Prompt: Hell is full, but that doesn’t mean you’re free. Take a number and sit down. You’ll suffer when you’re called.
They say Hell is paved with good intentions, but no one’s ever said Hell has a waiting room with yellowed linoleum floors and endless rows of seedy cushioned chairs congested with people.
“Take a number and sit,” the old lady behind the glass croaks. A tall man glances dumbly at the ticket dispenser, then back to the woman.
“Seriously?” he asks.
I chuckle. It’s funny every time. The surprise look on their face. I was like them once, years ago.
“Yup,” she says. “Grab one and wait. You’ll be called.”
“Called?” he says, flabbergasted. “Isn’t this Hell?”
I breath in through clenched teeth. Rookie move to question the Gatekeeper. She may appear like an overweight old lady with square glasses, wearing a floral gown that could double as a fancy potato sack, but she’s not. I’ve only seen her true eyes, once, but that was enough for me to know nothing is worth arguing with her over.
“Uh huh,” she flatly says. “But if you haven’t noticed, we’re a bit crowded. So, take a number, sit, and wait.”
“This is bullshit!” The man slams his hands on the glass. “Listen bitch, I’ve murdered dozens of people and I ain’t waiting for some old fat broad to tell me to wait for Hell. I’m ready. Let. Me. In. Now.”
I can’t help but crouch-stand, peering under his arms. She sets down her magazine, removes her glasses, leaving them rest on her oversized bosom. She rubs her eyes, looks up.
“Now you’re listening, huh?” The man laughs. “Thought so.”
She smiles and her eyes widen, widen, the bottoms reach her bosom and her eyeballs recede into a nothingness that I’ve heard even Satan fears. An abyss pools into the holes like water seeping through ground, and swirls with wailing souls desperately reaching for the rim of her flesh. The glass disappears and the man falls forward, screaming. Scrambling abyssal things erupt from her sockets, wrap around his skull, and wrench him through the cutout in the wall and pull him into the abyss.
Then he’s gone, her sockets reform, the eyes popping back. The glass reappears and she puts back on her glasses, picking up her magazine.
“Next,” she says and another person appears from a red fog before the window.
I lower to my seat, look at my number — 52,038,372,119,200 — then the counter above the door: 520,837,229,283,975,374,384. I sigh, settle into the cushions. Still have a long way to go.
Read my previous prompt, “Choosing Not To Remember“
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