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The Deserts of Hell

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:01 pm
by JackoftheGreen
A man of exceedingly poor character dies, and after a moment of suspended eternal nothing, opens his eyes to find himself standing in the middle of a scorched, sandy desert with a larger-than-life sun beating down on him overhead. After a moment of quiet, a torrent of red smoke opened from the sands next to him and when the smoke cleared, Satan stood there regarding him. The man looked around, sighed, and said, "So, this is Hell?"

Satan shakes his head and says, "No, my boy." Then, he points to the horizon where rows and rows of dunes march into the distance. "Hell is over there, just beyond those dunes. Walk with me."

The man sighs, resigned to his fate, and they begin to walk. Hours and hours they walk under the scorching sun, until the man's eyes are bleary and his arms are red and there's no sweat left in his body. Finally they crest the final dune, only to see hundreds of miles of more desert stretching away to the sky. The man chuckles ruefully. "So, this is Hell then?"

Satan laughs, recaps his bottle of water and shakes his head. "Nope, not quite." Then he points again, to the furthest dune on the horizon. "It's just there, over that dune."

So they begin to walk again, miles and miles of sandy footprints left as rumor of their passing, and under the scorching sun the man begins to blister and his skin turns from red to a deep, rich crimson, and still they walk until they crest the final dune. The man looks, only to see yet more miles and miles of featureless desert. He turns a bloodshot, weary eye to Satan, who laughs. "Oh yes..." and he points, "Just over that last dune there..."

So they walk and walk some more, over the scorching sands where the sun never even suggests it may set. Not a breathe of wind nor drop of water crosses their path, and finally, as the man's skin has started to peel and twist and shrivel and blacken in the punishing sun, they crest the final dune.

The man stands at the crest, his eyes widening with disbelief as he looks out before him. Stretching away into the distance is a lush, verdant valley, filled with trees and calling songbirds and fountains of glittering water. Rivers of deep, majestic blue criss-cross brilliantly through the valley, and everywhere there are blooming flowers and the drone of honey bees and small, furry creatures flitting back and forth through the underbrush. The man, bewildered and amazed, turns to Satan and says, "Is this Hell?"

Satan puts his face in his hands, shaking his head in misery. "Yes, this is Hell...and the mormons have been irrigating again."