Dante’s Second Circle of Hell and #MeToo (Story)

Devil sat with his accountant, his knit brows and balled fists clearly giving away his anxious state of mind.

“Why aren’t they enrolling anymore?” he hissed, his long tongue flicked out like a snake’s, to wet his parched lips.

He had been noticing a steady drop in the number of people who registered themselves for the lust workshops they would organize to tempt the future entrants.

These promotional activities were the hallmark of hell, quite the opposite of what heaven did – they screened people to provide or deny entry in heaven. It was easier for God as everyone wanted to get there anyway. Fortunately, being god-fearing and remaining forever righteous was a lot more difficult than giving in to temptations, or hell would have lost its significance a long time ago. Hell wasn’t a place that people would throng to get in, and this was why they had to run these temptation workshops 24×7, all 365 days a year.

Through all the eras and in all the places on earth, the lust workshops had always been their biggest draw, but the last few months had been different…The second circle of hell that had always been the most crowded one, bore a deserted look now. The winds still howled, and the storm still raged, but the footfalls weren’t enough to justify the cost of keeping the act on. And then those workshops…they took effort and resources too!

Alighieri Dante had done a great job of mapping hell, but allowing him the tour was a mistake. The images and descriptions were too stark and around the 14th century when the man had published his book, “The Divine Comedy,” enrollments in all of hell’s workshops had fallen drastically! But even then it hadn’t been this bad, and never for the lust Workshops! Even the priests and the saints enrolled for it!

“Why? Why aren’t they enrolling for our lust Workshops? What has happened? Have men ceased to be men? Do women no longer want to be desired? Have they all turned into stone?” snarled Devil.

Repulsed by his master’s foul breath, the accountant recoiled, but he caught himself before his Master could notice, and steeled himself.

“Master, it isn’t that. They still want to sin, but…”

“But what?” roared the Devil. “What is stopping them then?”

The accountant cleared his throat and then whispered, “It’s #MeToo.”

Written in response to Daily Post Prompt “Enrolled.”

Gianduiotto Discovers Paolo and Francesca Jean by Auguste Dominique

(Image Credit: Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

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