“I shall be honest with you all,” he lied. We should have known; in truth, we knew. If we are honest, we knew. Sometimes, believing a lie is easier than accepting the reality. Don’t blame me! Blame them over there! Ah, it was not your fault; it was the fault of that one there, you know, the funny-looking one. We all knew it was bullshit, and we all knew it was nonsense.
Who do you blame? The person doing the selling or the person buying? Are we not all part of the same cycle? If you have no buyers, then nobody can sell. If nobody was selling, then nobody could buy. It was dishonest on all sides; it was a deception, and it was a betrayal. You expected the worst; you expected them to ignore you between elections, but you did not expect them to screw you over. Yet that is what happened.
It started with a simple enough idea. “Do you want to be free?” they had asked. “Do you want to control your future?” Who could say no to this? If you dared to say no, they looked at you like someone would look at a talking dog turd stuck to the bottom of a digger as it attempted to launch into space from Greed’s demonic airport. It was considered wrong. So, we voted, and we had a turnout in record numbers. Demons voting, succubi voting, vampires and zombies; they all voted. They wanted to be free; they wanted to be in control of their own destiny. Why should they do what someone else dictated to them? They had to live here; they had to deal with it, and they should have the choice.
It came to light shortly afterwards, but, by then, the damage had already started. The vampires were told it was the demons that were holding them back. They gave the demons the impression that the zombies were to blame for the ruination of their circle. The zombies blamed the succubi, and the succubi said, “Fuck it,” and screwed anything that moved. It is tempting to say that they had the right idea, but they were following their instinct, so while they were right, we shall not credit a rock with acting like a rock.
And that was the problem. Everyone was thinking of themselves and not the greater whole. Nobody looked at who was selling the message and asked what was in it for them. Nobody gazed down deep into the circles and asked what Satan had thought and why he had let it drift this far. The Gargoyles hated the Shadow Walkers. The Shadow Walkers detested the Pinheads. The Pinheads despised the Crack Dwellers, and, well, everyone loathed the Z-list celebrities.
And so they wrote it in the parchment of the six hundred and sixty-six rules that the humans would have to come to Inferno willingly. It was what none of them had wanted, but it was what they were persuaded into voting for. The minions of the underworlds had voted for it. What was once a straightforward job would become hard. They could no longer depend on people dropping in at random. They now had to pitch for the work. PR departments went into overdrive. Sales teams exploited the vulnerable, and marketers utilised every trick in the book to pull in the souls.
Come to Lust, fulfil your desires!
Wandering aimlessly? Then Limbo is the place for you.
Feeling betrayed? Feeling left out? Treachery may be what you need!
All-you-can-eat buffet! Come to see the menu at Greed!
And the ones who campaigned for this change? What of them? Well, they had worked the system in their favour. The rest of the circles worked day and night to get people to Hell. They sat below them all and had their pick of the bunch. They hid in the cracks between circles, ignoring the bedlam that ensued. Siphoning off the souls they wanted and leaving the dregs to be consumed by the rest.
Sometimes, even a demon has to be careful what they vote for.