THE INHUMAN CONDITION
The Inhuman Condition is a book of short stories by Clive Barker, copy write 1986. Being a Sci-Fi buff I sometimes welcome stories of the macabre. Down Satan is one of those stories that takes on a path all it's own, it will take you by surprise while you are watching......
The story is about a man name Gregorius, a man who is richer than most; and quite possibly the richest man in the world. He owned palaces,fleets, stallions, cities....he owns so much that people no longer ask what he owns but what is it that he doesn't own. With all that he owned he was not happy, and one morning at age 55 it came to him that he was Godless.With all of his riches God was one of those things that he did not have/own, nor did religion play a major part in his life.
Gregorius decided to fix this problem, God would be a part of his life.The first step that he took was to go to Rome and speak to the head of the Roman Catholic Church, the Supreme Pontiff. He started praying night and day. He founded seminaries and leper colonies.He did all that he could think to do for God to show himself to him, but God never showed up. This was unacceptable to Gregorius and a new plan to get God's attention was needed.
He believed that if he put himself in a life and death situation that it would get God's attention. If his soul was in jeopardy surely God would come and rescue him, bringing him back into the fold.He would need Satan in order for this plan to work, but how could he get him to come. How could he bring about a meeting with the Archangel himself. Gregorius researched to find ways to get Satan's attention. But defiling of the Blessed Sacrament, sacrificing babies.....were no more effective than his good works to provoke God. After about a year of trying to complete his mission he came up with his master plan. He would build hell on earth- an inferno so monsterous that surely the Devil would be tempted to move in.....and God in turn would rescue him.
In order to set this plan in motion he needed an architect, after a long search he found one existing in a madhouse outside of Florence.His name was Leopardo and he had plans for a palace that had a lunitic grandeur, the kind of grandeur that Gregorius wanted.A site in Africa was chosen for the building.It is said that no mind had concieved of such a thing before.It took four years to complete and the better part of his fortune. The building was the size of half a dozen cathedrals fitted with every torture device that would make the Devil smile.Fires burned behind it's thick walls, making it almost unendurable agony to walk it's corridors.All manner of devices of persecution was in it's rooms. "There were ovens large enough to cremate families, pools deep enough to drown generations.......The New Hell was an atrocity waiting to happen; a celebration of inhumanity".
So now with Hell completed Gregorious waits in Hell for Satan's entry.............
Once again Clive Barker did an awesome job with this story.It's a page turner that will draw you in to finish before you put it down.I love the twist and turns of the story and as strange as it may sound it has a moral ending; but you'll have to find that out for yourself.
Other Tales In The Book:
. The Inhuman Condition
. The Body Politic
. The Age Of Desire