I wake up, and feel completely disorientated. I had never passed out when I was alive, and I didn’t think it could be possible to go through that experience while I was dead. I’m not sure if “wake up” is the best term for what I did, but is the only one I can think of.
I look around and feel the furnace still burning my body. And, as consequence, I continue to feel the heat entering my spirit. I ask myself how long it’ll take ’till it ends.
But my consciousness (consciousness?) returns little by little, and I keep looking around. The furnace seems bigger, infinitely bigger. And the flames seem to have disappeared. The heat’s still there, but I don’t see where it comes from.
I get up and look upwards. Everything’s red and covered in soot, everything’s enormous. For the first time, I think I’m not inside the furnace.
I take my time, analyze the details. I’m not inside the furnace.
I don’t know where I am.
I start walking through the desolate landscape. The soot is black-red, there are no flames, the heat is coming from the floor and the walls. Everything seems to shimmer like in a hot day, like when things seem to flicker through a layer of water.
I keep walking, I still don’t know where I am, but I begin to have an idea. I ask myself how is it possible.
Suddenly, as in a sleight of hands, the landscape, once devastated and isolated, contains something. A sign.
It makes no sense, the sign wasn’t there before. And besides, there’s nothing written on it. A blank sign.
But, then, just as it had magically appeared, letters make themselves visible and my fear is confirmed.
The sign tells me where I am, obviously. I just wasn’t certain before ’cause I thought I was already in it.
But I was wrong. Before, I was in the world. Now I am where I belong, where I deserve to be for taking my own life.
The sign reads: Welcome to Hell. Population: we stopped counting after 40 billion.