This work collects many, many missives from the current residents of hell. Here are letters from two of hell’s oldest inhabitants.
You always hear about Cro-Magnon Man, and I just want everyone to know there were women too amongst us Crommies.
In any event, all Cro-Magnons, men and women and the kids, are here in hell. Not a one made it elsewhere.
It’s been a rough half million years, but with that kind of time you get used to the inconveniences.
And you can counsel the newcomers.
I think the men take it hardest, but there have been some women who’ve been crushed by damnation––absolutely crushed.
Like any captive, it helps to protest your innocence. And that’s what I tell folks to do. There isn’t one person in five hundred thousand who believes he or she deserves this anguish.
And think about me. What did I do that was so wrong? So I didn’t wilt at the name of some invented deity. So what?
Doesn’t ignorance excuse?
Doesn’t mercy espy the mitigating feature of ignorance?
My life was nasty, brutish and short. And now this?!
It would have been fair if we had been made aware of the rules.
But to fling us onto this bonfire for disobeying laws we were unaware of––that isn’t what I’d call justice.
How did an illiterate fat-wit like me become knowledgeable about a concept like justice, you may ask. Well, let’s just say I’ve been schooled by the best in these here nether regions.
First I had to learn to talk, and that took a few thousand years. After the talking, ideas sort of came naturally to me. But it took teachers.
Aris is here. Got here not long ago by my standards. I think on the topside he was called Aris-totle or Aris-tutor or something.
Anyway, he has a way with words and a way with ideas. And this justice notion he’s talked about––retributive, by name––is my loophole, I think.
If I can only get a chance to make my case.
Hell, I don’t even know the rogue judge who threw us into this stink hole.
He’s probably beyond reasoning with.