Tag Archives: Hell

Motley Microfiction: Abode of the Darned!

“Our unique corner of the afterlife was once part of our larger neighbor,” explained Damon, steering the New Arrivals Bus through Heck. “At first they considered the darnations typos, but over time we distinguished ourselves through mildly unpleasant torture of our clientele: rappists and pedophobes mostly, with your occasional grammar Nazi.

“Across our heckscape, the darned endure an eternity of daytime TV, Taco Bell, and N*Sync.”

Suddenly, a tire blew. “Dang it to H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks! Fu–” shouted Damon. He clapped his hands over his mouth.

Too late. A maw opened beneath the bus, and from it, the smell of fudge…

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The road to Heck is paved with good intentions…

It’s been a while since my last microfiction, huh? Well, here’s something a bit goofy to start off your week!

Language and linguistics is an area of special interest to me, as both a writer and a professional in the world of literacy. One thing I find particularly interesting is the way “bad words”– that is, profanity or taboo words — operate in cultures around the world.

For example, I remember when I was learning my first non-native language, and how much we children loooooved learning all the naughty words in Italian. We would spend whole lunch breaks with our Italian-to-English dictionaries hunting down all the words we weren’t supposed to say in English, but were somehow okay in Italian because no one knew what we were saying.

There is something about separating the sounds and meanings that takes the sting out of those words.

I rather wonder if that’s why we have words like “darn” and “heck”, surrogate words that let us communicate frustration and anger without the full extent of the ill-will behind the words. After all, it’s not a very nice thing to wish hell or damnation on anyone.

But what if the intention carried over, anyway? What if all we’ve done is to wish a place called Heck into existence, and proceeded to darn everyone to it? And what if it’s filled with Grammar Nazis? Oh, the horrors!

What is your opinion on taboo words, and the funny things we say to avoid them? Got a favorite example?

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Motley Microfiction: Deck the Hells

Ruined! He was ruined! Satan brooded over the vast, deserted hellscape and wondered for the thousandth time how it’d come to this.

Damn you, hackers! he thought, but damning was no good now. Thanks to a technicality, no souls would be damned to Hell anytime soon. Not until Satan could get a tech guy down here to fix the servers.

The teenagers responsible hadn’t even intended it. They’d just wanted a good haul of Christmas presents.

Sure, there were superficial similarities: signature red outfit, similarly spelled names. But there’s a huge difference between a Damnation List and a Naughty List.

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Devil
Devil (Photo credit: elycefeliz)

Happy weekend, everyone! We’re going off-topic today to check in on Satan again. Last time he messed with the cats of the world, and now the hackers have found him. I’m pretty sure there’s a connection.

But Rachael, you might be thinking, it’s June! Why are we talking about Christmas right now?

I’ve got one word for you: denial. You see, I live in Georgia. And right about now, it’s like a hot, moist oven outside. It’s how I imagine the inside of a dragon’s throat must be like. And being a person who loves running, I’ve got to run in that. Miles and miles. It’s wretched. Hellish, if you will.

So I shove the hot, humid facts of reality aside in favor of cold, wintry fantasy. Specifically, dreams of December. Snow, ice, chilly winds cutting through your five layers of clothes… really, it’s soothing.

Of course, in Georgia, snow is mostly hypothetical. I hear it’s a real pain for those of you who get more than a dusting each year. In which case, maybe we can arrange a bargain: you ship me all your snow, and I’ll take you off the Damnation List. Everyone wins!

What do you guys think? Do you like the cold better, or the heat?