Snakes of pain and tree of refuge

Dave Mallisk By Dave Mallisk, 5th Feb 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2xqse064/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Horror

The gods have always persecuted me for my devout atheism. Unfortunately, my death has dropped me into a hell far worse than eternal fire. I am very afraid of snakes. Not only are the gods real, they have a nasty sense of humor.

Crawling to the tree

The hissing awakens me. I am again surrounded by snakes. They might not be precisely the same snakes as before, but I'm sure their bites will be as painful. I also know that none of these particular snakes can climb the tree of refuge, which waits for me at approximately 100 yards.

The snakes are indestructible. I can neither kill nor injure them; I can only push or throw them aside. Each time I try to stand and run, a few of the larger snakes coil around my ankles and trip me. I have learned I can usually make the best progress by crawling a short distance, rolling quickly into the next crawl, and then repeating the process. Of course, my wounds accumulate rapidly, and my crawling and rolling efforts grind more dirt into my injuries.

The most painful bites are on my fingertips. However, I cannot crawl fast enough on my knuckles; I must open my hands. When I finally reach the tree, I'm barely able to climb it because my blood is slippery and I'm in great agony. I wish so much to die.

Climbing the tree

How many times have I climbed this tree? I've lost count. At about 50 feet, I reach the single branch, across which a rope has been neatly looped. One end the rope has been tied to the branch; the other end has been tied into a noose.

I again pick up the noose because I wish so much to die. Death cures all pain. I will again attempt suicide by hanging. However, I might fail. I will almost certainly awaken among the snakes and reinitialize the gauntlet.

Escaping the cycle of death

No! I am so sick of this continuous cycle of death and snakes that I drop the noose. Maybe I should just wait here and die of exposure. If I can die slowly, I might stay dead and thereby escape the snakes. But how can I avoid falling off this branch? I realize I need only untie the rope, wrap it around myself a few times and then retie it. I can only wait and hope.

I really did try to live a good life. Why are the gods punishing me so harshly? After only a few days, I'm beginning to fade rapidly. When I next I fall asleep, may the gods make it permanent. I feel blackness overtaking me. At last, my punishment might be ending. I wish so much to die. Death cures all pain. Suddenly, I hear a creaking sound and then an explosive snap as the branch separates from the tree. I ride the branch to a fatal impact.

The hissing awakens me. I am again surrounded by snakes. They might not be precisely the same snakes as before, but I'm sure their bites will be as painful. I also know that none of these particular snakes can climb the tree of refuge.

Tags

Merciless Gods, Punishment For Suicide, Sadistic Gods, Snakes In Hell, Unjust Gods

Meet the author

author avatar Dave Mallisk
As a semiretired technical writer, I enjoy creating fiction and poetry that focus on potential variations in our known cosmic reality.

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Comments

author avatar Robert Ramstetter
6th Feb 2015 (#)

Loved this! The idea is amazing.

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author avatar Retired
6th Feb 2015 (#)

Awesome. Warm welcome to Wikinut, Dave.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
6th Feb 2015 (#)

The cycle of birth and death seems to continue forever - there is no magic bullet to escape them. Death may prove no relief to our suffering - maybe, just grin and bear it is the only way. Interesting take, thanks Dave - siva

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author avatar Carol Roach
8th Feb 2015 (#)

wonderful story I am going to enjoy following you.

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author avatar SaigonDeManila
26th Feb 2015 (#)

Excellent display of good prose...I wonder if the tree snake were identified as non poisonous.

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