The Lake of Fire

Jeremiah sat idly, his weary feet resting in the lake of fire. The shore was less polluted today, and he was taking full advantage of it, by the Demon’s horns. The rickety old dock groaned, and his companion joined him.

A huge shadow loomed over him, and irregular hooves plopped themselves into the licking flames. They hissed as the fragments of trampled souls puffed into noxious farts.


Jeremiah acknowledged.


The beast replied, his cavernous mouth expelling moths, maggots and caterpillars against the immortal wood. The demonic voice caused crows, ravens, and other spooky things to flutter and fly.

Cowards. The carrion eaters always had been Hell’s lowest rung.

The two sat for some time in respected silence, Jeremiah, a tired man of four thousand five hundred and sixty four years young (but he certainly did not look a day over half that) simply enjoying the view. George, a demon born of fire, hate, and the loathing of a thousand mothers easing his sore hooves after a long day of forcing repentance.

He itched his single, asymmetric horn. His giant red fingers showering his friend with flakes of dried blood, shit, and other bodily goodies.

“Say, Jeremiah. We’re friends, right? I mean, I wouldn’t say great pals, but we respect one another. Right?”

The demon hissed with vipers. In its wake, a thousand earthly drug addicts shot up, four infants were aborted, and two basset hounds were left in an SUV, boiled by summer heat.

“Sure, George. We’ve had our differences, but I like to think I can count on you. Why?”

There was a beat between the two sentient creatures.


Jeremiah inquired after a lengthy wait. Satan’s army hardly ever hesitated.

“You’re human, right? Or, were. You died. You never said how. Or why God found it worthy to cast you into our hospitality. You’ve been here for life times, and you haven’t repented. You never said why.”

Jeremiah sat there for a brief moment, watching a six headed dragon devour Sister Alexandria, a nun who word had it, liked it rough and ready.

“You never asked, my friend. Ever met him, the big guy upstairs?”


An earth quake shook a heavy urban metro.

“When I was a kid, I always thought god was some big white guy walking in sandals on puffy white clouds. You never saw his face, maybe a big fluffy white beard, or a giant hand. But never his face.

“I didn’t have an imagination, you might guess.

“But anyway. They burned me at the stake. I used to kidnap little boys and girls and use them, if you catch my drift. Little buggers were all brats though, I say I did their mothers a favor.

“They found a couple of the tastier ones in my meat cellar, the parts I didn’t fancy, anyway.”

Jeremiah smiled.

“So, sodomy, gluttony and murder.”

The demon said, causing gasoline prices to reach record highs.

“No, actually. Can you believe they actually set me ablaze because I ate them on Friday?

I tried to contest that it wasn’t really meat, but once you’ve pissed off the mob there is little turning back. So yeah, they tied me to a big fucking tree, covered me in sheep’s blood and made me the centerpiece to one of their book burnings.

“Illiterate Hillbillies.”

“Sheep’s blood?”

The demon contested, his voice churning up a tornado somewhere in the heartland of America.

“Yeah, can you believe it? Guv’nor said it was my color.

“Anyway. It took them awhile, you see. Morons couldn’t start a fire to save their lives. Upstairs right now that wouldn’t big such a big deal. Humans have all those fancy gizmos, lighter fluid, blow torches, flame throwers, Zippos. The works.

“But this was a long time ago. We lived off of sticks and pinecones for Chrissakes. Everyone knew had to start a fire in those days. Apparently to those Neanderthals it was a mystery. How they had the intelligence to keep breathing was beyond me.

“Imagine how hard I laughed when I found myself here, in this lovely place.”

He gestured all around him, the scene dominated by fire and lava flowes.

“So they had their book burning, me as a center piece. It took all god damned night, it was sort of like school, really. Waiting for every jerk off to get his rear in gear to finish the job up. So what did I do?

“I fell asleep. When I woke up, I was at God’s doorstep.”

The demon stared at him in anticipation.

“So, when I was a kid I imagined these huge pearly gates in the clouds. I didn’t get in of course, so I can’t tell you how the rest of it was. But the doorstep was sort of a let down.

“It was just a room, well furnished of course. There was a big cushy chair, an empty fire place, and some tea.

“I guess God fancies Darjeeling. I don’t care for it much myself, you see. I’m more of an Earl Grey man, but I was his guest after all. Who rejects God’s tea? I certainly didn’t have the balls at the time.

“There was a man sitting across from me. He was dressed in all white, except for a pair of purple gloves. I guess God fancies purple gloves too, because just as I realized that I was dead, the man opened his mouth and said

‘I am God.’

“Straight forward fellow, I‘ll give him that.”

“What did he look like?”

The Hell Spawn inquired quietly, causing super tanker to spill its guts in the Caribbean.

“Handsome fella‘, except for the gloves. He wasn’t the big white guy I thought he was.

“He sort of looked like Julius Caesar, but thinner and without the sweating. Or the holes oozing blood.

“So he looks at me over his teacup, which was probably of the cheaper variety, pinky in the air and tells me what I’ve led a very strange life, with the eating of little girls, the sheep’s blood, the foot fetish, the five years as a pastor, basically my life story.

“He says that if I truly repent my sins to him, he will spare me Satan’s embrace. He said it with an ominous tone, but after I prodded him a little, he confessed that if I just said sorry he’d probably let me in anyway.

“Just if I tried real hard to be a good guy, keep the music down at night. That sort of stuff.”

The demon, suddenly self conscious of his hooves curled them up under the dock. In the process he accidentally kicked a dolphin that had homosexual relations in the life prior. Hell was equal opportunity, apparently.

“So I sat there for a moment, sipping that tea that really could have been hotter. A pile of scones materialized before me, so I sank my teeth into one.

“Of course I was hungry, I had missed supper because I was on that damn stake all night. A man has his needs, even if he is dead, George.

“We talked for awhile, God and I. About life, the universe, what my life would have been like if I decided to be a doctor, that sort of stuff.

“There were no windows to mark the passage of time in this room, you see. And while I don’t know how many people went to heaven in those days and needed to speak with the big man himself, I figured it wasn’t many. We were there for awhile.

“He was good about it though; never for a second did he seem impatient. I guess you get that if you’re the alpha and the omega.

“Somehow, I don’t know why, the conversation came to Lucifer. Rather confident with our rapport, I asked him something I had always pestered my Sunday school teachers about.

“That when everything is all said and done and the rapture finally comes to man’s domain, will he finally admit Lucifer back into heaven?

“He jerked like a nervous bird and made a distasteful noise. He told me that he’d never allow Satan and his peons back into his good graces, ever. That they were good blokes who did their jobs, but never would they know bliss again.

… sorry George.”

The demon sniffled, a single tear of fire dribbling down his cheek.

“It’s okay, Jeremiah. Go on.”

He said, causing a hundred unfaithful men to “forget” their conscious once again.

“So I asked him if his forgiveness was infinite, and if he was willing to accept me into heaven after all the bad things I had done, why not forgive the fallen angel and his cronies after they did their jobs?

“He looked at me for a moment, and then he said something. I didn’t hear what the hell he said, though. I was so distracted by those purple gloves.

“When I asked him to repeat himself, he only smiled and sipped his tea. However much I asked him to repeat himself, he only sipped that damn tea and smiled.

Maybe he ate a scone or two, but that‘s not the point.”

“So what did you do?”

George asked tensely, causing a man to swat a housefly that could have evolved into a space faring race of super creatures, given time and life.

“I did what any other respectable man would do. I told the bugger to sod off, thank you very much. I’m not a rude man, by far, but the bloke totally blew off my question. I don’t take kindly to that, no sir.

So as I was walking toward the door that fireplace caught my eye. It was really quite lovely. Exquisitely cleaned with a really fine set of pokers. There was even a small stack of birch bundled up next to the wrought iron gate.

“I turned to him, my hand on the door knob and told him it was a really nice hearth, and asked if he had ever used it.

He told me that no, he had never used it. When I inquired as to why he just smiled and told me;

‘I don’t know how.’

That is why I’ve never repented, George.”


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