The Waterspout Appears

Hell is sort of timeless, so I'm not sure how long we flew before trouble arose. Literally arose. We'd been flying over the sea, which would ordinarily seem to be the safest course of action but there's nothing safe about Hell. So our flight was not some idyllic jaunt with naked women riding on a flying horse and trying not to accidentally (or not) cop a feel.

Instead, it was filled with images of people, souls, I guess, struggling for their life in the acidic burning boiling monster-filled seas of Hell.

I don't know how they sort out the souls that arrive in Hell or who gets what punishment. I'd guess it's random. And I go back and forth on which would be worse, given the various things I've seen, but it looked pretty bad that day, with Ivanka, watching people getting their eyes chewed out by fish that were all teeth, it seemed, while their skin slowly bubbled away so that they were these eyeless-half-skeletons trying desperately to swim but failing because you could see the boiling acid water filling their mouths and coming out of their lungs.

I clung to Ivanka.

And I clung to these words, ringing in my memory: They move freely between the Life and the Afterlife, Reverend Tommy had said. I was not able, so far, to move freely between those two things. But maybe I hadn't tried the right way.

I didn't know if Ivanka was the right way. But she was there. Sort of like that song that Doc sometimes played for me about loving the one you're with, which I'd also done, but in this case, using the one you're with to try to escape Hell.

Which I was beginning to think we might do until I saw the Waterspout rising up. It began to spin, ahead of us, so far away but so big that I could see it, first a disturbance, then a column, then a giant whirling thing that moved directly at us.

It was coming for us. I knew that, and Ivanka and her horse knew it because I felt her thighs tense under my arms and I felt her back tense and I felt the horse feel it and the horse flew right, and the Waterspout moved that direction. The horse then went left, and the Waterspout moved that direction, getting larger and larger both because it was getting larger and because it was getting closer.

Beyond it, I saw actual white light.

Then all I could see was the Waterspout. It was a tornado of the red acid water which was also burning and spinning and spitting at us, and in the Waterspout were the things that were in the ocean - - monsters and fish and snakes and tentacles and eyes and teeth and claws and jagged rocks, and half-eaten souls screaming in pain and terror like they'd been doing for eternity and like they'd keep doing for eternity.

All that was coming at us, fast. The Waterspout had all that to throw at us.

It also had a mouth and eyes.

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