Abaddon

When my roof collapsed both my cat and I went to Hell. I wanted to question my cat about this but he caught my eye as if to say, I can’t talk, and I very much doubt you know where to find the nearest tuna can. Then he hunched up his shoulders and slunk off.

Fat oceans of red, smoking fire lit the volcanic distance. Many thousands of feet above was the cavern’s roof.

A demon landed in front of me. That is, he sort of fell out of the sky and stumbled into a landing. He winced. The big fang protruding from his lip revealed bloody gums and painful evidence of gingivitis. “Arthur?” the demon said. He pulled a soiled receipt from his pocket and consulted it.

“Er, yes?” I said.

The demon stuffed the receipt back in his pocket. He held out his hand. “Hello, Arthur. Welcome to Hell. My name is Abaddon.” I shook his hand and it was remarkably clammy. “There’s some soda in the fridge if you can find it and I think Dennis picked up some chips earlier. Are you hungry?”

I shrank back. “I’m sorry,” I said. “But isn’t there a lot of torture in my future?”

Abaddon made a face. A small fire broke out near us with the sound of a jagged fart. “Arthur,” the demon said, “you’re in Hell. I’m sure we’ll get around to it.”

“But when?” I asked.

He grunted. “Look, I’m sorry, but I don’t think you’re going to fit in here. There’s an emergency exit by the last lake of fire – you can’t miss it, it’s green. Take the staircase to the top.”

“Where does it go?” I quavered, shocked at this sudden dismissal.

“It used to lead to an apartment in Del Mar but it moves around a bit. I think it currently takes you to a bus stop in Temecula.” With that he turned on his heel and made his best attempt to fly away.

“Wait,” I said. He looked annoyed. “I can just go back? What about – I mean, well, isn’t there a heaven?”

Abaddon frowned. “How the Hell should I know?”

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