Hell Is A Queue

Fiction, I hope obviously

4 min readJun 29, 2022


A modern depiction of Samsara, via Pinterest

When Prasanna woke up on judgment day he immediately thought ‘Shit!’ and then cursed himself for cursing. In front of ‘him’ (which was a vague concept, his body was more of a shape-shifting caterpillar), in front of him were many lines, like a set of supermarket queues. But which one to choose?

Prasanna had been observant in his life, as in he observed religions around him. He followed many religions, insomuch as they led to a meal. He’d be Buddhist at a dhane, Hindu at a wedding, Christian around Christmas, and he broke fast for Ramadan despite never fasting.

He assumed that each queue ahead of him was for a religion, and sometimes this seemed obvious. Many of the caterpillar people were wearing orange robes on their shape-shifting bodies, some sil white, some shirtless like a Hindu priest, some collared like a Catholic priest. Of course, nothing was obvious. Given his earthly experience with clergy, he wasn’t sure if those weren’t the lines he should most avoid.

Groaning inwardly, which he realized must be completely obvious to ye gods, he did the supermarket thing and simply went to the shortest line.

“What are you?” he asked one caterpillar, a body at one moment a man, at another a child, once wearing a grimace, another second a smile.

“Zorastrian,” the caterpillar said, somewhat absently, it was difficult to talk when your mind literally changed every second, nevermind your body.

“Shit,” thought Prasanna again. “What the fuck is that?”

He cursed himself again but no lightning or thunderbolts appeared. Perhaps cursing was a minor sin. He certainly hadn’t taken any deities' names in vain, but looking around he couldn’t be sure. The line of lines seemed infinite. There must be shit or fuck worshipers somewhere.

Prasanna thought he’d take a walk, dragging his many lives and seemingly some past lives with him as well. Sometimes he thought as a child, sometimes as a man, sometimes he felt nearly dead (again). He had once wondered what age you were in the afterlife and the answer seemed to be ‘all of them’.

Lurching as well as he could, through whatever passed for time and space here, he saw all the lines moving or not moving…




Indrajit (Indi) Samarajiva is a Sri Lankan writer. Follow me at www.indi.ca, or just email me at indi@indi.ca.