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.

Story #278

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?)

14 comments:

Lolly said...

Hey, I like your new picture! Not nearly as scarey looking...:)

Indeterminacy said...

Thanks. I thought the previous image went well with the tone of the stories, but on the other hand I thought it was time for a change, of course if people miss it, I can put the old photo back up ;-)

The Mushroom said...

Aisha, Misha, and Geisha spent many a night at the Grecian Formula bar, tempting men to come find out what the Fates had destined for them. Men never turned them down, because the prospect of having three hot girls in nearly-transparent white blouses and mini-miniskirts come onto them was a siren's song. The men, alas, were never seen again because the girls were not Fates, they were Gorgons without the serpentine hairstyles. Their long hair hid the fact that they didn't have eyes, other than the crystal-bottomed glass they passed amongst themselves (which they joked was their "beer goggle"), and would turn a man's flesh to something resembling stone before devouring him.

Indie, this picture is steaming up my monitor.

Jamie Dawn said...

No story from me this time.
Those girls have shiny legs.
Don't worry about sending my prize. It is not necessary.
I have fun just participating and reading what others contribute.

viruswitch said...

Errrrr... one minute short story? I m hearing/reading this for the first time :D.

Indeterminacy said...

Mushroom: Love your story. It shows much more imagination than the one I'll post later today. We had somewhat similar ideas this time.

Jamie: A promise is a promise, and a prize is a prize. I'm not going to let myself out of it, nor do I want to.

Elveshat: I always thought of these as "one minute short stories", as I based them on John Cage's story form, in which each story was timed to be read in the space of a minute. I lated found out that this form of writing might also be referred to as flash fiction, micro fiction, vignettes, mini-stories, etc. There are entries in Wikipedia.org describing these. I think what I'm doing is something of a hybrid form. The use of a picture allows for more compactness. One needs not write as much to set the scene, or describe the situation, as the image does part of it. I think the blending of image nuances with parts of the story written or unwritten makes the reading experience more interesting.

weirsdo said...

I will look into the story. (Isn't Beerbohm mentioned in Pound?). Interesting that you and Mushroom both thought of hell.
I used your pictures today.

Doug said...

Faust got a hell of a deal.

Michael said...

I can certainly see how hot it is there.

Take Care
Michael

OldGuy said...

I like this one, it's pretty cool and sometimes actually happens in the real world.

still life said...

I always give 20%...and this is exactly why.
Thanks for the link to books on line.

Jamie Dawn said...

You and Mush always seem to be able to come up with some pretty evil women.

I promise to always be a good tipper!

Tom & Icy said...

I think I've been there before

Lolly said...

If I start tipping extra-generously, will it make up for past sins?