Hell’s future is bright (and hot), thanks to a new circle


You are here. (See yellow ring.)

I’ve long had a fantasy of rewriting Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, casting the three realms with characters from our own era.  I have the imagination – all I need is Dante’s genius.  But I had not envisioned adding a new circle, to accommodate hell’s population explosion.

Someone else beat me to it:  “After nearly four years of construction at an estimated cost of 750 million souls, Corpadverticus, the new 10th circle of Hell, finally opened its doors Monday.”  According to Inferno Antedeus, in recent years  a majority of the new arrivals possessed souls far more evil than the original nine circles could handle. “Demographers, advertising executives, tobacco lobbyists, monopoly-law experts retained by major corporations, and creators of office-based sitcoms–these new arrivals represent a wave of spiritual decay and horror the likes of which Hell has never before seen,” Antedeus said.

Frigax The Vile, one of the most vocal supporters of the new circle, agreed:  “In the past, the underworld was ill-equipped to handle the new breed of sinners flooding our gates–downsizing CEOs, focus-group coordinators, telemarketing sales representatives, and vast hordes of pony-tailed entertainment-industry executives rollerblading and talking on miniaturized cell-phones at the same time. But now, we’ve finally got the sort of top-notch Pits of Doom necessary to give such repellent abominations the quality boilings they deserve.”

It seems to be working:

“In life, I was a Salomon Brothers investment banker,” one flame-blackened shade told reporters. “When I arrived here, they didn’t know what to do with me. They put me in with those condemned to walk backwards with their heads turned all the way around on their necks, for the crime of attempting to see the future. But then I sent a couple of fruit baskets to the right people, and in no time flat, I secured a cushy spot for myself in the first circle of the Virtuous Unbaptized. Now that was a sweet deal. But before long, they caught on to my game and transferred me here to the realm of Total Bastards. I’ve been shrieking for mercy like a goddamn woman ever since.”

birthday cakeRead the rest here.

Postscript:  This post is a birthday present for fellow Dante-lover, Chris Bunje Lowenstein.  Read about her magic deck of Dante cards here.  Meanwhile, we’ve baked her a little cake.



2 Responses to “Hell’s future is bright (and hot), thanks to a new circle”

  1. Chris Lowenstein Says:

    Many thanks for the birthday wishes, the cake, and the great update to Dante’s Hell.

  2. Cynthia Haven Says:

    You’re welcome, Chris! But you certainly deserve the Paradiso, or at least the Purgatorio, for your birthday!