The Blog Propellant · writing

TBP’s On-line Writer’s Guild #9

  1. Are you sure? There’s a lot of mud
  2. It’s the world’s largest
  3. A thick ghost of smoke

Sheila stood in the door and surveyed the scene in front of her, feeling more than a little self-conscious in the brightly coloured, yet ill fitting swimsuit. She would never have worn such a hideous costume when she had been alive. She tossed a surreptitious sideways glance at the imp who had escorted her here.

“Are you sure?” she asked, “There’s a lot of mud.” About a dozen souls were standing quietly in the muck. It looked to be about waist deep.

The crimson demon flicked his tail, leered at her lasciviously, and poked her in the butt with his pitchfork.

“Go on then,” he snapped. “You were the one who chose the kind of life you wanted to live. You were the one who ignored the warnings about hell and damnation. You must have expected something like this would result.” He poked her again and she jumped down into the mud. It was cold and she shivered. She might have even cried a bit. The devil leaned over and beckoned her with a crook of his finger.

“What is it, sir?” she asked.

He pointed his trident at various spots in the room, “Look Sheila, I’m only going to tell you this once, there are guards there, there, and there,” he said. “There is no escape and you are destined to spend eternity in this room; in this mud. The stories about hell fires were just that: stories. Hell mud would have been a more accurate translation but it got lost with the King James Version. We’re still laughing about that down here.

“There’s coffee in the urn along the back wall there. It’s pretty terrible, as far as coffee goes but it might grow on you after a few millennia. Go on and help yourself to a cup.” Then, like the Cheshire cat he vanished. His smile was the last to go.

Seeking modesty Sheila adjusted her swimsuit, and waded through the muck to the serving table. She helped herself to a cup of coffee and looked around. No one was talking. The room was as silent as a tomb with all the others keeping to themselves, sipping their Joe. She thought she might like some company and she sidled over to a young lady with dreadlocks and a dirty face.

“Hello,” she said, “I’m Sheila.”

The girl turned away, and at that very moment a loud buzzer sounded. Sheila jumped at the unexpected and intrusive sound. One of the guards cracked a bullwhip he held.

“All right,” he shouted. “Break’s over; back on your heads.”

Time’s up!
Written and edited in exactly 25 minutes. About 5 more to publish.