Chapbook coming soon

Anybody


by Tommy Barton (https://tommylbarton.com)

He burned in hell. At least, he felt like his body was on fire. His eyes felt the flames licking tears from his cheeks. Flaming bits of tar stuck to his hands. His feet dragged in the rivers of melted rock. His hair blossomed into a fiery ball. His ears picked up the screams emitted by the souls of the damned.

He saw a voluminous cavern. Red flames charred his legs as he walked hunched over from the heat. Sometimes, in a flash, yellow tipped flames popped. In a moment of revelation, he reached for those yellow tips of beauty in this horrendous world but it was futile.

A mob of flesh and torment swam in a pool of volcanic rock. He could see demons with pitch forks stirring the pot of human flesh. He followed a mob to a bridge. At the end of the bridge, he could see people falling for eternity. He took a step back, trying to escape the mob as it pushed against his body. Always forward. The mob floated like flotsam on a river.

Pushed and prodded, he looked over the abyss off the side of the bridge. People burned in cesspools of blood and offal. The mob felt rhythmic. Forward one step, then it would stop for a second, then step forward again. He screamed for help. Others screamed for help. Voices rang in the chapel of death. Still, the mob pushed him forward to the end of the bridge.

At the edifice, he imagined eternity felt like the next step. The mob stepped forward. He fell off the bridge. He tumbled through the dense, black smoke.

He heard one word jolt his mind.

“Clear,” said the doctor. The electric shock from the defibrillator pads started his heart.

The nurse said, “We have a pulse.”