“Tour Bus to the Gate of Hell” / A Memorable Fancy #268

“‘Gate of Hell’ they told the tourists. What a fake! Yes, there’s a hole in the ground, a rotting iron grate, a lock a child could break.”

They gape, grab a shot, then the bus goes on to Aulis, Delphi, some other place. “I’ve seen the Gate of Hell itself!” they say, back at home. “Here’s one of the kids,” posing and squinting up at harsh Apollo before the Gate, the very place –

“But the real Gate of Hell’s in Byblos,” Herb interrupts, “We saw it last year, when we took that cruise.”

“That was two years ago, dear,” says Anne, a little late because now there’s a shot of Mycenae, which Anne and Herb missed on another tour because Herb was indisposed and Agamemnon away on a raid someplace anyway.


Last bus gone for the day, keepers sweep up butts and paper cups, truck up the blood, tip the barrel, pour it fresh and warm through the grate.

Hell’s broken souls mew and scramble like cats, shoving and pushing. Finally sated, they glow with repast, tell stories of when they were alive, the tours they took, what they saw.


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