Grand Prize: Eternal Damnation

Peyton Flannery, Grade 5, Westhampton Beach Elementary School
Peyton Flannery, Grade 5, Westhampton Beach Elementary School

I looked behind me. The line of poor souls stretched for miles down the endless hallway. No one dared to speak a word. The clock above the metal door hadn’t moved in ages and the flickering light panels above our heads gave me a headache. The “eternal” in “eternal damnation” is longer than you could imagine. I waited for what felt like a lifetime, and I guess a few of those had passed by then.

“Next,” a guard hollered. He held a clipboard. The whole operation was more organized than I thought it would be, but miserable nonetheless. The guard opened the metal door for a woman with red hair.

I had been in the Realm of Evil for a couple centuries, or at least I figured it’d been that long. Things in Hell are a little different than you may have heard, so let me set the record straight.

The Devil? He’s real. He spends centuries perfecting your worst nightmare, constructing your own personal hell, and when he’s got you figured out he calls you into his office and sends you there. In the meantime, you wait. And I had been waiting, stuck inside my head for years.

It didn’t seem so torturous at first, but I couldn’t help but start to think about what was in store for me. About what kind of punishment awaited on the other side of that metal door. I dove into the deepest parts of my mind, reached into the darkest places I could think of in preparation for what Satan himself had conjured up for me. What kind of monsters could be lurking? What kind of pain and suffering? What kind of pure agony? What kind of anguish?

The anticipation alone was soul crushing. It wasn’t until I was next in line that I realized where I was going.

“Next.” I swear my heart stopped. My hands shook. My toes curled. My stomach lurched and somehow I was moving towards the door. I gripped onto the frame as the guards grabbed me.

“No,” I begged, “no, please you can’t do this.” I pounded my fists on the guards, I kicked and screamed until my lungs burned, but it was no use. I locked eyes with the Devil, “please,” I choked out before he gave the guards their orders, but I already knew where I was headed.

“Send her back to Earth.”

By Asia Cofield
Grade 12
Southampton High School

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