By Chelsea Brown


Author’s notes: based on Hieronymus Bosch’s Hell


I’ve been having trouble sleeping ever since my Beatrice departed

(Although she was never truly ‘Mine.’)

Her long crimson locks wrap firmly around my neck,

Tempting me with the sweet whispers of sin.


“Infect me. Make me red.”


When I touched her, she was wax

Melting slowly into the palm of my hand. 

It burned. Oh, Lord did it burn! 

It was a sign from above, no doubt.


I think she loved me.


I have seen Satan’s true form in her vision:

With pointed eyes and broken wings,

Looking up to me as if I was the Moon hanging in the sky.

She wanted a ring-

She received a monster.


Spawn of the devil.


I have seen the pits of Hell itself, and clawed my way out

By clawing into Beatrice’s belly.

An act of passion, an act of terror.

I never meant for things to go this far. 


I loved her.


My world has been reduced to nothing but the castle walls I built.

Time and space are worthless here; I don’t exist.

I’m so vile that even God couldn’t show me mercy in the burning furnace of Hell,

Skin peeled back to reveal my soulless flesh. 


God does not like me.


I’m met with the same lonesome space after my mind has been raped and ravaged.

Chained to my own bedpost, damned to relive each nightmare.

Only once have I seen my beloved Beatrice since her death, 

With parted lips and open legs,

A stake piercing through her womb.


God hates me the most.


Away from Omelas by Ashley Pham