Saturday, September 10, 2005
Hell was a bar and grill presided over by three women. They chuckled at the misconception that a figure like Mephistopheles could be thought in charge. Mephisto worked for them, to be sure: washing dishes. But he had no supernatural powers whatsoever. His reputation was based on frequent sightings in cafes and restaurants, always an extravagant and generous tipper. But he hadn't the imagination to make hell hot. The three sisters of sadism, however, were mistresses of the subtle art of torture, applicable on male and female alike, with slight variations as to gender. Males were teased by titillation, suggestive flashes of skin unsuccessfully covered by meager scraps of skirt, and their skill of looking right through a man as if he were of no interest whatsoever. The men would beg to be served a drink or meal, or an attentive smile, but they were ignored. Women, on the other hand, were treated with piercing, dirty looks that throttled self-esteem, achieving belittlement that no amount of male thoughtlessness could ever cause.
That was the nature of hell. Apart from the myth of Mephisto's powers, the conditions of entry had also been clouded by inaccuracy, as introduced by centuries of oral tradition. Good intentions wouldn't get you there, neither would evil actions. If, however, you forgot to tip a waitress, a special table would be reserved for you.
Stories have been reposted at indeterminacies.blogspot.com.
I just read a great story in which Satan appears: "Enoch Soames" written by Max Beerbohm. It should be fun reading for the likes of the Devil and Mrs. Weirsdo (as it deals with literature). (P.S. Wouldn't "The Devil and Mrs. Weirsdo" make a great title for a movie?)