Friday, October 13, 2006

The First Circle

Virgil (the ancient Greek poet, not the crappy wrestler, the old west gunman, or the astronaut) and I walked through the cave and into the depths of the underworld. We soon leveled off and were heading towards something I didn’t quite expect.
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“So this is hell, huh?” I asked while surveying the sight. “Looks more like wine country.”

“This is not hell, my friend,” Virgil replied. “This is limbo, or perhaps you would call it purgatory.”

“I never really believed purgatory existed,” I contemplated. “Didn’t one of the popes say that there wasn’t one?”

“Come on Jon, just because one mortal says something doesn’t exist, that doesn’t make all of this disappear.” Virgil gestured towards across the fields and towards the villa.
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“Right,” I said. “So where do we go from here?”

“We must travel through limbo to the other side,” the dead poet answered. “There we gain entrance into the first level of hell.”

“So how many levels are there?”

“There are nine,” he nodded.

“OK, I see where this is going,” I answered. “Anyone here going to give us a hand?”

“I am afraid not,” he replied. “And I must warn you not to interact with the denizens of this place. Their penalty is the loss of Hope and it is a strong punishment indeed. Coming close to them would certainly poison your spirit, something that needs to remain strong on this journey.”
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We passed through the villa and I saw many figures of history as well as people who seemed or almost seemed familiar to me. They all appeared fine, save for their obvious looks of disappointment. They walked around, talked to each other, and went on their lives coasting on automatic. They had no dreams, no love, and nothing to yearn for.

“We shall journey this way,” Virgil lead me to the end of the road. I looked up and all I could see was wall.

“Up the wall?” I asked. “That’s pretty far.”

“Of course it is,” he affirmed. “At the crest, you will encounter the Palace of Minos and the Seven Gates. You must make your way up this wall and past Minos.”
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I shrugged and started climbing. It was easy at first, as rock and brick jutted out for me to gain hand and foothold. As I climbed further, exhaustion took hold of me; the climb became more and more tiring. At the start of my climb, I dared not look down. As I grew weary though, I first stole a glance, then I looked more. The distance seemed so great that I could not even see the ground. As my muscles ached, I thought that one slip and my journey would surely be over.

I felt for a crevice to gain hold and hoist myself higher but then my arm gave out. I nearly fell, but I was able to hold tight with my other arm. An unnatural despair began to fill me.

“You are almost there,” Virgil urged. “Just a bit further.”

Heaving, I crawled over to the top of the wall and hauled myself onto it. I rolled away from the edge and laid there for several minutes to catch my breath.

“There, that wasn’t too bad was it?” I heard Virgil’s voice above me. “Are you ready to continue your journey?”

“Yeah… just give me a minute here…” I then sat up and looked at him. “Wait a minute… You didn’t climb the wall. How did you get here?”

“I am a poet,” he answered. “I did it poetically.”

“That doesn’t make sense,” I said to him.

“I am not of your realm now,” he continued. “I am not subject to the same physical laws that bind you.”

“So I’m going to have to work my way through all these levels and you’re just coming along for the ride?”

“Essentially, yes,” he responded.



Jean-Luc Picard said...

If it is said Libo doesn't exist, it doesn't do a lot for those who live in Limbo.

Are you sure Virgil is the one who was the poet and not Virgil Tracey from Thunderbirds. Ask him where Thunderbird 2 is.

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

Oh yeah, he could be that Virgil, I didn't even consider that. I still have to bet that it's the Greek poet one, though.

Darth Nepharia said...

"’re just coming along for the ride?"

Oh how I DO hate freeloaders.

Gyrobo said...

I've met the master of Limbo, and had dinner with him and his wife and their four misbehaving children.

Soda and applesauce was everywhere... I'll never go back to Limbo.

Professor Xavier said...

I always thought poets were living under a different set of physical laws. That's the only thing to explain the inane drivel they tend to spout that so often gets called brilliant and insightful by intellectuals.

Karnov said...

We're sorry about that but we had to shutdown limbo. It was getting kinda ghetto We just relocated everyone to the south side of LA until we figure out a permanent place to put all of the Limbo refugees.

Darth Nepharia said...

Ah, so THAT explains a LOT.

Vegeta said...

Karnov said:We're sorry about that but we had to shutdown limbo. It was getting kinda ghetto We just relocated everyone to the south side of LA until we figure out a permanent place to put all of the Limbo refugees.

try New Jersey

corbiscide said...

Chapter 9 of Overdue up now at corbiscideit

Read now

Read now

DOn't miss out

Florence said...

Limbo and Puratory are not the same thing. Those in Limbo have no chance of going to heaven because they were born before Christ, but those in Purgatory are those "who dwell content in fire, for that they hope to come, whenever that time may be, among the blest.." so said Viril to Dante anyhow...all seems a tad mean though.