The Devil made me do it: escape to purgatory?


Ever had an erotic nightmare? This one is literally stranger than hell. If you have strong religious beliefs then you should read no further.

This is not a constructed vision of an afterlife, or even a very original one. It is one that once reached into an ordinary night’s slumber and dragged our hero in.

Conscious memory rationalises and tries to make sense of the visions of dreams. Some say that is all that dreams are. We can hope so, because some dreams burn.

It was sometime ago, maybe five years, so all in the past or a future yet to be? A vicar giving a school assembly once said the afterlife was where the future and past met in an everlasting now. Was that supposed to be a comfort?

It was dark then, odd for a dream, dark but very hot, dark, but not black. It was dirty grey and orange. The orange flickered sluggishly and strangely coldly amongst all that heat. As I went deeper, it became hotter but there was more light. I was in some kind of cave tunnel, I knew where, but I could not bring it to mind, as though it was a suppressed memory, but I also knew that I had never been here before.

The orange ahead of me moved in strange shapes, but at least the narrow walls of the cave had begun to open out. Something compelled me on, although I wanted to flee. It was then I could see the others.

They were hard to make out; just silhouettes in the orange and grey shadows. I could see that there were young and old, men and women. I noticed that some were clothed like me. But others were almost naked.

As I got closer, I could see that there were nearly naked flabby old men and cadaverous women in rags. They were all cowering as if standing in the rain and forming a disorderly queue as if to get shelter. I did not feel compelled to join them so I just walked confidently past to the head of the line.

The ground was obstructed here and there by huge narrow boulders like fingers extending six feet from the ground. Because of these, I could not see what was up ahead so I just kept going, threading my way through the crowd and these appendages of stone.

Then I saw it. It was a huge opening in the wall, a gash of bright orange that lit up the whole cavern. It served as a doorway that swallowed up the rows of people who each disappeared slowly at the corner just beyond my sight.

Then I noticed two things at once. I knew they were connected, although divided in my mind, one distracting me from the meaning of the other.

The first was the low moaning coming from within. A sound I recognised as the grunt of a defeated fighter or a well-spanked woman who had long passed the point of begging for mercy.

The second was the girl. She sat high on a finger of rock that sprang from the ground by the opening. She was naked with her back to me and was possibly the most beautiful creature I have ever seen.

Her perfect thighs were tucked under the perfect spheres of her bottom. Her smooth back tapered to exquisitely tapered shoulders over which her raven hair cascaded like a waterfall of blood in the orange light.

I could have stared for an eternity in anticipation of seeing her face and perhaps I would have. Then she turned.

I cannot describe her face. Shakespeare could not. Oscar Wilde came close perhaps in a Picture of Dorian Grey. A withered crone, her visage was a perfect vision of evil.

“Welcome to Hell.” She croaked in the voice of ages.

The rocks, fire and bedclothes boiled up around me and for a moment I could see dawn through my window and a scene a waking sanctuary. Then it was gone and I was sucked back into the pits of evil.

The demon was still cackling at my defeat and the crowd began to wail as if awake from their stupor and as powerless as I in the bowls of hell.

Then I ran. Up. I thought. Down was Hell, up was? Up was where? I ran back through the tunnels, terrified as they narrowed and seemed to suck me back.

Dreams are timeless, although I knew of no dream that could claim one who had woken. So, I don’t know how long I ran.

Then finally the caves opened to a sky on fire. Its clouds raced across the sky like a special effect from a horror movie. How did they know? Everywhere were mountains beyond a mile-high cliff and at the base of the cliff on all sides was a river of lava.

I looked desperately around for somewhere to run then I saw a glimmer. In one corner of the sky above the highest mountain was a hint of clean light and blue sky.

“Pretty isn’t it.”

I turned to see a red-skinned demon sitting on one of those ubiquitous finger boulders. He was formed in every regard as a man, except that he was red and from the temples on his head grew great ram’s horns that curled towards his face.

“Oh please talk to me.” He said pleasantly. “So few ever pass this way.”

“Who are you?” I gasped.

“I have forgotten.” He shrugged. “You were admiring our little piece of heaven.”

“How do I get up there?”

He laughed. That doesn’t cover it. He gave an imitation of laughter that carried with it a hollow note of despair. It lasted some time.

“No way up?” I concluded.

“Oh yes.” He said brightly.

“Which way?”

“You have to swim that.” He laughed again.

I turned and looked at the river of lava and wondered if it would be possible. After all, I had a great incentive.

“What’s the catch?”


“Won’t I die?”

“You can’t die here.”

“Won’t it burn?”

“More than you can imagine but if you make it you will emerge unscathed.”

“And if I don’t?”

The demon was silent for a moment then said:

“If your strength fails then you will be sucked into hell below.”

“Isn’t this already hell?”

I expected the long hollow bout of laughter and was not disappointed.

“OK where is this place?”

“You are in Purgatory.”

“I see. And the other side?”

“The same and worse.” He shrugged. “But from the other side is a path up.”

“How many have tried to cross here?”

“Eighty seven.”

“That is a very precise count. How many have made it?”


“You have been put here to tempt me across haven’t you? But you cannot lie.” I said with an insight only had in dreams.

“I have to collect a million souls. Nothing personal.”

“You have a long way to go. How long have you been sitting here?”


“Is this the only place to cross?” I said suppressing the enormity of his last statement.

“You could always try the bridge.” He shrugged.

It was my turn to laugh.

After further interrogation, I learned that the nearest bridge was for women and the men’s bridge was a thousand leagues away. However, since I was not under a glamour, I could cross by the women’s bridge if I could defy the traps.

I set out along the strange fiery shore and almost immediately saw the rickety wooden bridge zigzagging across the river of fire. From the rise, I could see that it almost reached the full mile across the lava and then doubled back. Then before it fully retuned, it crossed back on itself so that it must have been 30 miles to the other side, which was only a mile away.

I got to the bridge almost immediately, once I was determined to try my luck. Time and distance, it seemed, were only a state of mind here. As I approached, I could see that bridge was full of people making their way across to the other side away from the caverns of hell. The people were all women and all naked. Furthermore, they all looked young.

There was another red-skinned demon waiting by the shore at the ramp to the bridge.

“Another strong-willed one I see.” He chuckled. “You can cross here, but be warned, although it is faster and more pleasant than the male bridge, there are risks, so beware.”

I was about to ask about the risks when I saw the woman at the end of the queue. She was naked like the rest, but her bottom was rather fine. Then I saw that ahead of her was a long line of naked bottoms, perhaps millions of them.

It would take me a day and a night. But I would have a pleasant view all the way, as I escaped from hell.

I took my time at first, reasoning that setting too fast a pace would be slower in the end. I wondered why all the women were young and healthy, then with the dream intuition I knew that everyone had been resurrected in their most perfect state.

As I took in the view, I occasionally paused to look back. The women all looked a little forlorn, but some were proud and others shame-faced and shuffled forward. The line moved slowly and I realised that it might take years for them to get off the bridge to reach the next endurance test. Purgatory was well named.

Then I noticed that I knew one of the women. I had once worked with her. I could see that she recognised me and was decidedly uncomfortable that I was looking at her.

“Been here long?” I said conversationally.

She blushed and moved her hands in front of her. I never liked her much. In fact, that was an understatement, but I couldn’t help feeling sorry for her. Still, it was better than the other fate.

I walked on, taking in yet more bare bottoms as they spread out before me. It was then that I reached the first turn. At each corner of the bridge on the turn was a small tower with a room. In each room, there was another demon. His job was to pull women from the line and bend them over a frame bottom up, for an extended punishment.

I stopped to watch for a while and noticed that the women were picked at random and only one in ten ended up on the frame.

“How do you decide who gets whipped?” I asked as I watched the demon strap the next struggling girl to the crosspiece on the frame.

“Whoever takes my fancy.” He shrugged. “Firmest buttocks. Snootiest pout. Prettiest nose.”

He then brought a strap down hard across the girl’s bare bottom and she yelled. Part of me wanted to help her, but I didn’t fancy my chances with the demon. Besides, it wasn’t so bad for her was it? I nearly had had a worse fate.

I worked out that a disciplinary session could last a few hours. By which time about a dozen women would pass in the slow moving queue, plenty of time for them all to watch. I realised that the chances were that they would all get at least one turn on the frame before they reached the end and very probably many more.

As I continued on my journey, I began to recognise more and more of the women. Not all of them I knew. Some were film stars or newsreaders, sportswomen and other celebrities. Others were customers and passing acquaintances. Once I saw a teacher of mine from school. I remembered her as fat and fifty, but here she was young and fair and definitely had a bottom that would get a demon’s notice.

At some of the towers, the demon in charge took care to stop every woman for punishment. These punishments lasted only 15 or 20 minutes, but must have been a shock for the women who had so far escaped.

I confess that here I dallied the longest comparing the different reactions to their fate. Not all hated it quite so much.

At one tower, the demon offered to let me try. I hesitated for a moment, and then he assured me that whatever I did would be easier for the women than what he would do. So of course, to spare the poor woman some pain, I took up the offer.

I chose a comely redhead who had looked so desperate to avoid any punishment. She had a magnificent bottom and I had never punished a completely reluctant girl before. It might be fun to run with the dark side for a while.

I selected a medium length paddle and spanked her to an astonishing crimson after only a few minutes. As she lay whimpering bottom up, the two ovals of colour on her bottom really rivalled the red glow all around us.

She looked like she had had enough and I was tempted to let her go, but then I saw the cane. I shrugged probably my last chance to do this. I couldn’t imagine that people ever got spanked in paradise.

The caning was intense. She participated fully in her correction. Singing out in tune to each stroke. There was nothing I could do but strike again once I heard her wail. I moved from left to right and back again, carefully crafting an elaborate texture on her flesh as she danced to the music.

I don’t know how long it went on. Hours or days even. I was so reluctant to stop. The look she gave me when I was done was a mix of submission and hate. I felt ashamed, but only for a moment.

I stayed to watch the next correction before moving on.

After what seemed like weeks, I came to another tower. Only this one was empty. The women in the queue all turned to watch me as I picked up a particularly vicious looking long-handled paddle.

“You.” I said pointing at a very pretty brunette with the paddle in jest.

I was about to put the paddle back when she stepped forward and folded herself over the trestle.

“See you are natural.” Came a voice. “Its alright you have been expected.”

I laughed. It sounded hollow and full of despair.

“I am only passing through.”

“Aren’t we all?” The new demon said. “You are more than halfway there. Much more. A million corrections here and you can move up one tower. Oh in 10,000 years or so you will be at the end of the bridge.”

“You are mistaken, you have no hold over me.” I said.

“I can compel all demons in purgatory.” The demon smiled unpleasantly.

“I am not a demon.”

As I said it, I saw my face in a mirror that seemed to have conveniently placed for me. My skin was red and two great horns grew from the side of my head.

I lunged at the treacherous glass to smash its face, but the sheets held my arms back as I struggled in the morning light. This time I stayed awake.


3 Responses to “The Devil made me do it: escape to purgatory?”

  1. 1 opsimath

    Very interesting – and very well done, too. The Divine Comedy and Paradise Lost have definitely moved one place down in the hierarchy of Diabolic fiction!

    Thank you for a fascinating – and very ‘firming’ story.

  2. 2 Elly

    Is this a careful what you wish for or a guilty conscience scenario?

    I wouldn’t mind being a girl on the bridge. I ceratinly deserve it Lol.

    E x

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