Chapter 3

In which Lucifer decides to deal with the Pilgrim problem personally, a decision which leads to a tour of the urban segments of hell, and his discovery that the scalpel of psychoanalysis cuts both ways.

Lucifer’s private limousine, Hell Force One, was waiting for him at the Administrative Complex entrance. Exhaust rings floated into the orange afternoon sky. Lucifer bopped Hell Force One with the cursifix. “I told you not to smoke.”

“Begging your pardon, your most unsanitary,” the dragon said, “but what you calls smoke, I calls breathing.” He released another blast.

Lucifer swatted him between the ears. “Then stop breathing.”

Hell Force One flew Lucifer to the loading docks of The Hell of Eternally Run Down White Trash Trailer Parks Where Glaring Neon Billboards Keep Souls Awake All Night and the Sounds of Gun Shots, Couples Arguing and Televisions Turned Up Too Loud Keep Souls Awake All Day. Also known as the Trailer Park of Pain, this particular incarnation of hell occupied several blocks of less-than-prime real estate in West Los Angeles.

Few people realize that the phrase “hell on earth” can, at times, be quite literally true. There are certain regions of earth where hell and earth can’t be distinguished. People living in those regions would never be able to tell the difference between hell and life before hell. One of the regions is the Middle East, another is the area including LA, Hollywood and Venice, California. Many visitors suspect the Grosse Point suburbs of Detroit lean toward Hell. Any place on earth where politicians and televangelists choose to cluster shifts hell to that territory, at least for the other people who have to live with them.

Residents of the Trailer Park of Pain spend eternity in seedy trailer homes with rusting aluminum siding, smoke stained windows and Radio Shack TV antennas. They paid double rent for both the trailer and the lot. This didn’t include water or utilities. Arc lights in surrounding lots spit and hummed constantly, and children skipped rope to the rhythm of occasional gunfire.

Lucifer waded through mounds of milk cartons, Ding Dong wrappers, beer cans, broken wagon wheels and Transformer pieces, half yo-yos, rotting newspapers, plastic grocery bags, spilled kitty litter and wash tubs full of drained motor-oil all congealing into a single festering substance waiting for a chance to suck in unsuspecting passers-by. He stepped carefully as he crossed the chasm of debris to keep his Italian boots from picking up an unpleasant stain or two. In spite his caution the Italians yelled, “Watch it, that’s dog poop down there,” or “Cream cheese and diapers. I think I’m going to hurl.”

He found Pilgrim waiting next to neatly arranged, spotless, color-coded recycling bins. For an instant, Lucifer intended to return them to their intended state of disarray, but he stopped himself in time. He knew, deep down, who ruined the disorder.

“Mr. Lucifer,” Pilgrim smiled. “It’s wonderful to see you.”

“I should hardly think so,” Lucifer snarled.

“Don’t underrate yourself, sir. Our last discussion was the high point of my visit.”

Lucifer gripped his temper with vice-like claws. Mr. Pilgrim would get his soon enough.

Lucifer tossed a plastic bag at Pilgrim’s feet. “Get dressed.”

Pilgrim pulled the items from the bag one at a time — a soiled, size 36 plaid polyester sports coat that smelled of stale sweat and liver failure; a pair of bell bottom red paisley pants with a 28 inch waist; a chartreuse knit shirt with a thirteen inch neck and a dead alligator on the left breast; pale pink socks and a pair of blood-soaked Bruno Mali slippers.1

“Where did you get these?” Pilgrim asked, holding them as far away as his arm would reach.

“The Damnation Army,” Lucifer replied.

“I bet they charge an arm and a leg,” Pilgrim said.

“Two arms and two legs,” Lucifer said.

“Whose arms and legs did you give them?”

Irked that Pilgrim spoiled the joke before he could spring it, Lucifer growled, “Get dressed, damn it myself.” Besides, he thought to himself, Newt Gingrich would hardly miss them.

Pilgrim squeezed his three hundred pound body into clothes that, thanks to the hellish miracle of polymerized fabrics, refused to give. His excess body fat popped out of the jacket sleeves and pant cuffs like watermelons. His stomach rolled over both sides of his belt creating the appearance of an enormous double chin around his waist. His neck ballooned out of his collar, like an inner tube that covered his face and nose.

“Comfortable?” Lucifer grinned.2

“I can’t complain, sir,” Pilgrim answered. “I’m at least as comfortable as all those women who wore corsets and bustles in the Nineteenth Century.”

“Well then, Mr. Holly Go Lightly Norman Vincent Pollyanna” he said, “You better hustle because you start work within the hour and it’s two thousand miles away.”

“Work, sir?”

“Work,” Lucifer repeated.

“I can’t wait to give something back to a place that’s given me so much,” Pilgrim said.

“You’ve got to be kidding,” Lucifer said. “Exactly what has hell given you but grief?”

“A sense of perspective, for one thing. Just imagine how much worse I would suffer if I really deserved to be here.”

Lucifer held back his irritation. He knew that tune would soon end. He beamed inside as he imagined the torture he was about to inflict on this so-called innocent soul. The worst torture he had ever devised in an eternity of devising torture — a job.

Not just any job. Not physically exhausting out of doors labor that left men sweaty and horny for their wives or any woman they happened to meet on the way home. Not a job that let ambitious young go-getters flex their creative muscles and show off their talent. Certainly not a low-rent, low-wage ass-end job employees could leave at the end of day and know it had nothing to do with the quality of their lives.

No, he found Pilgrim a job. A non-stop repetitive mid-management job with a cramped office and no autonomy. A job with an in-box that sucked in two reams of memos for every post-it note removed. A job that he couldn’t leave at work because the boss dropped a new do-by-morning list on his desk just as he was closing his briefcase to leave for the day. A job where every decision would be second-guessed by the same people who delegated them. A job where each new task assigned promised a promotion that faded from view as soon as he delivered the goods. In short, a job.

The job’s name didn’t matter: government job, corporate job, job working for his wife’s father, job in the city, job in some hick town a million miles from nowhere, or even “job in hell.” It would still be a job, the same job that so many people worked on earth that when they woke up in hell couldn’t tell anything had changed except for the awareness that they were stuck in this job forever.

Lucifer could picture the job, the agency, the department, even the office in the poorly ventilated corporate sub-levels of the millions of deep-sink magma scrapers so popular with hell’s architects. 3

He whipped around, lifting the demons holding his train off the ground and slapping them into each other like bowling pins after a strike. “I’ll fly on ahead. You can catch up.”

Lucifer spread his wings and soared away toward another hell entirely. Pilgrim would have to hustle the entire trip, out-of-breath, heart pounding and sweating profusely in polyester clothes that refused to breathe.

After a few minutes, Lucifer looked behind him to gauge Pilgrim’s progress. Seeing no sign of Pilgrim, he flew back, muttering under his breath, “you Hell-blessed obese bodied, obese brained, obese idiot with an obese imagination and illusions too obese for a full of fat, full of shit, full of himself which is a lot of a self to be full of hell-blessed human pork rind.”

He found Pilgrim sorting more refuse into recycling bins. “There you are,” Pilgrim said. “I was wondering when you’d realize you left me.”

#

Lucifer led Pilgrim through the Hell of Endless Commercial Corridors Lined on Both Sides With Convenience Stores, Gas Stations, Adult Videos and Other Bland, Nondescript Single-Story Offices That Obliterate the Horizon. He led him through the Hell of Discount Strip Mall Stores Advertising Close Out Sales and Deep Reductions on Products That No One Needed But That They Would Buy on Credit and Pay for Throughout Eternity Because It Was So Easy for Them to Convince Themselves They Did.

He led Pilgrim up seventy-two spiraling flights of stairs through the Hell of High Rise Condominiums Occupied by Males Who Think They Are Chick Magnets, Dress in Open Shirts and Tight Pants, Swill Beer Made from Urine and Wait for Female Companions Who Never Arrive.

When they reached the top of the stairs, Pilgrim grabbed the rail post, clinging to it as though he would fall into the sky if he let go.

Lucifer laughed. Every soul who passed this way grabbed the rail when they first realized the vast expanse of hell pointed downward and they were standing on the top story (much as a fly stood on a ceiling) upside down with their feet miraculously sticking to the surface.

Tower after tower fell away from the blistering asphalt, disappearing into the orange sulfur cumulus clouds that drifted across the blistering red sky. Skyscrapers with Babylonian, Sumerian, Egyptian, Chinese and post-modern New York motifs nestled together as though some tasteless but eclectic architect projectile vomited the entire district after a manic architectural binge. Gigantic day glow pipes and conduits ran from building to building, venting steam and flame. Fireballs erupted at random from open windows and vents, billowing out into the sky and scorching the demons flying by. Huge derricks sported hammer-like rotating arms that persistently pounded the pavement and the demons trying to scramble underneath.

“I call them magma-scrapers,” Lucifer beamed. “Reaching deep into the bowels of the earth to scratch its molten core.”

Pilgrim gulped in the sulfur oxides and studied the surrounding scenery. Imps crept across the magma-scrapers like roaches, hanging out of windows, leaping from rooftops and spiraling into the pits above. They fell up from ledges with nooses tied around their necks, swaying in mid-air while their feet kicked into the clouds. They impaled themselves on flagpoles and outcroppings, swooping upward with wings and arms outspread until they crashed into their target and dangled there wriggling and writhing and howling with pain.

Imps driving convertible sports cars with 690cc engines and no muffler, no roll bar and no emission control devices chased down pedestrians trying to wade through litter piled knee deep in the streets, sidewalks and alleys — broken beer bottles; moldy piles of shredded documents containing secrets to every conspiracy conceived since the invention of carbon paper; cartons that once contained phosphor free detergent and which remained in the environment long after any phosphors were cleaned from the water; used condoms, used broken condoms, used broken condoms whose users never realized the condom was broken; draft cards and bras; religious tracts passed out in parking lots, airports and shopping centers and immediately dropped like burning matches; pages of banned books with edges slightly burnt; thousands of loose pieces of audio tape from the Nixon White House, thousands of slips of paper with women’s phone numbers from the Roosevelt, Kennedy and Johnson White Houses; a thousand phone slips with the message “Call me, M” from the Clinton White House; military uniforms complete with blood stained bullet, arrow and sword holes from over five millennia of battle; millions upon millions of molding pages from catalogues that were sent to people’s homes as many as two times a month; bubble gum, candy and candy bar wrappers; toner cartridges, typewriter ribbons, laudanum and liver oil bottles, disposable napkins, needles, syringes, every plastic diaper left to rot in land fills on earth.4

Fast-food stands sold intestine sausages and raw kernels of popcorn with flat sodas and foamless beers. News vendors sold broad sheets featuring headlines from the Tan Dynasty, Ottoman Empire, and Elizabethan England on the same page. The damned bought the broad sheets wrapped with fish fried in rancid grease and served with a side order of rotten raw potatoes. Disheveled souls wandered the sidewalks in dirty overcoats begging the damned for spare change for cups of coffee only to be beat on, robbed and abandoned.

More than fifty tubes descended into hell, tubes so long Pilgrim couldn’t trace them through the clouds. Each tube dumped new souls into hell at a rate of five per second, every one of them screaming, waving and trying desperately to grip the sides to stop their fall.

“It’s breath taking,” Pilgrim said. “Absolutely beautiful. Like watching a carnival at midnight or a power plant reflected a lake.”

“Breath taking?” Lucifer squealed. “Beautiful? Why you undersized, overweight pipsqueak of a smart-aleck smarty-pants; you kill them with optimism, wide-eyed, sweet, oh-look-at-me-aren’t-I-innocent choirboy. This isn’t some piss-ant little power plant or carnival passing through town. This is the heart of hell, its urban center — a sophisticated, connected community with state-of-the-art unpleasantness and all-around disagreeableness designed to drive anyone new to hell to despair within a century. It’s not beautiful.”

“I meant it in a bad way,” Pilgrim said. “This makes Rabelais’ visions look like Jehovah’s Witness heaven. This is what Satayana meant when he wrote of beauty in the grotesque.”

Lucifer swelled with pride. He’d never seen his work from Pilgrim’s perspective, as a work of art, worthy of awe.

“Wait a minute,” he said, as he came to his senses. He slapped Pilgrim and then he slapped him again. He continued to slap him until he collapsed to his knees holding his arms over his head to protect himself from the blows.

“Are you trying to butter me up? Do you think I’m some simple-minded, eager-to-please, subservient toady who can’t wait to be gratified by praise?”

Pilgrim waited for Lucifer to stop striking him and then explained: “Have you ever walked on a lake at night as it reflects the lights of a power plant? The colors jump back up at you from the water and grab your imagination.”

“Don’t you mean beside a lake?” Lucifer sneered.

“No,” Pilgrim answered. “I mean right out there on the water with all those lights and colors reflecting around you.”

“Enough of this beauty in the grotesque nonsense,” Lucifer sneered, “if you weren’t terrified by this, your heart will stop with dread when you see what’s next.” Lucifer grabbed Pilgrim’s collar and flew him across a molten suspension bridge cutting through the heart of uptown hell.

A cathedral carved from molten marble and glass thrust downward into the heart of eternity. The gargoyles carved into the walls reached out and snapped at demons flying by. Supplicants in blood red robes marched in and out of the courtyard, chanting verses from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the Necronomicon, Hermes Trismogistes, the Wealth of Nations, and the 2000 Republican platform. As the procession wound around the cathedral courtyards, hunchbacked priests poured molten lead from the bell tower onto random supplicants.

“The Cathedral of Notre Dame Sans Merci,” Lucifer bragged. “Where the souls who worshipped me during their lives, come to offer prayers of supplication.”

“And what do they get for their prayers?” Pilgrim asked.

“Nothing. I gave them everything I intended to give them when they were alive.”

Pilgrim nodded and watched a new pot of lead splash up on a small group of supplicants who danced around trying to brush the molten droplets from their robes before taking their places back in line.

“Did you give them anything when they were alive?” Pilgrim asked. He watched the last supplicant, who had been reduced to nothing but a scorched puddle of demon flesh with four arms and a tail, scramble around the courtyard trying to find its way back in line.

“Of course not,” Lucifer sighed with satisfaction. “The power of human belief worked to my advantage every bit as much as it does for His High and Mighty. When they got what they wanted, I got the credit. When they didn’t, they blamed it on those blessed angels and the forces of light.”

“That must make your job pretty easy, I guess.”

Lucifer wrapped his wings inside his cape and his cape around the front of his body. He struck the asphalt with his cursifix, splitting the highway in two and causing molten tar to bubble over Pilgrim’s ankles. “You think my job is easy?”

“You so-called good people, you devout Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Shintos, Taoists and Jews, should all be first in line to hell because all of your goodness makes us want to be bad. We sit there and watch you going ‘Praise JesusAllahJehovahIsis or who have you,’ setting an example and then all the other good-hearted, have-to-fit-in, teachers, spiritual guides, ministers and other harbingers of moral mayhem say to the rest if us, ‘Why can’t you be like Michael, why can’t you be like Gabriel, why can’t you be filled with the holy radiant galaxy creating light of the Almightiest of Almighties?’ and we get so sick of it we have to go and sell cigarettes to kids, con teenaged girls into the back seats of our cars, refine a few poppies into horse or organize the darker forces of light into a rebellion against the real forces of light causing us to be cast down from the bosom of eternal comfort to this stinking armpit of a cesspool at the bottom of a sinkhole in a field of sulfur dioxide.”

“I’m sorry you took it personally, sir. I was only trying to be friendly.” Pilgrim stepped back before Lucifer could snap his head off entirely. “In the future, I’ll do my absolute best to be an unpleasant, self-serving ass kisser who sucks up to you face-to-face but who disses you as soon as your back is turned.“

“Shut up,’ Lucifer snarled. “Just shut up and follow me.”

Lucifer led Pilgrim into Hell’s Red Light District of Demeaning, Degrading and Mind Numbing Entertainment Where Souls Spend Their Fortunes on Senseless Pleasures in an Attempt to Forget Their Problems Only to Wake Up the Next Morning and Discover Their Problems Have Only Been Compounded by Hangovers, Withdrawal, Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Poverty Brought On by Foolishly Spending Their Money in Hell’s Red Light District.

Junkies and drunks packed the streets, trying to shoot or suck the last ounce of nothing from their broken syringes and wine bottles. A street vendor pushed his way through the crowd shouting: “Sterno, shoe polish. Secondhand needles. Perfectly safe now that you’re dead.”

Pilgrim asked, “Just out of curiosity, what’s your punishment, sir?” Pilgrim leaned his head to the side inquisitively. The dandruff from the suit’s previous owner tumbled off his shoulders like an avalanche.

A gang of bikers with swastikas on their jackets surrounded a gang with hammers and sickles on theirs. Knives flashed, chains rattled and then they surged into a pulsating mass of black leather, blood and body parts. A broken beer mug whizzed by Lucifer’s left ear. A demon’s hand, severed at the wrist, clutched the handle.

“My punishment?” Lucifer stammered.

Pilgrim blundered on. “I mean, you’re in charge down here, but as I understand it you had to piss God off pretty bad to get here. So what’s your punishment?”

“I don’t mean to imply that you have it easy, you’ve made that perfectly clear, but you do have to admit that most people believe you enjoy your job. You know, that you get a kick out of running hell.”

Lucifer exploded from his suit, leaving singed scraps of wool and silk floating in the clouds of opium smoke or settling up into the tar formed from eons of cigarette butts, blood and half-digested alcohol on the ground. The asphalt at his feet caught fire, surrounding him with a dark tar pit halo.

The flames leaped from his feet to abandoned butts and booze to more asphalt which erupted like geysers down the strip joint. The petrochemical pyrotechnics brought the fighting in the parking lot to a halt. The combatants dropped their jaws, brass knuckles, derringers, daggers and broken bottles which burst into flames as well.

“Why you unassuming, obnoxiously humble, polite to the point of making me want to stick my finger in my throat to purge, overweight, excruciatingly modest….” He struggled to think of a word. “You pudent little….” He tried to finish his sentence, only to find himself sucking in air at the same time he wanted to exhale.

His cheeks bulged and his face turned a deeper shade of purple than normal. He tried to choke his cough down, only to find himself unable to breathe, which made his cheeks bulge even more. His body began to consume itself in a frenzy for oxygen. Pilgrim slapped him on the back to help stop his choking and, worst of all, it worked.

“There isn’t a noun for that, sir.”

“Excuse you?” Lucifer said, lifting Pilgrim’s hand away as though it contained a fungus that might infect his skin.

“You were looking for a noun that categorizes a modest, humble person and I can’t think of one either. Even the adjectives aren’t very degrading are they? Try as hard as you can, it’s hard to belittle someone for not being prepossessing.”

Satan stared at him, speechless.

“There is a noun phrase ‘stick-in-the-mud.’ That’s kind of degrading for a denizen of hell, isn’t it? He’s not cold-hearted, carnivorous, contemptible, corrupt, debased, debauched, demonic, despicable, diabolical, execrable, fraudulent, fiendish, disingenuous, infernal, insidious, loathsome, low-down, malevolent, malignant, malicious…” His eyes popped wide with inspiration, “Hey here’s a noun you could use to describe me, although you have to fudge your prefixes. How about ‘nonmiscreant?’ Or better yet ‘antimiscreant’ because ‘non-miscreant’ could be an adjective too.”

“Will you shut up?” Lucifer pronounced each word clearly, concisely, pacing each syllable, speaking from the lowest register of his voice.

“I’m sorry. Sir, I didn’t mean to digress. But my point is all of those descriptions would be good qualities in hell, whereas ‘stick-in-the-mud,’ is kind of passive, banal. Not really bad, or cynical, or even jaundiced. Not much of anything. More like a wall flower than a force of darkness.”

Lucifer wrapped his head with his wingtips as though warding off, well, to be honest, angels of light. “You pontificating, thesaurus spouting, erudite little grammar pig. Do you dish out this drivel every time you open your mouth to breathe?”

Pilgrim backed away and shook his head apologetically. “Oh, no, sir. I’m not dishing out anything. Not ham, not Spam, not lox, not even socks.”

“What are you babbling about now, for my sake?”

“Doesn’t matter what I babble, you won’t answer if you’re able. Does my babble make you bobble? Do you quibble with my babble? Do you think I dribble drivel or do you simply wish I’d grovel? Babble, quibble, drivel, grovel, dribble gravel with a shovel, take a minute, take an hour, a simple answer’s in your power.”

Lucifer’s chest burst through his robes like an erupting volcano. He pulled a paddleball from his pocket.

“My punishment, you overly persistent, can’t let go of a biting alligator…” He popped a ball in Pilgrim in the face. “…badly rhyming, conversationally inept…” He popped Pilgrim’s eye. “…overly nosy, overly nosy, overly nosy….” He popped Pilgrim’s jaw, nose, and ears.

Pilgrim started to open his mouth, he popped him Pilgrim’s teeth and cut him off. “…busybody. My punishment is to rule an eternity filled with morons who think my job is glamorous. They imagine I snap a finger and wine turns to tap water from Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers.”

He popped Pilgrim in the groin two hits to each testicle.

“You all think I whistle and the demonic host serves me a uranium platter filled with wheat cakes from Chernobyl. Even if you knew how bad I had it, you wouldn’t be content to suffer your due and say, ‘Boy, the devil has it hard. How can we help him?’”

Lucifer popped each of Pilgrim’s fingers one at a time, with a new point to punctuate each pop.

“You whine about the heat, the atmosphere, the general unpleasantness. The endless torment, the never ending hours of pain and misery, the pervasive odor of purification, the ongoing boring monotony, the perpetual pain, the ceaseless onslaught of depressive despair, and then have the nerve to think I’m enjoying this?”

He punctuated with six straight pops to Pilgrim’s pinky.

Tavern doors burst open. A throbbing, howling mass of arms, legs, knives, guns and otherwise indistinguishable combatants burst into the parking lot punching, biting, stabbing, pulling hair, wings, teeth and tails and merged into the pulsating mass of biker bodies and blood.

A trio inside the tavern sang a Hip Hop rendition of “Rites of Spring,” while a row of men — naked except for their wet t-shirts — danced on stage for an audience of howling women who kept their money to themselves.

A drag race broke out on the highway behind them. Six suped-up Volkswagon Beetles tore toward them with flames shooting from their exhausts. Lucifer raised his cursifix and all six cars braked in a panic and piled into each other. A black and orange fireball spiraled into the sky.

He shouted the petrochemical expanses. “I’m stuck in hell, listening to you whine, whine, whine, and whine, whine, whine some more. And you think I’m having fun?”

Pilgrim shook his head in commiseration.

“Are you mocking me?”

“With all due respect, sir, we are having a bit of a pity party, aren’t we?”

Lucifer unfurled his wings, unfurled his tongue and hurled a lightning bolt at Pilgrim, torching him, torching the lot, torching the fighters who were still pounding away and starting to bore him as well. Pilgrim burst into flames like a candle doused in fuel oil, an oily flame fueled by body fat that reached deep into the bowels of hell. Through it all, Pilgrim continued shook his head and repeated. “Pity, pity, pity, pity.”

Lucifer thrust the cursifix toward the Highway of Enraged Arachnids Looking for Any Opportunity to Sink Stingers and Claws Into Soft Human Flesh. “Enough of your drivel dribble and quibbling kibble. You’re late for work.”

Pilgrim scampered down the highway, dancing delicately among the thrusting tails and mandibles. At first Lucifer thought Pilgrim danced because of the stings. Then he realized Pilgrim wanted to avoid hurting any of the creatures.

He flew to catch of with Pilgrim, carrying a handful of centipedes and scorpions, and tucked them down Pilgrim’s shirt. Pilgrim reached iunside and removed a particularly nasty scorpion, black and angry. He stroked its head and it curled onto its back in the palm of his hand.

“I’m glad you found a place for God’s less friendly creatures in the afterlife,”

He handed the scorpion to Lucifer, who stared at the beast, not sure what had just transpired. The scorpion rammed his stinger deep into Lucifer’s wrist and refused to let go in spite of all his screaming and shaking.

Pilgrim picked the scorpion off Lucifer’s wrist, and set him down, stroking his back until he lowered his tail and relaxed. “Sorry about that, sir,” Pilgrim apologized. He shook his head in puzzlement. “He certainly didn’t behave that way with me.”

Lucifer massaged his wrist and muttered, “Jesus H. Christ.” Then, realizing what he had said, he begged his own forgiveness.


11 Not just any blood-soaked Bruno Mali slippers, mind you, but a second-hand pair that one of Lucifer’s trolls dug up behind a L. A. mansion only minutes before the police arrived, making sure their owner would have a small memento of earth when he arrived.
back
2 A grin is the closest thing allowed to a smile in hell. Grins, unlike smiles, could always be interpreted as sarcastic or cynical responses, rather than friendly and approving ones. Evidence for this includes the fact that Jack-o-Lanterns always grin, and no-one has ever been accused of a shit-eating smile. back
3 Since hell’s architects are bottom-feeders anyway, not a single a building was up to the substandards of hell, much less to any real building code. Lucifer spent many an hour daydreaming about one of those eighty-story chrome and glass structures imploding with all of the workers inside, all of those workers who would still have to show up for work the next day in an equally unstable structure. Now they’d be nursing wounds as well. back
4 In case you hadn’t guessed by reading that last comment, landfills are also portals from earth to hell. Many people start out on a quest for real bargains, find themselves looking for rare antiques and artifacts among what most people would consider to be garbage, and end up at a check-out counter in hell. In fact, in the earliest versions of Orpheus and Eurydice, Orpheus started his descent to hell because he was sorting though a rubbish heap looking for a good string to replace the one he broke on his lyre, and realized he could smell Eurydice’s perfume through one of the sinkholes. back

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