Don’t look down

“Don’t look down,” the priest had told him.

Darren wondered what was down and why he couldn’t look down. He had his head to the skies, always prying. He was getting bored of looking at the skies. The priest was with him, looking up into the skies too. Sometimes they talked about what could be beyond. But the priest insisted they shouldn’t look down.

The air was torrid, and the priest’s robes flapped with the gale. He was weary — Darren was weary too — but he didn’t look down.

Winter came, and still they didn’t look down. Their faces froze, their clothes stifled, but they weathered the storm. The priest was growing weak, weaker by the day. He was way older than Darren. He was seventy years old and Darren was twenty-three.

“Can I just look down already?” Darren asked, “It’s been ages.”

“No!” the priest scuffed, “Are you silly?”

“You talk like you know what’s down,” Darren retorted.

“No one knows, not me, not you, not anyone.”

Darren had been through this; the logical arguments, the rebuttals, and each time nothing came out of it. Darren too was now as weak as the old priest. He desperately wanted to look down. He worried, for his life, for his existence.

And he gave in and looked down. And behold Hell.

He sank.

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