out of the ashes

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Terence has been sentenced...

To Hell...He wants out, so he's on his way to "confront" old Lucifer and demand his release.

A challenge at bookrix. Compose a story in diary form. 30 entries. No more, no less.
So, I did. It's all there. Here's a sample.

March 22

What became of industry here? Of social intercourse, as the woman put it when we first arrived? Did she mean an unbridled industry of lust? Of sociable sexual intercourse? Bishops? I can well imagine. Perhaps a pope or two.

I am losing focus in this brothel. Tomorrow I will change my tack and search for the man we met in the restaurant. Maybe, if I can find him, he can tell me what became of her. He captivated her. But what if she’s with him? In all this…pleasure?

March 23

He found me, as though I’d mentally called out to him. He was lounging on the sofa in the living room when I awoke and left the lonely bedroom. I wasn’t sure whether to fall at his knees in gratitude, or fall on his neck and choke him to death. Deather.

“Where is she?” I asked.

“Safe. Enjoying herself nearby,” he replied in a condescending tone of voice.

“You bastard!”

“Thank you.”

“Who are you?” I asked.

“Certainly you know. You’ve been looking for me.”

“I want out, but I refuse to leave without her. You’ve drugged her.”


“Take me to her!”

“As you wish. “Tomorrow”, but first…” he paused. “I’ve brought along a few of my friends. To help you unwind. You are wound like a spring, Terence. Compressed in your stupid worry. Relax, my friend, before I take you to your precious Teresa. My girls have accompanied me to help you come to your senses. You’ll need to before you see her.”

With that he rose and strode to the door. He opened it and motioned the visitors to enter. Two young women with faces, bodies, fit for a painting. Not women. Girls. Fifteen? Seventeen? No, not in a place such as this. Impossible. Too young, too innocent-looking.

“Enjoy yourself. I’ll return tomorrow. Drop that idiotic notion of love—there is no such thing.” He left, laughing.

The girls crossed the expanse of the room, and I debated. I could see his point. I could see it, diary. I felt the first fingertips touch my cheek, the next touch…

“Get out!”

I’m shaking as I write. I nearly caved in! Yet, what is the use of sex without love? Oh, I had my fill during my twenty-seven years of life. I don’t deny that. But I was never in love during any of it. Not as I am with Teresa. It was simply a biological necessity. Consensual. Meaningless, really, in the end. I did no wrong there, did I? That can’t be why I am here. If that were it, the whole of the human race would be right beside me. There would be an infinity of empty rooms in Heaven.

Playing harps and spewing platitudes of praise.

Why am I here, diary? WHY? What could I have done that warranted me this?

I do not want to see Teresa tomorrow…and yet, I do.

March 24

Friend, diary,

Hell. It presents itself in many shades. Perhaps the entire history of once-living souls is here. I am drawn to the grays and the vicissitudes of this kingdom, and yet I am repelled. The violence, the orgies. What will the next holiday bring? Do they go down the list of deadly sins and celebrate for eons an infinitely magnified version of each? Then return to the first and begin again?

I asked him this when he appeared this morning.

“You learn quickly. Welcome, Terence. Heaven is indeed nearly empty. What was hidden under baskets by every living soul since your race began has, as prophesied, been brought to light. And so they arrive. But their arrival is their choice, as it was yours. Do you want to leave?”

“It was NOT my choice! And further, I am not leaving without her.”

“Her choice to leave or stay is hers to make, not yours. She has made it, as you shall see.”

“You’re a liar, just like all those fucking preachers said. How could she possibly want to stay in such a twisted place for all eternity?”

“You shall see soon enough.”

“You’ve drugged her.”

“Hah! The bitter bread? Fool, it’s merely bread, nothing more. What do you take me for?”

“I loathe you.”

“That is good. You can use that; build on it. Maybe convince her to loathe me, too.”

We spoke little more on our journey deeper into the city of the enlightened, the city built by millions and millions who had thrown off the constraints of morality, or any pretense of decency or goodness. Through the park, past neighborhood after neighborhood of laughing, drinking, sweating bodies willfully participating in every conceivable act of sex. I am not, nor was I ever prudish, but, dear diary, I closed my eyes in shame.

I can write no more today, except to say we finally entered a golden cathedral dedicated to the deities of lust.

“She is here,” Lucifer said. “I will bring you to her tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy the sights…if you refuse to take part. Fool.”

Tomorrow. I hate the word. I fear what I will see when it arrives. What I see now is dispiriting enough. She is here somewhere in all of this.

(c) Patrick Sean Lee, 2011


  1. Lord...

    I am headed to the contest (as soon as hw is finished) to read this. So far, my vote's in.

  2. :) Apreciater...apppreciat...Thanks!