The existence of the soul had been long debated. An element so vital to existence that every belief system throughout history hinges on what roams inside our bones. The truth of what makes us human. An image of the unseen God. I have seen it. And now so have you.

     I've never been a man of faith. Never been to church either. The only spirit that tickled inside my chest came from glass bottles. It never mattered which kind, though whisky seemed the best fuel for me. Good ol’ Jack. I liked the burn, you see. The soothing intoxication of each sip and the blessed freedom of loosened inhibition. It suited me. For years it was dinner and dessert, until one night the roads were thick with invisible frost that loosened the concrete grip on my tires. That's all it took as I turned fast, rolling wildly across an intersection, far off path into a lonely telephone pole. Crash!

     Tangled in wire, I remember thinking the paramedics would come. That someone would rescue me as the warm blood crisped in the icy air. But the hands that found me weren't that of any man. Lights, strange noises and naked swollen bodies of ill proportion. You'd think they were little green visitors the way they appeared and stole me from my crushed tin Ford. They were green alright, pale with deathly disease, but they were far from little. There were three of them. Monsters. Demons. Long pointed finger nails that pierced into my flesh as they tore me from my upside down seat. I didn't know what they'd do. I was afraid but I couldn't fight.

     I remember being dragged along the scattered metal and glass, the weight of my body pressing the shards in as they rolled between the concrete.. And then, I was somewhere else. No tunnel. No light. Just the scent of match-lit sulfur in the dark. I want to say I was strong, but I cried like a little bitch. I knew it was Hell. The kind of Hell you think will be fun and full of all the debauchery puritans turned their nose up at. It was no party. It was horror. Rock stained with rust and red human remains. They got their tools. The first thing they did was put a pipe down my throat. I could feel it's cold coarse edges cut as it stretched the walls of my neck. I gagged, unable to breath. And then came the burn.

     Do you know what the lake of fire tastes like? It tastes like melted man. It's a thick swollen goo of skin and bile and excrement. They made me drink it. Like an endless beer bong they siphoned the globs of human essence into me, and they laughed as I rattled against their firm hold. I couldn't escape. Then came the cutting. Long dull cuts with ample pressure, sawing through what I believed to be bone. I could hear bones crack through the hollow walls. The pain. How can I describe such powerful and immeasurable pain. The twinge. The sharp sting. The throbbing. I felt everything. Soon after, they began pulling. Shoulders, elbows, knees, all popped from sockets. The pieces came off and then were fused back on somewhere new. Somewhere they didn't belong. That's when I began to feel the change.

     They weren't killing me. They wanted me to become something else. Maybe a pet. I don't really know. But when they were done they showed me. They showed me what they had created. No longer a man by any measure. I was... reformed. A wicked sculpted soul.

     So I wake up in this hospital bed, my ex wife standing over me. A few days had passed from the accident and I was in a coma the whole damn time. You can imagine how disturbed I was when I came to. It took four men just to hold me down and sedate me. After more medication and some clarification, I eventually calmed down. They said it was a near death experience, if you could believe that. A vision of the spirit. I knew it wasn't near anything. I had died. Thoroughly and completely. The man in the bed was no man at all. I was a misshapen soul in a body I no longer fit.

     And that's why I'm here, talking to you moments from the old electric seat. You want to know why I did it. Why I went to my ex wife’s house, pulled her sockets apart and forced waste into her gut through pipes. Why I mangled the image of her flesh, sewing pieces of her back together where they don't belong. You want to know why I could be so cruel to someone who sat at my bedside while my own vomit filled my lungs. I didn't hate her. I didn't anything her. If anything it was an act of mercy. I knew what was ahead in the life to come. The derangement of becoming a monster in a new suit fashioned from your old soul. She needed to experience it. That’s why I made sure she lived through the whole thing because... well... at the end of the day, I wanted someone to look just like me.

Photo: Demon Sketch 06 by ChrisCold