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#15
And hell welcomed me
Kwelio Largo
Mar 13, 2018
1
1
96
38 Mins Read
8,109 Words
No Plagiarism!ZmmjvvVHQjqop8gzv6L6posted on PENANA

And hell welcomed mecopyright protection96PENANAINsEMogfiJ

By Kwelio Largocopyright protection96PENANALh58ABDwju

The hottest smelting furnace, the largest imaginable conflagration of heat and destruction, is nothing compared to the unquenchable fire in a place of everlasting punishment.copyright protection96PENANAQJSgS8PnfB

Torment in body, soul and mind in accordance to past sins, transgressions and nature. Committed, thought and spoken, the amount of truth rejected.copyright protection96PENANAuXpWCblTrD

God’s punishment, severe, everlasting, unforgiving, terrifying and all consuming. Where death is the doorway and the past cannot remain buried forever.copyright protection96PENANADdUJlvkZ2E

There are ultimately, worse fates than death!copyright protection96PENANAtSom8gvYEK

ALL HOPE ABANDON, YE WHO ENTER HERE.copyright protection96PENANAA8IZ4kbqeD

Forwardcopyright protection96PENANA3RQYAcuVcw

I opened my eyes…copyright protection96PENANAAGpY2xexwT

Pain hit me.copyright protection96PENANAi71076kiwz

 Ferocious. Blinding hot pain. Indescribable, intense and continuous.copyright protection96PENANAWAqNz1Z3Xc

My fingers. My toes. My arms. My body….nothing! I could feel nothing but the solid wall of pain. I opened my mouth to scream and choked on the evil, obnoxious smell. My mouth, my tongue, throat and lungs were seared immediately. My senses were overwhelmed. Noise. Like being in the center of an atomic bomb explosion, No. Ten thousand atomic explosions.copyright protection96PENANAzxSYwVwKt3

 Screams, begging and curses. Unending and uninterrupted. I tried to run. I tried to breathe. I tried to scream again but there was no air in my lungs. They pumped, begging for the life-giving substance that just was not there. And that which was-was so foul that my desperately begging lungs refused to accept it. That which grudgingly entered was so scorching hot it added to the unimaginable pain the rest of my body endured.copyright protection96PENANADLaFLhM6Aj

Time.copyright protection96PENANAFwT6jt8jw5

There was no time.copyright protection96PENANAv6Do59jCUM

No day. No night, just unending screaming paincopyright protection96PENANAGyxRdj90pJ

There was only heat. Heat and pain and hellish noise. I could not think. I could not cry out for help. I tried to scream. I tried to breathe. I tried to get the hell out of this place.copyright protection96PENANAj5gcbAGkTc

Something happened and my sight came back. Just before my eyeballs charred to black cinders once more, I saw a sight that would forever be engrained in my over-taxed and fearful mind; people, thousands, millions of people all around me. Flames, fire and black billowing smoke rising to forever-darkened heights.copyright protection96PENANAppj3Npc727

Only after countless comings and goings of my sight and only after how many hours or days or weeks or years was I able to understand; I WAS IN HELLcopyright protection96PENANATIFrzTKITa

The orange and red glow of the flames rose to fifty, 100 times the height of the tallest man-made structures. Below me was molten rock that charred and burnt my feet to the bone. On all sides were men and women fighting each other to escape the inescapable. Black and white and brown. All nationalities from all corners of the world. Screams reverberated in many languages. Curses rose to stinking foul heavens. Flames roared as from a bellows all around me and I cried out in fear and anguish.copyright protection96PENANAscfIpri5Lc

There was no release. There was no letup.copyright protection96PENANAibBCfp1rw3

Thirst was multiplied.copyright protection96PENANAyqMeRl7C30

Fear. Pain. Noise. Toxic foul air. Fire and molten rock. Unending screams. The fighting and clawing peoples jam-packed trying to get on top of each other so as to get out of the molten fire beneath. Scrabbling and scrambling I lost my footing like countless times before and as my clutching, charred and scorched  hands were brushed aside, I went down under the weight of scrabbling multitude to be trampled into the glowing molten rock.copyright protection96PENANAMwc2eCuxHg

The sheer walls of this molten, fiery pit were glassy smooth, so implausibly high that none could even dream of getting out. The walls ascended into the heights, dismissed by every suffering, begging and foulmouthed individual who had better things to do than stare up at the impossible canyon walls so far apart.copyright protection96PENANAK0rmCGLE8i

How long it took to get up on my feet I cannot say. What I can say is that I burnt. There was no difference between the molten rock and the flames given off. They were both equal in intensity and magnitude. I burnt with greatness so profound, to an extent indescribable. There was no up or down. There was nowhere better than the next. All there was, was blazing, roasting heat and enduring physical pain.copyright protection96PENANAIHIuVAP2dT

Once more something entered my over exhausted and fatigued mind; malevolence. It permeated this foul place. Malice and evil abounded.copyright protection96PENANA30pg2ESxbA

Screaming from fear and pain, I climbed on top of some unknown person to escape, only to be grabbed by countless, mindless hands to be in my turn, jerked and pummeled to the molten floor once more. Every extremity. Every internal organ. Every part of my cursed body endured undreamed of pain and agony.copyright protection96PENANANVAfhdW3R4

Please let it stop. Please let it end.   copyright protection96PENANAmAM54IFTKT

The emotional distress, agony and torture. The struggle to breathe the toxic, poisonous air.copyright protection96PENANANOTc4WQXt2

The ever present pain of my flesh peeling off in bubbling swathes, was nothing compared to the knowledge that slowly entered into my fearful, apprehensive mind;copyright protection96PENANAxhY8wgmske

I WAS GOING TO BE HERE FOREVER copyright protection96PENANAxGOkLS2rMN

Chapter 1copyright protection96PENANAkzBeMGaDDE

Hell is only a wordcopyright protection96PENANAFbVEksVHUf

Reality is much, much worse!copyright protection96PENANAVsVJMHCP9o

The CheyTac .408 round entered the marks forehead. And just like the five watermelons I had tested on previously, it burst open with a shower of blood and gore. The mark was dead and hadn’t seen it coming.copyright protection96PENANACuYeILUToy

Unfortunately for the female pedestrian four meters behind him, the heavy round designed for accuracy by a balance of the rotational and linear drag, passed through the target and proceeded to lodge in her right hip. As the slightly malformed round hit her, she twirled like a top and slammed into the pavement face first.copyright protection96PENANAy4KtI5VEMQ

I swore. Damn pedestrians wherever one looked. The hit was time sensitive. From the high profiled and even more  highly securitized office building to the black bullet proofed Limousine to the heavily security conscious estate that bragged of its ultramodern and futuristic home protection technology, this was the only way I could conceivably get past his bodyguards and at the mark. And that over a distance of just over 1000 meters! Mentally clapping myself on my back for a job well done, I quickly removed the US Optics SN-9 day sight from the CheyTac Intervention sniper rifle. Folding up and packing the Vector laser range finder came next. Opening a mat black carry case, I placed each in its specially designed holding slot and clamped them down. Closing the lid, fingering the spent cartridge casing, I looked around my immediate surroundings. Normal. Clean as a whistle.copyright protection96PENANATIjPr6x4VG

“My boss is impressed,” the voice said over the phone. “He would like a meet.”copyright protection96PENANAtxasMTdGMB

“Nope. Not interested.” I said. Taking a last sip of a very flat coke. Pulling a face of disgust, I dumped the empty can into a rubbish bag on the front passenger seat of a non-descript Chana Star mini-van. The damn thing had a top speed of 120 km per hour – downhill. On the open road I could easily reach 80 but struggled like hell to top 100. Then again, what can one expect from a 1000cc motor carrying all this body around?copyright protection96PENANAfkFZOo4K2R

“I don’t think you understand chum. Nobody says no to the boss man.” The tiny voice said over the cheap cell phone I held to my ear. Damn. I had to clutch the phone between my ear and left shoulder so as to gear down because of a slight rise. The phone was slipping, my eyes dancing about looking for the inevitable traffic cops hiding in the bushes alongside the roadway. It wouldn’t be advisable to be caught out while driving and talking over a cell right now. Not this soon after a hit. The damn cheapy phone had no speaker system so I had to go the logical and safer route. I pulled over on a slight decline, making sure I was over a meter from the asphalt. The decline would help when I pulled away so as to garner enough speed to rejoin the traffic.copyright protection96PENANABWzUL10j5W

“Ok Buddy. Let’s get things straight between us,” I said. “Like I told you in the beginning; no meets. You are the go-between. You! Nobody else. Just you and me and the airwaves. You hired me. You pay me. We are done. You have another job for me? You know the channels to follow. We don’t meet. Never. Now I’m dumping this crappy phone and will notify you as to the new number in a day or so…”copyright protection96PENANAZzu91g3eWP

“My boss has…”copyright protection96PENANAPbavbYUgIX

“Not interested. Follow the channel I gave you, then we can talk. Right now I got better things to do.” Killing the call I flipped the phone upside down, removed the sim-card and flicked it towards the road where it was immediately ridden over by a semi. A savage twist of the wrists and the cheapy was in pieces and in the ever present rubbish bag.copyright protection96PENANA7jTHeFIfYO

“Now then,” I mumbled to myself. “Let’s see if we can get you up to speed,” I said to the Chana as I pulled away.copyright protection96PENANAbXnF7oWbCS

Chapter 2copyright protection96PENANA0r4bXg9RwS

Hell.copyright protection96PENANAOEcIlrn4Gm

A single truth,copyright protection96PENANASSkfyrDuCg

 Seen toocopyright protection96PENANAnDIsOFIYxf

Latecopyright protection96PENANARlU44gwrkc

As if I were not suffering enough in this godforsaken place, a new horrific pain sliced through my back, chest and left side and I was bodily jerked out from amongst the seething masses of suffering, screaming, blaspheming humanity.copyright protection96PENANANd57tDz67c

Was this a heart attack my mind screamed as my body jerked to and fro like a marionette puppet?copyright protection96PENANAnuQ5WFLFEi

With mouth wide open and uttering screams of anguish at the incredible pain, I hardly noticed that I was rising slowly up through the scorching, bellowing flames. Up and up I went writhing in unimaginable pain. Trying to breathe noxious overheated air. Trying to breathe, trying to scream. It was difficult to think. My thoughts strayed from one thing to another. Sometimes no thoughts entered my mind at all.copyright protection96PENANAVwEPBI57aq

Just the pain. That was always there.copyright protection96PENANAkXDp562Fda

The unending pain.copyright protection96PENANASBFJGBorh3

Of a sudden, the burning was gone!copyright protection96PENANAKcAo1b67jg

The massive back and chest pains were still there though. I gasped in the luxury of not being in that forbidding hellish flame pit. The air was still a noxious, toxic and overheated substance my lungs rebelled against but at least it did not come with the furnace like heat.copyright protection96PENANAyDec3kj60x

My sight returned to its fullness, not that it helped much as it was darker than dark here except for the glow of flames reflecting of thousands and more thousands of disgusting, nightmare creatures crawling, hopping or running wherever one looked. Some slithered up the cavern walls, some down. Each it seemed had somewhere to be. Most dragged along screaming humans, male or female, the old or the young. All were naked. All were fearful, screaming, begging for forgiveness or cursing. From begging to cursing to screaming, that too, never stopped.copyright protection96PENANAgS8VBOx0gO

 Bodily pain started to fade as my physical form regenerated abused organs, bones and flesh. The enormous back and chest pain stayed with me as my body floated over an evil and dark landscape. A landscape of utter nightmare. Fire and brimstone wherever I looked. Millions upon millions of humans screaming, clawing, begging. People by the thousands being boiled alive. Many more thousands being torn apart piece by piece by creatures from nightmares only to regenerate and have it all start over. There were tortures I couldn’t even grasp. Hundreds and thousands of people were standing as if statue like. Nothing happening to them. Just standing in one spot with only their eyes jerking back and forth in abject pain and terror. Then there were those that were trying to eat from oversized spoons twice their own body length. The food looked like decayed flesh covered in maggots. Why they were punished this way or why they would want to eat that crap in the first place was anybody’s guess. What I do know is that this form of punishment was just as bad if not worse than where I had come from. Women having their nails cut out with sharp blades. Men and women skinned alive.copyright protection96PENANA401Ep3Pva8

My mind slowly came back from the dark recesses it had tried to hide in and where it had failed miserably. Glancing down to my chest I saw three massive claws protruding from it. My listless and bobbing head moved just enough for my eyes to catch the sight of two more claws sticking out my left side, one had erupted out of my side just below my armpit while the other had exited my left arm just below the socket. Because of the curved nature of the huge sickle like filthy looking claws, my numbed arm was effectively pinned to my side.copyright protection96PENANAMJM1VPlfWl

I tried mightily to lift my head but fear and pain collectively defeated that notion. Struggling to breathe. With a throat so parched no amount of water could quench, I stared in fascination at those long, filthy jagged claws. It slowly penetrated my mind that the creature that had a-hold of me must be huge. The errant thought vanished as, of a sudden; I was hoisted up in the foul, rancid, toxic air and bodily heaved over a precipice!copyright protection96PENANAMceU8QJGQ0

I fell.copyright protection96PENANAuV1wzqzoWK

Oh god. How long that fall was.copyright protection96PENANAxItjKp96E5

Flames, searing heat hit at me almost instantly. Once more I was in the furnace heat. Yellow and orange and blue flames all about me. Black, toxic smoke billowed. The heat was so incredible that my skin bubbled and turned black. Whole sections sloughed off. My sight went almost immediately. I tried to breathe. I tried to scream.copyright protection96PENANArqiGlqw46n

I tried … dear god I tried …copyright protection96PENANA5Bi67RwHgt

And then I wasn’t falling no more!copyright protection96PENANArOcU7Wjh2Y

I had arrived at my destination if one could call it that.copyright protection96PENANAnuoFaJ6HOd

If I had for one moment believed that the fiery pit where the molten rock reached my ankles was the best hell could deliver, I was sorely mistaken. Hell has many different levels of pain, torture and punishment. This place I was in was going to be but one of many as I was to discover.copyright protection96PENANA5UOo0WgxEw

I arrived with a large splash of molten rock and was immediately forced down by the weight of countless writhing, screaming bodies. Tremendous pain erupted all over me. I breathed in molten rock. It entered my nostrils, my mouth, my eye sockets and ears, my anus. It scorched my flesh away to the bone which immediately regenerated to be burnt away again and again and again.copyright protection96PENANA05lc0t8kKb

Somewhere somehow, I had gotten to my feet. Just how I had managed I cannot say. But the ability to be on my feet was of no consolation as unlike the pit I had been in before, this was a lake. A fiery furnace of molten, golden yellow and orange colored swirling liquid that reached above my head. I was forced to fight continuously those around me. I fought non-stop. I fought without thought or consideration of any. I fought tooth and claw. I fought to stay above the lake of fire. I fought and lost. Going down I fought to get up. Getting up I fought to stay up. There was no release. No letup.   copyright protection96PENANAi7FGMQqTyf

Chapter 3copyright protection96PENANA6D9U19RiHv

Then He will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, youcopyright protection96PENANAPHBaUBD2Vn

Who are cursed,copyright protection96PENANAedvUTiKkbj

Into the eternal fire prepared for thecopyright protection96PENANAzhXIcZS4hz

Devil and his angelscopyright protection96PENANAz6hbgbMTeH

 The thud on the front door woke me from a fitful sleep. I yawned loudly. Morning already?copyright protection96PENANAhsUMmO579g

Getting up was never a problem for me. Sudden wakefulness and rising were so ingrained I never thought much about it. The Glock clutched in my right hand was just as automatic. Grabbing a pair of shorts, I drew them on – I hated sleeping with any sort of clothing on, I walked to the front door and opened it, there on the front porch steps was a plastic wrapped newspaper that had rebounded off the front door. Damned idiot just had to aim for the door. Then again, better not to piss the bugger off as it may be a window next time. I grunted in the early morning cold as I retrieved the paper. Coffee would go down well about now. Taking a last searching look around, I noticed nothing out of the ordinary. No skulking figures under lampposts. No window tinted vehicles parked on the curb two blocks away. No early morning joggers. All fine on the western front it seemed.copyright protection96PENANAqIynrKmjOD

Sitting down on a kitchen chair, I unwrapped the paper while sipping at the piping hot coffee. Seemed some idiot of a lawyer had made it to the front page. A glaring photograph of some middle aged gent with a good looking broad at his side. Probably his wife I thought. A photograph insert of another woman – his mistress I surmised. Love tri-angle. I sniggered, paging over until I came to the business section. My eyes following my forefinger until I found the “Employment Wanted” section. Sifting through the countless requests for work of all descriptions I finally found what I was looking for;copyright protection96PENANASoK9z0lmUz

“WANTED!!!copyright protection96PENANA3b1YYoN3vW

A CERTAIN GENTLEMAN TO DO ADD JOBS AROUND THE HOUSE!! NO CHANCERS!copyright protection96PENANAkWFSk6DGps

CONTACT: BEN @ 021 ….”copyright protection96PENANAkiR4sr5NNZ

I checked carefully once more. Each letter was capitalized. The exclamation marks; 3 then two then one. The single letter spelling mistake. I looked around for the ever-present cheapy. There by the kettle. I got up to retrieve it and dialed the number; “The number you have dialed is incorrect. Please redial….” I cut it short and looked at the number on the advert again. Substitute the last four digits with the first three and …copyright protection96PENANAmRaoP9MDci

“It’s me,” I said. Taking another sip of coffee. It had cooled down a bit. Not much but just enough to take a larger sip than before.copyright protection96PENANAzxefqyl3fK

“A certain package has been left at uhhh …,” the voice on the other side said. I could hear a rustling on the other end as if paper was being crinkled. “Do we have to go through this shit every time we do this?” the voice bitched.copyright protection96PENANAwz3nEwOJjC

“We do if you want to conduct business with me.” I saidcopyright protection96PENANAJGtT4j2RWf

“Fuckit. Ahh. Here it is … he started reading off coded letters that I wrote down with a pencil on the margin of the newspaper.copyright protection96PENANA9wMnLdV6gb

“That’s it?” I askedcopyright protection96PENANARNLVaprZ9L

“Yeah. That’s the lot.”copyright protection96PENANACTr5MwpPnl

“Got you. Next time use Zulu-Foxtrot-X-ray indicators to find your master key for any further communications, I will supply you with next week’s keys at the place mentioned.” I killed the call before he could answer. Now for a shower. A nice long shower.copyright protection96PENANA5wSSTD5PKm

Pretoria.copyright protection96PENANA0C9MykcZkl

I hated cities. Too many people. Too many vehicles. Too many buildings. The traffic was a bugger to drive in. everybody was in a rush to get wherever they were going to. Taxis were the worst. Let me rephrase that last part; Taxis and the Metro Police. It was a tossup between who was worse. Damned idiots got their drivers licenses out of lucky – packets from the 1800’s. I drove to the address I had decoded. I drove past, ignoring the grey dilapidated residential building. Damned traffic. Ten am and traffic was backed up to the hilt. Taxis double parked with emergency flickers on. People getting in and out of them. Blaring horns as frustrated drivers were caught unawares by this sudden callous disregard to traffic rules and regulations. The ever present Metro Police nowhere to be found. Traffic moving in a jerky fashion. I sighed. At least there was no rush from my side. Moving my arse into a more comfortable position, I prepared myself for a long wait. Twenty minutes later I had only moved about eight meters when I spied a side road on my left. Indicators on I crept towards it and took myself out of the immediate area. I found some underground parking five blocks away. Paid the attendant an extra ten bucks to make sure my old Chana Star did not suddenly develop the means to vanish and promised him ten more when I came back.copyright protection96PENANAKWfc12IqR5

Collecting my package was as simple as one, two, three.copyright protection96PENANAMXBEQviVl3

Walking back to my vehicle was another matter as two blocks from the underground parking lot, I had for some reason developed a tail that wasn’t very good at his job. I ducked into a dimly lit shop and was assaulted by smells I had never before come across. Not incense. Something more … exotic?copyright protection96PENANAhlGr7eLkd5

“Can I help you?”copyright protection96PENANAFY1Va3XTuP

I looked up and saw a black lady staring at me with an inquisitive expression. I noted the three young black men sitting around on the floor sorting and sifting through different colored tree bark, roots and sticks. There were countless bottles of either black or red liquid stacked haphazardly amongst the array of … muti! A muti shop. This was a shop that catered for black people and their traditional African herbal medicine. I doubted anything was for black magic though one never knew. Traditional medicine was something one could get at your local pharmacy, except that here it was sold in its original, raw form.copyright protection96PENANAYhMAWC5fyq

I immediately felt uncomfortable. “Just looking,” I mumbled, eyeing the glass fronted shop. My tail was peering into the shop and spied me. We looked each other in the eye and his got huge when they dropped to my waste where my Glock was visible in its quick draw holster. He ducked back and disappeared into the traffic.copyright protection96PENANAiPMYhUd2eq

Probably a guy looking for an easy mark, I thought. Leaving the shop without looking back. My trip to the underground parking was uneventful after that. Just the way I like things; normal.copyright protection96PENANA8UpaPAdMtI

Something about the contents of the file bothered me. I was sitting in my kitchen basking in the afternoon sunlight that streamed in through the open windows.copyright protection96PENANACrZo2W18bz

I could have sat in the lounge but then there was no sunlight to be had. The kitchen table was strewn with documentation, photographs and information on the mark. To one side, R50 000 lay in small denominations. Half up front and the next half on delivery of the contract.copyright protection96PENANAyuplsGgFJv

I scanned the documentation once more; Mark Twain – go figger that one out. Address given. 32 years of age. Married 17 years. Two kids. Benjamin or Bennie for short. 5 years old. Margareta or Margie for short. 7 years old.copyright protection96PENANA6Rqw1g6f3z

The Primary schools name and address. What times they left from home. Who drove them there and picked them up afterwards. Even what was normally on the sandwiches taken by both. Sandra. Housewife. 31 years old. Blonde. Weight; 76 kilos. Liked floral dresses and jeans. Last and only work description; waitress. Work place; Golden Canyon Spur Steak Ranch.copyright protection96PENANAYF1Y43U5b5

Mark Twain. Hair black. Short cropped. Weight; 107 kilos. Construction Supervisor. Employed by Shepstone Construction PTY(ltd) for the last 9 years. Contact details and address given. Vehicle: 2001 Toyota Corolla Sprinter. Eggshell Yellow. copyright protection96PENANAEKz362KnIt

I glanced through the six  post card sized photographs of the couple taken in shopping malls and at church gatherings. One depicting the mark in a white hardhat and a grey suit smiling at the camera while surrounded by other suites.copyright protection96PENANASPkjlmArBD

Nothing untoward. Everything normal. Just the way I liked things.copyright protection96PENANA0Aj2yn5ssg

So why was I getting this idea that something was off?copyright protection96PENANAy718b7bVuT

I checked the time, glanced at the mess on the table again and pondered the situation. I never asked questions before. I took the money. Did the job. Went onto the next one. I was good at it. Very good. A professional trained by the old SANDF as a sniper then a stint of formidable training with the SAS. Did a few black ops here and there in countries that were hot and dry. NEVER married thank you lord. I was a professional and prided myself that I could get the job done no matter what.copyright protection96PENANAonJJG45gvH

But this. This was different. Something was screwed up. It was just too normal and if there’s one thing I’ve learnt about life, it was Murphy’s law. Murphy said that if something can go wrong, it bloody well has already!copyright protection96PENANAUwhdyQAEi3

Time I think, to get some of my own snooping done.copyright protection96PENANAURaWZl3agy

I had four days to kill.copyright protection96PENANA4FVNoCSuTo

It turned out that the mark was an everyday-joe kinda guy. Nothing I could pin on him. No gambling debts. No hidden mistress. No royal oats running about. Just an everyday normal kinda guy trying to make ends meet.copyright protection96PENANAcNUu1tkC7D

The wife on the other hand, to my way of thinking, was damn lucky to catch such a man. She too had no previous major or even minor transgressions. So just what the hell was going on here? I started checking the backgrounds of close family and acquaintances and came up with – nothing! The odd one or two had small skeletons in the cupboard I dug out, but nothing major or news worthy. Nothing surely to go out of their way to spend so much cash so as to put Mark Twain six feet under.copyright protection96PENANAF2vQYvc2Gs

I glanced at the bartender over the counter, indicated a refill and turned in the barstool and watched as a couple got up from their table and hand in hand, shuffled through the small conversing crowd that stood about with drinks in hand. A slow waltz had just started and the couple moved to the dance floor. I watched as the two only seemed to have eyes for each other. Holding hands. Lovingly caressing each other with minor unnoticed fingers or lips. These two made me wonder if just maybe, just maybe I was missing out on something?copyright protection96PENANAAK8wyx8q12

I turned back to the bar as my drink arrived. Paid for it and left without drinking so much as a sip.copyright protection96PENANAOeQJIRc3uk

A vehicle pulled into the driveway. Headlights flashed through slightly parted lounge curtains. Sitting comfortably in a straight-backed kitchen chair, I slowly fondled the large Boerboel head draped over my lap. In the semi-dark I watched its eyes as it trustfully looked into mine.copyright protection96PENANAH9nc0mHcon

The only light now came from a soft glowing night-light in the furthest corner. I had arrived some time before, made friends with the large dog, moved a kitchen chair to a corner occupied by an indoor plant, repositioned it out of the way and placed a small coffee table in front of me where a silenced 9mm pistol of undetermined make and design rested. Key in the door. The Boerboel chuffed and wagged its tail as it rushed towards the front door. Lights came on. Voices of deep affection and welcome as both animal and humans greeted each other. Footsteps coming closer. “Hope you didn’t leave a landmine again Buster?” a male voice asked affectionately.copyright protection96PENANAFZ8NvGkE7m

“If he did then you will have the honors,” a soft female voice laughingly said. “I smell nothing but one can never be s…”copyright protection96PENANAGVAwEjnRmR

She stared at me in horror. Her eyes huge. Both hands clasped over each other and raised to her mouth in shock as at the same time the man squeezed past her, his right hand stretched out for what looked like a television remote lying on a small table in the middle of the carpeted floor. He turned his head in surprise as he finally noticed me sitting quietly in the corner pointing a very large silenced weapon in his direction. ‘Buster,’ sauntered over and licked the fingers of my right fist that clasped the butt of the pistol. I ignored the dog and motioned with it to the dumbfounded couple. “Sit,” I commanded softly. “Move. Shout or scream and you die,” I shrugged. “It’s your decision. My way and you may live through this.”copyright protection96PENANAc31Ag2WXel

“Who…?” the man started. Some life coming into his eyes.copyright protection96PENANAkTktHP91tg

My weapon moved to cover his wife. “Your decision is to have your wife die?” I asked tonelessly.copyright protection96PENANAoacYGRh4IE

Shoulders dropped. Abject terror entered his eyes as his palms came up, fingers splayed. “Please! No!”copyright protection96PENANAWVIYvY0sVe

“Then sit. Both of you. There.” I motioned to a couch across from where I was seated.copyright protection96PENANANg87JPXTRr

Quietly. Nervously, they glanced at each other. The woman nodded and stretched out her hand. It was clasped by the mans and they sat close to each other staring silently at me while ‘Buster’ the large Boerboel, twirled around almost like chasing his tail, huffed and lay down at their feet. Head lowered to paws, he stared at them.copyright protection96PENANA9fBmeidvmW

I watched the two adults and considered my next move. Should I or shouldn’t I? That be the question. A matter of two squeezes and it would be over.copyright protection96PENANAaiRSgnQhPM

Collateral damage aside, the job would be over and I could collect my outstanding fee.copyright protection96PENANAwC3EKNuIGm

My eyes never left theirs as I I came to some internal decision. Just how that happened is up for conjecture as I slowly lowered the pistol and placed it softly onto the coffee table. The business end pointed in their general direction.copyright protection96PENANAaQBMcP4plq

“For what its worth, you do not die this evening,” I said softly. “But that does not mean that somebody else may step up to the plate and completes the contract.”copyright protection96PENANAmwJeo0Bfhr

“OUR CHILDREN…?” Sandra Twain started.copyright protection96PENANA2N45sOTWxz

“Still safe and sound exactly where you dropped them off this evening. The Groenewalds take good care of them. I watched her body language and saw her facial muscles relax. Her body posture eased and she was close to relaxing back into the couch. Close but not completely.copyright protection96PENANAiHqUtDKx35

“Please”, Mark Twain gushed, “If you are not going to kill us, then why …?”copyright protection96PENANAYpBHD0IfgZ

“There is no why”, I stated. “There just is. I would advise you to relocate tonight. Get away and stay away. Do not come back to fetch anything. Take what you can in as short a time as possible, collect the kids and disappear.” I got to my feet while watching their every move.copyright protection96PENANAGiMKoezhb6

“For whatever reason, there is a contract out on you,” I softly stated to Mark Twain. The surprise he showed was interesting. The look he gave his wife and the shrug said that this man was completely in the dark.copyright protection96PENANARuNiohV8PY

“Why would …?” A frowning Sandra asked but once again stopped as I chipped in.copyright protection96PENANAeNoQv1Rdg7

“There is no why. There just is. Whatever the reason, you life is now forfeit. You. Your children’s. Your friends and family.” I bent down and picked up the deadly weapon from where it lay. Slowly I untwisted the long silencer and pocketed it while placing the weapon in its spring loaded shoulder holster and patted ‘Buster’ on the head again as he rubbed against my legs.copyright protection96PENANAcWpZHOeg5q

“Our dog likes you.”copyright protection96PENANAmXUafjrbrh

I smiled at Sandra Twain as she stared accusingly at the creature. “Animals have an affinity to me. Its people that are not trustworthy.”copyright protection96PENANAaG4yxAzoNQ

“He should have ripped you apart. I don’t understand. He’s been trained.”copyright protection96PENANAv0NV0uJeLP

I looked at the dog, “Buster! Sit!”copyright protection96PENANAF7Nzi3SKek

The dog obediently sat and stared at me. Its short stumpy tail wagged on the carpeted floor. “Enough. Your time is up.” I looked at them both once more, “Tonight. Tomorrow morning. Next week. One or both of you will be dead. Your children will either be collateral damage or handed to family or welfare. You decide.” I turned my back on them and walked to the back door through the kitchen. I did not need to look for a key or struggle to let myself out. That certain problem had been sorted out straight after I arrived.copyright protection96PENANA1o06WyGwWt

Does this mean I had already decided to let them live? Before they even arrived? I stopped on the pavement and thought about that for a few seconds as my eyes jumped about looking for anything suspicious.copyright protection96PENANAnrubnuG6Jr

Nada. Nothing. Everything quiet on the Western front. Normal. Just the way I liked it.copyright protection96PENANAWozJYRMQB0

Chapter 4100Please respect copyright.PENANAj0ZkVehiED
100Please respect copyright.PENANA6Ws6Ir3KNm
copyright protection96PENANAbDpcJmKpSG

Every seeker can start over. For his life’s mistakes are initial drafts and not the final version copyright protection96PENANATg8orvS7BC

– Sri Chinmovcopyright protection96PENANAzx18hZZ3QB

This place called Hell has no words that could describe it to ones satisfaction.copyright protection96PENANA41etdYPXnI

It just is.copyright protection96PENANAEgYMFqhxyT

It exists only as a torment. To both humans and the creatures here. Do they also suffer like we do? I cannot say. Do they feel the heat and burn and feel the pain as we do? I cannot say. What I can say though, with absolute certainty; is that they hate us. Hate on the other hand is too simple a word to describe their contempt and utter malevolence towards us. They do what they do because they detest and abhor everything about us. They loathe us with an intense hostility that is manifested in every torture and sadistic pleasure they derive from our painful screams of utter desolation and fear. Do they eat? Do they have sundowners or relax in front of the television after a hard day at the work place? I cannot say. What I can say though, is that they enjoy their gruesome unholy work.copyright protection96PENANAa7rcfIcfM2

Once again, I cannot say just how long I was in the lake of everlasting pain. Just how long and hard I fought to not be totally, completely, immersed in that molten godforsaken broth of hellfire. A day? A week or a year? Two years? Ten?copyright protection96PENANARR45ki3agr

Time has no meaning here.copyright protection96PENANATUISHniZVQ

Time is something of the past. Time is of no consequence when you are in hell. Time is also something that is in abundance in a place that stretches out over a wide, blacker than black cavernous area. Only the furnace like flames break the inky darkness. Only the cursed flames penetrate the unnatural evil night. Shadows dance across glassy smooth high walls and evil countenances. Countless millions of evil creatures scuttled, crawled or slithered about countless passageways while dragging or torturing screaming deranged humans.copyright protection96PENANAT5Xkid3usQ

Somewhere, somehow, I landed up being hauled out of that indescribable lake. I screamed and begged to no one, to everyone. My screams joined those of countless billions and rose forever upwards into the smoke filled darkness as I was nailed upside down against the black glassy wall of some passage. I was ripped apart in a never ending process by those evil creatures. Some with scales, some with spiky manifestations. Some with tough leather-like skin covered in suppurating evil smelling puss. All had teeth though. Teeth and claws. All had one desire only. The continuous, unrelenting deliverance of pain. Their hate and disdain for me was like something I had never before seen or felt. Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew I was lost. Hearing and feeling my arms and legs break and heal. Splinter. Heal. Skin torn to shreds. Heal. Chest and stomach ripped open with internal organs splattering over my upturned face to be trod on or pulled viciously out of my writhing pain wracked body. Heal.copyright protection96PENANAwjHBp2Ttca

To breathe the toxic overheated air is like one trying to breathe ammonia fumes. Just millions of times stronger. To scream without air in ones lungs when those same lungs were violently ripped from your living torso and eaten with much gusto, is like having double pneumonia only a million, billion times worse.copyright protection96PENANAU64DYM0hLV

I couldn’t breathe though somehow, painfully I did. I couldn’t scream but found a way to. Pain, the one constant factor. Never once relenting. Never once gaining a threshold. New ways and means to elicit more and more.copyright protection96PENANA8E16Zkj3OM

I was just one of millions upon millions who voiced their chilling, torturous anguish to the uncaring menace filled heights.copyright protection96PENANATk6AWvDQZQ

Suffering many more physical and mental torments than I would ever know how to describe, my agony and suffering suddenly, wondrously, came to an end!copyright protection96PENANA0UW5xVRxcD

I stood whole in body and mind. I stood shaking, begging and crying. Trying to breathe the noxious, contaminated and overheated air. I stood alone, shivering in fright and dread, waiting for the commencement of the next phase.copyright protection96PENANAtlhvshPMkD

Lifting my weary head as hunger and thirst rushed through me in continuous unremitting waves, my eyes caught a small bright light approaching. About me crawled and slithered, scuttled and hopped the myriads of evil, menacing creatures. Though they were all about me, none touched me. Not a scrape of claw, teeth or spine came near me.copyright protection96PENANAydYEOVarLa

Hope flared!copyright protection96PENANAhL4eQB9H9m

Who or what was coming towards me?copyright protection96PENANAkDHC9aTYWd

Was this going to be a prelude to worse than I had endured? Looking about me at this place I wondered how long forever was going to be and shivered in abject fear and self-pity.copyright protection96PENANACurB9fwkHh

Chapter 5copyright protection96PENANAuZ2zdTamAk

[When it comes to God] We can't run out of second chances...copyright protection96PENANAJVXrx6Br5x

only time.copyright protection96PENANAEH26jcmPx3

-Robin Jones Gunncopyright protection96PENANA7239Bg2MDD

I’ve mentioned before that I hate cities?copyright protection96PENANA6mz3N6apyf

Well Johannesburg is the worst. The top of my list. Can’t stand the place. A cosmopolitan city with people from all walks of life. Every nationality. The original rainbow city.copyright protection96PENANAWdXZjgbF6J

My problem is not with the city per-se, it’s with its people!copyright protection96PENANAJdLMnn3q9G

Every day, twice a day at least, all these thousands and thousands of nice ordinary people climb behind the steering wheels of their vehicles and become thousands and thousands of Schumacher’s. Traffic signals are to be ignored. Crossroads, speed limits and basic traffic laws are for the peasants to adhere to and in Jo’burg? Their aint no peasants residing in Jo’burg. Only reincarnated Schumacher’s!copyright protection96PENANA4f2DjQKtfi

I was in the part of Jo’burg which looks really rundown. All cities have one or more areas that look similar.copyright protection96PENANAJcvHbPYnu4

Approaching the Diamond Exchange – I had decided to invest in some blue white ice as they hardly if ever depreciate in value – when I smelt smoke. My eyes darted to the dash of my Chana and saw a faint wisp of darkness rise up against the inside of the windscreen so I did what all Jo’burgers seem to get away with, I double parked without indicating so damn quickly that I heard the guy behind me blaring away on his horn.copyright protection96PENANA7eiS0Ff46o

Grabbing my passport I jumped out of the vehicle and moved away to a safe distance of ten meters and turned to look back at the old girl. Well, let me put it into perspective, I at least tried to. I had probably only covered about six or seven meters  with the odd backward glance when my vehicle erupted loudly into a flaming ball of destruction and shrapnel. The shock wave picked me up and slammed me into something unforgiving.copyright protection96PENANAKaENNYDysT

I lay like a rag doll, both ears immediately on strike. A faint high pitched zinging sound in my brain. Sluggishly my mind tried to assimilate the ferociously burning vehicle with me laying all crumpled up on the sidewalk.copyright protection96PENANARb6mShcQFH

I couldn’t for the life of me move a finger. As the edges of my vision turned dark, a black face appeared and shone a bright light into them. Lips moving. Asking questions? The world gave a sickly turn and the darkness enveloped me completely.copyright protection96PENANAVMVdFWTU0Z

Chapter 6copyright protection96PENANAjK9YyXWcwo

Oh, that I walk through the valley of the shadow copyright protection96PENANA5nAbKttWk8

of death…copyright protection96PENANADfVytAvmvv

The closer the intense and dazzling light came the less I heard the wailing screams and anguish about me. The closer it got the further away the evil, menacing creatures withdrew.copyright protection96PENANAlPgvOOsK0Z

Hope flared now in a continuous wave as I made out the figure of a man wearing what looked like a white Roman cloak. Sleeveless and pure. Wrapped loosely around one shoulder, it was tightened by what looked like a sash around the waist where it slightly flared out and was allowed to move freely and without restraint about his legs. Part of the cloak was draped over the man’s left arm and seemed to flutter slightly in an unseen and heard breeze.copyright protection96PENANA96mJh6dL3x

The man approached me and stood before me with a look of such love and sorrow that I could not stop the tears that coursed down my cheeks. Of a sudden the thirst and hunger had receded, my body stopped its frightful shivering and my lungs gasped at the wondrous fragrant air that rushed in. I staggered and clutched at the black glassy wall as the simple pleasure of being able to breathe without constraint rushed over me. All the while the man stood and watched silently as I struggled to comprehend that which stood before me.copyright protection96PENANAUGNPfgqKCV

“Who … what?”     copyright protection96PENANAgYLwtzlWkl

“Stephan van Heerdan.” The man said softly. Compassion and regret shining through his eyes. “Once, not so long ago, you knew me, you called me by name and promised me many things. You spoke to me and sought my counsel. I listened and gave it. Though most often than not, you decided to follow your own.”copyright protection96PENANAVusheJorvr

Frowning I studied this man before me from head to toe. I sought his council? I knew him?copyright protection96PENANAZp8Mfo3F9G

“What happened Stephan? Are you so far down the path that you have forgotten me?” he asked as a crooked smile crossed his lips.copyright protection96PENANABpEnW8Wh4h

My eyes travelled down from his face to his shrouded chest. Down, past where his hips would be and jerked to a standstill as I saw a freshly made wound in his right wrist the size of a very thick crayon. With dread my eyes suddenly darted to his left hand and then to his bare feet. Each had a raw, painful hole through them. Blood slowly seeped past bone, torn tendons and flesh to drip on the rough rocky ground. Where it fell, slight puffs of white smoke flared up to dissipate before it could reach ankle height.copyright protection96PENANADZL5h0PGrk

“Understanding Stephan, can be a magical thing,” the man said. “Often its path is convoluted. Often it’s too late.” He nodded at me in sorrow, “For you, my son, its arrival is just in time.”copyright protection96PENANA8rJhdZFhEO

Horror and understanding surged through me as I sank to my knees in abject terror. I had forgotten my path. I had pressed onwards with my own dreams and future laid out before me. The upheaval and flow of life’s happenings affecting each and every decision I made. Never once believing that the fairy tales of my childhood could be so real. I cried. I cried for the time I had wasted. For the wrong I did the many lives I took. I cried because here before me was what I had been looking for since I was taught about Him in Sunday school so long, long ago. My knees went soft and I sat down on the rocky floor staring up at Him.copyright protection96PENANAXgdCDaKArO

“I was wrong.” I said through my tears. I looked up but could not meet His eyes.copyright protection96PENANAR4ODa6DZN5

“Yes, Stephan my son. You were wrong.” The man crouched down before me and took my limp hand in His. “Being wrong is not the beginning and the end of everything.” He smiled. His love shone and brightened the surroundings. “Being wrong is only the beginning of the path each must tread alone on their way to understanding what is real and what is worth keeping. Being wrong leads to the ability to perceive and explain the meaning or nature of one’s faults. With being wrong my son, comes acceptance that change is inevitable. That change and a fresh outlook can mean so much not only to that individual but also to those he or she may chance to meet.” The man turned his head and the loving smile seemed to fall away as He stared into the evil night. “Being wrong Stephan, only stays wrong when you do not accept the truth of what is placed freely before you for the taking.”copyright protection96PENANAkVw4cK3S1H

Once more His eyes fell on me and I squirmed in fear for I knew Him. I knew His name. I knew even though He did not mention it. He didn’t have to!copyright protection96PENANAGZXUBA4lbw

“Come Stephan,” He said kindly as he pulled me to my feet. “It is time my son, time to know that change is also free.”copyright protection96PENANA92BYGL4kLS

Getting to my feet, I stared into the evil dark night as well. “Please. Don’t send me back there.” I begged.copyright protection96PENANAp5NW90HdTI

“Not unless you wish to return,” He said with a calm smile. “Come. Your journey, like all journeys starts with the first step. Difficult though it may seem, the reward is greater than can be expected.”copyright protection96PENANAUzISujtzFE

I gladly accepted His hand in mine and walked beside Him. Not once did I look back.copyright protection96PENANA6PHHNntSIf

Not once!copyright protection96PENANAK7ly4vyLIr

Chapter 7copyright protection96PENANAuD1cwwwZ6b

“There is no surprise more magical than the surprise of being loved.” 100Please respect copyright.PENANAXsv3qSPdAU
― 
Charles Morgancopyright protection96PENANAEc0mUNKoFs

“Well hallo there. You’re back with us I see.” A voice said.copyright protection96PENANADqAYYEuwpc

Trying to open my eyes seemed infinitely difficult.copyright protection96PENANAYTP05lwBlC

“Here drink this,” the voice said again as I sucked on the straw placed into my mouth.copyright protection96PENANAM0PNmJA67g

“Wow. You’re thirsty all right. Want some more?”copyright protection96PENANAzLG9KFNecc

“Please,” I rasped. My throat burned from the dryness. It felt so damn raw.copyright protection96PENANAqa6gbbCHNY

“Here you go. No wait…” a female laughter. I tried once more to open my eyes. “…slowly or you may choke.”copyright protection96PENANAkAYanlTYs1

At last I opened my eyes to stare uncomprehendingly at a white uniformed female holding an empty glass and grinning at me.copyright protection96PENANAf1MWawBXKN

“Nice to see you making a recovery Mr. Brown. It says on your passport in the side draw of the bedside dresser that you are Mr. Brown” She smiled once more at me.copyright protection96PENANAabYgs9s4Rf

“Just in time for lunch by the way. I will notify the desk that you are awake at last.” She started leaving and I opened my mouth to say something but the rawness of my throat stopped me in my tracks. She turned back, “Is there something I can get you? More water perhaps?”copyright protection96PENANA2bQ1memfdO

“How…where am I?” I swallowed nearly fifty times trying to moisten my throat. It burnt like hell.copyright protection96PENANAhsP3oZAZXl

“Oh you poor dear,” she tut tutted, moving to the end of the bed and picked up a clipboard that hung there from a hook. “Let me see, uh huh. Uh huh. Oh. I remember now. You were one of the poor people caught up in that nasty car explosion 5 days ago.”copyright protection96PENANAN7wLoZUQ3L

“Five days? I have been here five days? In a coma?”copyright protection96PENANA66XW7jbtzo

“Let me get you some more water and I will see if I can bring you up to speed.” She went over to the far side of my room and refilled the glass with pure liquid gold. Involuntarily I licked my dry lips as my eyes refused to leave that life giving substance.copyright protection96PENANAhQQ7Tf7uf4

She handed it to me and I struggled mightily not to down it in one go.copyright protection96PENANAP2cmNAlIqp

“Let me see now, I remember five or six emergency cases being rushed into ER that day. You Mr. Brown were one of two that had the minimum trauma.” She shook her head slightly, “The only item of note here…” she nodded at the clipboard. “…is that you had a bump the size of a golf ball just off the right side of the Temporal Lobe.”copyright protection96PENANAtxvrtCKF5k

”I can’t remember much of what happened,”copyright protection96PENANA3naTu39Byo

“Oh. Not to worry now, the worst is over and you have made…”copyright protection96PENANAGnrSJet5XU

“The worst is over?” I butted in with a frown while licking at the few droplets on the side of the glass. Will I ever get rid of this thirst?copyright protection96PENANAurrZSVBDAH

Her laughter was clear and echoed inside the hospital room. “Why of course you wouldn’t know would you?” it was her turn to frown slightly. “When you arrived you had just started going into Cardiac Arrest for the first time. That’s when your heart stops. A heart attack in laymen’s terms.” She stepped closer and went to refill the glass. “Three hours in the CCU and 7 heart attacks later, the staffs were taking side bets on the 8th one but you luckily pulled through.” Another short laugh. “Since then you have been asleep. Not in any coma but just asleep.”copyright protection96PENANAXD47xybGaJ

“Did I die at any time?” I asked curious at the answer I may receive.copyright protection96PENANA5Q7wJQLcWI

“Well yes. If you want to look at it that way. Seven times in three hours I believe. A record. But we have some very professional doctors on board and they really know what they are doing”copyright protection96PENANA6q9xp2s1F3

“Im trying to understand your line of questioning Mr. Brown. Should I bring the …?”copyright protection96PENANAIDGNKemWVw

I smiled at her. “No need Nurse. You have given me all the answers I would ever need. My thanks to you and the medical staff for keeping me alive. I appreciate it more than you could ever imagine.”copyright protection96PENANAG0mNw6EhiA

With a happy grin on her face she nodded and sauntered out the door.copyright protection96PENANAZo09WqbpsR

Seven heart attacks in a period of 3 hours. Could a hard object hitting the side of your head cause a heart attack? Seven of them?copyright protection96PENANAsbu9Yfnkbi

I died seven times in three hours? Was I in Hell for only three hours?copyright protection96PENANAQSidFPjk6C

It couldn’t be right. It just couldn’t be.copyright protection96PENANAU50VfXmqmO

Right?100Please respect copyright.PENANA6TV5eRkv9Y
copyright protection96PENANAhOZMYX1mid

The endcopyright protection96PENANAF95XnLNH5T

54.166.141.69

ns54.166.141.69da2
Comments ( 1 )

Lozy - This story was great! Just a little too long for this competition. sorry, I loved it though x
5 months agoreply

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