A Hell of a Knight.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
I wrote this as a project for my World Literature class after we read excerpts from Dante's Inferno.

Submitted: May 17, 2011

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Submitted: May 17, 2011

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A Hell of a Knight
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?Ireland, 1335, plague is destroying the people. The farmers die causing famine which further weakens society through starvation and malnutrition. It appears as if the end of the world is nigh and the final Battle of Armageddon is fast approaching. Everywhere the masses flock to churches and cathedrals with great haste so as to repent their sins and pure themselves in preparation of the great awakening of humanity.
On Station Island in southwest Ireland there is a monastery known as Saint Patrick’s Purgatory, where the faithful flock to give penance for their sins. The monastery is filled with the chanting of Hail Mary’s as the Rosary is prayed, the deathly ill are blessed with oil, the healthy blessing themselves swith holy water and outside clergy are lecturing on the Bible. A man named Robert enters the confessional but asks the priest not for forgiveness, but for a favor.
“Forgive me Father for I have sinned it has been four days since my last confession.”
“In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, what do you ask of God’s forgiveness?”
“Father, I come to ask of you a favor.”
“My child this is a house of God where the righteous seek peace and solace from wickedness. Why do you waste my time with petty requests?”
“Forgive me father but I desire to be locked in the cave which Saint Peter saw his vision of the Underworld.”
Lightning strikes outside and the crack of thunder echoes. Father Geoffrey falls silent and instructs Robert to prepare himself, for it is unknown what happens to those who enter the cave of Saint Patrick’s Purgatory.
Later, just after sundown, Father Geoffrey brings Robert to the entrance of the cave.
“May the Lord bless you and protect you from all evil no matter it’s origin or form.”
Robert then descended into the cavern in all the battle gear of a knight. Skulking through the darkness with sword in his right and lamp on his left, fatigue hat beset him. In a small intrusion of the walls of the cave he sat, face out, lamp with fading flame in front of him, placed his sword across his lap, removed his rosary from his neck, he blessed both himself and his sword, and began to quietly whisper the Rosary, after which slumber overtook him.
Robert awoke from slumber and heard nothing but silence. This silence was not in any way calming. It pierced his ears and drove him nearly mad. So driven was he that he had forgotten to bring along his lamp which was his only light in so dark a place. Hearing the whistle of wind he stumbled, tripping and clumsily through the cave until he emerged from it’s depths. He saw before him not the lush green of the Emerald Isle but a land dead and so bleak that it seemed cheer and happiness would be eternally lost among it’s inhabitants. In hopelessness Robert fell to his knees believing that the Lord his God had forsaken him and in that moment prayed to God that He would deliver him from this land. But in that moment an angel of the Lord came upon him, and light shone all around him, and Robert was afraid. But the angel of the Lord said,
“Do not be afraid, for I, Michael (whose name means, ’Who is like God?’), bring you news of which you shall be glad to hear. You, Robert, knight of your lord and righteous defender of Christendom, you have been brought to this place so that men might know the punishment which await’s the unrighteous. The Lord is with you, may the strength of the heavenly host be with you. Now go, travel among this land and view the punishments of the wicked.”
Robert then rose to his feet, and headed toward a forest of oak, seemingly old as creation itself. After an exhausting trek he came upon a clearing, at the center of which there lied an altar. Upon which lied a bronze skinned man with a long skinny beard and bald head stretched and shackled so as he could never be comfortable. A thick black mist hovered in the clearing coming up just below the top of the altar, around Robert’s waist. Then suddenly with a whistling screech the mist retracted into the forest out of the clearing, and from the wood rose creatures in the likeness of men who sprinted toward the altar. Upon reaching it they set themselves against the shackled man with punches, kicks, scratching, clawing, pokes in his eyes and ears, pulling of his hair, and grasping his hands and feet with both hands slowly twisted his joints until they gave way. On and on this horrific scene went until an angel came upon the scene and banished the shackled mans assailants. The angel then laid his hands upon the mange led man and restored him to his healthy state. Gaining courage and gripping his sword Robert approached the angel saying,
“Hail, who is your master and why does he send you to mans wound, who is this man and what has he done to warrant this torture?”
Turning to his side the angel spoke to him saying,
“I am an angel of the Lord most high here by the command of the Archangel Raphael (whose name means ‘It is God who heals.’)
“If you are belong to God,” replied Robert, “why do you dwell in the realm of the damned ruled by Satan and watch over them and aid them?”
The angel then spoke saying,
“The Archangel Raphael has sent me here to watch over these souls so that when their punishment is conferred upon them, they are healed of their injuries and then endure their punishment at the time of my departure. For though this indeed is the realm of Lucifer, the fallen angel of God and accuser of men, is God not higher and more powerful than he? You are mortal and yet the demons of the dark one have not overtaken you in their land. Is that not evidence of the strength of the Lord’s good over evil?”
Robert was stunned by the words of the angel and after gathering his thoughts spoke,
“I understand, but you have only answered half of what I asked. Who is this man and why has he been damned to his fate?”
Speaking in reply the angel said,
“This is Pharaoh of the land of Egypt to the west of Canaan. He is here because of his cruelty to other men by condemning Israelites to slavery in his day and refusing to let them leave for which he and his people were earthly punished with the 10 plagues, but he is eternally punished here in this way in the netherworld for ignoring the direct word of god which was spoken through Moses.”
“I thank you for your wisdom but I must now be on my way,” said Robert.
Robert then left the forest and at it’s edge he saw before him a land of smoldering ash which blew in clouds along the ground choking those caught within. Far in the distance he saw a structure from which black smoke rose and fire spurted forth. Robert moving among the crags and gulley’s was suddenly beset upon by squat legged creatures with dark rough skin covered in bumps, warts, and boils wearing loincloths and armor made up of scraps of jagged metal, and wielding weapons of equally crude and dubious construction. Robert drew his sword from it’s scabbard which set the creatures back several paces. Robert then called out to them saying,
“What are you and why do you hamper my journey?”
“We have many names traveler, but we are all the same,“ there is much spitting and hissing in their leaders reply, “we are called orcneas and we are descendents of the line of Cain.”
“Why do you set yourselves against me so,” said Robert checking his back and peripherals so as to keep himself on guard.
Answering with contempt their leader again spoke, “In our lives before we were robbers, thieves, pickpockets, highwaymen, and bandits, we stole from those who earned and at some point our greed overtook us and we killed those we robbed. It is for that reason that we are doubly cursed to wander in this land beset by demons and deformed so that we appear to this day hideously before you. Let us end this parler and do battle for we cannot bear to wait any longer to remove your soul from your body.”
All the orcneas then swarmed on Robert. In a blinding whirlwind of steel Roberts sword sank into the flesh of his attackers, blade smashed helmet, withdrew limbs and colored the air with red mist. He bashed the pommel of his blade against their leader’s head
and prepared make him yet again once dead, striking mightily the bloodied blade struck true and from his shoulder to his hip was it’s victim cleaved in two.
Then to himself Robert said,
“This weapon has delivered me from evil, from this day forth I shall call you Chadad (which means mighty or sharpness.)”
After an exhausting effort Robert reached the structure and found it to be a mint. Entering it he was in a den of death. On his level there were large pots taller than a man and as wide as a house filled to the brim with liquid fire. With caution he walked among the workers. He saw that all of them were exhausted and asked one of them,
“What is this place and why are you here?”
“We are the slothful of the earth. This place is named khadet(which means misery). Our punishment is never ending labor in this mint pushing the pots of molten blood stone or as it is more commonly known, fools gold. We position these carts below the balconies above where the greedy are kept.”
Then looking up did Robert see the cages where the greedy were kept. In these cages were souls which upon their imprisonment here were given a replica of a coin made of lead which all of them spent every waking moment trying to shine and make more appealing to the eye. When their time came their coin was by a force unknown rolled out of the cage through a door which was always open and down a catwalk at the end of which the lead coin fell into one of the pots of molten fools gold. The greedy overcome with their love for wealth leaped after their mundane colored coin and were consumed by the liquid fire so quickly that screams of pain were not heard. Now covered in false splendor those who were in their lives slothful then wheeled the sun hot vessel outside and poured out it’s contents within which was always a human covered head to toe with solidified metal appearing like a statue made of bronze. After which the slothful then placed those statues of men near a river of fire which slowly melted away the coating of faux gold. Once the greedy were free of their metallic bondage their lead coin was once again rolled away and lead them back into the cage where the process would begin again.
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Warily, Robert made his way out of Khemet and happened upon a small cave which he decided to hold up in for much needed rest. As Robert began to again pray the Rosary his hands which clutched his rosary began to burn and created great burns on his hands. He then threw down his rosary, then suddenly a voice came from within the cave spoke and said to him,
”Traveler, you have poorly chosen this spot for your rest. This is a realm of many demons and evils who would revel in the chance to make you suffer. Therefore I, an angel of the Lord shall protect you while you rest.”
“What is your name my friend,” asked Robert. The angel then answered,
“I have many names, but you may call me Adna (which means pleasure or rest). Now rest, for there are many more things for you to see.”
Succumbing to slumber Robert dreamt of his wife Miranda (which means “worthy of admiration.) When they met, asking for her hand in marriage, their wedding, the birth of their son. Suddenly he was standing before a gravestone with no label. Standing next to him was his brother Albert cradling Robert’s son. Robert gazed upon his brother who just smiled, turned and walked away laughing. Robert then awoke in cold sweat and was greeted by Adna saying, “Come follow me Robert, there is much to see.”
Exiting the cave Robert saw a great mountain out from which spewed molten fire. “What it that place Adna and who resides there,” inquired Robert.
“That place is called the Mountain of Deceit,” spoke Adna, “it is there that The Most Damned and Sinful resides. The closer one is to that mountain, the greater their punishment for their earthly sins.”
Traversing this desolate land of choking ash, Robert and Adna came to a city which was surrounded by walls on all sides. The walls were made of the finest marble with gold accoutrements all polished to near blinding sheen. The gates of the city opened and so Robert’s surprise what he saw was not a city of milk and honey, but instead was filled with ramshackle and condemned buildings in which the inhabitants were clad in rags and covered in mud and bodily refuse. Confused Robert said to Adna, “What is this strange place, who are theses souls, why do they appear so?”
“This is the place of judgment for the envious of the earth. For all their lives they repeatedly did all in their power to gain wealth for themselves in order to create misery and despair for others so that they may be envied. It has been judged that in their torment they shall be plunged into a slum of refuse after being lured to their eternal fate through the appearance of pleasure and happiness.” Then from out of a pond of both human and animal waste crawled a score of souls, who rushed past Adna toward Robert. Nearly done in by their stench alone he smote them back from whence they came.
Retreating away from that place Adna led Robert to the base of the Mountain of Deceit and spoke to him saying, “Be warned my brave companion, it is here that you shall find the gravest of sinners. Are you prepared for what awaits you?”
Feeling confidence come upon him Robert replied, “In the name of the Lord God most high I am ready for nothing can harm me here.” Adna turned with a grin ever so subtle that Robert did not notice it and they ascended a long flight of stairs and entered the mountain.
Through a long corridor they entered a high walled room. At it’s center were two figures locked in mortal combat with each other. One of the figures parried the blow of a sword and ran his opponent through the torso with his sword. Then from a gate stepped out another figure who engaged the victor of the previous engagement.
“Guide, where are we and why do these men reside here?” asked Robert.
Adna replied, “We are in but one chamber of the Realm of Anger. In that place those who did not control their tempers in life must continually be in contact with that which angered them in life. Who you see there is Achilles, the greatest warrior ever to walk on the earth and champion of the Greeks at Troy. The man who he has slain is Agamemnon, the man entering the room from the gate is Hector, champion of the Trojans and killer of Achilles’ cousin Patroclus. Never once in life was Achilles not angry at his peers so never in death shall he be permitted to permanently rid himself of them, for every time he slays them they rise to fight him once again.”
“Why does he not attack us. Is he not so angry that he would kill anyone,” inquired Robert.
“He shall not attack us for he is so blinded by his anger towards his earthly rivals that he would never attack us. Let us go now. Your journey is almost complete.” answered Adna.
Robert followed his guide through another corridor in which the ceiling began to be lower forcing them both to bend over so that they may continue. Ascending the staircase they went up until Adna turned to Robert and said to him, “I must warn you, what you are about to see will not be easy for you.” They emerged from the corridor to find themselves standing on a large precipice. All around him Robert saw a great many people without number who were destroying their bodies by scratching away their skin, ripping out their hair by the tuft, flinging themselves against rocks, bashing themselves with sticks and stones, gnawing on their own flesh and gouging out their own eyes. But what most shocked him was that out of this crowd, he saw before him his wife Miranda. He rushed to her and asked hysterically, “MIRANDA! Why oh why are you here? What have you done to be here? Please tell me my eyes do not see the truth!” She him no heed and began to do all the same as those around her. Overcome with shock Robert collapsed.
When he awoke he was not within the crowd where he had lost consciousness. Above him he saw Adna and immediately asked him, “Adna, please tell me that what I just witnessed was merely a dream!”
“That was not a dream,” replied Adna, “what you saw there was real. Your wife has been cast into Hell for her sin of betrayal. Before you were betrothed to her she knew your brother Albert who begat a child with her. She is of the untold number of souls who have stabbed those who trust them in the back and for this reason she now resides there.”
Gathering his thoughts Robert then spoke, “Bless you then Adna for saving me for I cannot repay you for the good deed you have done me this day. Where then am I to go now? Nothing else could await me in this place which would frighten me more so?”
“Do not speak so soon Robert, for you are beyond the realm of the betrayers, and have since been brought to the throne of the on most damned,” said Adna.
Looking around Robert saw before him a great throne of height immeasurable by men. Drawing his sword Robert Yelled frantically, “Where is The King of Evil, The Corrupter of Men, The Seducer of Souls, where is this foul being of who is more worthless than a rat?” Adna gave out a booming laugh and said to Robert, “He who you curse is also He who you’ve blessed. I am Satan, the Deceiver of Men and eternal adversary of God.”
It was then that Adna, an angel who appeared fair to the eyes transformed to his true form. His form was that of a man but his skin was the color of blood. Every muscle and vein in his body could be clearly seen. On his torso there were six arms, each of which carried a different weapon. His hands were strong enough to crush the skulls of 3 men with one squeeze, his fingers were tipped with razor sharp claws which could slice through steel. His head was in the shape of a mans’ which three horns protruded out of, one on the forehead, one on each of the two rear corners of his skull, and a mouth filled with jagged teeth which were filled with poison. Robert trembled with fear knowing he was in the presence of the most evil being in creation. How could this have happened that he, a man of great faith in the Lord was now in the presence of that which is most evil?
Satan then with a great booming shout uttered, “Did you think that an angel of your god could really have any true safety in hell, my domain which your god has made mine to have dominion over? How foolish could you be to trust someone in the realm of the damned. Though I am greater than you I will give you the honor of a heroic death, after which you shall serve as the commander of the unholy army on the Day of Judgment.” Satan then rushed Robert and was gored on Satan’s front horn and fell to the ground. Satan then came upon him and raised his arms to deliver the final death blow. Robert could only lie helplessly there, awaiting his fate and wondering if God had forsaken him. Then suddenly, a great light appeared in the corner of his eye, then the Archangel Michael (whose name means “who is like God?”), rode from the sky on a white horse and slew Satan, removing his head from his body with a single strike of his sword. Robert then closed his eyes, accepting of his death, and all his site became like the clouds.
When Robert opened his eyes he found himself where Father Geoffrey had sealed the cave. Feeling strong he got up and with a great push, removed the stone which blocked the entrance. When the boulder was removed and he exited the cave he saw that the sun was rising over the horizon. Robert turned to see Father Geoffrey walking toward him shouting, “Robert! You look as if you’ve gazed upon the Devil himself. What can you tell me of your stay in the cave of Saint Patrick.?”
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© Copyright 2019 Collin Jonson. All rights reserved.

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