DOWN TO THE DEPTHS

23 Jun

DOWN TO THE DEPTHS

hell photo: now im in ynus.jpg

The smell was atrocious.

Immodeus crept along the winding path, a sheer drop on one side and a mountain wall rising vertically on the other, on his way home.

The stench that drifted up to him from the settlement below made his eyes water and his lungs choke. But he didn’t mind. It was familiar.

Immodeus had lived down in the depths for all of his long life. Only once, this single time, had he ventured out. Only this one time had he wound his way up the narrow mountain path, leading out of the abyss to the heady air above. It had been a challenge, one he made himself to himself on his five hundredth birthday. It was a brave challenge but he wasn’t exactly famed for his bravery. Back home, nobody was.

So he had climbed up, leaving the acrid smokes and toxic poison of home behind him, rising above the monstrous fumes he knew so well. The air, when he got there, had been clean and clear. Revoltingly so.

It had made him vomit until he thought he might be going to puke the entire contents of his body into that wretched perfumed place. It had wafted round him in many a breeze that had reeked of flowers and grasses, scented by the dreadful tincture of purity and the innocent world of light.

Who are you, mister?” a pretty child had asked, then – “are you all right?” as he had collapsed onto the fragrant earth.

But he had been so sickened by the offensive cleanliness given off by her breath that he knew he had almost died there and then, choking at its foulness. And he knew what death was like, all right: he’d done it once before, in that other life he had forgotten.

The child ran away, screaming.

Home,” he had gasped to himself, “home while I still can…”

Now Immodeus was descending back to that home.

He could smell the hag Agatha as he struggled down that near-vertical winding path. Her stench was comforting. It was a vileness of bitter and foetid excrement. And he loved its very familiarity.

Other hideous fragrances rose to greet him, all welcome as he identified them, all familiar, all resonant of home.

Then, when he started feeling the euphoria that comes from familiarity, he detected, on the still air, the odour of his own cess pit.

Ah,” he croaked as he passed the sign, “home…”

And the sign said welcome to Hell. And he knew it well.

Home is where the heart is,” he sighed, “and my heart is buried here…”

©Peter Rogerson 23.06.14

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2 Responses to “DOWN TO THE DEPTHS”

  1. pambrittain June 23, 2014 at 8:18 pm #

    Oh, my. Peter, you can write about anything and it comes through like a shining (sometimes) hell.

    • Peter Rogerson June 29, 2014 at 10:34 am #

      It’s the dark side of me coming out, Pam. Just the little dark side!!!

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