I stood before the twisted gate, and its master bade me enter. He seemed a rather beautiful creature, quite contrary to the fables I have been taught regarding the Master of Hell. Rather than displaying characteristics of the twisted demon, he radiated a beauty and power that a man can find second only to God.
As I walked toward him, he smiled and placed his arm around me saying,
“Welcome brother, it has been a long time since a creature of our status has dared to traverse these unholy halls.”
And before I could think to take in what he was saying, I found myself emanating the same powers as he. Upon my entrance, gates slammed shut. I then found myself surrounded by corpses; some mutilated, some perfectly preserved. The Master of Hell proceeded to explain to me that this was indeed a multi-layered domain.
And I asked of him, “What is the significance of this layer? Why are there so many corpses?”
He replied, “These are the souls that have done nothing in life, they are as they were… nothing.”
He transported us to another layer of his twisted realm. I found myself walking amidst a bustling city; the appearance of the city would have been rather magnificent, with breathtaking skyscrapers, beautiful, ornate architecture, and smoothly paved golden streets. As I said previously it would have been, except for a dark, hopeless overcast that seemed to strangle any potential joy out of the city and its inhabitants, and The Master explained to me, as if anticipating my question:
“These are the souls that thought of nothing but riches in life at the cost of all else, even their own humanity. So there shall be no rest for the wicked.”
Before we left that bleak atmosphere, rain started to pour on all its occupants, the Master stared longingly at those poor souls, and then we proceeded to the next layer.
We arrived in the chamber of seeming delight; couches, pillows, Persian rugs, and golden bowls of fruit wet with red wine. The Master and I were presented with a scene of licentiousness; nude human flesh rubbed against yet more nude human flesh and all I could hear were moans of pleasure… or was it pain? The Master explained to me,
“These are the souls that were driven by lascivious desires. Here, those desires have come full circle, pleasure becomes pain, and what seems to be a reward becomes excruciating punishment.”
The Master laughed somewhat chillingly accompanying this rather bold statement. I could not help but be frightened, at least a little by the scene before me. A man’s phallus was being sucked by the mouth of woman, the same woman having the entire source of her womanly delight clawed by a demon, drinking the blood raining upon it. The woman stopped her fellatio and then I saw the man ejaculate blood.
Suddenly, the licentious arena transformed; the Royal cushions became moth eaten, the fruits rotted away, the red wine turned into blood, and the actors, once flawless, their bodies became bruised, their mouths riddled with sores, and their genitalia marred with the scars of disease.
The Master chuckled, “lust is, like most human desires, a drug, and therefore all happiness that springs from it is an illusion. These fools perceived her desires as “heavenly”, and when all illusions of earthly pleasure have faded, they are left empty.”
As we came upon the next layer of the Master’s domain, I saw was our next destination. It was likely one of the most serene and yet one of the most disgusting scenes I would ever behold. I saw before me the world’s most notorious dictators. I encountered Adolph, Joseph, Benito and the like discussing their failed attempts at global conquest in perpetuity. The discussion was rather calm if not slightly melancholic. The more closely I examined the scene before me I began to notice that they were horribly disfigured. Missing limbs and mangled faces marred these unfortunate souls.
The Master inquired of me, “brother, what is it you see?”
I replied, “I see the men who were consumed by the very lust made them great, consumed by the fire from which they were forged.”
“Indeed brother, and now you can see them as they always were, broken.”
One final time, the Master had transported us to a new realm where only he and I stood. Before us both was a mirrored wall. As if by magic or some divine power, the Master projected a movie like image. Images flash through my mind of “The Great War”, images of celestial being battling their fellows, and the heavens quaking with fear and rage, as brother turned against brother and violence erupted, in the name of God and humanity. The Master began to speak again, this time with a great sadness in his voice.
“It is in this place brother, that you have been allowed to recall the greatest sin ever to have been. Brother against brother, and all against God. It is our kind that is responsible for the suffering that celestial beings and humans alike now endure. I tell you now, that if I could take it all back, swallow my pride, and accept my place… I tell you now that I would. Brother, if you should remember nothing else from your time with me here, remember that all actions have consequence, and some are farther reaching than even we can anticipate… go now, and remember to always act of kindness and compassion, and never out of foolish pride. God’s peace be with you brother.”