1000 Beginnings: The Florida Comedy

#Fiction #1000Beginnings

Song 1 from “The Florida Comedy”

Few people know that the entrance to Hell lies in Naples, FL. Even fewer realize that there is more than one entrance.

Of those few in the know, Yannis was the rare bird unafraid of this knowledge. In fact, he had made a business of it. Every Saturday he would lead his Hellscape tours to portals both large and small, few large enough at present to allow entrance (thank heavens!), for tourists willing to pay his meager fare, eager for a chance to hear the far-off wails of the damned. Success was rarely assured, as conditions had to be just right. But IF the ambient noise were minimal, the traffic in the distance at a lull, the visitors themselves not giggling or chatting or carrying on with their typical drunken raucousness, and, so Yannis imagined, the punishments meted out down below had reached their cruel crescendo, well, then, you could hear, in your straining, echoes off the caverns of the damned far below.

Common tourist questions: “How'd you find these hell entrances?” “Is this tour appropriate for children?” “You really expect us to pay for this?” “Not much of a secret if you're giving these tours, right?” “Will there be a bathroom break.” “Isn't the entrance to hell in Tally?”

Yannis' database of answers, at the nearly sort of middle of his life, was well-stocked and whirred into action. “My father.” “Most certainly.” “It is a discount.” “All secrets are relative.” “There are many public restrooms in town” and “That is a popular misconception.”

In fact, why these mouths to damnation were here and why he had knowledge of them was not at all clear to Yannis. But, as in every good guide knows, this is a show, a bit of something for the tourists to take back like a trinket, to be lost and, from time to time, tripped over in the mountainous clutter of their brains. Difficult truths weren't for them.

Finding the truth was Yannis' job. And these fools were going to help him.