Further below we went and with each step, the shudder of sobs reverberated the unearthen walls that enclosed the abyss. When we reached the second circle, new torments and new tormented souls surrounded me no matter when I set my gaze.
Here the air was stiff and bitter, and all around us lay the naked souls of those damned with their insistence of pedantic, inspid ideas on food. They believed cheese could be made from coconut milk, or carrots grew upon tress and bushes. They were brash and foolhardy when confronted with the truth and refuted it. They spat upon those who would show them in kindness their errors.
Their eyes, which refused to see the truth, had been not only removed from their place, but from their existence entirely. Only skin could be seen where eyes and sockets once were, as if flesh had simply filled what would have been two piercing cavities.
Each was set upon the task to unearth a proof they could not verify in life. They were tormented to prove what they so furtively believed, and with each failed attempt the trauma of seething electricity scorched through their minds, scathing every recess with pain. Punishment for refusing to educate themselves to the reality of their culinary enigma.
In the far distance was Cassandra, who showed her disdain at her position as keeper of The Inane, through her impassive stare and slightly discernible scowl. My guide raised her hands and waved her off, telling her that cupcakes were baked in their papers; an assertion to the cursed oracle that we were not under her charge.
We made our way through the pit as one suddenly raised himself to sit, quickly as he saw us passing before him. “Those you see here were foolish to those who tried to guide them right, in life they were idiots and fools. Here I will prove fish can be considered truly vegetarian! Do not judge me, for I will show you the truth. The rest are constantly shilling their ridiculous claims. I know I am right! Unlike those who are strewn about and wailing, I will be vigilant in my science, and bring certainty to my claims!” He gripped his head recoiled and face contorted as he then proceeded to attend to his pointless endeavor.
And I knew that he, like his tormented kin, would wallow down here in their darkness and pain, unable to abate their foolish theories and accept the most base and simple truths of the world.
This is what awaits, and with that we descended…
To be continued...
Read Part I