Hell and Paperwork

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Kyle has to deal with the mind-numbing bureaucracy of going to Hell. A short piece of flash fiction I wrote a while ago.

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Chapter 1

Kyle was in hell. Literally. He had died 30 minutes ago and was currently waiting in line to see what circle of hell he was to be designated.

The room was hot and sweaty, not because it was a lake of fire and brimstone and everything was dusted by the ashes of the damned, but more because the infinite line of people was raising the temperature of the cramped hallways, not to mention everyone bunched too close together and some fat guy was sweating all over Kyle. Though strange to say, Kyle could not wait to be out of this line and on the fast course to eternal damnation.

Approximately 150 years later, Kyle was seated across from a well-dressed demon in a pretty well-furnished office and a nice mahogany desk. The only thing that really detracted from the decor was a tacky poster in the corner reading “It’s all downhill from here”. Technically speaking, the poster was true, speaking not only from a literal sense but also in the sense that all the tedious details of Kyle’s punishment were out of his hands and all he had left to do was endure the punishment. Well, endure isn’t the right word, it implies that you’re waiting for the eventual time when you no longer have to be in pain. This was not the case here.

“So, Mister… Tickles? Do I have that right?” The demon asked, scanning a few documents intently.

“Unfortunately,” Kyle muttered. Even in death he couldn’t get away from that name.

“Okay, um, so your cause of death was car accident?”


“Right, so, I’m trying to figure this out, because I’m not sure why you’re here,” the demon typed away furiously, the entire time glancing at the variety of scattered documents on his desk.

“Is there a problem with me being here?” Kyle asked. In retrospect, he felt he should have been hopeful, like maybe there was a mixup, but given his theological knowledge on the subject there wasn’t a lot of room for doubt. “I mean, I am an atheist. Or was, I guess. It’s still pretty weird.”

“We get that a lot. So yeah, normally you’d be fine to go right through, but you’re 16, so I’m not sure why you weren’t transferred to the purgatory department,” he muttered absent-mindedly.

“Wait, what’s the issue here?”

“See, we have this thing where if you’re too young to make informed decisions about your theological beliefs you get a second shot on Earth as a reincarnated being. The cutoff point is supposed to be 18, let me check if they changed it,” he opened a drawer and ducked out of Kyle’s view for a second. “Uh, oh here. Yeah, it’s definitely still 18. Can you wait a second while I call my supervisor?”

“But wait, I was even-handed about my atheism. I thought long and hard about it and came to a rational and sound conclusion based on the evidence presented,” Kyle wasn’t sure why he was advocating for going to hell, but at this point he was completely lost in the technicalities.

“Yeah, I get it. In that position I’d do the same honestly. I mean, given my occupation, I’m not exactly averse to the work environment, if you know what I mean. See, the problem isn’t you, this rule’s mostly for the rebellious types. We’re never sure if they’re just fighting against tradition or not, and the man upstairs can’t rightly condemn them. It’s like sending an autistic kid to jail for acting against the grain, no offense,”

“None taken, I guess,”

After 20 minutes of back and forth calls, emails, faxed documents, and other stupid bureaucracy that honestly made Kyle wish he was in hell, which he was technically, but he was referring to the part of hell that he was in danger of being transferred to, not necessarily some random office. I have to write the story like this because if I don’t a bunch of nitpicky idiots will point out every little thing, and eventually the entire story will just be needless digressions taken to explain irrelevant plot details, because some people are overly concerned with being smarter than the person who took time out of their days to actually produce something for the masses. But NO, this work shall not be appreciated by the Um, Actually Squad, masters of being the story equivalent to grammar Nazis. Douche.

Anyway, after 20 minutes the demon sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose furiously.

“Okay, so here’s the whole situation. Turns out there was a mixup of files somewhere in heaven, and as a result you were switched with a child rapist. Problem being, he’s already been reincarnated, and we’re not really allowed to mess with the physical plane, so that’s on us now,”

“Okay, but that really has nothing to do with me now, so couldn’t you just transfer me to purgatory?” Kyles asked.

“Yeah, see, the problem is that reincarnation is a very deliberate process, and that rapist took your spot. Purgatory’s not really willing to queue up another vessel for you, because they that would bump every other soul back one and they can’t have that. I don’t really get it, but they have a thing about appropriate vessels for appropriate souls. Whatever. Listen, I’m really sorry about this whole thing,” the demon wrung his hands anxiously, brow furrowed.

“So, are you saying I’m stuck in hell?” At this point, Kyle saw the whole situation as being congruous with the rest of his life, that being arbitrary and stupid.

“Yes, technically, but you’re kind of an anomaly because we can’t really punish you, or at least we’d feel really bad if we did. If you want, we can transfer you to the half circle of hell,”

“The half circle of hell?”

“Yeah, it’s reserved for all the really cool people who are also unfortunately not Christian. It’s kind of like how heaven has their ghetto for Nazis,”


“Catholic, man,”

“So how is the half circle? I mean, if we have to talk comparatively, I don’t see how being in hell would be preferable in any situation,”

“See, when we’re off work we hang out there too. It’s just a cool place to chill. We get new amenities regularly, whenever someone in heaven gets bored of something they just throw it down here, so that’s pretty cool,”

Kyle thought it over for a minute. Technically, heaven and hell exist infinitely. Therefore, eventually heaven will have given a hand-me-down of everything to hell, by virtue of the properties of infinity. Given that, was there any functional difference between heaven and hell in that regard? Well, there might be one.

Kyle leaned over the desk. “How many hot girls are there?” he whispered.

“Dude, they get it on hard in the half circle. You don’t even know the half of it,”

Kyle agreed to the proposal immediately, and in a mere 10 minutes all the necessary paperwork was done and he was successfully transferred. For the rest of eternity Kyle holed himself away from everyone else and played dating sims all day, only coming out to creepily stare at all the bikini-clad babes, because despite being in a position to get laid an infinite number of times Kyle’s social anxiety and fear of rejection led him to make false negative assumptions about everyone around him. After the first 50 years everyone basically decided to ignore him, and Kyle lived his afterlife as he had his life: being weeaboo trash.

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