We create our own prisons when we accept reality and remove our imagination. -Intellectual Shaman

It was like waking up from a really bad dream. I was in hell. The walls were red as the devil led me down a narrow corridor. She had black hair tied in a pony tail that went down to her waist and red lingerie pulling delicately against her thighs as she walked.

“Go ahead and look,” she said.

Being given permission, removed the fun, and I think she knew that.

We took an elevator down, until my stomach went into my chest. Country music was playing while people paid their taxes, looking tired, stressed, and suicidal. The devil turned her face towards mine and kissed me with her red lipstick. Her mouth tasted like an ash tray and suddenly, computers died. People lost their personal information and couldn’t remember who they were.

She smiled. “It’s just like dementia,” the devil said; “but only for a moment. Soon they’ll realize who they are and that’s even worse.”

A woman began crying and a man broke a monitor with his fist.

“Nothing in hell works,” he screamed.

“Watch him for a second,” the devil laughed. It was a cruel laugh. “He’s going to have a stroke.”

I looked away. “Can you just take me where I’m supposed to go?” I asked.

“Patience,” she remarked. “We have eternity together. Besides, you don’t mind paying taxes; weren’t you an accountant in real life?”

“That’s right.”

“Well, one man’s hell is another man’s paradise; so, I have something special planned for you.”

She led me down a spiral staircase with see-through doors leading to different amusements. There was a beach with swimsuit models tanning themselves. Men stared at them lustfully.

“I don’t get it,” I said. I thought hell was supposed to be full of torment?”

“It is,” the devil replied. “Those men are tortured by their desire; they want what they can’t have.”

A floor down was filled with school teachers in mini-skirts teaching mathematics to boys. “You can spend time here,” the devil said. I sat down and tried not to think about forbidden fruit. I succeeded because I had power over my own mind, but every time I raised my hand to give the correct answer, I got the wrong one, even though I knew I was right.

“You are a dunce. Get him out of my class!” The blonde math teacher shouted!

“Okay, but be careful when you talk to me,” the devil said. “Keep shaping young minds.”

My ego was cut in half, after getting the wrong answers, but I knew I couldn’t give the devil any satisfaction “Had enough yet?” She asked.

“Hell is not a bad place,” I said. “There’s a lot of hot women here.”

She crinkled her face into an evil sneer. “I’ve got just the place for you,” she said.

We took many turns and went down several flights of stairs so that I was completely lost.

“You’re afraid of losing your way, aren’t you?” The devil glowered. We entered a circular room with dozens of doors. “I’ll just leave you hear to find your way out.” And with that, she vanished.

Fear was creeping under my skin like spiders. I itched all over and the spasms were uncontrollable.

“What was it my dad told me about getting lost in the woods? Oh, sit down and think; problems are solved by thinking. That’s right.” So that’s what I did. 

Time past, how much, I don’t know, when one of the doors opened.

“I’m lost; can you help me find my way?”

“I’m afraid not,” I said. “Say, does anyone know the way out of here and has anyone ever tried to escape hell?”

“Oh, that’s foolish,” the man said. He looked like a bum who was looking for a drop of alcohol. “You don’t have any whiskey, do you?”

“I’m afraid not,” I said. “I don’t drink.”

“Then what are your vices? Did you smoke or spend time with whores?”

“No; none of that,” I said.

“Then why are you here? We’re all supposed to get a fair trial.”

“I did. In life, I wanted to do it by myself. I didn’t want to accept anyone’s help or salvation. I guess you can’t go against God. You have to play the game.”

“That’s just crazy,” the bum said. “You didn’t go all in, for pleasure, I mean? If you go against God, why not max-out your credit? Everybody pays the same debt in hell, you know.”

“I’m not so sure,” I said. “Heaven and hell exist in our own mind. It’s not a place; it’s an attitude.”

“You’re just crazy,” the bum said. “Now I’m going to go find somebody who knows where I can get a drink.” I watched him choose one of the doors, as he sought something to help himself feel better.

Then I decided to go for a walk. Maybe I couldn’t escape hell, and then, maybe I could. I was going to find out. It would be my greatest adventure; my greatest challenge; outwitting the devil.


6 thoughts on “Outwitting the Devil

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