A/N: A timed essay given to my class, like "A School Library At Night". Same deal. I like this one too (I got 25/27, so I'm pretty pleased). It's a rather sadistic sort of humour, so sorry if that's not your style.



Hell. Burning fire, the flame flicking around live humans as they scream, burning alive. A cackle arises, maniacal laughter filling the scene.

Or is it? Backing away, the heat is not so overwhelming and you can see clearly. The fire is contained, with logs as fuel, not humans. The cackles and screams are merely the pipes as they moan, old and rusty. Is this really Hell? No, this is just a boiler room in this large skyscraper. But you're not far off…

Welcome to Hell, Satan and Sons. We don't have a trademark. We don't need one.

After a while, we decided to… modernise the building, if you will. Burning carcasses are messy, after all. It worked. Many people seem more afraid of work at an office than fire.

I am the Boss. All fear me. The clerks scurry to and fro, heads down so that they do not look me directly in the eye. They are not humans, exactly. They work for me, to torture the humans in modern ways.

We know how to do this. We have researched it. For some, it only requires leaving them in an empty, white cell. Within days they are talking to themselves, clawing at invisible hands, pounding on the door as they beg for freedom. We don't give them it, of course, but we slide a tray of food through a slot in the door. We're not cruel, after all. It's just our job.

Others are more difficult to crack. Some will kill each other if you leave the right people in their room – the man that slept with another man's wife, or the child abandoned at birth – like a twisted soap opera on television. We record it on the surveillance tapes, and send the ides to BBC.

Some are impossible to crack. When this happens, we take them to the boiler room and follow the old, clichéd tradition of burning their carcasses in the fires of Hell. But we are not cruel. We kill them first. It stops them screaming, since the boiler room is quite possibly the one room that is not soundproof. These clients are very helpful, since we don't have to pay for central heating. It's just like the old days, with its fires and pits, all over again.

I enter my room, with its large, mahogany desk that is perfect for peering over down at our latest client. It has a large variety of buttons to activate trapdoors, like in the movies. I rarely use them, of course. I just make sure everyone knows that they are there.

Hell. A tall skyscraper, with the lift that is always out of order. The human screams are muffled and hidden behind closed doors. Visitors on our guided tour barely notice. Barely. They never realise they have entered another world, the afterlife. Until, of course, we tell them that they can never leave.

We are not cruel. Most of us are not sadistic. We are simply doing our job. I wield a rubber stamp, and wear an immaculate business suit instead of a red costume complete with devil horns and tail. But I can still smile, revealing my pointed teeth, and make my eyes reflect those of tortured souls.