“Picture of Hell”–flash fiction, Difficult People

Picture of Hell



          Let me give you a picture of Hell.

          Imagine the most degraded living conditions. Filth and confinement. Well, it wasn’t that. No, more like a Heaven. It was open and airy, the streets were broad, the people bustling, and nary a shackle. How can Mr. Positive be so Negative? How can a man with sufficient income, a paid holiday, a new car, a pleasant domicile with a tree-shaded view of the river, how indeed can such a soul, citizen, by product of our best education al efforts…I say, how can this soul be in a living Hell?

          One word: Jealousy.

          Plain simple, a nightmare of green jealousy, just one of many alternate snaking roads to Hell. Yes, Mr. Positive was thinking his wife was in love with another man…a detestable creature at her work, the one they called “Boss”, a man who exercised power over her, her salary, and consequently, their income—

          When Mr. P. sat in his air-conditioned Zephyr sports mobile…the latest style in the affluent suburbs, Tchaikovsky lively in the hepa-filtered air, his finger fiddling with the temp controls, doors locked and under the shade of a dusty wretched copse of locust trees… he squinted at the cheap hollow-core door…red…of the Sleepy Bear Motor Motel…He stared on until almost dinnertime with stroke trauma intensity, then saw his wife emerge and slip away to her car.

          Mr. P in Hell…a filter of blood streaming down the windows, homicide in his heart and gut, he waited for his victim and patience rewarded, saw Miss Q, the shapely cube mate of his wife slink from the motel…

          My God! The beast…a ménage à trois! Mr. P fought back the images of the two naked female bodies adorning the right and left sides of the Boss’ hairy ugliness.

          So Mr. P waited…and waited…and late night darkness fell but no one further emerged from the Sleepy Bear Motor Motel…no one was caught in the claws of Mr. P’s stunned, newly developing picture of Hell…




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