[subjunctive dreams]

Kenneth Lu
English 4th Period
June 1992

A Trip to Hades

IT WAS A DARK and gloomy night. That was my favorite kind because many people violated parking regulations on dark and gloomy nights, and I could do what I did best: give parking tickets. Suddenly, a small disk that was about three feet in diameter landed in the handicapped parking zone of an Italian restaurant. I have always hated aliens ever since they came to Earth. I especially hated Moznmns. They were the ugliest creatures I had ever seen.

It was my lucky day, I guess. An eight-foot tall Moznmn stepped out of the three-foot flying saucer. I said to myself, "Gee, that's strange. That Moznmn is purple." Anyway, he was also a serial killer. I didn't know that at the time, and proceeded to give him a parking ticket for parking in the handicapped zone. What he did next was the most disgusting thing I have ever witnessed, which is why I will describe it.

The ugly Moznmn put his purple hands (each of which had only sixteen fingers each instead of the usual eighteen) around my head tightly, and began to squeeze. What I felt next was excruciating pain. I am sure that he completely crushed my skull and my brain oozed out like orange juice. Surprisingly, I died, because my Alien- Serial- Killer- With- Sixteen- Fingers- Instead- Of- The- Usual- Eighteen- On- Each- Purple- Hand- Trying- To- Crush- Your- Skull- And- Make- Your- Brain- Ooze- Out- Like- Orange- Juice(TM) proof helmet was also crushed. "What a cheap helmet," I thought. (It had a lifetime warranty that ran out when I died.)

That day was Friday, March 13, 2015. I am Gnikrap Tekcit. (Maybe I should have said, "I was." I wonder if I should use past tense or present tense now that I am dead. My life has passed, so I should use past tense, but I still exist, I think, so I should use present tense. I am quite confused.) My friends, although I never had any, called me "Nick." As you have probably noticed, my name spelled backwards is "parking ticket." I have always thought that giving people parking tickets was my destiny.

I still had my clothes on, did not look like a sheet, and wasn't translucent, so I thought I did not die after all and someone had kidnapped me and put me in front of a big, black, polluted river. I then saw some people walking toward a boat, so I walked over there to see what they were doing, and, more importantly, what I was doing. There was a long line, so I went to the end of it. Wherever this place was, it was not anywhere close to San Francisco, since nobody cared whether or not I was a police officer.

When I reached the beginning of the line, I met a short man in a big, black robe. He asked me for admission, so I gave him a quarter that I had in my pocket. He directed me to a big, black boat. I wondered if everything was big and black in this place. In the big, black boat were about three hundred people. I then realized that one of them was in the obituary of the Chronicle the day I met the eight-foot tall, ugly, thirty-two-fingered Moznmn. I realized that either I was dead, or the guys that kidnapped me paid these people a large amount of money to make me think that I was dead. The former seemed more likely. The next thing I heard was, "All right! Everybody out! And don't be scared or go crazy 'cause you ain't got the slightest idea who you are or where you are. You're all dead now! You're all dead!" I had a faint impression of some Greek mythology books I read when I was a kid, but all I remembered was something about this hell place being called "Haze" or something like that.

When I got out of the boat, I saw a big, black, three-headed dog with a snake for a tail. It was almost as ugly as a Moznmn. The first thing I noticed was that it didn't have a collar. I started to explain this to it when I remembered that dogs can't talk. It was quite stunned, however, probably because I was the first person it had seen who wasn't afraid of it. I walked into a big doorway with a sign that had big, black letters on it. It was not in English, so I could not read it.

When I went inside, I saw a big, black escalator about fifty feet across. I went down. After about eight hours, I was still going down. "This 'Haze' place sure is deep," I thought to myself. After another eight hours, I finally reached the bottom. There was a big, black room. There were three men in big, black robes. They started to introduce themselves to the group of about three hundred people. The tallest one said, "Hello. I am Minos. This is Radamánthus, and this is Aéacus. You are dead. This is 'Hades.' That river you crossed was called the Styx..." He continued to give us a complete lecture on Greek mythology. "By now, you are probably wondering why you aren't tired, hungry, or sweating. You aren't tired because you are dead and souls don't need sleep. You aren't hungry because souls don't need to eat. And this place, although it is thousands of miles beneath the surface of the Earth, isn't hot, because we have air conditioning."

Later, he told us that we would all be informed whether we were going to "Elysium," heaven, or "Tartarus," hell. I was surprised to learn that I was to be condemned to Tartarus. I had no idea why, and was very depressed. I was allowed to stay in the big, black judgement room for a while before I went down. The judgement room was not special in any way except that the big, black walls reflected absolutely no light at all. I had no idea how I saw everything since there was not a single light in the judgement room.

I then went to Tartarus. It was intolerably hot, since the air conditioning was turned off there. Tartarus looked very depressing, but I met some interesting people. Many bad actors were condemned to watch their own movies for eternity. Adolf Hitler was gassed every hour on the hour. Although he could not die again, it probably hurt. I saw a man named "Kenneth" forced to listen to his own absolutely pointless discussions on spacetime and the origin of the Universe for eternity. For the forty-third time in my life, I was scared. "Maybe death is what it's cracked up to be after all," I thought to myself. I was to be sentenced the next day, not that "day" means anything in this underground world.

I met a person who was passing by. He did not seem as if he was a regular soul, so I approached him. I asked him who he was and what he was doing. He told me he was trying to fix the climate control system. "I was a specialist in climate control systems when I was alive," I lied. "I'll be glad to help." I did not want to cause any trouble. I was just bored and wanted something to do. I looked at a thermometer. It read, "44 Degrees C." I think I accidentally connected a wrong wire, because the next thing I knew, the thermometer read, "-7 Degrees C." I had made hell freeze over! The repairman brought me to see Minos. Minos went to look up my records, since I did not look like the kind of person who would be brave enough to try to make hell freeze over. Apparently, there was a glitch in the big, black computer, because Minos said, "Sir, there was a glitch in the big, black computer. We apologize for the inconvenience." He then brought me to Elysium. There were far fewer people there than in Tartarus. All of them were wearing big, white robes.

I was much happier there. I got a very comfortable big, white robe along with a matching shirt and pants. Minos became a close friend of mine. He's quite a nice guy. The only problem with these people in Hades is their lack of a sense of humor. I never had one, and I have always wanted one.

I just spent three million years wondering what I should do other than thinking of what to do. I then decided to write about my life and my death, and this story came into existence. This is all true, every word of it. I have to go to work now. Minos just made me the one to give spirits parking tickets. It is my destiny after all.

The End

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