Less than three months into my indefinite stay, Hell froze over. It was a Wednesday afternoon. I remember this because I was a new kid, and new kids keep track of Earth’s calendar: the veterans don’t, because they know that every day in Hell is the same. Apart from this one.
The drop in temperature was so sudden that by the time we realised what was happening, it was done. It became clear that this was not one of Boss’s pranks (the look on his face told us that for nothing). The place ascended into chaos. Everyone was livid, shivering, unable to light their cigarettes. Worse still, all of the alcohol froze.
It was bizarre to see our charred bodies turn blue, so strangely unreal to look around and see that we resembled frozen coal miners, skin burnt black but simultaneously snow white. The sensation of my hot blood slowly running cold around my veins is one I can neither describe nor forget.
Shock turned into anger as quickly as the volcanoes turned into glaciers. I stood and watched my fellow residents begin fighting with the sole intent of killing each other (the assumption being that if they were to commit the ultimate sin they would be relocated to a new, fresh Hell, one that was warm and cosy and built on a solid foundation of fire and gasoline).
If you sin in Hell, what happens to you? Where do you go? To the next circle, we guessed. But what happens when you run out of circles? We found out that day.
Boss had a breakdown. In a twisted, Stockholm syndrome-ish moment, I found it rather sad to watch this charismatic guy, revered for his wicked sense of humour and cutting wit, crystallise into an ice sculpture before our very eyes: sadder still to see icicles of tears form on his cheeks, knowing that he was done.
He was swiftly deemed unfit to work by his minions. While they were squabbling amongst themselves over which one of them should seize the throne, Boss slyly completed his final act in office. He sent us all to the final circle of Hell: back to the land of the living: back to Hell on earth. He cackled as he was carted off in the ambulance. And so here I am, again, noting that it’s a Wednesday, and wishing that I was somewhere hot.