Thursday, November 29, 2012
I knew from about Chapter 4 this story was becoming similar to Dante’s Inferno. Now I have never read the story but I know the references. Tonight I let Wikipedia re-familiarize me with the poem. Alighieri’s poem is much more detailed and way better than this story. Dante was giving a lesson in heaven and hell, calling out each sin and the punishment. Where Dante failed and I will try is that anything that goes on, after a time we acclimate. Soon the punishment becomes not painful but annoying therefore, sin must come with an ever changing and increasing pain along with a constant reminder of why you are where you are. Alighieri also differentiated between people that were will to ask forgiveness and those that tried to justify their sins. What seems applicable to me is that because every man sins, we each will take our turn in hell unless you are of the group that does not believe in hell or that our sins are forgiven and we get to skip that part. I hope #3 wins out but I too believe in balance. The hope is that a moment in hell can be adequate punishment for many of us. I’m in no hurry to find out. Maybe I am trying to remind myself the cost of the seven deadly sins, the separation from love, light, joy, all which rolled together equal God. So, I’ll just follow my character. I figured he would have been out by now but I am trying to avoid a corny ending. I guess he will go where he will go and I’ll try to keep away from Dante’s preaching yet this is a story of the price of sin and what we may face if we decide to take that path, me included. Chapter 10 The sound that boiled up from deep inside the huge horror sounded like a raging inferno. It overcame the vibrations from the rock. It reverberated through the cavern. I thought it might cause a collapse. “I know who you are! Stop right now!” I knew my only chance was to appear the same as any of the hundreds of people here. I could feel my muscles trembling. The rest of the population didn’t appear to flinch. One foot in front of another, step by shaky step. The only reference I had in my life made me decide that this was Satan; tall, red and horrid. No pitch fork or horns, but this naked monster was fearful. I didn’t even dare try peering around to see what he was doing or even where he stood. I just prepared to feel his grip. I got to the pile of rocks and dumped my full wheelbarrow like all the others. I had to take a chance. I jumped in the full scoop and lay flat as it rose toward the level above. Just before the scoop went through the ceiling to the floor above, I took a quick peek over. The ugly red creature was looking right at me. He let out a terrible scream that I could feel. He turned and went toward the stairs. As soon as the bucket passed the surface, I leapt out. Behind me it tilted over and dumped its load. I ran across the floor and jumped into the first bucket going back down. When I went down through into the chamber below, I could see his feet on the stairs going up. I was still twenty feet or so off the floor and couldn’t jump. I jiggled, trying to rush the wheel down. Satan above me roared again, a sound I could easily hear through the roof. The wheel stopped so suddenly, I was almost thrown from it. I looked up and could see the monster looking down at me through the gap. I looked over the edge of my scoop and saw I was still fifteen feet from the pile of rocks. I grabbed the spindle and tried to walk the rim down. I slipped and slid about five feet before going over the edge. I hit the edge of the pile of rocks hard and bounced down the slope landing face first on the floor. I jumped up and almost fell again. I had hurt my leg. I looked over to the stairwell and I could see his feet coming down the stairs. I hobbled toward the open door in the cave wall. On my way, I pushed over as many of the people as I could, maybe seven. I hoped it would distract him long enough for me to get away. I limped down the hall as fast as I could. I heard more terrorizing noise behind me. I couldn’t turn to look. I rounded a corner and there, in front of another door stood a mirgurn. He turned his head and jumped back a little. Then he cocked his head to the side. I looked around and saw several openings, nothing marked. “Which way out?” I asked. He cocked his head the other way. “Quick. Tell me.” I knew I had to move soon but even at my best, I couldn’t out run something that big. With a limp I was dead. I waited for just one moment. I saw the mirgurn reach into a bucket beside him and pull out a handful of slime. Before I could react, he wiped it on my hurt leg. I pulled back but I wasn’t quick enough. The slime felt ice cold, burning like an ice cube tray. The little deformed guy smiled a crooked smile. “Follow me,” he said. I watched as he waddled quickly through one of the openings. I followed behind, not sure of what to expect. I could hear Satan behind me closing the gap. We turned a sharp corner and he stopped. The little guy pushed his back to the wall and I followed suit. I heard a roar but it sounded distant. Then another and another. Satan was going door to door screaming, searching. When he sent his terrible yell down our tunnel it was like the crackling of lightning and the ripping thunder. I held my hands to my ears. I felt a yank on my pants and the mirgurn took off down the hall. I followed. The path spiraled down deeper. There were side doors here and there. I wondered what horror lay behind them. After going for a while, we stopped. I sat down on the floor and put my head on my knees to catch my breath. When I did, the clarity and sound of the movie improved. Once again I was saddened by my past life. Then a question came to me when it wiggled its way through all the accusations. The movie paused. Had I changed during my trip through this hell? Hadn’t I just sacrificed others to escape? Had I treated them as nothing more than inanimate objects? Next to me stood a little mirgurn that helped me escape and I hadn’t even thought of what he had given up to run with me. I looked up at him and patted the rock floor beside me. He sat. “Thank you,” I said. The mirgurn tilted his head then nodded it with a crooked smile. “I want to get out of here,” I said. “Follow me,” he said and started to get up. I went to grab him and pull him back down but I hesitated to touch his slimy half arm. I stood up instead. When I did, I noticed that the pain had stopped. I moved it back and forth. I twisted it. I put all my weight on it but it felt fine. When I looked at the mirgurn, he smiled and wiped slime from his arm. “Poorol,” he said. Then he wiped the stuff back on his arm. “Thank you,” I said. The mirgurn turned and went on down the hall. As we traveled, I noticed there were no lights. I could see a glow coming from the walls themselves. I followed him silently. “Rrrggrrrree chuuuurrrr.” “He ran down one of the tunnels. I’ll find him.” “Dddurrrrreee frrrrrrrruuuuur. Grrrruuuueeeee.” “No. I promise. He won’t get away.” “Zzzzzzzzuuuuuuuu.” “I’ll get him.” The Boss saw the wet tentacle snake out and around him. As big as he stood, he was nothing compared to the strength of the black arm around him. He couldn’t see the size of the master who was hidden in the darkness but he felt the rippling muscles and the cold of the wet tentacle. He could feel it squeeze him until he couldn’t move. He felt himself lifted and pulled into the dark where for the first time he could see the face that belonged to the body. Thirty eyes lined the snout. The oblong head was snake like except for the finned ears. He couldn’t count the tentacles that squirmed below him like a ball of giant wet worms. The cold goo reflected the little light entered from the open door way. An arm broke free from the mass and reached out. It pushed the door closed and the light disappeared. The one wrapped around him tightened and he could feel his bones crack. Then he felt razor sharp teeth slice into him. He heard his own scream as fire from the bite lit up every nerve. Then he was pulled down into the master’s cold sludge. The master gnawed on the victim and slowly swallowed him piece by piece. Once his meal was complete, he slipped under the surface of the sludge and let thoughts run. Danger flashed in its mind. He thrived on chaos and fear. Sweat and insanity flowed in the air and made a pleasant aroma. His only worry was that if a living being escape it could slow the progression of the dead into his home. It needed the dead for food and comfort. It pushed its mind to find the man.