Ice & HDR by Mike Gifford

As we entered the final layer of hell, an intense chill swept through my bones. While it surprised me, I had almost grown used to the strangeness of this place that was nothing like how I’d expected it to be. The small tunnel that acted as a gate between the two layers opened up to show a massive room that stretched out beyond my vision. The floor was ice, and it was dotted with people jutting out from it at various depths. Some people were in only up to their waist, others their chest, and some were positioned headfirst into the ice. There was a hulking mass off in the distance, though I could not quite place what it was.

Master bade me follow him as we made our way through the frozen plain. Occasionally, one of the individuals would stop us, and I would engage in conversation for a while. The topics ranged from whether I knew of a person above to the current state of the world. Others only wished to sling insults, bitter about their lot in death. Master and I hardly gave them the time of day; we had to keep moving after all.

An indiscriminate amount of time passed when I, who had been lost in thought moments before, snapped back to reality when Master stopped suddenly. I looked up to see a massive beast frozen waist-deep in the ice. Craning my neck I could see its head which held three faces, each one chewing on a body. I cannot even think of how to describe this monstrosity other than that giants would be small enough to be but mere playthings to this creature.

Master explained to me that this beast was Satan, and that he chewed on three people who had committed grievous sins. We moved on quickly though, not stopping to chat. We had to continue on.

Authors Note:

With this story I wanted to do a retelling of Dante’s Inferno when he meets Satan. I really like the concept of this final layer and I wanted to give it my own rendition.

Mythology and Folklore UN-Textbook: Myth-Folklore Unit: Dante’s Inferno (mythfolklore.blogspot.com)

1 thought on “Week 14 Story: Frozen Hellscape

  1. Hi Jordan,
    I like that you took one small part of Dante’s inferno and really zoomed in on it. You were able to give a lot more detail than I got from reading the original. It’s interesting that you made hell icy, because that is the opposite of what I would expect too! I couldn’t tell from the story or author’s note if the protagonist and “Master” were Dante and Vergil like in the original. Good job!

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