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To Each His Own Hell

by Sara Genge

Merridot sipped his absinthe and wondered if this was Hell. It certainly had that flavour to it, high on depravity, low on pleasure, high on desire, low on release... But it lacked a certain evilness about it and the eternal torment... well, sitting at a bar drinking couldn't be called eternal damnation, now could it? The other option, that this was Heaven, was too silly to contemplate. Surely, Heaven wasn't this seedy.

He had almost made it as a painter. Merridot was sure that if he had only lived long enough, he could have been more famous than Monet.


"Drivel away, drivel away," the little devil muttered as he tried to force Merridot and his stinking art further down the Cosmic Drain. The little devil didn't like his job. It embarrassed him that when relatives came to visit, they would always find him next to the sewer. A friend from college had once asked him why he didn't quit and beg his way into Heaven, but evil was so much more seductive. The little devil would take an entry job in Evil over a senior position in Good, any day of the month. Good boys went to Heaven. Bad boys went everywhere (or at least down the drain).


"Say, if this is Hell, it ain't quite so bad," said the cabaret girl.

Merridot stared at her thighs and agreed with her. If this was hell, it wasn't quite so bad at all. Only problem was that the Sewer Drift (the expansion of the universe that occurs in a diabolic sewer) kept pushing them apart. Merridot opined that if he could only grab the girl's legs, he'd be in Heaven.


"No respect for Hell," thought the little devil as he pushed Merridot further away from the girl. "What could you expect? Bad artists..." and here the devil shoved with a lot more might than he was paid for. "I'll teach you, you little creep."

Merridot watched the girl drift away. Of course, if he was going to be an artist, he couldn't let women distract him. It was all for the better, he thought. He took another drink and kept scribbling.

From the void where Lucifer falls for all eternity, came a voice: "Idiot, people make their own hell!"

Merridot continued drawing. He was sure he'd imagined it.

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