Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Thoughts Upon The Nature of Hell and the Afterlife

"...The Devil stepped back from the violets and, with a look of satisfaction, took off his gardening gloves and asked Primo to help him carry in the pots. Together they lined them up along both kitchen window ledges.
"We have wonderful gardens in Hell," remarked the Devil, dusting the leaves of the violets. "We mirror the gardens of earth, and the seasons. Some are laid out with beautiful walkways and fountains and recesses where souls can sit and ponder. Others we leave wild, to seed themselves and follow their own designs. In spring the whole of Hell is heady with fragrance." He paused. "I speak of the Underworld, of course. Nothing grows in Deep Hell." He paused again. "Well, that is not entirely true. There is a garden there. It is a paper garden, a garden of flowers folded from papyrus and linen paper. And it is quite beautiful, for the flowers are exquisitely made. They are not brightly coloured, but have the natural tones of the papers we use: whites and creams and buffs. They are laid out in formal gardens, like works of art, and there is a stillness because there are no bees or butterflies. Nor is there any fragrance to speak of." He smiled. "You are wondering who folds the flowers?" he asked, reading the question in Primo's eyes. "They are made by those in the Underworld who do not play cards."

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