enough, the field extended about another hundred yards downhill until the grass gave way to white sand and a calm sea beyond.

I wasn't alone either, as I made my way toward the beach I walked past young couples giggling and chatting on blankets much like mine, Families eating picnics with their children and their dogs and their elders, and groups of children running back and forward between the sand and their parents sitting on the grass, dogs, toys and sometimes the occasional enthusiastic grandad in tow.

Aside from the lovely vista, I noted as I walked along that my health had drastically improved in the last few minutes. The illness I had been suffering from these last few years was a wasting disease, slow and relentless it had taken my mobility, my coordination, my ability to feed myself and finally I suppose my life. I'd lived to be 78, people who live as long as that are described as having had a good innings. I would have been quite happy with the same again. Anyway now I felt not one minute of my years. I could have jogged, or run or cartwheeled down that field if I'd a mind to. No longer was I the bedbound mess I had been, my family dilligently cleaning and changing me and making sure I was comfortable. I felt like a young man in the prime of my life.

I must have walked for 3 or 4 hours along that beach, the warm sand between my toes, the laughs of happy strangers surrounding me. And in that time I thought about what I must have done right in my life to end up in such a tranquil place after. I had always been a churchgoing man, every Sunday we went to the same little church in our village. We sat in the same pews, sang the same hymns as they appeared and disappeared in their cycle over the year. Attended communion and said my Lords Prayer when called to. But the dirty little secret between me and my maker was that I didn't believe a word of it. I enjoyed the community, the friends I made along the way, As for the religion itself, a fairy tale for children. As for the rest of my life, I brought up 4 children to do as well as they could. They were happy children and moody teens and disapointed adults. They all moved away from our little town to find their own way eventually. They worked in jobs that I didn't really understand, and weren't always happy. My wife wasn't always as happy as she could have been, she told me I was boring, too sensible, too careful. But we loved each other and we worked out our problems. I wasn't the worlds best man. I thought about other women but didn't act. I got angry at my kids and my friends but didn't let it spill into grudges. I got angry at the changes in the world that I didn't understand, but I didn't let myself become a bigot. I bit my tongue a lot these last few years!

I guessed that must have been enough for God. Because here I was in Heaven. As I walked I let my imagination drift further. I could be happy here, for the years I had to wait until I was reunited with my family. They would be young and strong again like I was, and recovered from the stresses of the word.

I spotted a nice looking little village in the distance and started making my way there. The sun was starting to go down and I was surprised to find that even in the afterlife you need to sleep. As I walked off the beach and up some steps that led to a harbour, I could see a man who wasn't quite like the others around me. He was tall and slim, pale like he had recently been sick, with grey hair and a walking stick. I was surprised to see anyone could be sick or injured here, so I waved and walked over to where he sat on a little wooden bench, looking out over the ocean.

"Good Evening" I said, taking a seat next to him. " A fine evening for sightseeing"

"Hello", said the man tersly, "I wager it's not so fine an evening as you think George, your family wouldn't describe it so anyway"

Taken aback in two ways, because this man knew my name and because he was right about my family, I exclaimed "Who are you?! Where are we?!"

"I am called Slater, George. Though the others in my department call me Sel. I am the demon in charge of this part of hell"

I felt like the carpet had been pulled from under my feet. "How can this be hell?" I asked, "there is no torture here, no fire and brimstone and magma"

Slater, Sel, looked at me sadly. "It's been the work of my life to create this place George. It's hard to create anything lovely on our own, without the light of the almighty to give it life of it's own. Hell is the place we were given outside the presence of God. To make what we could of it and house those who chose not to enter Heaven."

I have a million years here, as you'll see, perhaps in another chapter of this story I can get in to the meaning his words. For now though his sober news was enough for one night.

"Fall all my labours though George, there is no love here. Most of the people you see are facsimiles I made to give the place life and atmosphere, they are no more alive than a painting or a movie on a screen. You probably don't notice the real people, walking the beach or the meadows or the forest in silence, alone. For those people, and you are now one of them, there is no comfort in a sunny day or a peaceful tableau. The only torment that hell really produces is that everyone comes here on their own, and no one who loves them ever comes after."

The full meaning of this last part hit me like the death wave, come for a second time. My family, my friends, none would follow me here. I am to wander this countryside as a stranger forever.

"If we are to be alone together forever Slater, then why even make such a place, with the fake happiness and the copies of people"

Sel said "because if we were not able to sometimes lose ourselves pretending that some of the happiness around us was real, then this place may as well be the hell you expected"


siskulous t1_j1smt4b wrote

Huh. It's not often you come across a depiction of Hell more derived from scripture than from Dante's Inferno. I like it. Well done.


Enigma1984 t1_j1vh0dq wrote

Thank you very much. I had CS Lewis's The Great Divorce in mind as I wrote it. If I had time I'd love to write something exploring these wider themes. I especially like this idea that the final act of a loving God is to still give you a place even if you totally reject him. It's an idea that appeals to me more than the more common interpretation of hell.


Penna_23 t1_j1sgpbq wrote

very well done!

kinda reminds me of "The Good Place" for some reason


Enigma1984 t1_j1si1p9 wrote

Thank you! Yeh I kinda had that in mind as I was writing. I suppose the prompt has a sort of Good Place theme about it.


OreoDragon007 t1_j1uj5nk wrote

Good place season one spoilers

Because like the good place, the bad place here seems like the good place


Shadowman761 t1_j1seji0 wrote

Damn, thats a good story! Id be happy to read a second part!


Enigma1984 t1_j1shxcq wrote

Thanks very much. I guess I thought it would work quite nicely as a one shot story but as I got to the end it felt a bit rushed, maybe another part would let it breathe. I might follow up a little on the theology (though it would probably be a lot like The Great Divorce) or expand a bit on the protaganists sad realisation if I get time.


xHexical t1_j1tfql2 wrote

I really enjoyed your characterization of hell. To be honest, the “if we are to be alone together forever” line made me think it was going to turn into a romance there for a second lol


Enigma1984 t1_j1vh8ht wrote

Yeh I wrote it quite late at night. It could do with an edit if I'm honest, a few little bits of clunky language like that and some repetition. I'm happy with the ideas behind it though.


Lovat69 t1_j1t7ipv wrote

All of these prompt responses are so damn good. I think I've read like four and every single one has been good.

It's wonderful.


Slade_Elite t1_j1sd4s6 wrote

“This can’t be Hell. It’s…peaceful.” I glanced behind me to check that the dog park was still full of owners watching their pets. The grass beneath my feet was freshly cut. I couldn’t smell the trash but I knew there must be some. There always was in the park.

“No young man, this is definitely hell. Can I ask what makes you doubt your new home?”

I looked at the demon in front of me with a hint of suspicion in my eyes. His face was human,but for the tiny horns poking through his blond hair. He wore a black suit with a silk black shirt, no tie. He vaguely reminded me of someone, I couldn’t put my name on it. It slipped from my memory each time I got close.

“ There are children playing. Laughter. For Christ’s sake, I thought all dogs went to heaven!” I half whispered with more than a little sarcasm.

The demon smirked, then spoke with his unnaturally deep voice. “Every person has free will. That is an undeniable fact. But, the thing about free will, is that each person does not view the world the same way. What one may perceive as free will, is a cage for another. Isn’t that right, David?”

That name struck a chord deep in my chest, and I winced. “ W-Wha-“

“Daddy’s here! Dad! Come play with us!”

I turned around, locking eyes with a young boy with a startling resemblance to the man in front of me, and I blinked quickly. He looked so familiar-

“Where’s your mother Peter? Go get her, quickly!”

I heard myself speak, but those weren’t my words, those weren’t my thoughts. I turned back to the man as the boy ran off, my eyes searching his face for answers.

“ In your manifesto, you wrote that you were, what was it again? Seeing demons? That you couldn’t control yourself any longer? That the Devil himself guided you on your…’mission’?”

The demons voice was cold and deep. His smirk widened into a grin as I reached into my pocket and felt cold steel against my thigh.

“That-I don’t remember-What??”

My emotions were all over the place. What did he mean, what was going on?

“Dammit David, it’s your sons birthday and you are late! I told you to be on time, for once, and you cant do this one thing I asked-“

I turned to her and a name flashed through my head. Mary. My ex wife. I opened my mouth to ask why she was with me in heaven, when my mouth spoke for me.

“ Do you believe in God, Mary?”

My mind raced. A sense of unimaginable dread came over me as my blood rushed. Why would I ask her that?

“Show me how you did it David. It was quick wasn’t it?” I couldn’t see him, but I knew the demon was looking at me with that grin on his face.

I watched in horror as my arm came out from my pocket holding my pistol. I could feel the sweat down my back as my finger squeezed.


She didn’t even have time to look shocked. Right through her left eye. Her body fell limp on the ground, as the boy-my son, watched from behind with a look of confusion.


I locked eyes with him, every fiber of my being screaming to drop the gun. My body didn’t respond to my commands, pulling the trigger twice more and hitting my son in the chest. My arm fell to my side as I watched the pool of blood get larger.

I raised my head as I could hear screaming around me. I locked eyes with the demon. My anger flared.


The demons grin dropped and he snarled.

“ You did this on your own David. And you aren’t finished yet.”

He looked over my shoulder as I could hear footsteps behind me. I spun against my will and the gun rose. I wanted to yell out to them, warn them, anything. But still, my body did not obey.

2 shots, the first missed, the second in the chest taking down Mr. Jacob, my former neighbor.

3 shots next, I couldn’t even see if it hit anyone, the crowd of people running away was too thick.

I felt my arm raise to my skull and I flinched.


My finger pulled the trigger.

But I didn’t die.

I could feel the gaping wound in my skull. My blood filled my nostrils as my body collapsed. I gurgled as I suffocated on my own blood.

The demon walked towards me and kneeled down.

“ David, this is what you wanted. You wanted to make a statement remember? You were so, so angry that day. And here we are. In Hell. And so, you are going to relive that day, over and over. You were right though. This park is too nice to be hell.”

The demon chuckled as a tear rolled down what left of my face and my eyes closed for the last time.


I blinked my eyes open as I looked around. I was standing. I took a look around me. It looked like…a dog park. I could see people in the distance. Fresh cut grass. I was surprised not to smell any trash, if we were in a park. I just could not, for the life of me, remember where I was. I knew I should remember though. For some reason I knew it was important.

I saw a blond man looking at the dogs too, and I walked over. I didn’t want to yell. I wasn’t sure why I was being so quiet. Just a gut feeling.

“Excuse me sir, do you know where we are?”

The man turned to me and I gasped in shock upon seeing the two horns on his head.

“Well young man, this is Hell, and I’m no sir. Im a demon.”


MyLifeisTangled t1_j1sgxur wrote

I became so invested in the story that I had to restart the music I was listening to. A song I liked came on and I didn’t even notice. That doesn’t happen often. This was captivating, well executed, and a really interesting premise! You did a great job here and you’re clearly a very talented writer!


Guardiansaiyan t1_j1smvax wrote

I suggest* you watch the show Lucifer.

They finished the series and it talks about this in a way...Hell Loops, where people relive their worse moments...

This is VERY detailed!


Nanocephalic t1_j1t3nqy wrote

I haven’t seen the final season. Should I?


Guardiansaiyan t1_j1t6yhp wrote

I personally don't mind the final season.

Its nice that they tied up loose* ends and even with the shoe-horned in thing they did I still think its okay.

To me its a slice of specifically Mortal Life that happens...wish the writers were better...


Memphit t1_j1s85go wrote

The demon in front of me pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed, "sorry, explain it to me again why you thought this was heaven?"

I gestured a hand at our surroundings; beautiful golden sands, a perfect blue sky, the soft lapping of the sea that seemed to gently breathe in unison with a light breeze.

"All this" I explained "where are the fires of lava and the boiling cauldrons?"

"In heaven. So why would this be heaven?" He queried again sounding even more perplexed.

"No hell is meant to be that. You do bad things you get boiled in cauldrons, drowned in lava, thrown into the fiery pits of hell, it's in the name!" I was just as confused as him, it was like trying to have a conversation in another language.

"The Fiery Pit of Hell, is the best BBQ joint in the afterlife, why would you be thrown into it for being bad? Getting thrown out of it would be the punishment and no body would be foolish enough to do that! It has a permanent happy hour!"

I sighed "We are told that Hell is where bad people go? Only good people go to heaven."

"Why would the afterlife punish good people by sending them to Heaven?" He said rubbing his eyes in frustration. He took a sip of his mojito - set it back down. I paused and as I watched the glass refill itself, I tried to think of way to get this conversation back on track.

"Look" I said "the religions down there tell us that if we do bad things like murder, steal, rape we go to Hell. Where we are tortured for eternity. If we do good things like go to church/temple/mosque, pray, live by the Bible, the Quran etc we go to heaven to be rewarded."

The demon shook his head, "you are speaking nonsense. If you murder, steal, rape than you go to heaven. Where else would you face judgement? The almighty doesn't have time to commute, you go straight to them and they deal with your punishment. That's their whole deal. Obey the laws I laid down or face my wrath. How could bad people face their wrath if you don't go where they are?"

As I processed that mindfuck, he continued "what do you mean religions? And pretty much every word you said after that?"

I look at him, shocked, look around, sure somehow this is all some sort of great cosmic joke. There is nothing to interrupt my views of paradise, or interrupt my thoughts apart from the gentle trill of birdsong off in the distance. I look back him, look into his eyes and seeing genuine confusion. I go on to explain the world's religions to him.

Many many mojitos later he has taken to just rolling about with laughter. The only words I have had put of him for the last few hours have consisted of "They said what? People believe that? They do what? Why?"

The topic of sex particularly left with tears streaming down his face in laughter. "Seriously, come on your pulling my leg? Why would the almighty not want you to enjoy the bodies they created for you? They created you in their images, why would you not enjoy the blessing they gave you? How did anyone convince you all that it was wrong? Jeez you guys can't be doing it right, if you think it's a bad thing"

Then of course I have to go on and explain that it's not the act per se but the sin, the shame, the guilt. Both of which are completely foreign concepts to him.

"Oh man, someone has done a right number on you mortals, you have got some seriously big issues. It does explain a few things though..." He trails off looking into the distance.

"What?" I question

"Well" he says looking a bit embarrassed, "I only actually the new guy, your my first arrival." He sees my start at that and hurries on "It's not that I don't know what I doing, I have done the full 1000 years training, and got top scores for my year. I just didnt get why you humans all seems to go a bit crazy for a bit when you first get here. But it kind of makes sense now."

"Didn't they tell you any of this?" I ask

He shakes his head and shugs, "I would never had believed it if they had. Not sure I do now, hearing it straight from the horse's mouth, it's a lot to take in."

"Tell me about it!" I say "My whole world, no universe view just got totally blown apart."

He looks sheepish, "Yeah I guess it's worse for you. But come on sounds like it was all for the best really."

He stands up and gestures me to follow, "come on you have the whole of eternity to process that shit. What do you want to do first?"

I smile, "The Fiery Pits of Hell?"

Please excuse any typos etc on phone, dyslexic and it's late! Hope it makes sense too tire to proof read!


Axiocersa t1_j1sf9fc wrote

I really like this. Your tone of writing reminds me a bit of Neil Gaiman and "Good Omens"


Memphit t1_j1trpbg wrote

Thanks that's a comparison I will happily take 😁


Celairiel16 t1_j1sg3oj wrote

This is my favorite so far! I love the new demon being confused.


xelle24 t1_j1stsmb wrote

>The almighty doesn't have time to commute

Work from home for the win!


Kitty_Rose t1_j1t3mm0 wrote

This is now one of my favorite stories. I love how conversational the writing is, and I kept chuckling throughout. Also, dang you, I want BBQ now.


Hot-Acadia-7332 t1_j1u3ir8 wrote

It did ! Loved the irony an the sarcasm of the characters. I laughed immediately. I also like the thought of what's required of "heaven" and how we perceive life and religion while Alive


littlewren11 t1_j1u39lb wrote

Oooh the dialogue in this piece flows really well! Good work!


Parictis t1_j1s6m4j wrote

I did not wake. I just was. A moment before I was not, then I was. In this body, useless and weak, uncoordinated, with eyes that refused to focus. In horror, I screamed. I screamed and I screamed while unseen hands grabbed at me, manipulated me, wrapped me in cloth and passed me among themselves. I screamed until I felt the familiar warmth of skin on skin, and then I passed out from exhaustion.

Later, I woke in an unfamiliar place, still relatively blind. I could feel the soft comfort of bedding around me, smell the unfamiliar scent of a strangers home. I assumed it was night because it was dark except for a few diffused sources of light from which I couldn’t identify the source. But the light was important because it allowed me to make out the silhouette standing at my side. Tall, slender, dark, and wearing a wide brimmed hat. I tried to speak but my words were gibberish, robbed of all meaning. But the form spoke in response just the same.

“You’re alive,” it said. I tried to speak again only to be stopped by it’s calm, reassuring voice. “No, no. Don’t bother. We don’t need words to speak. Not yet. You are alive, again. I’ll put this as simply as possible. You were, you died, and who you were has died. Now you are alive again. I am here to acclimate you to this fact and you will likely not see me again for the rest of this life.”

It continued. “In some time, as you regain your speech, you will lose this memory. But your soul will always remember. When you died, you did so incomplete. You failed to complete your development and so have been denied entry into Paradise.”

I attempted to speak again, gurgling and babbling incoherent nonsense but the form responded as if it understood. “It is not for me to know why. I am only the ferryman and the passer on of the truths you must know. Do not attempt to speak again, as your words have been babbled because you are cursed not to be able to share this truth with others throughout your life. Only your soul will retain it, as has been deemed good.”

I looked at the shape in stunned silence, fists full of cotton in anxious anticipation.

“Because you have been found unworthy of Paradise, you have been returned to hell, beyond god’s presence.”

‘Hell?’ I thought. How can this be? As frightening and confusing as the past day has been, it has certainly not been hell. I’ve felt nothing but gentle hands and warm skin. Heard nothing but gentle voices speaking love and wonder.

“Yes. Hell is all places without the presence of God. You have been reincarnated back on Earth, God’s creation, which so offended him with the works of Angels and Man he abandoned it to return to the sanctuary of Heaven. You’ve been returned here, to this physical place to have another chance to redeem yourself.”

‘No,’ I thought. ‘No, I’ve lived well.’ Memories of my previous life began flooding back as I pulled them from the ether. I searched them, frantically, looking for the great sun I’d committed. I could think of none I hadn’t spent decades regretting, and repenting.

The figure seemed to know this and spoke again. “You did live well, but you lived falsely. Your sin was not of murder or theft of gluttony. Your sin is that you lied to yourself and others throughout the entirety of your life in order to please them. God made you as you were, and you rejected yourself. That is the first truth your soul must know.”

Immediately I knew this to be true and was overcome with a deep and heavy sadness that seemed to pull me into my bed. I had no words, no thoughts in disagreement. I knew this to be true and it pained me.

The thing in the hat sighed heavily, as if informing me was equally as painful for them. It gathered itself and spoke again while I lay there in the darkest depression.

“The second truth is equally as important. You must know that you chose this. When you died you were given a choice, to return to Earth and try again or to abandon your ego and individuality to the source, where you would be unmade and remade anew. You chose this and everything that comes with it. Your free will has never been compromised and it never will, so what I say next is merely a suggestion from one fallen soul to another. Do not blame God for your life. Do not blame your fellow man for their lives. If you ever want to escape this cycle, there is only one path. You must trust in God, who made you. This body may be new, but your soul is as it always has been. All you need to do is trust God and be Yourself.”

Those words echoed in my ears as the shadow at the foot of the bed dissipated like smoke in the wind. Stunned, I attempted to regain my grounding, noticed I was still grinning the sheets around me, noticed I had stopped breathing for a moment and drew breath, deep and long. I felt my lungs expand and my chest rise. I kicked my legs and moved my tongue around my mouth, feeling the toothless gums there, their slick wetness. With the shock wearing off I began to recognize the importance of what I’d heard and started chanting to myself in my mind, ‘Don’t forget this. Be Yourself. You must remember to be Yourself,’ over and over again until I fell asleep.

I woke to dim daylight flooding through two squares to my left that must be windows. I stretched my fresh body and felt relaxed and content for the briefest of moments. Then memories, faded and fleeting, of the previous night brushed against my consciousness, ephemeral and impossible to hold on to like a dream. ‘No, no. I can’t forget! What was it? It was important, of most importance but what was it? No!’ Eventually I stopped clawing at my memory, recognizing the futility. ‘It’s gone,’ I thought. ‘It’s gone.’

Unaware of what I’d lost but aware that I had lost something invaluable, I screamed and I screamed. I cried as hard as I could, warm tears running down my face, salting my tongue. My bowels released and I felt the warmth of fresh urine bathing my groin. I screamed and cried with a sense of unimaginable loss until I felt myself gripped by strong hands. I was lifted up, soft words were spoken but I couldn’t understand them pst my wailing. I was placed on a shoulder, felt the structure of the clavicle under warm skin, and a hand was gently caressing my back. Slowly, my crying decreased to whimpers and a soft voice spoke into my ear, audible this time. “I love you.”


TaibhseCait t1_j1s84zg wrote

the memory bit at the end reminds me of one of the Mary Poppin stories! XD (The book is a collection of stories & so so weird iirc)


Transparent_Lego t1_j1skre6 wrote

This story kind of reminds me of the Hell is The Absence of God short story by Ted Chiang, esp with the main character not having committed any negative sin but being forced to endure hell. Really good!


MyLifeisTangled t1_j1slmfm wrote

This was amazing! I love where you went with it. It could really use some proofreading, but well done!


[deleted] t1_j1stoil wrote



MyLifeisTangled t1_j1swvw5 wrote

I get that. Sometimes I just really like the idea I have and I’m in such a rush to get it all written out that I make mistakes along the way like that. Happens to everyone!


PM451 t1_j21pett wrote

> iPhone auto-correct

proves the absence of god. It exists to remind us we're in hell.


Hot-Acadia-7332 t1_j1u319t wrote

This one hit home. I can't explain it right now but the lesson in it all was truth of self.


ph30nix01 t1_j1seyv2 wrote

"What do you mean everything looks like heaven to you." Asked the demon. "What does that lava pit over there with the people screaming in agony?"

"What you mean that pool and hot tub?" I replied " just looks like people splashing around playing volleyball."

"What???? That's not possible and how are you not feeling the pain of the searing heat." The demon demanded.

"I mean it's kinda warm but only in the sunlight those. The shade from those willow trees looks comfy though." I said walking over.

The demon chasing after me and exclaimed "those are geysers of molten lava not weeping willows!"

Before I could reach them the demon ran in front of me and blocked my path.

"Here hold this" they said while handing me the most beautiful diamond. Shinning so brilliantly that it seemed to produce the light rather than reflecting it.

"Omg look at this thing." I said holding it to my eye. " it's like there is a rainbow inside."

"WHAT!!! That is a ball of smoldering coal!" Stamping their foot in disgust.

"Hey dudes look at this" I yelled walking over to some people who appeared to be sitting on some picnic tables talking.

As soon as they saw it I could see wonder in their eyes."it's beautiful why have I never noticed this before."

One of the people began crying "if only I had seen sooner there is so much I could have done around here!!!"

"I know right. when did we get a spa?" Said a middle aged man wiping what appeared to be soot off his clothes.

"NO NO NO!" Raged the demon. "You're infecting them!!!"

"Whoa an angel!" Exclaimed a child who was using the diamond in a game of catch with some other children."

"I've never seen one with black feathered wings before." A woman carrying an infant said walking up to the demon. "I'd like to file some complaints. Why have we been here so long but not allowed to use these public amenities?"

"What!! There is nothing but pain and suffering here! Even if we had anything like that it wouldn't be 'Public'."

"That sign right there by the pool says 'For public use. For service call (666)555-3146'." I said. Reading the sign to the demon.

Rubbing their eyes the demon screamed in terror "oh no I can see them now too!!! What have you done to me!" Before flapping it's wings and flying away.

"I'll be back and you'll be sorry!"

"OKAY!" I yelled back "Don't forget to bring a supervisor!!!"


Yoobtoobr t1_j1sznv3 wrote

The demon approached me in a very square business suit with a red tie and shoulder pads that just did not work. It asked me if the place looked right.

“I don’t know. Hell’s taught to be red with fire and brimstone and eternal suffering and screaming from the tortured souls of the damned,” I kind of mumbled. I asked with only vague interest in my ever-monotone voice, “Why are you in a business suit, dude.”

“Oh, well every few business days, as I suppose Earth would call them, Beelzebub lets us get costumes like that American hollerday Halloween. Anyway, Hell is…broken for right now,” it scratched its head with an embarrassed look on its face but nevertheless a buttery-smooth voice. “Space and time in these otherworldly planes as well. Due to this inconvenience, while Beelzebub and Yahweh try to fix time, Beelzebub has made Hell comfortable. So, I guess you can relax and mingle, homegirl. But with that said, it’s going to snap away at a random time, so enjoy it while you can.”

“Uh, alright.” I was never one to mingle on my own, I always let people approach me. I’m also the worrying type, never taking advantage of that sweet free time that I’m jealous everyone else has.

“And since time is broken…,” the demon facepalms itself. “Goddammit,” it groans with no echo. “We’re going to be waiting for-literal-ever! Time is broken!” It throws an orb that I didn’t notice it was holding at the ground. It bounces away from it and the demon devilishly shrieks and jumps around angrily, stomping and swinging its fists and legs like in a temper tantrum.

I don’t really know or care what to do, so I sit down and wait for the demon to stop its tantrum. I realize that I’ve been clad in a prisoner’s jumpsuit…with faux fur lining on the inside. Don’t want us getting too comfortable now.

After some time, that demon shuts up finally and just lies there, simply staring into what should be called the sky. I can feel its anger burning into me. Mostly because its flaming spade tail is embedded into the ground beneath me.

And some time later, another person pops in. I suppose the bloody gates of hell are out of order due to time being broken. Easier in general than making someone stand at the gates. Pat pat pat, the thighs…logistics…pffffff-tsh. Pffffff-tsh. Pffffff-tsh bum duh tsh… Nunu-nunu-nunu-NUUU, nunununuNUUUOOOO nunuNUUU nunuNUUU nuuunuuunuuuWooo…

I really ought to go try making friends. But…Satan might come back any minute and set us all back to fire and brimstone and hellish justice. Then it wouldn’t have made a difference.

But time’s broken, what’s a minute when time is ad infinitum?

But maybe they’ve fixed it already and are giving us genuine leisure time?

And why to the new people? We haven’t suffered eternally in hellscape yet. And shouldn’t there be more dead people arriving every, uh, “minute?” I’ve only seen like two. Were all the movies and TV shows and churches and books and whatnot wrong? Do most people go to Heaven? Then how did I get sent to hell? I mean I can tell that there are millions upon billions of people here. The vastness and endless noise catapulted into my eyes and ears just tell me the scale of grandeur that Hell needs.

I ask that demon how many people are officially in Hell.

“A few hundred million.”

“Can you be more specific, please?”

“A fucking few hundred million,” it sighs and whips its tail at me. “Fuck off, now, girlie.”

Diary No. 541

A few many long whiles have passed. I cannot remember much before the past while. Figure a while to be about 15 days, a long while about 30 days, but without a need or even urge to sleep, the concept of a day is also now meaningless to me, a very once-irregular sleeper.

It is still pleasant here in Hell. I still haven’t really conversed with anyone yet. I can’t really take it upon myself. I don’t know anyone here. I don’t particularly care to get to know anyone. But I still kinda wanna. It sucks being bored all the damn time.

Some people have approached me, asking me if I knew what was going on. I said I don’t really know, a demon told me time was broken and the Devil made Hell comfortable while he and God tried to fix time.

We were also told that all of our comforts would be ripped away from us and thrown away in the blink of an eye without warning.

Diary #617

I finally talked to someone. They were a Swiss woman. She was nice until she asked me about my favorite cut of meat, then she started talking about the joys of killing cattle with her bare hands. She “taught” me how to strangle a pig properly by tackling a morbidly obese man who had just arrived, covered in sweat and oil. She apoloɑ


frosticky t1_j1tlw2n wrote

Haha, so time was fixed just as she got to talking with people.


Garlicknottodaysatan t1_j1tizcm wrote

I was always kinda banking on there NOT being an afterlife. That we just cease to exist and we're worm food or whatever, which means I could do whatever I damn well please without fretting over my potential eternal reward or damnation. And that's exactly what I did for most of my life: whatever I damn well pleased, screw everyone else.

And I guess I figured, on the incredibly slim chance there is an afterlife, well, that's Future Me's problem, not mine — and I am constantly screwing stuff up for that bitch anyway.

Except now I am Future Me, having discovered upon my (in my opinion extremely untimely) death that the buck doesn't stop there. And now there's hell to pay.


Because yeah, I always knew where my assigned seat would be in the post-mortem classroom. I have no delusions of goodness. I lied, cheated, screwed people over for my benefit, I had fun. And I guess it's about to catch up with me like it never quite does on Earth.

So I'm immediately plotting how I can best turn this scenario to my advantage. Presumably there'll be some torture, but maybe I can convince them to let me torture some poor unfortunate soul instead? How do demons get created anyway? They gotta start somewhere, right?

Except the torture never quite starts... I'm wondering if maybe they forgot about me. Or maybe what makes it Hell is the anticipation, waiting and thinking of all the terrible things that are about to befall you, like your imagination is worse than anything they could even do.

Because so far, things have been... well, they've been downright pleasant. Unless you call delicious food, unlimited massages, and a general warm sense of comfort and wellbeing "torture"? I certainly wouldn't. If I didn't know better, I'd call it "heaven"... I've even met several demons and they've been surprisingly helpful and accommodating. Seriously no complaints about this place so far, but that's got to be a weird thing to say about Hell, right?

Part of me wonders if they're trying to pull some "Good Place" crap on me, but I figure once that idea has been broadcast on national television, Hell can't very well try to coopt it themselves. Regardless, I loudly proclaim "you know I've seen The Good Place, right?" just in case.

A demon eventually appears, seemingly in response to my confusion about the ongoing situation. "Yes, we're aware of everything you've ever watched. We have it all available for you to re-watch on demand, as well as every other piece of entertainment in existence. Do you need set-up help or something?"

A little exasperated and a little impatient to just get on with the torture already, I figure this is as good a time as any to get some answers. "No, no, I just... Like what is the deal here? Has there been some kind of mix-up?"

Now it's the demon's turn to look confused. "What do you mean?"

"It's just that, well, I know what I was like as a person. I was, to put it kindly, an asshole. So I'm a little perplexed as to why it feels like I somehow ended up in Heaven..."

The demon smiles. "Oh, I assure you this is not Heaven. This is certainly Hell."

"Right so then why is everything so great here? Why do I feel like I'm being rewarded? I mean, not that I'm complaining, I feel like an idiot for even bringing this up... But I was led to believe I'd be punished for all the bad stuff I did in life, and trust me, there were some doozies —"

"Oh but of course!" the demon excitedly interrupts. "Big fan of your work! We could already tell how evil you'd be after that stunt you pulled at Molly's sixth birthday party — you showed promise from such a young age. I guess you wouldn't know this but would you believe she needed therapy for years after that? Oh, and I actually have a framed print-out of the breakup text you sent Michael after he told you he was finally leaving your best friend, Shari. That was gold."

I push the fond memories from my mind to concentrate on the matter at hand: "Exactly! So then why doesn't this feel like the eternal retribution that I supposedly deserve?"

The demon scoffs. "That you deserve?!" He shakes his head gently, then speaks slowly as if I'm just not getting it, which, to be fair, I'm not. "Is the Devil not evil incarnate?"

"I guess?"

"Then why in the Hell would he punish you for being evil? He LOVES evil! And you did a great job of it while you were alive, so why wouldn't you get a red carpet welcome for doing exactly what he most loves?"

"So I'm being rewarded? For being a selfish bitch for like pretty much my entire life?" As the idea leaves my lips, I have to admit it feels good.

He smiles, a now-you're-gettin'-it smile. "Welcome to Hell, baby."


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StartInATavern t1_j1v2eq6 wrote

"Come again?" I thought I misheard her, and that maybe the blaring house music made me miss a few words.

The bartender coyly smirks at me, and the music fades out a little. "Yeah. Heaven doesn't exist, dude. The Creator 'left for cigarettes' a long time ago and nobody's been able to find Him. Real dick move, to be honest with you."

Shell-shocked, I jump to a conclusion. "So then this must be..."

"Hell? Technically speaking, yes. More lively than you were expecting?"

"Is this a Sartre situation, where we can't leave this club, and everybody is going to drive each other insane?"

"Oh, he's actually a regular here. Ms. DeBeauvoir is too. They're a hoot and a half. But no, you can leave any time you want, there's a whole city out there. You don't need to work to survive, but a lot of people eventually get a job anyway."

"B-but isn't there supposed to be punishment?"

"We don't do the whole 'incarceration' or 'torture' thing anymore. We did it to the real heinous ones, but it turns out that we didn't even need to. Most of them either end up isolating themselves with other evil fucks or making a sincere attempt to start over and do right by other people. The first one is definitely more common."

"I see."

"You don't have to worry about any of this for right now. Just have a good time here in The Four Winds, and if you want a room, we have them upstairs."

I blinked. "Wait, why would need to sleep if we're dead?"

She winked. "Who said anything about sleep, kiddo? And before you ask: You're not my type."

"You're really..."

"That Sappho, yeah. Did you think my nametag was a joke or something?"

"Well, yeah. You don't exactly look like you died millenia ago, and you don't talk like it either."

"What can I say, it's been a while since a 'lesbian' was just somebody from my hometown. Now, you want that whiskey sour or not?"


Low_Draft_1740 t1_j1w1kpm wrote

I really like this one. Surprised it doesn't have more upvotes.


cloudactually t1_j1t6qjx wrote

The screen door creaked open as I stepped outside. My cousin sat on the porch in the camping chair we had got from Goodwill when we first moved in to the apartment we shared. It was early morning and I had just gotten home from a night out. I had fixed myself a sandwich and taken a shower, like I usually do before bed, and I was about to go have a smoke and tell my cousin all about my night. 

He had already lit a cigarette and was staring off into the inching morning daylight, not quite seeming himself. 

“Hey cuz, what’s up, how as your night?”

He ignored me. 

“Did you finally hook up with that girl?”

No reply.

“Hey! You good man? What’d you take at that party?”

I waved my hand in front of his face. 

He ignored me still. 

Figuring he would snap out of it, I lit up a cig of my own and sat there silently.  He finally looked over in my direction, without looking me in the eyes. 

“Cousin, you died. You’re dead.. You were in a car accident on the way home.”

As soon as the words left his lips, I realized what was going on. Why he couldn’t see me, why I was on my second cigarette and yet still couldn’t quite taste it. It all came rushing back to me. The headlights coming towards me, the smell of burnt rubber, the asphalt against me skin. I felt like I had been punched in the face. My ears were ringing and my peripheral vision began to blur. The last sound I heard before my vision was obscured by a smokey fog, was every last dog in the neighborhood- all howling at once. 

Through the fog, I could make out a figure. Broad, with slumped shoulders, but still a stance that would suggest no one-or anything-could knock him down. It was a particular mix of self-doubt and bravado, a gait that I had long forgotten, but wouldn’t fail to recognize, even if a hundred years had passed. 

It was my Uncle Lewis. God damn, Uncle was right there. I stood, frozen. How could this be happening?

“Nephew! Welcome! Jeez, you were just a little guy last time I saw you! Damn, that must have been, what, a few years ago now? Just look at my handsome nephew!” 

He ruffled my hair and wrapped me up in a big hug. A few years? I don’t think I saw Uncle since grade school. His memory was never the best. But, as an alcoholic with a gambling problem- what can you expect?

Despite his shortcomings, I was happy to see a familiar face. 

He began walking at a quick pace, motioning me to follow him. I went along with him up the street as my vision began to clear, trying to keep up with his hurried pace. Trying to figure out where I was, I scanned every sign on the way there for a familiar word or phrase. To my dismay, they were all in what looked like gibberish. 

Finally, we made our way to a bus stop littered with cigarette butts. The sky was grey and there was a light drizzle- you know, when the sky just sort of spits on you instead of properly raining? 

“Late, as usual.” My Uncle said with a sigh.

Finally, a bus pulled up. Uncle told me it was my stop, and I was to get on it. Not knowing what else to do, I nodded, and when the doors swung open, stepped on. 

Looking back at the stop, my uncle was gone. 

In a panic, I realized I had no cash. I had no idea where I was, no cash, and the only person I knew since my cousin told me I was dead- had vanished. 

Standing in the aisle, I looked at the bus driver, and before I could open my mouth to explain myself, he said with a smile- 


“What?” I said hoarsely.

“Tell me joke! Or are you trying to get on this bus for free?”

Nothing has made sense so far, so why shouldn’t a joke get you a bus ride?

I thought of the first one I could. Something about a chameleon having reptile dysfunction…

The driver let out a satisfied chuckle and, with the bus lurching forward, I staggered my way onto an empty seat. 

Not even 30 seconds went by, and the bus halted to a stop. The driver made eye contact with me through the mirror at the front of the bus and informed me that this was my stop. 


cloudactually t1_j1t6xwj wrote

Stepping off the bus, I had been dropped off at what looked like a giant block party.

Trash littered the streets, the smell of weed and booze permeated in the air, there were floats going by in the streets, each with a band playing music that wasn’t terrible- but admittedly, you could only dance to if you were drunk- and the women… well, there were babes as far as the eye could see. Topless babes.

I must have looked like a fish out of water. A girl with long black hair, piercing blue eyes, and a smile that ridded me of any of the social anxiety I would have normally felt in such a situation came prancing over.

“You must be new here.” She said, handing me a red cup and a joint.

“Where is here?” I asked. “Is this heaven? What did I do to get in to heaven?"

Suddenly, the party fell silent. My anxiety was back full force as all eyes were on me.

“Heaven?” She said. Her eyes softened. “Oh honey… This is hell”

Then, another fog came rolling through, and when it cleared, I was sitting at a desk that reminded me of my high school guidance counselors office-complete with a poster of a kitten clinging to a tree branch with the message ‘hang in there’ written beneath it.

A giant red figure handed me a manilla folder. They would have been terrifying if it weren’t for their palpable air of defeat, tired eyes and slumped shoulders.

They grumbled.

“Who did your intake? Lewis? Okay, that explains it. So, I think there’s been a misunderstanding…”


Vandercoon t1_j1t4rim wrote

As you walked through the afterlife, you couldn't help but notice how nice everyone seemed to be. Everyone you met was friendly and welcoming, and the atmosphere was peaceful and stress-free. You had always heard that the afterlife was supposed to be a place of rest and relaxation, but you never imagined it could be this nice.

So when you asked your guide what good deed had earned you a spot in heaven, you were shocked to learn that this was actually hell. The guide, a concerned demon, explained that despite its pleasant appearance, hell was actually a place of eternal punishment for those who had lived a sinful life on Earth.

The demon seemed genuinely sorry for the misunderstanding, and offered to help you get acclimated to your new surroundings. Despite the initial shock, you decided to make the best of your situation and explore the afterlife further. You couldn't believe how different it was from the world you had left behind.

As you walked through the streets of hell, you noticed that everyone seemed to be going about their business as usual, enjoying their eternal punishment with a sense of resigned acceptance. You couldn't help but wonder what you had done in your past life to deserve this fate, but you resolved to make the most of your time in the afterlife and make the best of your new circumstances.

As you explored the afterlife, you began to learn more about the different realms and their inhabitants. You discovered that there were many different levels of hell, each one more severe than the last. You also learned that there were other realms beyond hell, including purgatory and heaven.

Despite the initial shock of learning that you were in hell, you began to see the bright side of things. You realized that you had been given a second chance to make things right and atone for your past mistakes. You began to see hell not as a place of punishment, but as an opportunity to learn and grow.

As you made your way through the different levels of hell, you found that each one presented its own challenges and lessons. You learned to be more empathetic and understanding, and you worked to better understand the perspectives of others.

Eventually, after much hard work and growth, you reached the final level of hell. You were greeted by a group of angels, who congratulated you on your journey and told you that you were ready to move on to the next realm.

As you took your first steps into the realm of purgatory, you couldn't help but feel a sense of hope and excitement for the future. You knew that you still had a long way to go, but you were ready to face whatever challenges lay ahead and make the most of your second chance.


JamJellyman t1_j1tc9mf wrote

Something was definitely different. I had slept through the night - there were no screams, no gunshots and I did not wake up in a cold sweat as I had many nights before. And yet, I was definitely where I had always been. A loft apartment with a far-too old bed worn down by time, on the outskirts of humanity.

Amongst the familiar scene, however, remained the unsettling feeling that something was wrong. The air seemed calmer, unnaturally still, while the sun itself seemed to reflect with peace, rather than anguish. Had I succumb to insanity? Have I finally been driven mad by the increased pressures of urban decay? I remembered seeing a woman the night before, being mugged and beaten for heroin, and I did nothing .. then, here .. but nothing else. Maybe I had finally gone mad.

Sweat began to pool around my brow as my stomach twisted into knots. I had suddenly grown ill at the thought of what might have been. Flashes of gruesome brutality rang in my head between gazes at the growing calmness breaking the serenity. Tick, tick, tick. Eternity, only broken by the ringing of a phone, once disconnected.

"HELL-O and merry greetings. Welcome to eternity. We're sure you have many questions, but we don't care. Press 1 for more options."

There was no 1.


Marinaisgo t1_j1tj45q wrote

The demon stared into my eyes, and it felt like empathy. “How could you possibly think this was heaven?” They asked.

“Well” I said, “I used to work in a nonprofit.”

“Oh!” They said, interrupting me. “That makes perfect sense. You must have gotten through the screening” Then they spoke into their lapel in a language I couldn’t comprehend.

Within minutes I was surrounded by demons in hazmat suits, armed with cattle prods chanting “TO THE PIT, TO THE PIT!” and I thought to myself, this pit sounds like the kind of place where I can really thrive.


Sketchy_Kowala t1_j1u0tvu wrote

I always knew I was going to end up in heaven. I knew it. I spent my entire life trying to advance humanity. Trying to solve all its problems. Sure I may of cracked a few eggs here and there but the omelette was delicious!

So imagine my surprise when I awoke in a bed in some small town with a demon telling me I was in hell.

“Hell…are you sure?” I asked gesturing to the homely cabin I was in. “I mean sure the sheets have polyester in them but where’s the fire? The torture? The screaming?”

The demon sat across from me wearing a nice write button down shirt, black skirt and tie. She smiled and pushed up thick glasses.

“That’s only for certain people Mr. Whimble. Hell it’s different for each person and we make sure to craft each experience to the individual”.

“So then enlighten me” I challenged crossing my arms. “Why is this my hell”.

She smiled a vicious, knowing smiling as if I had played right into her plan. Like I was losing a game I didn’t even know we were playing.

“Of course Mr. Whimbly.” She took out a binder from a bad beside her and opened it to the first couple of pages before starting.

“Now everyone knows how you were a philanthropist, donating money to help better the world. But not everyone knows why you chose this route in life”. She flipped the page and continued “in an interview back in ‘97 you said it was movies”.

“That’s correct” I interjected. “It was the stories of how the hero always overcame the odds and win in the end. No matter how bad it seemed. How dark it got. The struggle, the fight was what defined them. What made them. It was exciting to see the hero fight their way to victory to change along the way. And that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to fight for good”.

“Exactly” the demon said. “You possessed a drive not many other humans have. A need to better not only yourself but the world around you. It’s quite admirable”.

I bowed my head in a thankful manner. I’ve been complimented before but not by a demon.

“And now it’s over. Happy eternity Mr. Whimbly”. She slammed her binder closed, packed it, and got up to leave.

“Wait wait,” I started getting up after her, “What do you mean it’s over?”

She walked to the door and opened it to expose a little town. The weather was cloudy but light enough to see the grassy field right outside the little cottage.

“This is your life now” she gestured “no more no less. No problems. No solutions. No fighting. You have nothing more to aspire to and nothing more to see.”

I stepped past her calculating what the rest of time had in store for me. It was…boring.


Sillygirl292 t1_j1tptn1 wrote

The Demon looked some what as how I was told they would look. Horns, sharp teeth, cloven hooves with hairy goat legs. Though this one was wearing a button-up white shirt with a blue blazer. He had blue eyes, unlike the dead black ones. I was told demons have. His eyes looked tired, and his black hair, which looked soft and curley, was dishevelled. " Hi there... My name is Tobias B Demon... you can call me Toby if you like." he held out a clawed hand and not wanting to piss off a Demon. I shook it. His hand felt so much softer than I thought. He begins talking again " as you have been informed this is Hell" I look around shocked " really...I thought it would be and brimstone" Toby sighs " thats just a lie spread around by those winged assholes up there in the clouds and their followers down on earth. No, we do things very differently here... we punish only those who can never be forgiven. " I look at him confused." Those who can not be forgiven?" Tobias pulls a small clock out of his pocket." I'll explain later.. right now, we better go and get the paperwork started. Please follow me.


Sillygirl292 t1_j1va25m wrote

I follow Toby until we get to a black taxi cab. A faceless man is driving the cab.. I get scared and step back, Toby just rolls his eyes. " he won't hurt you his face is that way as it's his punishment." I climb into the cab and can not take my eyes off the man.." What did he do to get that kind of punishment?" I Whisper ask Toby.

The man replies in a kind but tired voice." I was vain in life so vain I ended up bullying people and calling them ugly and thinking myself better than everyone else because of how I looked, I died on the operating table getting another unnecessary my punishment no one but me can see my face, to others I'm faceless" Toby smiles at the man " that's right but being vain is not a unforgivable sin...for this sin the person will work off their sin for a set amount of long do you have left Frank...1000 years ? " 957 years left to go," says the taxi driver. I look at them, both confused. " But why a taxi driver? " I ask. Toby gets an annoyed look on his face. " The l sinner does not choose the kind of job he must do to work off their sins, but most of the time, the sinner is assigned to help a this case Frank is my driver"


weebiest t1_j1v13ws wrote

I opened my eyes and looked around, I was naked, laying in the middle of a field. I felt the grass underneath me as I got up. I couldn’t remember my name, or anything for that matter. Taking a quick look at my hands, I was certainly alive or something of that sort. “This place is dark…I don’t think anyone’s ever told me what the afterlife is like.”

I was near a town, at the front gates was a sign “Just reawakened? Come to the secretary office at the house of the king to obtain your new identity!” I grabbed a towel from someone’s laundry to cover myself up. As I walked through town, I noticed something was off, all the people, were demons. Horns, tail, various unique physical features. However, despite my fear, they were all so friendly, waving to me as they passed, one even offering to help me find the secretary office.

I walked into the office and the person at the desk waved “Hello, welcome to your new life in Hell. I’ll be with you in a moment, but first, let’s get you something to wear.” She walked off and came back with some clothes, encouraging me to put them on. She pulled out some paper “Ok, let’s get a physical first.” She took my height, weight, and physical description, even so much as measuring the length of my new demon horns. “Finally, a name for you, just pick one that resonates. We all had a name in our past lives, or a ‘deadname’ as I like to call them. Usually you can hear it in your head faintly, but distorted, that distorted version can turn into your name.” Faintly, I remembered my name, but I had no recollection of whether it was correct or not. I took a deep breath in and said what I wanted my new name to be.


UltimateMegaChungus t1_j1uj6ni wrote


I screamed as the building came down around me. I knew I was dead, there was no escaping a 7-story burning apartment while on two broken crutches.

Yet... somehow I was alive?

I opened my eyes and realized I didn't have crutches anymore. I nearly fell over, it's been at least 8 months since the last time I walked. I got my bearings together and put one foot in front of the other, over and over again.

I didn't realize that I wasn't paying attention until I ran into somebody.

"OY YE BLOODY FOCK, watch where yar fockin goin'!"

I couldn't help but apologize. Hard not to when a cute girl with an accent is angry at you. Wait...

"Uh, sorry... kinda forgot how to walk. Um... who are you, where am I, what's going on?"

"Ferst, I'm Morighana, yer new guide. Secently, yer in the old deep world of Hell. Two Ls, don't worry. Thardly, yev been deat for at least an hour, I've actulley been waitin far ya."

She paused.

"Anytin else?"

"Okay, so basically I'm... a demon?"

"Koinda. Yer new so yer gonna hafta get used to bein here. Fer starters, ya can't be harmed, ya can't doy again, and ya can't give yer praises to the Big G."

"Oh. Well... one last question then."

She rolled her eyes.


"Can I get a BONELESS PIZZA with a 2-liter Coke?"

"Da fawk koinda pizza? And the 2-liter machine be broken. We gawt 1-liter tho!"

"That's good enough for me."


KindredSecret t1_j1vdblg wrote

The look of shock was obvious on my face. This place didn't seem like the Hell that was depicted by everyone. The scenery was as if it were a utopia, and the people were full of glee. It was as if it were a vacation that would cost a lot, but all it took was my death.

The streets were being roamed by those who also ended up in Hell. People who did bad deeds. Albeit that, they still ended up in such a beautiful place. This couldn't have been real.

“Child, what made you think this was heaven?” A person in front of me appeared and I flinched backwards slightly. They came out of nowhere. Their tone and their choice of wording could only make me conclude that this was, in fact, a demon. There was nothing that truly defined them. They seemed very androgynous, and so was their voice. Hair cut to their chin, and plain clothes that you would see on an extra in a high school movie. A blank white shirt, light colored jeans, and a black pair of Converse scuffed up with wear and tear.

A sheepish look was obviously on my face as I looked at the being in front of me.

“This isn't exactly what I was expecting Hell to be like.” The only way I had heard of the afterlife was Heaven and Hell, and that Heaven would be a place where you could live out your afterlife with joy and nothing wrong with you, and Hell would be a place where there would be screams filling your ears, being mercilessly tortured. This wasn't like that at all.

The being's eyes trailed over my face, and then I saw what the otherworldly features were on these demons. The black eyes that really showed the void in the world were the most notable, other than the tiny horns protruding between the being's hair. At the base, it was the person's skin tone, although it faded the farther it got up into a dusty red color. I didn't doubt that there could be more signs, but it was all that caught my eyes.

The being's pale hand was extended, as if I were to take it. Reluctantly, I did. The flowing sensation that I could only describe as anguish filled my system. Adrenaline raced throughout my body as all I saw was what could be seen as static. Ringing filled my ears, along with distant screams that we're relentless. They got louder and louder, only then taking the form of the people I knew before my death.

Mumma. She was yelling at me, disappointed for how I was failing with my grades, and yet again me not finding a job. She truly believed I refused to get a job as a sign of disobedience.

Dadda. He was an alcoholic, and his words slurred into the familiar argument of me becoming a failure. He would encourage horrible things, and often yell for my removal from this household.

I forced my eyes open, beginning to see what took the form of demons crowding me angrily, ready to cause my greatest fears to become true. An afterlife full of torment.

And then the grasp left my hand, and I could finally breathe. My lungs felt as if they were on fire, and the ringing in my ears stayed consistent. My eyes slowly looked up to see the being with a finger across their mouth, a coy smile spread across their face.

“This place is only nice on the outside, child.”

It seemed as if the being was gone in the blink of an eye, leaving only the reminisce of smoke in their wake. My jaw clenched anxiously with the thought of this afterlife. There was no way for me to die again, as I was already dead.

I was stuck here.


Careful_Ganache4981 t1_j1tn3eb wrote

The world goes black I open my eyes i can't remember quiet what happened, but my surroundings different i was in the middle of a city and now i have awoke in some peaceful fields with flowers and i can see the edge of a small town so i head over there and realize it is a nice neighbor hood on the edge of a city but something seems off so i go to talk to someone and then i realize what is off the air usually the air is grey with smoke from the factories but that smoke and now i realize the factories are nowhere to be seen so i ask this person where i am and they tell me "this is the afterlife you must just arrived" I respond "yeah i guess" i say confused processing the thought of this being the afterlife most of my life i was atheist so i had thought when i died my existence would just stop by now he had responded and lost in thought i had tuned him out so i didn't know how to end the conversation so i respond with a quick "see ya later" and now my memory is. back i remember going through the downtown to a convenience store for a snack when i heard a bang from a store next to me i saw a few men dressed in all black with masks and some red splatters on the walls and them looking around the store for something and i was spotted and less than a second later one of them had a gun pointed towards me and before i could process it the world had gone black i think that explains the memory loss and headache i had when i woke up.


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TheGames4MehGaming t1_j1u5pfx wrote

This prompt is almost just the plot for the first season of (spoiler) >!The Good Place!<


zolanibor t1_j1uyllb wrote

“Of course it seems nice here.” The demon sighed. “ But it’s the only place in the universe where God doesn’t exist, his spirit isn’t here.”

“So?” Brian shrugged. “I never cared for God. And anyhow, all the good musicians are here, right?”

“There are, yes, many of them. All the demons are fallen angels from the holy choir, in fact. How bitterly we wish we hadn’t followed Lucifer’s rebellion.”

“Isn’t it better to rule in hell than serve in Heaven?”

“That’s what all you humans have said since Dante, but you are wrong.”

“But why?”

“Because no matter how we try, we haven’t been able to tell you what really makes this place a place of unending torment.”

“Which is what?”

“It’s impossible to create music without God’s spirit being present.”

“What do you mean?”

“Can you sing? Drum? Try it.”

Brian tried to sing. The words came out like speaking. He tried to rap. They still just came out wrong. He tapped his feet but there was no rhythm. He tried a death metal scram and it was just a grumble. He felt himself starting to panic.

“Yeah that’s exactly what every musical person has looked like when they realize. The whole 27 club is trying to kill them selves again. Most of the torture here is self inflicted to try to deaden the pain of no music. But it doesn’t work. It heals immediately, there’s no possibility of creating alcohol. It’s a spirit, after all, something impossible without the spirit of God, no matter what some of his followers thought about it. Even our memories of music are flat and dead. But yeah, otherwise it’s nice here.”

Further conversation was impossible because Brian was screaming, on his knees.


PM451 t1_j21b62k wrote

You could have posted that as a top level comment. (Rule is 100 word min, you well exceed that.)