Tag Archives: hell

180. Limbo

Limbo was not randomly named, Andrew discovered when he followed the bright light after his coronary ruptured.

It turned out no-one went straight to heaven and no-one went straight to hell. Everyone simply had to queue in the afterlife until you reached a horizontal bar that hovered a certain distance above the ground. The more virtuous a life you had led, the higher the bar hovered.

If you could successfully limbo dance your way under it, heaven awaited. If you failed to do so, it was hell for eternity.

The lady two places in front of Andrew had trotted the world for fifty years, aiding hurricane victims and earthquake survivors. She was able to basically walk upright towards paradise. But the guy after her, a glib businessman that had always favoured fortune over friendship, was faced with a bar that stood but a few inches high. Damning his fate, he hopped to hell.

Andrew’s bar hovered somewhere in between. Not low enough to immediately lose faith, but certainly not high enough to make his crossing a cakewalk. It seemed about right. In his younger years he had been an adulterer, a schemer and, occasionally, a thief. But after he’d settled down with the love of his life and produced some cute children, he had seen the error of his ways and sort of made amends. Though not quite enough in the eyes of the Lord, it seemed.

So Andrew, at 75 years of age, bent his knees, arched his creaky back and duck-stepped towards the bar.

Even if I achieve paradise, he thought, my back is going to ache for eternity.

The Lord, it appeared, had acerbic wit.

 

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Did you enjoy this story? Then why not try the 101 stories in 300 words or less in YOU’RE GETTING SLEEPY, THE HYPNOTIST’S APPRENTICE YAWNED.

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90. Flight 666 to HEL

Flight 666 to HEL left the tarmac. It was Friday the 13th, 13 minutes past 13 hours.

HEL stood for Helsinki and Maarika had no choice but to take this flight to get to the science conference in time. But as usual she laughed in the face of superstition.

Still, when the plane ran into a thunderstorm, she couldn’t help but be reminded of that Twilight Zone episode with William Shatner. She even checked the wing for a gremlin. Making things even more eerie was the fact that she was the only passenger on board. Clearly the average Fin was more apprehensive about omens then she was.

But alarm bells didn’t really go off in Maarika’s head until she realised she hadn’t seen an air hostess in over an hour. She unbuckled her seatbelt and made her way to the front of the plane. Still not an air hostess in sight. This was getting downright freaky.

Maarika knocked on the cabin door.

“Sir? Captain?”

It took a while for the door to open but eventually it did. Out stepped the captain, a debonair middle-aged man with plucky black eyebrows.

“I’m trying to navigate this plane through a storm, so can we make this quick?” he asked.

“Sure,” replied Maarika. “Why am I the only one on the plane?”

“The air hostesses are in secure positions. Standard protocol in heavy weather.”

He had a comforting smile. So Maarika returned to her seat, took a quaalude and didn’t wake until the seatbelt sign in front of her started flashing.

“We will soon reach our destination,” the captain reassured her over the intercom.

Below, Helsinki didn’t look nearly as icy as she’d remembered.

 

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Did you enjoy this story? Then why not try the 101 stories in 300 words or less in YOU’RE GETTING SLEEPY, THE HYPNOTIST’S APPRENTICE YAWNED.

Available at the Createspace Store, at amazon.com, amazon.co.uk or any other Amazon store in your territory.  E-book is also available.

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41. Beelzebub was having a decidedly off-day

Beelzebub was having a decidedly off-day. Hell was having its coldest winter in eons, his most recent plan to enslave humankind was temporarily put on the backburner due to budget overruns and now it transpired that Jesus Christ’s comeback tour was outselling his own Hellzapoppin’ extravaganza by a considerable margin. Normally the evil overlord would counter his mounting depression with some mindless sadistic torture but all the fun had been sucked out of that since Hell had been overrun with lawyers all too willing to countersue.

Walking amid the furnaces he contemplated throwing in the towel. Running Hell wasn’t the great job it once had been. How he longed for the days when he didn’t have to fight unions on a daily basis, the Catholic Church could still be counted on to reach its quota of heretics and any harm he inflicted on his tortured souls didn’t seem peanuts compared to the Patriot Act.

A couple of centuries ago he had almost handed over the reins to Hell to his eldest son, but he’d backtracked at the last minute and fed him to the dogs instead. If he hadn’t done that someone else could have sorted out this bloody mess while the Prince of Darkness sipped hot lava in the porn actress section of the underworld. Maybe he should call it a day, Beelzebub pondered. See how they’ll like that.

So the next morning he officially resigned from his post, packed his bags and was never seen again. After a brief period of confusion and turmoil, an accountancy firm acquired a controlling majority of the underworld and put forward plans to cut costs, maximise profits and increase brand recognition among Hell’s residents. As Beelzebub had foreseen in his cunning move, the place would never be more insufferable.

 

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Did you enjoy this story? Then why not try the 101 stories in 300 words or less in YOU’RE GETTING SLEEPY, THE HYPNOTIST’S APPRENTICE YAWNED.

Available at the Createspace Store, at amazon.com, amazon.co.uk or any other Amazon store in your territory.  E-book is also available.

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