Suggested Audio ♫
 Break The Limits “Hypnotizer”
 Ruffige Kru “Darkrider”
You ever get that feeling that things aren’t destined to end well? I’m getting it right now. Not sure what my first clue was, perhaps it was the man I passed a few moments back whose epidermis had been removed and replaced with dozens of writhing serpents, each one spitting his name. One of them, I suspect an anaconda by its figure hugging status, was wrapped so tight around his throat that both his eyeballs had popped out of their respective sockets, much to the delight of its slithering associates who had taken to weaving themselves through his skullcap and laying their eggs in his brain. Needless to say, he didn’t appear to be enjoying his stay here and it didn’t exactly fill me with confidence either. I’m fairly assured that I know the place I am currently taking the tour of and it was never on top of my list of eternal holiday destinations. The other available options were heaven, purgatory, and limbo and only one of those would be any less inviting a proposition right now. Instead I have a sneaking suspicion that I too am about to receive infernal punishment and, if it’s anything like what he is going through, then swift release doesn’t appear to be on the cards.
I’m clinging onto the faint hope that there has been some sort of clerical error here, that it’s all just some big misunderstanding, but deep down I think I know that I had this coming for a long time. You see, I know of the path of righteousness only too well as I spent sixty-three years avoiding it like the plague. While do-gooders were conforming to the bible’s stringent guidelines, I was blatantly defying them, and taking every last opportunity to blacken my fleece. Of the ten commandments, not a solitary one was obeyed, and it appeared as though I had gotten away with every last one of my indiscretions. I hadn’t. Instead, my charge sheet makes for rather disparaging reading, and it is too late now for rehabilitation. As the cancer seeped into my brain, I decided against breaking the habit of a lifetime, and remained just as hateful as I had always been. I say always where, in truth, I wasn’t a bad kid by all accounts. But it wasn’t long before I began to stray and it’s hard to turn back once you start to gain momentum.
Every step I take into this wretched inferno of torment serves as a reminder of a lifetime of wrongdoing. To my left is a woman whose gargling scream chills my very bones and perhaps that has something to do with the fact she has already been beheaded. Ordinarily you would expect that to be rather a decisive punishment but down here anything goes other than your cognizance as these vile acts are performed. On my right are a string of men impaled on vicious spikes and not a single one of them appears any closer to finding blessed release. Straight ahead there’s an orgy going on and, if that sounds like an upside, then believe me it isn’t. Have you ever seen thirty sweaty bodies woven into one sickening mass? There’s a thin line between pain and pleasure and this is way off to the right-hand side. Hardly the most arousing of sights to behold, it serves as a hideous reminder that I’m about to come something of a cropper here. I would turn back if it weren’t for the fact the whole symmetry thing. In my slipstream is suffering, my path leads further into suffering, and I’m suffering already through sheer contemplation alone.
I guess the next phase of my anguish is judgement. There have been numerous representations of the devil and none of them suggest a congenial, laid back fellow with warm features and a heart of gold. Whatever my expectation, I have a feeling it is about to be exceeded as his minions certainly don’t fill me with confidence. They’re all about me, hanging from broken wings in the darkest recesses, beady eyes all pointed directly my way and, if looks could kill, then I’ve died a dozen times since I took my last step forward. Of course, there are five senses available, and they don’t seem willing to stop at catching my eye either. Whispering their detestable words, while omitting a foul funk that I can feel and taste as well as smell, that’s all bases covered and I’ve never felt anything like as nauseous as I do right now. A lifetime of getting away with it is nothing on the infinite seizure that follows and it’s most unfunny what ten minutes in perdition will do to one’s perspective.
There’s no point in crying over spilt milk now about paradise lost as I’m reasonably assured any sobs would go unanswered. If anything, they would delight my audience, and the last thing I want is to give them any cause to be more carefree than they are already. Should I accept my fate then perhaps that will be looked upon favorably in the pits of hell and my punishment will be less severe. I’d make a glorious right-hand man if given the opportunity and gladly throw my back into whatever dirty work needed to be done, in exchange for just a dash of easy going. Maybe a deal can be struck here. Something tells me that I’m clutching at straws but I’d rather those than my innards while they are excised through my rectum by Satan’s odious entourage and fashioned into a final curtain for my own appalling encore. Whatever way I choose to look at it, the answers will soon be forthcoming. Just a few more steps of uncertainty and I shall receive the clarity I seek.
I wouldn’t exactly call it a great relief but it appears that I have come at something of a busy time. Currently I am number four in the queue and never before have I been so willing to play the waiting game. The guy at the front looks decidedly apprehensive and it would appear that his hunch is accurate as the molten spotlight has just fallen on him and his sorry flesh is beginning to smoulder. Oddly enough there is no sight of either judge, jury, or executioner but the court is still very much in session. There is no aroma more tainted than that of burning tissue and there’s nothing whatsoever comical about this roast. Jesus Christ, his head just went up in flames. Moreover, the agony just keeps on coming, regardless of the fact that his nerve endings must surely now be way beyond fried. In the history of things that don’t bode well, this one is right up there with attempting to dislodge toast with a bread knife, although there is nothing brief or oblivious about this denouement. I’m banking on the next in line to buck this unsettling trend but, given that he is a disgraced Catholic priest, all signs are pointing to negative.
Uh huh. There’s no smoke without fire and suitor number two has been found in contempt as very much expected. Should have paid a little more attention to that holy scripture methinks and I know I’m in no position to point that out but self-reflection never was my strong point. I’m not entirely sure how many rusted hooks are currently grappling his rind but would hazard a guess at around sixty. He’s just over 5″6 so that equates to around one per square inch in my estimation and they all seem to be tugging in unison. What’s more, they aren’t content with simply lacerating his skin and have each latched around one of his bones for good measure. It’s one thing watching a grown man explode like a piñata but quite another when the suffering doesn’t propose to end there. His every fiber appears still to be screaming and their confessions are falling on decidedly deaf ears. Where’s your deity now huh? Washing his hands of you I would suggest. You’ll receive no sympathy from me as such would be looked upon as weakness and I cannot afford to display that here.
That said, it’s tough remaining indifferent when the young girl directly in front on you in the pecking order, who can’t be more than seventeen, is wrenched high into the air and being agonizingly compacted into something approximately the size of a pocket calculator. I wonder what her crime could have been. Whatever it was, it had to be fairly monumental. That leaves only me now and I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready for the enlightenment I look set to receive but there is no time like the present so I guess I may as well just get this over with. Do your very worst Beelzebub, banish me to your hell fires, douse me in brimstone, pluck out my eyes and provide me sight of the unthinkable. Anything has to be better than perpetual limbo. Should we turn off the lights, then eventually our eyes acclimatize to the darkness. Surely it’s the same with eternal damnation and horrific suffering. Sure it will sting, likely worse than anything I could have even thought of entertaining beforehand, but time could be the great healer here.
What do you get in limbo? Nothing whatsoever, no purpose or growth, just an ocean of emptiness that knows absolutely no boundaries. Fuck that! I’ve taken great pride in everything I have done up until now, whether or not it has been in keeping with heaven’s legislation. That simply has to count for something. What could be worse than sitting on the fence your whole life? At least I stood up to be counted. When the opportunity presented itself to call time on another’s life, I wasn’t burdened by conscious or caught in two minds. I plunged that serrated blade deep into its hard target and even twisted it for effect. There was no rhyme to my actions and neither was there reason. The urge to destroy something beautiful was just too strong to ignore any longer. I read about Marcia Jane Cuthbert in the local rag months later when they finally unearthed her spoiled remains. Apparantly she was a straight-A student, graduated at the top of her class, volunteered at the local homeless shelter on weekends, and had a bright future ahead of her as a cellist. This made her all the more gratifying a choice for my opening act. I would have killed again for sure, had the cancer not taken hold so conclusively. There was barely time on the clock to compile a bucket list, although I did rustle a little something together on the fly.
Bludgeon every stray animal I come into contact with from hereon in and don’t draw the line there either. Domestic pets are double the fun, especially when their owner has invited you into their own home and considers you a non-threat.
Take every measure to ruin the day of everyone I come into contact with. Better yet, do so without ever being blatant. Sucker them into thinking that I have their best interests at heart, console them when things take a turn for the worse, offer encouragement that things will get better, then callously dash it by making things worse right on cue.
Practise every form of prejudice available to me. Hate so many individual groups that I am left feeling like a designer original. Allow it to simmer beneath the surface and never make it known to a solitary soul. Keep this illusion up until my very last breath and that way nobody ever need be in on the joke.
Marry an elderly widow, move into a homely three bedroom house with a white picket fence, ensure that she feels worthless while never actually breaking formation, then cover my neighbor’s wife Sandra and use chloroform to have my way with her surreptitiously while her husband, my best friend Mike, is away on business.
Continue mastering the art of internet trolling. The marvellous thing about the worldwide web is that it is all right there at your fingertips at every given moment. Spreading viral resentment has become one of my most treasured pastimes since I stumbled across social media and my advanced years need never be an issue. Moreover, I always did love a guise.
Take the name of the Lord thy God in vain because it’s high time that festering fuck puppet hears a few home truths in my opinion. Sitting up there all high and mighty, passing judgement when he’s supposed to be showing forgiveness, fooling the meek into worshipping him when he’s the very root of mankind’s troubles. The nine-sided son of an ugly bitch deserves every last cuss I can muster.
Dishonor my father and mother. They started this back at conception, and cannot be allowed to feel exonerated, regardless of the fact they’ve both been dead for several years. I shall visit their side-by-side burial plot once weekly as has been customary but not to lay flowers. Indeed, any reefs donated from other parties will be relinquished, and I’ll let mom and dad in on every last dirty secret and do them anything but proud.
Steal from toddlers. Learn of their toy of choice, then embezzle it right before their snotty little noses as there won’t be a damn thing they can do about it. Do the same for the elderly and open them up farther to the consideration of senility. Amass quite the stockpile, then torch the whole lot, as I haven’t the faintest purpose for it.
Murder again, only this time, make it more protracted and agonizing. Look into the whites of their eyes, offer them regular updates, get off on each sob for mercy, then refuse them their flights of fancy and do the precise opposite in the slowest motion conceivable. Feed from the fear, quench on the desolation, then hang things out way beyond what is deemed hospitable.
Make sure I do this on the Sabbath and in full view of both graven images of false idols and those I am looking to appal most conclusively. A job is not worth doing half-heartedly and I’m already headed straight to hell so I may as well go all in. At least I know my mind. That’s more than can be said for the majority of seven billion people currently squandering their birthright to evil.
All was going rather well and I was up to number eight on my checklist when my license to operate was revoked quite unexpectedly. Barely three days previous my physician had informed me that I could expect three months at best and this was on a Wednesday so all I needed was to make it through to the tail-end of the weekend and I could have earned myself the coveted clean sweep. I’d even selected my weapon of choice and had everything planned to the very last letter. Dying on a Saturday felt like the cruelest of ironies and no less than I would anticipate from one so unruly as the Prince of Darkness. It also felt a little counter-productive if I’m honest. He’s supposed to be at loggerheads with his opposite number so why punch the clock prematurely on someone who is quite clearly doing your bidding? I think I’ll let it slide as I’m in no position right now to go throwing my weight around. Something tells me that’s his job.
Do your worst then dark ambassador; remind me why I dedicated my life to your cause. You’ll receive no complaints from me as I’m reasonably assured that I wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. Speaking of which, I swear blind that I recognize the guy currently slithering past me, dead from the waist down and not too crash hot topside either. Indeed, I know that face. It’s Mr. Edison, my high school History lecturer. Never much cared for Edison and it looks like my assumptions were bang on the money. There was something about the way he carried himself that convinced me he was a wrong ‘un and it seems most fitting that he is struggling to do so now, with his entrails pinned beneath a fallen stalagmite and steadily approaching the point of jeopardized elasticity. Pleasingly my sense of humor is still intact as there are few sights more amusing than that of repeatedly foiled endeavor.
Something should have happened by now surely. I’ve declared myself ready, have no problem with bidding farewell to my flesh, and pledge to take any bad medicine administered. So why the long wait? There’s a disorderly queue forming behind me that stretches back as far as the eye can see and time would appear to be wasting. Have I not shown my colors sufficiently? Is there a question mark hanging over any of my diabolical actions? Could I have been any clearer in my committment to the cause? I’d give anything for a sign one way or another, some clue that my crimes haven’t gone unnoticed. Alas, my needs are evidently not priority. This is my elected punishment and I can think of none more malicious. No pain, no anguish, no feeling of belonging either. Just the perpetual limbo I dreaded most only with accompanying brimstone. I’d give anything right now to have my eyes plucked out by a raven. If only bird were the word. Instead, there are none for me, and I’m guessing we’re way past “HELP!” now. See you when you come to visit, you won’t see me of course, as that would be far too consoling for me. But I will be here, rooted to this very spot, and pending indefinitely. Please die horribly as therein lays my only remaining pleasure. You have to take it where you can get it down here.