A journey through the bowels of Hell
with The Devil as your guide.


This is a preview to the chapter Nine from the book Hellbound by Tim Hawken.
Please note this text is copyright protected.

THE LIMOUSINE SLOWED TO A HALT at a ticket gate. A swinging billboard hung above us. It read in blood-script letters, ‘The Pit’. I looked out the window and caught a glimpse of the toll collector talking to our shark-faced driver. It had a large, bulbous, octopus body with suction cups running the length of eight tentacle-like arms, which still had masculine, human hands on the ends. He waved them around and made gestures while his beak opened and closed, making clicking noises. His whole body shimmered from a light pink then deepened to a storm-cloud purple and back again as he spoke. Finally, he sat back in his chair and pulled a lever at his side. The boom-gate opened and we rolled through as the Octodemon strained to look inside our car. Satan sat staring straight ahead, his hands crossed in his lap.
We snaked through a gigantic car park, past every kind of vehicle imaginable. I even saw a couple of hovercrafts. Finally, our car slowed to a halt in front of a deserted section of large razor-wire fence, which spread around as far as I could see. I looked through, but could only make out a faint-green glow coming from the ground near a hand rail, which sat about fifty feet inside the fence. A faint thumping sound beat in the air. Satan opened his door and stepped outside. I followed without much thought. We were obviously here for a good reason. Satan knocked on the driver’s window. It rolled down to expose our predatory chauffeur.
“Wait for us here,” Satan instructed. “We won’t be more than a couple of hours.” He turned back to me. “Sometimes, people stay here for days,” he explained, “including myself, depending on the entertainment of course. Follow me, we’ll check out the view before we take our seats.”
Satan turned and walked toward the fence holding out his hands out in front of him. As soon as he touched the links in the fence they melted away in a hiss of dissolving metal. He stepped through, quickly pulling me behind him. As soon as we were through, the fence hissed again. I looked back to see the alloy chain-links growing back together like they were alive. It would take a long time for me to get used to Hell, I thought.
“You’ll never get used to it,” Satan said flatly. “It’s always changing, so as soon as something seems normal it gets twisted about. I can’t let people settle into a routine, since routine provides comfort. It’s just another reason to make souls want to leave. Most people hate change; personally I embrace it.”
I was about to reply when I ran into the handrail I’d seen through the fence. It hit me square in the stomach and I would have fallen right over the top if Satan hadn’t grabbed me by the back of my shirt. I looked down into a seething pit of activity. It looked as though the ground had been swallowed into a cavern of tiered seating and flashing lights. There were cinema screens every fifty feet or so down, but they stretched into the distance, down into a hole of green light. Waves of sound rolled up from deep below. I couldn’t see the bottom. Satan hefted me back onto my feet. I looked across but couldn’t see the far end of The Pit either. Steam shimmered up out of the middle like a wall of churning mist, which swallowed the green light.
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