The incline of the road increased, the tyres on the slabs sounding more like thunder the longer they traversed it. It was typical of Hell's engineers to take everything literally. They were going to fast to read the letters etched into the road's surface but Harold had seen them before and knew their gist. “I'll only put a pound on the race” and “I've made you a peanut curry” were there somewhere, as was his own 'I've put fireworks under the coals, Mum. It should light up a treat.”
The taxi driver's cigarette suddenly flared into life as the road levelled out. Sodium-vapour lamps gave way to gaslights and the ruddy glow of burning tar pits gave a false perspective to the landscape. The air, what little of it got past the fug of cigarette smoke, smelled of sulphur and brimstone (which smells like sulphur would smell if it had eaten broccoli with its eggs) and his ears caught the white noise of overlapping screams of tortured souls.
“Soon be there.” Jasfoup lit a cheroot.
If Harold had ever wondered how Hell could be worse than Iesu had ever devised it, travelling in a smoke-filled taxi cab through the outer circles just about summed it up.
“Bit quiet, yes?” The driver turned on the radio.
Oh, wait. The Osmonds.