In the third tier of the firmament, we journeyed one hundred eighty-five days across the plains. Barren and sightless, the torment was regurgitated upon the wicked who had come there to wait.

“What are they waiting for?” I asked.

Hanael waved his right hand and we stopped to rest under the shade of the lone tree. “This is a terrible place. It was made for those who boast in their wickedness. You are here as witness.” He pointed to the sinners nearest the tree. “It has already begun.”

With ashen robes and hoary wings, angels descended, their blood-spears wielding catechism and nightmares. The sinners’ mouths opened into muted voids—the pain so great even their screams were consumed.

Anticipating my question, Hanael responded, “They are not Abaddon. They do not destroy the sinners. They are merely preparing them.”

My next question remained unanswered as thunder boxed my ears and rippled through the ground. The air, thick with heat and smoke, became tangible on my skin. Sulfur filled my nostrils and choked the air in my throat.

Wings with a two hundred meter span, pulled on the sky, beating it into submission. The Dragon circled above in a danse macabre before alighting. Hanael nodded politely, as if welcoming an honored guest.

Some of the sinners made half-hearted attempts at balking, but the death-spears prodded them forward. The Dragon’s upper lip curved—almost a grin if you twisted your head sideways. At least he gave them a quick end, his serpent tongue relishing each one.

Hanael turned to me. “The Dragon’s name is Heaven. He prefers the taste of bone and sinew, but souls satisfy his cravings just as well.”

LKT © 2015


Image via NeoArtCorE.


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