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Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Comedy · #2242555
Hindemith in Hades. Winner of SCREAMS!!! January 24 2021.

Being dead was no longer amusing and Hindemith had run out of patience. Finding himself in Hades had turned out to be the worst thing of all. Far from being the long party of booze and broads he’d been promised, the first week had been one long barbecue with him sizzling away on the grill as the highlight of the evening.

The whole thing had succeeded in getting Hindemith down. He was pretty resilient and had the patience of a saint… Hmmm, have to find a better metaphor than that, I suppose. But this was definitely getting to him. He began to work on an escape plan.

The first consideration had to be where to escape to, of course. With his limited knowledge of the landscape of death, it seemed most likely that the only possibility was the Other Place. There might be some difficulties in getting in there but Hindemith was pretty confident that, having escaped from half the high security prisons in the world, it should be a breeze getting into anywhere at all.

Which left him with his speciality - getting out. If anyone could do it, Hindemith could and he set to work planning the deed.

Come the appointed day… I should probably call it a twenty-four hour period since, technically speaking, everything in Hades rolls into one, long, blazing eternity of cooking smells, but it’s a lot shorter just to use one word.

But I digress. Come the day, everything went even better than Hindemith had hoped. By chance, he’d picked a Hadean holiday for the attempt and half the guards were celebrating in the boss’s palace at the time. It was with ease that Hindemith was able to distract his lone jailer for a moment, steal his keys with the sleight of hand he’d learned at his grandfather’s knee and to slip away into the tunnels leading to the Gate.

Once there, he knew that there would be one more obstacle to be defeated - Cerberus, the three-headed dog, famous guardian of the Underworld. The steak he’d purloined off the main grill should come in handy at that stage, he figured.

When it came to it, he was almost disappointed. Not only had he forgotten that a dog with three heads would require three steaks to be distracted, but Cerberus turned out to be a Yorkshire Terrier. Hindemith smiled and threw the steak away. This wouldn’t take long, he thought.

How wrong he was. Hindemith had forgotten in that moment his enjoyment of the film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail and, with it, the lesson of the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog. What the dog did to Hindemith is too terrible to describe adequately but I can assure you, it was worse than any damn rabbit. All I can tell you is that the bloody remains of the hapless escapee were not even enough to serve a single guard back at the Barbecue.

Word Count: 488
For SCREAMS!!!, January 24 2021

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