|An Invitation to Hell
From Strange Beings
Storm was in intense agony and dying.]
Struggling to say
goodbye to my wife, I wrestled with my emotions. Telling
her that I loved her very much was as much of a goodbye
as I could utter because of my emotional distress.
Sort of relaxing
and closing my eyes, I waited for the end. This was it,
I felt. This was the big nothing, the big blackout, the
one you never wake up from, the end of existence. I had
absolute certainty that there was nothing beyond this life
because that was how really smart people understood it.
While I was undergoing
this stress, prayer or anything like that never occurred
to me. I never once thought about it. If I mentioned God's
name at all it was only as a profanity.
For a time there
was a sense of being unconscious or asleep. I'm not sure
how long it lasted, but I felt really strange, and I opened
my eyes. To my surprise I was standing up next to the bed,
and I was looking at my body laying in the bed.
My first reaction
was, "This is crazy! I can't be standing here looking
down at myself. That's not possible."
This wasn't what
I expected, this wasn't right. Why was I still alive? I
wanted oblivion. Yet I was looking at a thing that was my
body, and it just didn't have that much meaning to me.
Now knowing what
was happening, I became upset. I started yelling and screaming
at my wife, and she just sat there like a stone. She didn't
look at me, she didn't move and I kept screaming
profanities to get her to pay attention. Being confused,
upset, and angry, I tried to get the attention of my room-mate,
with the same result. He didn't react.
I wanted this to
be a dream, and I kept saying to myself, "This has got to
be a dream."
But I knew that it
wasn't a dream. I became aware that strangely I felt more
alert, more aware, more alive than I had ever felt in my
entire life. All my senses were extremely acute. Everything
felt tingly and alive. The floor was cool and my bare feet
felt moist and clammy. This had to be real. I squeezed my
fists and was amazed at how much I was feeling in my hands
just by making a fist.
Then I heard my name.
I heard, "Howard, Howard come here."
Wondering, at first,
where it was coming from, I discovered that it was originating
in the doorway. There were different voices calling me.
I asked who they
were, and they said, "We are here to take care of you.
We will fix you up. Come with us."
Asking, again, who
they were, I asked them if they were doctors and nurses.
They responded, "Quick,
come see. You'll find out."
As I asked them questions
they gave evasive answers. They kept giving me a sense of
urgency, insisting that I should step through the doorway.
With some reluctance
I stepped into the hallway, and in the hallway I was in
a fog, or a haze. It was a light-colored haze. It wasn't
a heavy haze. I could see my hand, for example, but the
people who were calling me were 15 or 20 feet ahead, and
I couldn't see them clearly. They were more like silhouettes,
or shapes, and as I moved toward them they backed off into
the haze. As I tried to get close to them to identify them,
they quickly withdrew deeper into the fog. So I had
to follow into the fog deeper and deeper.
These strange beings
kept urging me to come with them.
I repeatedly asked
them where we were going, and they responded, "Hurry up,
you'll find out."
They wouldn't answer
anything. The only response was insisting that I hurry up
and follow them.
They told me repeatedly
that my pain was meaningless and unnecessary. "Pain is bullshit,"
I knew that we had
been traveling for miles, but I occasionally had the strange
ability to look back and see the hospital room. My body
was still there lying motionless on the bed. My perspective
at these times was as if I were floating above the room
looking down. It seemed millions and millions of miles away.
Looking back into the room, I saw my wife and my room-mate,
and I decided they had not been able to help me so I would
go with these people.
Walking for what
seemed to be a considerable distance, these beings were
all around me. They were leading me through the haze. I
don't know how long. There was a real sense of timelessness
about the experience. In a real sense I am unaware of how
long it was, but it felt like a long time maybe even
days or weeks.
As we traveled, the
fog got thicker and darker, and the people began to change.
At first they seemed rather playful and happy, but when
we had covered some distance, a few of them began to get
aggressive. The more questioning and suspicious I was, the
more antagonistic and rude and authoritarian they became.
They began to make jokes about my bare rear end which wasn't
covered by my hospital dicky and about how pathetic I was.
I knew they were talking about me, but when I tried to find
out exactly what they were saying they would say, "Shhhhh,
he can hear you, he can hear you."
Then, others would
seem to caution the aggressive ones. It seemed that I could
hear them warn the aggressive ones to be careful or I would
be frightened away.
Wondering what was
happening, I continued to ask questions, and they repeatedly
urged me to hurry and to stop asking questions. Feeling
uneasy, especially since they continued to get aggressive,
I considered returning, but I didn't know how to get back.
I was lost. There were no features that I could relate to.
There was just the fog and a wet, clammy ground, and I had
no sense of direction.
All my communication
with them took place verbally just as ordinary human communication
occurs. They didn't appear to know what I was thinking,
and I didn't know what they were thinking. What was increasingly
obvious was that they were liars and help was farther away
the more I stayed with them.
Hours ago, I had
hoped to die and end the torment of life. Now things were
worse as I was forced by a mob of unfriendly and cruel people
toward some unknown destination in the darkness. They began
shouting and hurling insults at me, demanding that I hurry
along. And they refused to answer any question.
Finally, I told them
that I wouldn't go any farther. At that time they changed
completely. They became much more aggressive and insisted
that I was going with them. A number of them began to push
and shove me, and I responded by hitting back at them.
A wild orgy of frenzied
taunting, screaming and hitting ensued. I fought like a
wild man. All the while it was obvious that they were having
It seemed to be,
almost, a game for them, with me as the center-piece of
their amusement. My pain became their pleasure. They seemed
to want to make me hurt by clawing at me and biting me.
Whenever I would get one off me, there were five more to
replace the one.
By this time it was
almost complete darkness, and I had the sense that instead
of there being twenty or thirty, there were an innumerable
host of them. Each one seemed set on coming in for the sport
they got from hurting me. My attempts to fight back only
provoked greater merriment. They began to physically
humiliate me in the most degrading ways. As I continued
to fight on and on, I was aware that they weren't in any
hurry to win. They were playing with me just as a cat plays
with a mouse. Every new assault brought howls of cacophony.
Then at some point, they began to tear off pieces of my
flesh. To my horror I realized I was being taken apart and
eaten alive, slowly, so that their entertainment would last
as long a possible.
At no time did I
ever have any sense that the beings who seduced and attacked
me were anything other than human beings. The best way I
can describe them is to think of the worst imaginable person
stripped of every impulse to do good. Some of them seemed
to be able to tell others what to do, but I had no sense
of any structure or hierarchy in an organizational sense.
They didn't appear to be controlled or directed by anyone.
Basically they were a mob of beings totally driven by unbridled
cruelty and passions.
During our struggle
I noticed that they seemed to feel no pain. Other than that
they appeared to possess no special non-human or super-human
Although during my
initial experience with them I assumed that they were clothed,
in our intimate physical contact I never felt any clothing
Fighting well and
hard for a long time, ultimately I was spent. Lying there
exhausted amongst them, they began to calm down since I
was no longer the amusement that I had been. Most of the
beings gave up in disappointment because I was no longer
amusing, but a few still picked and gnawed at me and ridiculed
me for no longer being any fun. By this time I had been
pretty much taken apart. People were still picking at me,
occasionally, and I just lay there all torn up, unable to
Exactly what happened
was ... and I'm not going to try and explain this. From
inside of me I felt a voice, my voice, say, "Pray to God."
My mind responded
to that, "I don't pray. I don't know how to pray."
This is a guy lying
on the ground in the darkness surrounded by what appeared
to be dozens if not hundreds and hundreds of vicious creatures
who had just torn him up. The situation seemed utterly hopeless,
and I seemed beyond any possible help whether I believed
in God or not.
The voice again told
me to pray to God. It was a dilemma since I didn't know
how. The voice told me a third time to pray to God.
I started saying
things like, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want
... God bless America" and anything else that seemed to
have a religious connotation.
And these people
went into a frenzy, as if I had thrown boiling oil all over
them. They began yelling and screaming at me, telling me
to quit, that there was no God, and no one could hear me.
While they screamed and yelled obscenities, they also began
backing away from me as if I were poison. As they were retreating,
they became more rabid, cursing and screaming that what
I was saying was worthless and that I was a coward.
I screamed back at
them, "Our Father who art in heaven," and similar
ideas. This continued for some time until, suddenly, I was
aware that they had left. It was dark, and I was alone yelling
things that sounded churchy. It was pleasing to me that
these churchy sayings had such an effect on those awful
Lying there for a
long time, I was in such a state of hopelessness, and blackness,
and despair, that I had no way of measuring how long it
was. I was just lying there in an unknown place all torn
and ripped. And I had no strength; it was all gone. It seemed
as if I were sort of fading out, that any effort on my part
would expend the last energy I had. My conscious sense was
that I was perishing, or just sinking into the darkness.