The Circles of Hell: An Update

It feels as hot as Hell again this summer, which got me wondering what is going on in the actual place.

(Inspired by Dante)
circles of hell
“The Barque of Dante” by Eugène Delacroix.

As a result of climate change, the world is baking. It feels as hot as Hell again this summer which got me wondering what is going on in Hell and whether the place of eternal damnation was getting hotter too.

To find out, I dialed 666-6666 in an effort to reach Virgil, the ancient Roman poet, in hopes that he would give me a tour of Hades as he has been known to do. To my surprise I was connected to the Devil himself.

Here is how our conversation went:

Satan: Sorry, John, but Virgil is busy with some urgent business in Limbo, the first circle of Hell. Besides, you can’t actually enter the underworld…yet. But I can answer any of your questions, and I have the best words.

Me: What do you mean YET?

Satan: I didn’t mean anything by that, as far as you know.

Me: Anyway, You’re in charge down there, right?

Satan: Yes of course.

Me: How did you get that job?

Satan: Well, in the beginning I was in the Good Place. But I was charged with leading an insurrection along with some other angels. Frankly it was a peaceful rally of tourists. The rally participants were patriots. Nevertheless, after what I would call a witch hunt, I was reassigned down here.

Me: Sorry to hear that.

Satan: I don’t really mind. It’s unbelievable what I’ve done here. I’ve made Hell great again. A lot of demons are saying that and saying that it’s never been so hot here in Hades. I would give my job performance an A+.

Me: Do you give any input as to where the dearly departed spend their afterlife?

Satan: No, the Lord makes those decisions by himself. However, the afterlife process is rigged. That much I can tell you. Many souls in the underworld are contesting their placement here. Fortunately, we have an abundance of lawyers in Hell to handle all the cases. We’ll see what happens.

Me: Earlier you said that Virgil is in Limbo. What is that?

Satan: It’s the circle for souls who didn’t accept Christ but were not sinful.

Me: Are they tortured?

Satan: Not really. There is just a presence of sadness and gloominess which they must endure. It’s like how Pittsburg Pirate fans feel every summer.

Me: That’s pretty rough. Do they ever get out of Limbo?

Satan: Not unless hell freezes over, which coincidently is when the Pirates will win the World Series.

Me: Anything else going on in the land of perpetual torment?

Satan: We have a big infrastructure project going on in Lust, the second circle of Hell. This is where we incarcerate the fornicators who were overwhelmed with lust during their lives.

We have just completed the Jeffrey Epstein wing and will soon start construction on the Harvey Weinstein building. We expect a continued surge in inmates here including many more politicians and entertainers.

Me: Is it sweltering in that circle?

Satan: Not like most other circles. It’s about as hot as St. Louis in August. So, the carnal malefactors don’t experience the intense torture as in other parts of Hades. But for some reason we hear the most moans, groans and squeals emanating from there.

Me: Do they ever get out, like for good behavior?

Satan: No, however, many seem to think they will be leaving as we often hear them screaming, “Oh, God, I’m coming” but I assure you, they aren’t going anywhere. There are no happy endings for these unlucky souls who apparently got lucky a few times too many before they were sent here.

Me: Any other changes being planned?

Satan: Well, if we can get enough infrastructure funding, we will also expand the third circle which is where we house those guilty of gluttony. An increasing number of souls are being sent there. They just couldn’t refrain from going to the fast-food establishments and the all-you-can-eat buffets. And washing it all down with diet cokes doesn’t make it OK. Those people are YUGE. It’s unbelievable.

You don’t want to get stuck in a middle seat on the boat crossing the River Styx with these folks. That I can tell you.

Me: Any other news from the land of fire and brimstone?

Satan: We would also like to enlarge Wrath, the fifth circle. This is where we hold those that exhibited rage and fury during their lifetime. They are placed here where they struggle and fight with each other for eternity.

Me: That sounds like what goes on in Washington D.C.

Satan: Yes, I think a lot of American politicians will feel right at home in this circle.

Me: Well, thanks for the update. I can see you and your demons are very busy.

So, there you have it, straight from the Devil himself. There is a hell of a lot going on in Hell these days.

JC Wade
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