Okay, here is where the gruesome-ness starts coming into play.
The two of us walked off in the direction that the other black figure had motioned towards. We walked for minutes, hours, days, perhaps weeks. Time didn’t seem to matter or even exist in hell.
But however long it was, eventually we came to a wall similar to the one that we had come through. As soon as we had passed through it, I noticed several differences between this realm and the one we had just come from. It was hotter, and slightly humid as well. It was darker. Whereas the light in the previous realm had seemed to come from all around, it only existed in this realm by several plumes of flame growing out of the ground. A scream echoed throughout the cavern, faraway yet surprisingly loud.
“Ah, it seems that Kelerel is at work,” Marulus whispered. “I’ll shorten our trip slightly.”
One moment we stood alone, where we had been, the next there were two others near us. One was another of the formless black beings, the other a bloodied man. The black figure turned to us.
“Hello, Marulus,” he said. “I have heard that you have a living with you. This must be him.”
His voice was deep as well, growling and loud.
Next to the man, there suddenly appeared a pool of lava with a wheel above. On the outside of the wheel were short spikes. Kelerel went over to the man, picked him up, and thrust his back onto the spikes. The man let out a yell of pain, then his head slackened.
Kelerel took the man’s arms and legs and tied them around the spokes of the wheel, bones cracking audibly. The man’s face contorted.
Then Kelerel let go of the wheel, and the man was doused fully into the lava. A muffled scream could be heard, and bubbles rose out of the lava. A small bit of the wheel, which was made of wood, dipped into the lava, and started to catch fire. Soon enough the fire spread across the entire wheel.
A minute later, Kelerel grabbed the spokes of the wheel and pulled the man out of the lava. His hair was completely gone, and his body was blackened. His eyelids had been burnt through, and a goupy liquid ran down his face from where his eyes had once been. I tried to look away, but Marulus turned my head back.
“Remember. This is your punishment for playing so lightly with death,” he said.
Kelerel ripped the blackened body off of the wheel, with another groan from the man. Kelerel snapped his fingers, and the man’s body reconstructed itself. His mouth was agape, letting out a scream of terror and pain.
Again and again Kelerel repeated the process, eternally killing and reviving him.
Marulus, after a while, started to walk away. I followed him.
“Why can’t you just transport us to the end immediately?” I asked him.
“That’s the thing about this place. Hell shifts a lot. So I’m not entirely sure where the ‘end’ is. Nor am I sure where the end between rooms is. That is why we must walk,” he answered.
“I have one more question,” I said. “What are you, exactly? Are you a demon?”
Marulus laughed. “No. Demons get to be tortured here, but in a completely different section from mortals. Their punishment is much, much worse. I am an angel of torture. All of us are. We are given complete control over whatever room is “ours”. And there is an almost infinite number of us, so we only torture one human each.”
“What will happen to you after you return me to earth?” I asked.
“I will just be put back into the system, and be the torturer of the next human who dies,” he answered.
We walked through another wall.
“That’s good,” Marulus mused. “Into the next room already.”
A short way away from us, I saw the light of a large fire. Marulus noticed it as well, and guided me towards it.
We approached another angel of torture and a man with ragged hair and slits across his back and chest.
As soon as I saw him, I jumped. Marulus held me back.
It was my father.
I had heard that he had died a while back, but hadn’t thought much of it. He looked up at me with empty eyes, pleading for help. I noticed that his mouth had been sewn together with a rough string.
Marulus turned to the other angel. “Pelaph,” he said.
The other turned to him and nodded.
Next to the fire, there appeared a large bronze sculpture, in the shape of a bull.
A small door on the side of it opened, and Pelaph threw the man inside. I let out a yell and rushed forward, but Marulus held me back with one arm of surprising strength.
The door on the bronze bull closed. Pelaph pushed it over the fire.
The fire lit up with white flames, higher and encasing the bronze bull.
A few minutes later, a moaning came from inside the bull. It got louder, more desperate.
Then there was a ripping sound and a full-throated yell burst from the bull. It continued for minutes on end, the throat of the screamer getting hoarse.
Peleph reached into the flames and pulled the bull back out. He opened the door and the man fell out.
His lips were gone, as was the string that had held them together. Blood dripped down his face from his mouth. His teeth shown white where they were not covered in red.
His body was completely red, burned from head to toe. His fingers were bent at strange angles. He looked up at me, reaching up and trying to crawl closer. It seemed as though he wanted to tell me something.
Peleph reached down and picked him up by his ankles and wrists. He lifted him above his head, then started tugging on both sides.
A popping sound came from his bones. His burnt skin stretched.
Then in and explosion of blood, bones, and organs, Peleph ripped him in two. I let out a cry of terror.
Peleph dropped both halves of the body, which landed with a thud on the ground.
The blood and bits and pieces of his body moved together, sliding across the sandy ground, which was died a dark red.
The body parts jumbled together again into my father. Before I could go towards him again, Marulus grabbed me and headed off again. In shock at seeing my father, I was unable to resist.
“Goodbye, Peleph,” he said.
We heard a small noise of affirmation from Peleph as we left.
We continued walking, longer seeming this time than any time before.
Suddenly Marulus stopped.
“We are about to go into the third realm,” he said to me. “There will be horrors in here. But we are nearing the end. So be patient.”
And with that, he pulled me through the wall into the third realm.